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Blackadder

Rowan Atkinson stars as roguish Edmund Blackadder who materialises in different historical periods to cause mayhem and mania. All four complete BBC series available as a box set.

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  • Blackadder Remastered - The Ultimate Edition [DVD] [1982] Blackadder Remastered - The Ultimate Edition | DVD | (15/06/2009) from £11.94  |  Saving you £28.05 (70.10%)  |  RRP £39.99

    Like a skidmark through history the Edmund Blackadders left an indelible dirty stain on every era they passed through. No one knows where the notorious Blackadder family originated from - some say the shallow end of the gene pool others just nod and point to the cess-pit behind the pig-sheds. Every new era produces a more contemptuous Edmund Blackadder each incarnation bearing a striking resemblance to the last carrying forward the family traditions of cowardice treachery and political corruption. Accompanying each generation of Edmund Blackadders is the 'Baldrick' family a loyal breed of human pack-animal and the byword for all things stupid.

  • Blackadder: Complete Series 4 (Blackadder Goes Forth) Blackadder: Complete Series 4 (Blackadder Goes Forth) | DVD | (22/10/2001) from £4.40  |  Saving you £12.63 (63.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The final Blackadder series, which first appeared in 1990, was the most highly evolved of all of the Richard Curtis/Ben Elton-scripted excursions. Having contrived to attain the Crown at the end of the third series, Rowan Atkinson's Edmund Blackadder is now reduced to a mere Captaincy in the trenches during World War I, with these episodes finding him shooting messenger pigeons, grumbling about Charlie Chaplin and unscrupulously evading his patriotic duty to pile over the top and be slaughtered pointlessly. Hugh Laurie plays the upper class silly arse to the hilt while Baldrick, who has grown progressively more stupid throughout the four series, can barely muster the intelligence to move from the spot. Blackadder Goes Forth stoutly refused to the end to abandon its relish for broad, puerile scatological puns: "Captain Darling will pump you thoroughly in the debriefing room," growls Stephen Fry's General Melchett. However, Blackadder's cynicism is laced with genuine despair at the recent madness of World War I. The closing moments of the final episode, as Blackadder and co. finally receive their orders, are handled with sober poignancy and became a frequent fixture in Remembrance Day TV scheduling. --David Stubbs

  • Blackadder - Complete Blackadder Blackadder - Complete Blackadder | DVD | (03/10/2005) from £23.99  |  Saving you £12.00 (20.00%)  |  RRP £59.99

    Like a skidmark through history the Edmund Blackadders left an indelible dirty stain on every era they passed through. No one knows where the notorious Blackadder family originated from - some say the shallow end of the gene pool others just nod and point to the cess-pit behind the pig-sheds. Every new era produces a more contemptuous Edmund Blackadder each incarnation bearing a striking resemblance to the last carrying forward the family traditions of cowardice treachery and po

  • Blackadder: Complete Series 1-4 Blackadder: Complete Series 1-4 | DVD | (12/11/2001) from £11.95  |  Saving you £37.03 (61.70%)  |  RRP £59.99

    Follow the progress of Rowan Atkinson's irredeemably wicked Edmund Blackadder throughout history in this complete box set of all four series--from the snivelling War of the Roses-era creep in the Shakespearean parody that was the first series, to his final and unexpectedly noble demise in the trenches of the First World War in Blackadder Goes Forth. In between, of course, we see Edmund at the court of giggly Queen Elizabeth I in Blackadder II, now transformed into the Machiavellian cad audiences came to love so well (thanks to a character overhaul from writing team Ben Elton and Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson&#146;s note-perfect performance). Then in Blackadder III he's still scheming, but this time has moved a little down the social ladder as butler to the congenitally stupid Prince Regent on the cusp of the 18th and 19th centuries. In all four generations Blackadder is accompanied (or should that be hampered?) by his faithful yet terminally stupid servant Baldrick (Tony Robinson); and if that wasn't bad enough he also has to put up with the incompetence, pomposity and one-upmanship of a host of other contemporary hangers-on wonderfully played by regular costars Hugh Laurie, Tim McInnery, Stephen Fry, Miranda Richardson and Rik Mayall. Taken as a whole this sharp, cynical, occasionally satirical, toilet humour-obsessed and achingly funny saga deserves to stand alongside Fawlty Towers as one of the best ever British sitcoms. --Mark Walker

  • Blackadder: Complete Series 1 Blackadder: Complete Series 1 | DVD | (01/11/1999) from £3.80  |  Saving you £14.30 (71.50%)  |  RRP £19.99

    The classic first series of BlackAdder was slightly different to its successors--Ben Elton was not yet part of the writing team, and Shakespearean parody featured prominently. Rowan Atkinson was at his best as a would-be Machiavellian medieval intriguer while Brian Blessed plays his gloriously over the top blustering militarist father.The episodes collected here are: "The Foretelling", in which Richard III, played by Peter Cook in a brilliant parody of Olivier, wins Bosworth only to get in an unseemly argument about a horse; "Born to be King" in which Edmund, lumbered with providing bearded ladies, morris dancers and eunuchs for a festival, discovers some indiscreet love letters; "The Archbishop" in which after his father has the Archbishop of Canterbury killed, Edmund starts his intrigues again; "The Queen of Spain's Beard" in which Blackadder's father's international schemes call for Edmund to make a dynastic marriage to Miriam Margolyes as the Infanta of Spain, and Jim Broadbent plays a peculiarly irritating interpreter; "Witchsmeller Pursuivant" in which Edmund falls foul of the demonic witchsmeller, played with more gusto than is quite credible by Frank Finlay; and "The Black Seal", wherein Edmund assembles a group of villains as his personal retinue (Rik Mayall plays a mad prisoner).On the DVD: No extras here at all, aside from subtitles in English, SDH, Danish, Swedish, Norwegian, French, Spanish, Portuguese and Italian, and chapter points within each episode. --Roz Kaveney

