12 Things You Never Knew About Blackadder Goes Forth
Blackadder was a classic sitcom and had some great series, each of which was set within a different era, and although the characters were very similar, they had some differences in each of the various settings.
Blackadder Goes Forth was the final proper series of Blackadder and featured some great episodes. Let’s take a look back at this classic with some facts about Blackadder Goes Forth you may not have known…
1. Darling was originally to be named ‘Cartwright’
Captain Darling was played perfectly by Tim McInnerny. Originally the character was set to be called Captain Cartwright, which would have been very different.
2. It was Stephen Fry who suggested the name change
It was Stephen Fry who suggested changing Cartwright’s name to Captain Darling, after someone he went to school with, creating a running gag regarding the character’s name.
3. It took McInnerny two months to lose Darling’s nervous tick after filming ended
For his portrayal of Captain Darling, Tim McInnerny forced himself to have a nervous tick.
This became so “normal” for him, that after shooting finished it took him two months to get rid of again!
4. Some of the cast helped with the script
Due to their experience of comedic writing, Rowan Atkinson, Stephen Fry and Hugh Laurie were allowed to question parts of the script and put their own ideas forward for it.
5. This caused some issues
Ben Elton felt that giving the cast this much creative freedom opened it up for them to question every part of the show.
This led to some arguments and animosity as it was hard to decide what was best and avoid revisions for the sake of it.
6. Disagreements between the cast and the writers made this the final Blackadder
Richard Curtis had the final say on what content to use for the script, but the tensions caused on the show with so many people having creative influence led to this being the final full series of Blackadder.
7. McInnerny was tempted back when he was offered a character who wasn’t an ‘idiot’
Tim McInnerny had not reprised his role of Percy in series three, and didn’t take the part of Prince George as he didn’t want to be typecast as an idiot.
This is why he agreed to come back for series four as Darling is a more shrewd character.
8. A young writer gave the inspiration for the show
It was a young writer sending a script for a fourth Blackadder set in France during WWI that gave the inspiration for this series. The script was deemed not to be up to standard, but Richard Curtis and Ben Elton liked the setting so used it themselves.
9. The original ending saw Blackadder fake his death
In an early draft of the script, the final scene saw the cast gunned down as they go over the top of the trenches, only to find out later that Blackadder had actually faked his death!
This would have been appropriate for the character.
10. The series ends the way it does to prove WWI was an appropriate setting for a comedy
The ending of Blackadder Goes Forth is very moving and was done to try and prove wrong those who said that WWI was an inappropriate setting for a comedy series.
11. The initial shot was unconvincing
When the ending was filmed, Rowan Atkinson felt it seemed very unconvincing.
This lead to it being played in slow motion then fading to the field of poppies.
12. Critics later changed their opinion of the show
When it was first released, critics said the show was too “dumbed down” to represent an accurate interpretation of WWI, but now the show has been used on Armistice Day programs and schedules and the final episode is very well respected by historians and modern force members alike.
Are you a fan of Blackadder Goes Forth? How does it compare to the other series of the show? Do you think the final episode really is poignant and respectfully made? Let us know all your thoughts in the comments as always!