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The original: 

Blackadder (1983-1989) 


Written by: 

Richard Curtis and Ben Elton (The Vicar of Dibley; Love, Actually / Maybe Baby; The Thin Blue Line)


Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Tim McInnery, Stephen Fry, Miranda Richardson, Hugh Laurie, Patsy Byrne; with Rik Mayall, Helen Atkinson Wood, Gabrielle Glaister, Tom Baker, Miriam Margolyes, Robbie Coltrane, Ronald Lacey and Adrian Edmondson

What’s it about? 

Set over four different periods in time, the series follows various versions and descendants of one Edmund Blackadder (Atkinson), as he strives throughout the ages to make money, live in peace and avoid being killed. He is often unsuccessful in all of these endeavours. 


Serving as a constant companion is his underling, lacky and stooge, Baldrick, a man with as much intelligence as he has hygiene, and always one cunning plan away from victory or calamity. 


With an amazing supporting cast of actors and characters, from benevolent idiots to maniacal timebombs of insanity, the series (not to mention various one-offs) is packed full with an incredible ratio of one-liners, ranging from the razor-sharp, to the silly, to the best puns you’ve ever heard and the weaving diatribes of relentless genius. 


Edmund must out-match, out-fox and out-run all manner of fools and madmen, politicians, clergy, noblemen, royalty and Germans, with quick thinking, quicker talking, and the aid of being ruthless, scathing, conniving and deeply selfish. 


All this, plus a pathos, satire and richness of talent involved perhaps unmatched in sitcom ensembles. 

Blackadder the show is tight, fast, brilliant and watchable.  As is, frankly, the man himself. 



Blackadder: "Percy, far from being a fit consort for a prince of the realm, you would bore the leggings off a village idiot." 


Blackadder: "They do say, Mrs M, that verbal insults hurt more than physical pain. They are, of course, wrong, as you will soon discover when I stick this toasting fork into your head." 



Blackadder: “The path of my life is strewn with cowpats from the Devil's own satanic herd." 



Prince George: "Someone said I had the wit and intellect of a donkey." 

Blackadder: "Oh, an absurd suggestion sir. Unless it was a particularly stupid donkey." 



Blackadder: "Baldrick, your head is as empty as a eunuch’s underpants." 



Mr. Pants: "You've really worked out your banter, haven't you?" 

Blackadder: "No, this is a different thing. It's spontaneous and it's called wit." 

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The pitch: "Come up with a new series of the iconic British comedy."

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