sells Blackadder DVD boxsets.

Blackadder. Captain Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.


The Blackadder dynasty has run through English history since time immemorial, seemingly always hampered by a Baldrick, and often a Percy and Melchett

The Black Adder; Blackadder II; Black Adder The Third; Blackadder Goes Forth; Blackadder Back & Forth; Blackadder: The Cavalier Years; Blackadder's Christmas Carol
1983 - 2000  (BBC One)
28 (4 series)
Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnerny, Brian Blessed, Miranda Richardson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Patsy Byrne, Robert East, Elspet Gray, Helen Atkinson-Wood
Richard Curtis, Ben Elton, Rowan Atkinson, William Shakespeare
British Broadcasting Corporation
& Tiger Aspect Productions

Like a stain on the eiderdown of English history, the Blackadder family has been present at some of the greatest events in our nation's past. We join their tale in the late 1400s, with Edmund Plantagenat, alias 'The Black Adder', the weasley 'spare' son of King Richard IV. En route to the dawn of the new millennium in 2000, we bump into Lords and Sirs of the dynasty including those from the times of King Charles I, Prince George in Regency England, the Captain Blackadder of World War I, and Elizabeth I's favourite Lord.

Our Review: It's difficult to overestimate the influence of Blackadder; the main body of the saga remains highly regarded and massively popular almost 3 decades after it began.

The only real exception to this is the first series, The Black Adder, which is dismissed by many as being plain unfunny. However, it's simply a whole different beast to the majority of Blackadder; the shows we know best and thus have come to love most. The humour is darker, less silly and less encompassing the realm of the scatological, but slightly more surreal. It's almost an entirely different programme to the rest of the Blackadder dynasty, featuring as it does a Blackadder and a Baldrick who all but swapped roles for the rest of the show's existence.

Nevertheless, combining historical insight and analysis with toilet jokes, satire and some of the wittiest come-backs and put-downs ever uttered on British television, it's hard not to be in awe of the Blackadder series' vast range. No wonder a 2004 poll saw it voted as the second greatest British sitcom of all time.