Blackadder is the
generic name that encompasses four series of an acclaimed BBC historical sitcom, along with several one-off instalments. The
first series was written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, while subsequent episodes were written by Curtis and Ben Elton.
The shows were produced by John Lloyd, and starred Rowan Atkinson as the eponymous anti-hero, Edmund Blackadder, and Tony
Robinson as his sidekick, Baldrick.
Each series was
set in a different period of British history, and comprised six half-hour episodes. The first series, made in 1983, was called
The Black Adder. This was followed by Blackadder II in 1986, Blackadder the Third in 1987, and finally Blackadder Goes Forth
in 1989. In addition to these, three specials were also made: "Blackadder: The Cavalier Years" appeared as a 15-minute insert
during the 1988 Comic Relief telethon; Blackadder's Christmas Carol was a 45-minute Christmas instalment, broadcast the same
year; and Blackadder: Back & Forth was a 30-minute film originally shown in a special cinema at the Millennium Dome throughout
2000, and later transmitted by Sky and the BBC. A pilot episode was filmed in 1982, but has never been shown on television.
November 2005, Rowan Atkinson told BBC Breakfast News that although he would very much like to do a new series set in Colditz
or another prisoner-of-war camp during World War Two, the chances of it happening are extremely low.
In the 2004 TV poll
to find "Britain's
Best Sitcom", Blackadder was voted the second best British sitcom of all time, beaten only by Only Fools and Horses.