British comic actor Rowan Atkinson plays all five versions of Edmund, beginning with the villainous and cowardly Duke of Edinburgh, whose scheming mind and awful haircut seem to stand him in good stead to become the next Archbishop of Canterbury - a deadly occupation if ever there was one. Among tales of royal dethronings, Black Death, witch-smellers (who root out spell-makers with their noses), and ghosts, Edmund is a perennial survivor who never quite gets ahead in multiple episodes.
Jump to the Elizabethan era and Atkinson picks up the saga as Lord Edmund, who is perpetually courting favour from mad Queen Bess (Miranda Richardson) and is always walking a tightrope from which he can either gain the world or lose his head. Subjected to bizarre services for her majesty (at one point, Edmund is asked to do for potatoes what Sir Walter Raleigh did for tobacco), Edmund - like his ancestor - can never quite fulfill his larger ambitions.
The next incarnation finds Edmund in Regency England in the late-18th-century. This time, Blackadder is a mere butler to the idiotic Prince Regent (Hugh Laurie in a brilliantly buffoonish performance) and is caught in various misadventures with Samuel Johnson, Shakespearean actors, the Scarlet Pimpernel, and William Pitt the younger. With a brief stop in Victorian London for a Christmas special, the series concludes with several episodes set during the Great War.
In the fourth and final chapter of the chronicles of the Blackadder dynasty Edmund is a career army officer, but a scoundrel all the same; shirking his duties whenever possible and taking advantage of any opportunity for undeserved reward. Set in a much darker period of history, Edmund is doing all he can to escape the trenches of the First World War and the dreaded order to go 'over the top'. This award-winning series is renowned for the closing moments of the final episode, a bold and highly poignant last scene when Blackadder and his men finally do charge into No-Man's-Land.
Co-written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis, Blackadder included some of the biggest names in British comedy – Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Tony Robinson, Rik Mayall, Adrian Edmondson and Miranda Richardson. Across all four series there were guest appearances from the likes of Robbie Coltrane, Peter Cook, Tom Baker, Brian Blessed, Warren Clarke, Nigel Planer, and many other well-known, highly respected performers.
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As funny and witty as ever. Great to see again after all these years.
Unfortunately, the quality of this was poor. The Dvds didn't load properly and when once successful, buffered making watching impossible. They are currently processing a refund for me. This is clearly not a first generation product and I worry about the source. Would not be accepting an exchange.
The Ultimate Collection you should not miss! So cheap!
This is absolutely my favourite British series of all times. It is great to see that Rowan Atkinson is an all-round comedian, not only in the physical, silent humour field like the Mr Bean shows, but he has also mastered the dry wit, sarcasm, puns and pompous jokes that are so traditional in British comedies. Blackadder is definitely one of his finest creations, and a fine example of how the British are always proud of their history, but take even more pride in spoofing it. Each of the four seasons highlights one member of the infamously devious Blackadder family in a different era, i.e. the Middle Ages, The Elizabethan Era, The Regency and the First World War. Although the series has a bit of a slow start in its first season, the episodes quickly become funnier with every following season. In fact, one of the reasons why this show is so hilarious is probably because only 24 regular epsiodes were made, and they ended the show at its peak. However, thank God the makers returned to this delightfully amoral universe a few times, and these specials are also included in the box. Not to miss is Blackadder Christmas Carroll, which takes Charles Dickens' classic tale and puts an especially cunning spin on it. Not all the credits should go to Atkinson: he has a fine cast of recurring actors to assist him, playing such unforgettably silly characters like Baldrick, Percy, Melchett and the immeasurably dumb Prince George. Highly recommended for fans of sophisticated humour at its most British!
Excellent offer and rapid service from zavvi, recommended purchase to enjoy original british comedy. An opportunity for viewing again all episodes of the series.
it was really great would recommend to everyone if they want a great laugh
I saw some Blackadder episodes when I was a teenager and always wanted to have the full set so that I could see them from start to finish. They are just as funny now as they were then, unlike many other comedy series. Amazingly good value for money.
Excellent quality DVD collection for a bargain price. 5 stars!
Absolutely perfect, with hyper fast delivery... I'm very happy!
Bought this as part of my son's education as he's just turned 15. A brilliant collection to the family collection
Black Adder - The Ultimate Collection features excellent quality DVDs. It's a great product.
Brilliant - enough said
So funny, truely a timeless classic. Filled with absolute daftness from start to finish. A must get for all Black Adder fans.
A masterpiece of writing and acting...brilliant!
Fantastic British with great actors absolutly love it!
I think I first watched black adder part way through series 2 and couldnt stop laughing. For a long time I'd ignored it thinking it was old mens humour, but HOW WRONG I WAS ! These series are so cleverly written by Ben Elton, Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis the humour crosses over all age groups. The cast is stuffed full of some of Britains very best comedy actors and they deliver the scripts and story lines with pure genius. With sooooo many different characters over the four series everybody will have a favorite. These are a must buy for anybody who enjoy clever comedy, dont pass them by you will be very disapointed with yourself if you do.