Thursday, January 20, 2011
The End of Blackadder Goes Forth
Photo: the cast of Blackadder Goes Forth getting ready to go over the top
Today was a day for sorting through paper, throwing stuff away until my brain got too numb to go on, trying to get ready to do income taxes.
I had “Blackadder Goes Forth” running on Netflix on my computer, as company while I worked. This series is set in the trenches of World War I, and I've seen parts of it before. It first ran on the BBC in the United Kingdom in the autumn of 1989, and unlike the three previous Blackadder series it had an antiwar stance. In the last episode, all the fooling around and smart ass remarks are done and the characters go over the top into No Man's Land. And that's how the show and the series ended.
Blackadder's last line, after Baldrick says he has a cunning plan to escape, is: "Well, I am afraid it will have to wait. Whatever it was, I am sure it was better than my plan to get out of this by pretending to be mad. I mean, who would have noticed another madman around here? Good luck, everyone."
World War I, or The Great War, as it was then, the "war to end all wars," truly was devastating to Britain, and the Blackadder series honored that at the end. I was seeing it twenty-one years after it first aired. This ending is famous, at least among some people, but I had never seen it before and it touched me deeply - and left me feeling deeply sad.
And I still feel that way.