Is Blackadder or Baldrick better as the fool?

First season of “Blackadder” had Blackadder himself as the fool, and Baldrick as smarter.

Then they changed it so the other seasons had Blackadder acting out with his full personality, normal that is, and Baldrick as the total fool.

Which is considered more effective?

Given that I’d rate the seasons/series as 2,3,1,4 in that order, I obviously think Baldrick is the better fool and that Blackadder works best when he’s the smart and cunning failure.

I think it’s a matter of degrees. One of the things I like about season 1 is that Blackadder isn’t really that big an idiot. He seems to just get really flustered and useless whenever he is afraid. Which is most of the time as he is also a coward. But when he is all alone and plotting he’s not a complete moron. That’s a lot more interesting than just another dumbass. Which are a dime a dozen in comedy.

Whereas Baldrick is really really dumb in the later seasons. Way to much so. To the point where it’s just annoying.

A Baldrick who wasn’t a complete moron with a clever Blackadder would have been ideal, I think, but I prefer the cunning Blackadder seasons overall.

I like the smart Blackadder, but with smarter adversaries. I liked 2 and 4 much better. With Lord Melchett, and then Captain Darling as at least competent foils it was a much better. One never really grew on me, I don’t even bother to catch the reruns. And three was a bit weak with everybody else in the cast being total morons. It had some good moments but as a season it had much less interesting going on.

I prefer Blackadder as a smart, if conniving guy who can’t seem to catch a break - in other words, that of Seasons 2 and 4. Those seasons have him unleash his unrivalled snark at full force, without the false obsequiousness of Series 3.

I thought 1 was pretty dreadful due to poor writing and OTT characterisation so its difficult to make a valid comparison with the later series which were excellent I.M.O.

But all in all I prefer the smart B.A.

As we’re rating the series 2,4,3,1,

Oh, smart Blackadder is way better.

I’d rank the seasons as:


1, which I never re-watch.

The specials are better than season 1, even.

I think series 2 and 4 are equally good, with series 3 and then series 1.

It definitely works best with Blackaddder as the cunning, cynical, devious bastard and Baldrick as his dimwitted offsider, but it’s interesting to note than in each series Blackadder is further down the Social Ladder (1st series he’s a Duke and ends up as King for 30 seconds, second series he’s Lord Blackadder, third series he’s the Prince Regent’s Butler and later assumes his identity and takes his place and in the forth series he’s a Captain in the British Army in WWI.

Baldrick gets dumber, too- Series 1 he’s smarter than Blackadder, by series 4 it’s amazing he can get dressed.

Still a great show, though. :slight_smile:

The Social Ladder gag is one of the things I appreciate about the series, and is one of the more subtle things about the series I mention when talking about it to people.

So let’s have a Blackadder V with Blackadder as a middle aged Custodian (then mailroom clerk, then Custodian again) at a large firm (the Modern Corporate Environment) and Baldrick as his immediate supervisor. Lots of cunning plans to get ahead that utterly fail.

Yes! I would love to see Blackadder as a low-level minion at the brokerage firm of Flashheart & Melchett, set in Thatcher’s time as Prime Minister. Blackadder’s cunning plans to get wealthy always fail, and occassionally collapse a market, or perhaps unintentionally start the Falklands War.

I’ll echo the majority here. I prefer Blackadder to be smart, because he’s so good when he’s smart. I think Baldrick’s dumbness is endearing though, and not annoying.

There were supposedly discussions of a fifth series set either in a POW camp during WWII or in the 1960’s with Blackadder and Baldrick as members of a rock band.

I’ve also heard discussions of a series called “Redadder”, set in 1917/1918 about a Blackadder working as a Commissar in the Tsarist and then Soviet government.

I’d just like to say I’d take the rapid-fire verbal humour of a Blackadder over the mute mugging of a Mr. Bean any day.

Yes! That would be awesome!

Or set today, but great company name.

I love Season 1, it’s underrated and sometimes outright hilarious! It’s not my favourite (I like season 3 the most), but it’s not anywhere near as inferior as some like to consider it.

Having said that, making Edmund Blackadder the sarcastic and confident charmer was the right move, and gave it the life and energy it needed to continue.

I have tried to like Mr. Bean. I really have. But it’s just so inferior to Blackadder…

Despite the fact that he’s dropping down in social standing with each series, in another sense he’s gaining in authority. In the first series, the plotting and scheming is mostly a collaborative effort. In the second, he has Baldrick to boss around. In the third, there’s still Baldrick, and he has the Prince Regent pretty much wrapped around his finger. In the fourth, he’s giving orders to Baldrick and Lt. George.

The only problem is that Flashheart has always been a one-episode guest. (“Because the show hasn’t been written that could take him all in! Ha!”) I just don’t see the implication that he could have settled down enough to have founded a company. Maybe he’s a silent partner, who just shows up on occasion to ruin Blackadder’s life and impregnate a couple of secretaries. Or the company could be Melchett & Son, with a dual role for Stephen Fry. Maybe Melchett & Darling, Ltd.

Think Miranda Richardson could play a good Thatcher?

Agreed completely.

I always preferred the cunning Blackadder, and a we are ratign each series in order mine is 2, 4, 3, the various specials, 1. I have the whole series on DVD and only ever re-watched series 1 once, just to remember how bad it was. We regularly watch the others though.