Blackadder Goes Forth (Remastered) [DVD] 
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This DVD contains the complete fourth series of the legendary comedy, Blackadder, now digitally restored from the original programme masters.
The highly acclaimed final series finds a world weary Captain Blackadder stationed on the Western front during World War I. He stumbles onto the battlefields and is not overjoyed to be facing four million German machine guns. It would be slightly more bearable if General Melchett’s battle plans were less suicidal and if Private Baldrick’s cooking wasn’t confined to rat.
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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Top Customer Reviews
This series is very very funny and of course the last episode is great but deeply poignant and moving.
A comedy series to love and cherish.
Blackadder is for the most part a snide and somewhat cruel and unpleasant character, but rather than dislike him for the way he treats his couterparts, in Goes Forth, you just feel for him, placed in this desperate situation and trying anything he can think of to get out of it. Who would not, given the circumstances.
Making a comedy out of the tragic events of WW1 shows great skill and the writers manage it tremendously. They are helped by an incredibly good cast - there really are no weak links. For me, Stephen Fry playing the dimwitted General Meltchett is the standout, though an excellent cameo in one episode by Rik Mayall as flying ace Lord Flashart runs him close.
What is truely brilliant is the end. After all his attempts to escape, Blackadder is sent over the top, we presume to his doom, though we are never shown for definate, as the screen fades to show the battlefield in modern times. This could have been handled so badly, but it was in fact, perfect.
Whilst still a bit of an idiot, Baldrick does take on an extra dimension in this series as the 'honest Tommy' representing the everyday man who was caught up in the Great War. There are returns for Flashheart & Bob from series 2, as well as a new role for Miranda Richardson. The whole series hangs together very well, with familiar themes running through each episode, such as Blackadder's schemes to try and get himself as far from the frontline as possible. Suffused with a collection of the finest insults ever broadcast on tv, this is comedy of the highest order. Yet this series has one element to it that puts it head and shoulders above the other 3 series and above most other comedies. That element is the pathos of the final episode. Though it is riddled with gags (the cappuccino line still has me in stitches) the reality of the war is never made fun of. It is the absurdity of the war that is the subject of derision, in as fine a way that is the match of the War Poets, and there is a distinct Sassoonian air to the eventual demise of the characters, which is done in an utterly moving way. You would be hard pressed not to cry at the finale, which is the crowning glory of this great comedy epoch.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
Fast delivery, best of the 4 series. Very moving St the endPublished 1 month ago by M R Fraser-Plumbley
Just the finest performances from the cast (if you happen to like Black Adder)Published 5 months ago by A Mcardle