Friday, October 9, 2009

Black Adder Season One

My mother likes to say that there are only six actors in England, and they're all in everything. And there are times when I really start to believe it, like today, when I finished watching the first season of Black Adder (which I decided to check out both because there's hardly a page on TVtropes that doesn't mention it, and when you get to the third season, Hugh Laurie is in it).
Overall, I enjoyed the series, even if there wasn't any Hugh Laurie yet, but I couldn't help feeling that I'd get more of the jokes if I knew more about Middle Ages history. The DVD only has a few special features, but luckily for me, one of them is a few quick notes on some of the history as pertaining to certain episodes. Another is a "Who's Who" which gave a quick bio of a handful of the characters, spoken by Tony Robinson, who played Baldrick (and prefaces his entry with "This is the good one"), with a list of key TV and Film roles on the screen. Or rather, the titles they've been in, though not the actual role they played (the biggest are usually mentioned by Tony), so naturally I was rushing to the IMDB to flesh out a couple of them, such as Peter Cook, who played Richard III in the first episode, but was also in The Princess Bride as the Impressive Clergyman (I would not have guessed, seriously). And when I saw that Miriam Margolyes was in Little Shop of Horrors, you better believe I looked her up real quick. Turns out she was the nurse at the dentist's office, but along the way I learned that she was also Professor Sprout in the Harry Potter movies, as well as some voice acting work, such as Fly (the sheep dog) in Babe and The Matchmaker in Mulan.
The special features are rounded out with a sing-along of the ending theme, which was good for me, since I could only understand half of the lines, and there aren't any subtitles on the DVD, and a couple of trailers for other BBC series on DVD.

You know, before I knew what Black Adder was, and just heard the title tossed around as a show that people liked, I thought it was actually some kind of sci-fi mystery show. Probably because the title becomes Blackadder after the first season (which is technically called The Black Adder). It just gave me the image of a dimly lit set and strange happenings going on.

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