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The True History of the Blackadder: The Unadulterated Tale of the Creation of a Comedy Legend Paperback – 5 Sep 2013

4.6 out of 5 stars 18 customer reviews

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Product details

  • Paperback: 480 pages
  • Publisher: Arrow (5 Sept. 2013)
  • Language: English
  • ISBN-10: 0099564165
  • ISBN-13: 978-0099564164
  • Product Dimensions: 12.9 x 3.1 x 19.8 cm
  • Average Customer Review: 4.6 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (18 customer reviews)
  • Amazon Bestsellers Rank: 299,967 in Books (See Top 100 in Books)

Product Description

Review

"a rather elegant overview of Eighties British TV comedy… If you have any interest in comedy, you will love this book … [Roberts’] research has been assiduous, his judgments are sound and his puppyish enthusiasm encouraged his interviewees to give their best. Unlike Baldrick’s cunning plans, this one seems to have worked" (Marcus Berkman Daily Mail)

"This really is the full history… for true buffs, this is not to be missed" (Press Association)

"lively, warm-hearted" (TLS)

"The True History of the Black Adder is a brilliant read for any fan of Edmund Blackadder, as well as a great introduction into the history of the contemporary comedy scene" (BookGeeks)

"An almost perfect history of the greatest British sitcom there has ever been" (comedy.co.uk)

Book Description

To mark the thirtieth anniversary of the first pilot episode of The Black Adder this is the complete history of the series with the co-operation of writers Richard Curtis and Ben Elton, producer John Lloyd, cast and crew. Including hitherto unseen material including extracts from a previously unseen and unproduced Christmas special.

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Customer Reviews

4.6 out of 5 stars
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Top Customer Reviews

Format: Kindle Edition Verified Purchase
The book begins with a rough biography of each of the main actors, writers and producers of the show. You are then, for the remainder of the book, treated to a combination of brief era introductions on how the "chronicles" of the Blackadder fit in with history and then the actual tales of how the shows were put together by those involved. You also get snippets of what each actor and writer was doing between series. The biggest problem with this book for me was that a reasonably large percentage of the quotes and dialogue had been used in the UK Gold programme on the making of Blackadder so I had heard a lot of it before. However, it is still well-written, has plenty of new stuff like the dialogue from scenes that were cut-out. A decent read for any fan of one of the greatest ever sitcoms.
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Format: Hardcover
I'm one of the generation who grew up with Blackadder, still love re-watching it and find myself quoting it frequently with my equally die-hard fan buddies. Probably I'm JF Roberts' perfect nightmare in terms of a reader... I shall now try to review it without ruining it for the rest of you.
I LOVED this book. It did absolutely everything it promised on the cover. It *was* a full history, not only giving the biographies of the actors and creative team but also a firm grounding of the comic and social culture which gave rise to Blackadder. It then went on to drill down into each series, how they were created from the writing through to how the performances evolved. There's lots of new interviews and plenty of facts - like another reviewer, I am sure this a book I shall go back to again and again.
Probably what I liked best was the author's tone - clearly Roberts is a fan too and approached the work with joy, passion and humour which really shine through.
Just buy it, you'll be glad you did. And if you're fan too, you'll find it makes you watch again with a whole next level of appreciation and enjoyment.
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Format: Hardcover
Let me start by saying, I am not a die hard Blackadder fan, but like any normal human who experienced 80s TV first hand it has a firm place in my heart. I was recommended this book for a holiday read by a journalist friend, who also happens to review literature for a well known tabloid. With my holiday coming up, how could I resist?
My friend was spot on the money. It is obvious that the author has spent years studying the Blackadder series and cast and the result is a well-rounded and yet surprisingly easy read that can be picked up and put down to suit your current pace of life. Which, as my friend rightly pointed out, is exactly what you need for a holiday book. If you have plenty of time to wallow in new historical Blackadder fact then you can get lost in the book for hours. Or if you have a 30 minute bus journey then you can certainly absorb a handful of pages for a quick fix.
I learnt an awful lot from this and I reckon in a couple of years I will enjoy reading it again, when I have no doubt forgotten it all.
An easy to recommend book that will shed new light on the lovely Blackadder people, along with the shows journey of development, all the while tickling you with nostalgia. Pick it up today, it wont disappoint.
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Format: Hardcover
Quite simply the definitive guide to the much loved comedy series. The making of each incarnation is discussed in detail from the unscreened pilot, through The Black Adder, Black Adder 2, Blackadder the 3rd up to Blackadder Goes Forth taking in the specials; Blackadder's Christmas Carol, Blackadder the Cavalier Years and Blackadder Back and Forth (which none of those involved seem to like).
There is information on why this particular period was chosen for spoofing, which characters were originally intended for different actors e.g. Tony Robinson was always intended to play Baldrick but when the pilot shoot was delayed and he was unavailable Philip Fox took the role (for the pilot only). Also there were what you might call "double acts" such as Miriam Margolyes and Jim Broadbent (Queen of Spain and her translator series 1), Mark Arden and Stephen Frost (guards series 1), considered succesful in series 1 had roles more or less written for them which had to be recast when one was not available. E.G. Arden returned to play another guard in series 2 but Frost was unavailable. Lord and Lady Whiteadder were intended for both Miriam & Jim but in the event only Miriam was available. When it came to Christmas Carol, the chance to reunite them as Victoria and Albert was taken.
There are in addition to well known tales such as how series 2 had to scale down budget and how Rik Mayall wanted to have better lines than Atkinson for Flashheart, lesser known stories and information. Examples are how the latest Bishop of Bath and Wells was the subject of baby eating jokes, people still stopping Miriam Margolyes in the street requesting she slaps them crying "wicked child" how Wilfrid Brambell walked off the set in series 1 and who Brian Blessed wanted to play in series 2.
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Format: Paperback Verified Purchase
If, like me, you adore Blackadder, then you have to read this book.

Mr Roberts writes in a style that could easily be part of one of the scripts. It is easy to engage with and flows nicely.

A must for all General Haig's Wife's tennis partners and some chap I bumped into in the mess called Bernard.
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