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.
Tim McInnerny's character was originally named Captain Cartwright. Stephen Fry had the idea to change it to Darling (named after a boy at his school) and created a running gag which is frequently used throughout the series.
I have a cunning plan.
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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