Blackadder

The Blackadder Game – Cartoon Logic

There’s an elephant in the room, ladies and gentlemen. (That should probably be a hippo in the room on this website, but never mind.) There’s a huge elephant in the room, an elephant so big that it would easily put those freakish, six-tusked things from Lord of the Rings to shame. This column, being weekly as it is, is meant to comment on whatever has the world’s attention at the moment. My purview is to tap into the zeitgeist and provide some sort of (hopefully) original and humorous comment. At the moment, the world’s attention is very firmly focused on the migrant crisis occurring across Europe, the Middle East and Africa. That there is the elephant. But the thing is, at the moment, I honestly have nothing to add. It’s terrible and frightening and tragic and I haven’t the faintest idea about what should or shouldn’t be done, beyond a vague feeling that we should all be nice to each other and help people who are running away from terrible wars. I suppose that is an original opinion, in a way, because at the moment, everyone and his taxi driver seems to know exactly what should be done to sort the whole thing out. So yeah. Nothing on migrants this week. Instead, here’s a stupid column about Blackadder.

A few weeks ago, little Time Team troll Tony Robinson, well known as the beloved Baldrick from the BBC’s fabulous Blackadder series, hinted that a new series of the show was on the cards. This immediately started speculation about exactly when the new series would be set. It is a well-known fact amongst Blackadder devotees that after The Black Adder (series 1, set in Medieval times), Blackadder II (series 2, set in Elizabethan times), Blackadder the Third (series 3, set during the British Regency) and Blackadder Goes Forth (series 4, set during the First World War), the next series would’ve been The Blackadder Five, a series following the adventures of a pop group in the middle of the 20th Century, with manager Blackadder and drummer Bald Rick. Ignoring the special episodes, this establishes a firm rule for any following Blackadder series: that they must take place chronologically forward of the previous series.

Let me introduce to you, therefore, ‘The Blackadder Game’. In said game, players take it in turns to suggest names and settings for whatever the next Blackadder series might be, starting with The Blackadder Five and moving on from there. Now, unfortunately, the already extant series have given us little room for manoeuvre. We have to start in about 1960 and move from there, leaving us with a mere fifty years in which to situate all future series of Blackadder. Tricky, but it can be done. The only other rule is that the series must include a number based pun, and the pun must have a different form to all previous series titles. So, if it’s the seventh series, the title needs to relate to both the content of the series and the number of the series. Blackadder Goes Forth was the fourth Blackadder series and was about war. It works perfectly.

I predict this game will soon be sweeping the nation. Honestly, it’s fun. Trust me. And the BBC is free to use any and all of these for new series. In order to get the ball rolling, let me give you my examples of the series that would follow The Blackadder Five:

Blackadder in the Sixth: Possible not my idea, this one, but I can’t find any references to it online. I think Tony Robinson might’ve mentioned it once before. Anyway, Blackadder in the Sixth would feature a teenage Blackadder, his school chum Percy and the school dunce Baldrick as they avoid the classes in a 1970s Sixth Form Comprehensive school.

Blackadder 777: Blackadder is a casino owner in 1980s Las Vegas. His attempts to swindle customers are consistently foiled by his assistant, Baldrick. Think Dallas with Brits.

Blackadder Ate: Parodying the rise of foodie culture, this series about the Blackadder gang working in a kitchen would take place in the late 1990s and early 2000s.

Blackadder Nein: Blackadder is an MEP and is trying to manage the major EU expansion of 2004. He has to deal with guest star Henning Wehn as a bureaucratic President of the European Commission who is always saying ‘no’ to Blackadder, hence the title.

Blackadder in Number 10: Basically The Thick of It with Rowan Atkinson. Contemporary.

Ah. We’ve hit a problem. We’ve run out of time. Well, I suppose the rest of the series will just have to be modern. Although, if we ration out the remaining ideas, we can probably squeeze in a few more decades of real life, giving us more time for series:

Blackadder’s Eleven: Blackadder sets up a team of conmen played by former Blackadder stars. They rob a casino. Possible crossover with Blackadder 777.

Twelve Angry Blackadders: Courtroom drama in which Blackadder convinces eleven other Blackadders that the man on trial is innocent. Lots of CGI needed for all the Rowan Atkinsons.

Thirteen Going on Blackadder: Blackadder wakes up one morning as a thirteen year old girl. He –

(That’s enough Blackadder. Ed.)

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