  • Blackadder: Complete Series 2 (Blackadder II) Blackadder: Complete Series 2 (Blackadder II) | DVD | (13/11/2000) from £2.48  |  Saving you £12.04 (60.20%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Although now regarded as the opening salvo of a classic series, the original Blackadder series was not considered a great success, either among critics or many viewers, so a major rethink took place when it was recommissioned. On the writing front, future-Four Weddings And A Funeral scribe Richard Curtis was joined by Ben Elton, while the expensive War of the Roses-era sets were replaced by cosier Elizabethan ones. The most important change, however, was with Rowan Atkinson's eponymous character who, in the first series, had been a fairly weak-willed idiot but now emerged as the familiar Machiavellian fiend which would cement Atkinson's place in the pantheon of great British sitcom actors. Moreover, even if so many of the script's lines have been subsequently ripped off by lesser hands that it can't help but occasionally sound dated, the central performances of Atkinson, Tony Robinson (Baldrick), Tim McInnery (Lord Percy), Stephen Fry (Lord Melchett) and, of course, Miranda Richardson as the childishly psychotic Queen Elizabeth ("I love it when you get cross. Sometimes I think about having you executed just to see the expression on your face") remain note perfect. Yet the real pleasure for viewers may be in rediscovering the raft of excellent guest star performances--not least Tom "Doctor Who" Baker's berserk turn as a literally legless old sea dog given to guzzling his own urine long before the drinking water has run out. --Clark Collis

  • Blackadder: Complete Series 3 (Blackadder III) [1987] Blackadder: Complete Series 3 (Blackadder III) | DVD | (05/02/2001) from £3.99  |  Saving you £14.45 (72.30%)  |  RRP £19.99

    Rowan Atkinson's irredeemably wicked Edmund Blackadder has moved forward in time from the court of Queen Elizabeth but a little down the social ladder. He's now butler to Hugh Laurie's congenitally stupid Prince Regent on the cusp of the 18th and 19th centuries, and if that wasn't bad enough he's still accompanied by Tony Robinson's dim-witted Baldrick, whose cunning plans never fail to make an impossible situation worse. Blackadder's desperate scheming and utter contempt for all he surveys hasn't changed, nor have the baroque complexities of the situations in which he becomes embroiled: from an anachronistic war of words with Dr Johnson (Robbie Coltrane relishing every syllable) to taking on the Scarlet Pimpernel at his own game, to fighting a duel with a psychopathic Duke of Wellington, Edmund's luck never seems to change. Richard Curtis and Ben Elton's sharp scripts have more fun with the period setting than ever before, as contemporary literary archetypes from Samuel Johnson to Jane Austen are ripe for lampooning. Howard Goodall's theme tune is updated to a glorious classical pastiche, while the extravagant costumes of the times hardly need altering to achieve the desired effect. The comedy is so good it seemed this could never be bettered, until Blackadder Goes Forth that is. --Mark Walker

  • Blackadder: Back and Forth Blackadder: Back and Forth | DVD | (15/09/2003) from £5.89  |  Saving you £4.10 (41.00%)  |  RRP £9.99

    It seemed a good idea at the time: to celebrate the end of the millennium by resurrecting Edmund Blackadder for a one-off special Blackadder: Back and Fourth. Unfortunately, those responsible for Back and Forth got the cart before the horse. The Blackadder television series worked by recasting the same characters in different times, thereby reinforcing the dynamic between Blackadder and the buffoons who ran his life (World War One generals, various idiot royalty) and the troglodytes whose lives he ran (Baldrick). Given that most of us feel most of the time like the people we work for are useless and the people that work for us are even more useless, Blackadder's concept had a huge appeal. A special feature looking at Blackadders through the ages might, therefore, have been a worthwhile enterprise. In Back and Forth, however, the character--a modern-day descendant of the Blackadder line--is merely briefly imposed on a variety of historical circumstances; he is no longer the victim of circumstances but the creator of them, and far less appealing for it. The script is lame and formulaic, and the conclusion unbelievably lazy. Okay, so it's a comedy, but if he really had returned to an England which had been conquered by France at the battle of Waterloo, shouldn't everyone there have been speaking French? On the DVD: There are three sound options Dolby 2.0 and 5.1, and DTS 5.1. The main feature has an easily negotiable scene selector, and there are two extra features; including a behind-the-scenes footage of the making of Back and Forth featuring interviews with co-writer Richard Curtis and the biggest gem on the whole DVD, a lost episode set in the time of Cromwell, far funnier than the dismal Back and Forth, especially for Stephen Fry's delightful blurring of the doomed Charles I and the future Charles III. --Andrew Mueller

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