This year marks the 30th anniversary of the beloved TV series "Blackadder". It was in 1983 that the world was first introduced to Edmund.
With the first season set in 1485, Edmund Blackadder, unloved second son of Richard IV, plots feebly to become king. And this is how (Blackadder) history begun. The series gave us British comedy at its best, with the introduction of characters such as Persy and the one of a kind Baldrick. The line "I have a cunning plan" has entered the hall of fame of comedy quotes (in my humble opinion).
But this was just the beginning to one of the most succesfull series in the UK history.
Blackadder II followed up in 1986, set in a more interesting historically era, during the reign of Elizabeth the first. Tudor courtier Edmund, Lord Blackadder tries to win the capricious favour of the queen, while attempting to avoid a grisly fate should he offend her.
More great British actors join the cast of the first series, with Miranda Richarson as Elizabeth, Stephen Fry as Lord Melchett and of course Patsy Bryne as beloved Nursie a.k.a. Bernard!
The second series had countless moments of laughter, with one absolute favorite moment: the episode where Edmund fall in love with a girl named Bob...
And then in 1987, came Blackadder the Third. It's the 1700s, and Blackadder is insolent butler to the future George IV (or "Prince Fathead" as he calls him). The series features future House MD. star Hugh Laurie as "Prince Fathead".
Once again the series offer us plenty of memorable moments with one of my favorites being Macbeth... See for yourselves...
And then, in 1989, "Blackadder went fourh". In the last part of the epic series, Captain Blackadder is serving in the trenches in WWI and trying his best to avoid being killed..
Stephen Fry returns as General Melchett and Tim McInnerny, not as Persy but as Captain Kevin Darling! I have to admit that the sound of him being called "Darling" and his eye twitching at the sound of it, is simply priceless!
Interesting addition to the Blackadder series was the Christmas episode special that aired in December 1988, where we meet Ebenezer Blackadder, an descendant of Edmund's in the Victorean era. Ebenezer is really kind to people, but just before Queen Victoria awards him for his kindness, he has a sudden change of heart, as he forsees the future and realizes that doing good will make him harm. On the other hand, through a flashback in the life of his ancestor, Edmund, he realizes that being bad is not such a ..bad thing! So, he changes his ways and of course loses the Queen's favor.
Rowan Atkinson and the rest of the magnifiscent cast, might have been the face of Blackadder, but the masterminds behind the series werw Richard Curtis & Ben Elton.
If it had not been for their words, Blackadder would have not become such a great success!
So, let's enjoy some of their favorite quotes in the following video that tries to include in 2 minutes, a decade of brilliant British commedy!
Since I wasn't around when this instant cult series was originally aired, I discovered the wonder of "Fawlty Towers" right about ten years ago. Needless to say that I became a fan in a heartbeat!
What's not to love? The hilarious Manuel agreeing at everything he was told (Si, si, si) and ten seconds later asking "Que?" with the most adorable wonder? Poor Basil getting mad at almost everyone and everything? Or Sibil, Basil's wife who managed to be adored and hated at the same time?
This happy, disfunctional family, aired for only two seasons with a suprising 3 year hiatus in between but has gained loyal fans in the years that have passed.
The comedic genius that is John Gleese is undoubtfully the secret recipe behind this classic cult, but thankfully, Gleese is not the only diamond in "Fawlty Towers". The hysterical Spanish waitor Manuel, who utters a very limited set of words (Si, Que, Senor Fawlty) has got to be one of the most iconic comedic characters in a TV series (with the exception of Baldrick from Blackadder...)!
The ladies of the cast (Hotel owner Basil's wife and the lovely employee and tempation, Polly) seem to be the only ones that can actually keep it together in this poor hotel, and at the same time, offer us many moments of laughter with their rivalry.
The cast numbers also some regular characters/guests, such as the amazing Major Gowen, whose lines always cracked me up!
Fawlty Towers was undoubtfully a series example on how comedy is done (along with Blackadder, but that's a whole other volume....) - definitely worth discovering......
Ever since I first set foot on a cinema theatre, I knew that something magical was happening there....