TV Series | TV-PG | | Comedy, War
Stuck in the middle of World War I, Captain Edmund Blackadder does his best to escape the banality of the war.
General Melchett's mannerisms include a laugh or exclamation that sounds like a bleating sheep. This is an inside reference for the fans of Black-Adder II (1986), in which Lord Melchett was revealed to have an unnatural attraction to farm animals.
But this is brave, splendid and noble...
Lieutenant George: ...Sir
Captain Blackadder: Yes, Lieutenant.
Lieutenant George: I'm scared, sir
Private Baldrick: I'm scared too, sir
Lieutenant George: I'm the last of the tiddly-winking leapfroggers from the golden summer of 1914. I don't want to die... I'm really not over keen on dying at all, sir...
Throughout the series, Blackadder and George, both front-line officers in the trenches, are show with their rank insignia displayed on their cuffs, whereas Melchett and Darling, staff officers, are shown with their rank insignia on their shoulders. In reality, this would have been reversed: Cuff insignia was the standard, but front-line officers were allowed to wear theirs on their shoulders to make them less conspicuous to snipers. Shoulder insignia eventually became an army-wide personal option in 1917, and made permanent in 1920 when the cuff insignia was abolished completely.
In the opening credits, Captains Blackadder and George lead a battalion in parade past General Melchett and Captain Darling (with Private Baldrick in the marching band playing a triangle). The closing credits are a grainy 1920s newsreel of the same battalion heading into battle, with Melchett and Darling walking casually but quickly in the other direction...
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