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Blackadder: Back And Forth - A Blackadder In The Making [VHS]

Rowan Atkinson , Tony Robinson , Paul Weiland    Parental Guidance   VHS Tape
3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
RRP: 5.99
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Product details

  • Actors: Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tim McInnerny
  • Directors: Paul Weiland
  • Writers: Rowan Atkinson, Ben Elton, Richard Curtis
  • Producers: Geoffrey Perkins, Marigo Kehoe, Peter Bennett-Jones, Sophie Clarke-Jervoise
  • Classification: PG
  • Studio: 2entertain
  • VHS Release Date: 15 Sep 2003
  • Run Time: 62 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 3.3 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (42 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B00004ZBXV
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 231,891 in DVD & Blu-ray (See Top 100 in DVD & Blu-ray)

Product Description

From Amazon.co.uk

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

Product Description

It is Millennium Eve, 1999, and Lord Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) has gathered his closest friends - Lady Elizabeth (Miranda Richardson), Archdeacon Darling (Tim McInnerny), Viscount George Bufton-Tufton (Hugh Laurie) and Bishop Flavius Melchett (Stephen Fry) - to demonstrate his time machine, built by Blackadder's odious manservant Baldrick (Tony Robinson) to the original specifications of Leonardo Da Vinci. When his guests scoff, Blackadder wagers them each £10,000 that he can travel to any period in Earth's past, offering to bring back a selection of historical objects in order to convince them. It is, of course, a cunning plan on Blackadder's part; the artefacts are ready and waiting to be produced from within the machine. So imagine Edmund's surprise when Baldrick's construction actually turns out to be a working model, transporting the duo back to - amongst other periods in history - the court of Elizabeth II, Sherwood Forest, and the Battle of Waterloo... Watch out for guest appearances by Rik Mayall as Robin Hood and Colin Firth as William Shakespeare. Originally conceived as the highlight of the Millennium Dome, the one-off film is featured here alongside 'Baldrick's Video Diary - A Blackadder in the Making'.

