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Blackadder Remastered!

Thursday, 18 June 2009 07:09

Blackadder is one of the most fondly remembered and critically acclaimed BBC comedies ever to emerge from England. It traces the deeply cynical and self-serving lineage of various Edmund Blackadders from the muck of the Middle Ages to the frontline of World War I. Packed with brand new and exclusive extras and digitally restored episodes, Blackadder Remastered - The Ultimate Edition is out now on DVD.

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.

Blackadder RemasteredJump 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.

DVD Extras include the following:

Brand New Audio Commentaries with Rowan Atkinson & John Lloyd, Stephen Fry, Ben Elton & Richard Curtis, Tony Robinson & Tim McInnerny.

Blackadder Rides Again – Special 90 minute documentary to mark the 25th Anniversary, shot on location in Northumberland, Cheltenham, Uganda and Los Angeles.

Exclusive Extended Interviews with Hugh Laurie, Rowan Atkinson, Richard Curtis, Ben Elton, Tony Robinson, and Stephen Fry.

Costumes Revisited with Miranda Richardson, Patsy Byrne, Tony Robinson and Tim McInnerny.

TV Specials - Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, Blackadder Back & Forth, and Blackadder The Cavalier years.

 

Blackadder Remastered – The Ultimate Edition is a six disc DVD set, with a running time of 719 minutes plus extras, a ‘15’ Certificate and a RRP of £59.99 – or less from www.culttvstore.com

Last modified on Thursday, 10 May 2012 16:37

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