All six episodes from the fourth series of the popular comedy show. In 'Captain Cook', Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) puts himself forward as the Official War Artist, while General Haig reveals plans to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin. In 'Corporal Punishment' Blackadder eats the messenger pigeon which has just arrived with details of Operation Insanity. In 'Major Star' Baldrick (Tony Robinson) does his controversial Charlie Chaplin impression. In 'Private Plane' our heroes meet Lord Flasheart (Rik Mayall) and Baron von Richthoven (Adrian Edmondson). In 'General Hospital' Blackadder is given orders to find a spy in hospital and sees his chance to spend three weeks in bed. And finally, in 'Goodbyeee', the chaps prepare for the final big push.
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
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