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
12 of 12 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Not Blackadder at it's best but good enough 12 Sep 2006
This one-off creation of the Blackadder team was made for the turn of the millennium and includes all those people who have had recurring appearances in other Blackadder series including Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Miranda Richardson. The plot is basic with Blackadder and Baldrick building a fake time machine so they can win a bet, only to find that it actually works. It is unfortunate but you just get the feel from this film that the team were not at there best when they made it, some of the jokes fall a bit flat and some of the performances are ropey at best. There are some good jokes scattered throughout the piece but I just couldn't get of the feeling that this was an opportunity wasted. The disc also includes a comic relief sketch set during the Civil War period and Baldrick's Video Diary both of which are reasonably good to watch. Although Back and forth isn't the Worst in the Blackadder series by a long way I still wouldn't give it more than 3 stars.
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12 of 14 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Odd way to end the saga 24 Jan 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
Most people were very happy to hear of this one-off episode to complete(probably) the Blackadder saga. However, while this is very funny, it doesn't really gel with the other episodes. The whole thing(which is far too short by the way) just doesn't feel right. There is no laugh track, it sometimes seems forced and unnatural, and suffers from the worked-on-the-big-screen-but-seems-too-small-on-television bug. The other thing is that the idea of a contemporray Blackadder is somewhat self-contradictory. The video also contains classic clips and interviews with the cast and crew. This further aggravates the viewer by completely omitting the first series, and the character of Lord Percy. All in all, the jokes are very funny, but the whole tone and feel of the thing leaves one baffled.
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15 of 18 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars Dissapointing 9 Mar 2006
By Henry Ireton VINE VOICE
This misses all the sparkle and sarcasm of Blackadder at its best. Instead it relies on slapstick and unfunny humour which loses its point very quickly, it feels like something rammed together quickly instead of a labour of love, it misses the verve of the earlier series. The Cromwell episode is poor as well largely because the writers aren't confident with the period as they are with the regency and with the first world war. This looks lazy and the work of people who have moved on and not neccessarily to better things. Its worth a one star review not neccessarily because it is one star quality, but because it is such a disappointment after the rest of Blackadder.
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1 of 1 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Funny but too short 2 Aug 2007
The price is rather steep considering you only get a thirty minute long episode with two short bonuses (Cavalier years and Baldrick's video diary). However any true fan of Blackadder should 'cough up' as this is Blackadder on a whole new scale. A much larger budget was used, much larger cast, many more sets and a brand new style - instead of period Blackadders' it is set through time. Blackadder and Baldrick meet Shakespeare, go to the Jurassic age, go to Roman-held Britain, go to Sherwood Forest to meet Robin Hood and to the Battle of Waterloo! Some people have said on here that the plot is basic and boring but I would beg to differ; surely any plot which twists and turns throughout the episode due to Blackadder and Baldrick changing events in the past is far from predictable, and even further from simple. It is a much more satisfying end to the series than "goodbyeeeeeeeeeeeee" from the last episode of Series 4.
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5 of 6 people found the following review helpful
2.0 out of 5 stars Just not there... 26 Mar 2006
I was unfamiliar with the Blackadder franchise when I first saw this film in the millenium dome when I was quite young and can't really remember it. However I revisited it a number of years later, (after purchasing the first four series for my birthday), and was disappointed to say the least. The real thing missing here is Ben Elton. He brought the wit to the show with Blackadder II, and his lack of presence is painfully felt. Also, what really got to me was the beginning montage of pictures. The two pieces of historical artwork were funny, but the other pictures just resort to cheap laughs, such as Blackadder in a dress posing on a sofa, and holding his nose next to the queen. Hardly intelligent humour and unbelievably out of character for Edmund.
All in all, a great idea, (the concept of a Blackadder millenium film, and even perhaps the time machine idea), but sadly wasted. In other words, and to quote from the third series, 'about as effective as a catflap in an elephant house'.
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11 of 14 people found the following review helpful
1.0 out of 5 stars 1 star because I can't give it one half. 16 May 2001
By A Customer
Format:VHS Tape
This is a shameful end to the legacy of Blackadder. Not only does it lack the sensibility the old shows had, it's just plain not funny. Maybe it's because it's so short, that you never get a sense of who these people are or maybe Curtis and Elton have just lost their grip on Edmund, but this show falls flat. About five decent laughs in a half hour is not very good. The documentary on the making of 'Back and Forth' is funnier! They seem to be ticking off a list of jokes they have to get through, whether they make sense or not. "O.K., now an underpants joke, then one about being 'thick' and then we'll...etc."
If you like Blackadder and time travel, you're better off finding "A Blackadder Christmas Carol" than even watching this sad, sad thing. Maybe they'll do better in the Summer of 3000.
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Most Recent Customer Reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Disappointing
It is not up to the standard of the other Blackadder series, so I won't be watching it multiple times as I do all the others.
Published 10 days ago by Redbarnchris
4.0 out of 5 stars Fitting finale
Picks up the eras that the original four series didn't cover....

Who knew that Roman soldiers rank determined the length of their skirts?
Published 2 months ago by d431hood
5.0 out of 5 stars good programme
I missed this on the telly so was very happy when I could get the DVD of it. Purchased it a long time ago. Very enjoyable. Classic.
Published 4 months ago by Susanne Fanning
5.0 out of 5 stars Rowan at his best
TV series DVD for all BBC Buffs with an interesting insight into life in the Middle Ages. Highly recommended reading for one and all.
Published 6 months ago by Robert Garrett
4.0 out of 5 stars the final cunning plan?
It took a few years for it to come out on DVD, but it was worth the wait. DVD extras include a documentary on the making of the special, which includes several deleted scenes, and... Read more
Published 13 months ago by Lord Anon
5.0 out of 5 stars Excellence
Very funny, very very funny, ever-so, every-so funny, witty, extremely well-written, brilliantly performed. How many superlatives do you need? Read more
Published 17 months ago by Freddy Freeloader
3.0 out of 5 stars Not as funny as I remember it
One or two good jokes, with some mildly entertaining ideas, but they were not developed very well. It passed the time on a cold evening, but I wouldn't bother to watch it again.
Published 17 months ago by Dr. Mark W. Tebbit
5.0 out of 5 stars Blackadder and Baldrick at their best
Some witty touches, such as having Stephen Fry address his troops in classical Latin. Echoes of previous Blackadder series, and all the better for that.
Published 19 months ago by rosy
5.0 out of 5 stars A right, rolliking tale
Its very good to see the cast together again. The adventure is top notch, with delightful wit that only a blackadder could deliver. I thoroughly recommend this.
Published on 27 April 2012 by Stu Brand Manager
4.0 out of 5 stars In Parts Very Good
This DVD is pretty much a direct copy of the 1999 VHS release. It is clearly presented on DVD and the actual feature length episode is well directed and although having less... Read more
Published on 15 May 2011 by DJ Snap
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