Mark Watches ‘Blackadder’: Series 1

Well, this is a treat! First of all, thanks to Jeff, who initially commissioned me to watch episodes three and five of the first series of this show as an apology of sorts for getting me to read perhaps THE worst-written thing in the universe: “Shark Lovers.” Fair warning: It is the worst-written thing ever, and I can’t even begin to explain what it’s about aside from saying that the title is pretty much literal, and you’ll never be okay again.

Once I threw the discussion post up on the schedule, my editor Ryan swooped in to commission the finales for each of the four series of this show, so I figured I’d do these brief posts so we could all talk about this show, whether you’re already a fan or you’ll be watching it for the first time. So, first things first: the videos!

“The Archbishop”

[vimeo 57898214 w=500 h=375]

“Witchsmeller Pursuivant”

[vimeo 57898213 w=500 h=375]

“The Black Seal”

[vimeo 57898215 w=500 h=375]

The first thing I want to avoid is saying this is Monty Python’s Flying Circus. It’s not. There are moments where it feels like it, both in terms of the tone the humor takes and because it’s a parody of Britain’s history. A really good parody, I might add. Very quickly, I appreciated how straight-forward these plots were, despite that they deviated from any known history right around that point as well. It’s a silly show that combines physical gags with some downright clever references to historical events and classic literature. Well, so far.

See, here’s the thing: HOW IS THERE A SERIES TWO? I don’t understand this!!! Granted, the only thing I knew about this show was that Rowan Atkinson was on it, so it’s not like I have an idea how this show is framed. Plus, I noticed that the events in one episode almost never carried over into the next one. This show is like anti-continuity, which is hilarious in and of itself. So… is the end of “The Black Seal” just going to be ignored? Where will series two pick up?

Brian Blessed is great, but I am here for Lord Percy Percy forever. HE IS THE BEST. He’s so sincere! As long as Tim McInnerney is in all four series, I’m going to love this show.

So, give me some background on this show! Obviously, the first series was popular enough to warrant a few more, but was it a smash hit? I had never heard of it until I start Mark Watches, but I get the sense that it’s a seminal British comedy. Also, god, IT’S SO WEIRD HEARING ROWAN ATKINSON TALK.


About Mark Oshiro

Perpetually unprepared since '09.
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2 Responses to Mark Watches ‘Blackadder’: Series 1

  1. Adam Atkinson says:

    It was a smash hit at the time, sure. And it may be helpful to look for some bits of “Not the Nine O’Clock News” with Rowan Atkinson and others on youtube. It was a topical sketch show, so a lot of it can be hard to understand 20+ years later.

  2. Pingback: Mark Watches ‘Blackadder’: Series 2 |

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