If you’re a fan of the classic British comedy Blackadder, and have been holding out for one final series featuring that countries most dastardly rogue, we have some bad news for you. Ben Elton, who co-wrote the second, third and forth series of the show, has stated that there will most likely never be a fifth series.
Speaking with the British paper The Sun, Elton was pretty adamant about the prospect of the Rowan Atkinson-starring series come back for another hurrah.
“There is never going to be another – I can tell you that now,” he stated.
Elton’s comment comes in response to a comment from Blackadder co-star Tony Robinson who was of the opinion that another series could be in the offing.
“Every time Tony does an interview he says, ‘Oh, I think there might be another,'” Elton said. “But don’t listen to Baldrick [Robinson’s character] on this one, you need to hear it from me or Richard Curtis as we write it.”
The first Blackadder series featured a short, comedic romp through some alternate British history in which Richard III won the Battle of Bosworth Field in 1485, but was promptly murdered making way for Richard IV to take the Throne. Atkinson starred as Richard’s second son Edmund who was hilariously scheming his way through court intrigue while trying to figure a way to seize the throne from his father and elder brother, Harry. Subsequent series would jump forward in time to center on Edmund’s descendants – also played by Atkinson – during the reign of Queen Elizabeth II, the Regency Period of English history and World War I. The series also spun off three specials – one set during the English Civil War and two – Blackadder’s Christmas Carol and Blackadder: Back & Forth – which took advantage of time travel conceits to visit the Blackadder family in many different historical eras.
After the last series – Blackadder Goes Forth – aired in 1989, news of talks about a fifth series or even a film continuation would occasionally surface, though nothing would ever come of it.
Elton recalled writing the series with Blackadder co-creator Richard Curtis satisfying, even if at times tensions ran high as everyone had their own distinct ideas as to what would be best for the show.
“Blackadder wasn’t easy, it wasn’t a particularly happy experience for everyone. he explained. “It was very tense, lots of egos, lots of frustrations but through it all everyone remained friendly and deeply respectful. But it was edgy.
“Richard went in all the time and it was very hard for him but I was like, ‘Fuck ’em, if they’re going to spend three hours discussing whether vole or gerbil is a funnier word, when Richard and I had written vole because we know it’s a funnier word, and they’ll come back with vole at the end — then I don’t want to sit through that debate.’ I used to sometimes not go in.”
Elton seems to have no truck with reviving a beloved series just because it could prove popular again.
“It’s just best to remember Blackadder as it was.”