The Telegraph UK recently sat down with Tony Robinson, the genius mind behind the dimwitted servant, Baldrick, from the Blackadder series, for a little Q&A. While the series had its’ BBC premiere over 25 years ago, the talents and comic timings of the likes of Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robinson, Hugh Laurie, Stephen Fry, Tim McInnerny, Brian Blessed and Miranda Richardson have kept this series among the top for a new generation of Britcom viewers. In fact, the most recent Britain’s Best Sitcom poll, conducted by the BBC, has Blackadder firmly entrenched at #2, behind perennial UK favorite, Only Fools and Horses.
Britcom lovers can’t help but gravitate to the star of any successful series when discussing the reasoning behind their popularity. One can’t think of Blackadder without thinking of Rowan Atkinson or the Vicar of Dibley without focusing on Dawn French. With the top notch writings of the likes of Richard Curtis, Roy Clarke, Bob Larbey and others a given, the British have had the knack over the years of creating an ensemble supporting cast of characters that not only complement the lead actor/actress, but also add to overall feel of the show.
Without Jim, Owen, Alice, Frank, David and Hugo, there would be no Vicar of Dibley. Without Baldrick, Percy or even the Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St. Barleigh, the twisted antics of Blackadder just wouldn’t be the same. It’s probably safe to say that Patricia Routledge IS Keeping Up Appearances. But, the talents of Richard, Onslow, Daisy, Rose, Elizabeth, Emmett and, how can we forget, Daddy, bring so much to the table that complement the antics of Hyacinth.
Sorry, Fawlty Towers, but one of the all-time best lines in the history of British comedy belongs to Baldrick in Blackadder Goes Forth. Realizing that somewhere, in war, there is a bullet with your name on it, Baldrick, cunningly, carves his name on a bullet thinking that if he owns that bullet, he never gets hit because, obviously, he won’t shoot himself. Brilliant, Mr. Curtis, brilliant! Here’s to you, Mr. Robinson.