Season 4 Episode 1

Captain Cook

Aired Wednesday 9:30 PM Sep 28, 1989 on BBC
out of 10
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76 votes

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Episode Summary


Blackadder tries painting and cooking as ploys to avoid the scheduled big push out of the trenches.

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  • The first episode of Blackadder i ever saw

    The start of my favourite season of Blackadder. Only involving the main cast we get introduced to five hilarious characters and their ability to light up a scene with the funniest dialogue of any sitcom ever.

    Blackadder is the same Blackadder as season 2 and 3 perhaps not as mean but still as witty as ever.

    'Your head is so minute Baldrick that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open there wouldn't be enough inside to cover a small water biscuit'. Hands down the funniest put-down of the episode.

    Baldrick is as stupid as ever. He is alot louder and more animated than in previous seasons.

    (About carving his name on the bullet) 'Its a cunning plan know how they say that out there is a bullet with your name on it, well i thought if i owned the bullet with my name it, i'd never get hit by it'

    I love Stephen Fry as Melchett, much funnier than the meltchett of Season 2. He's so crazyily incompetent, its hilarious.

    The introduction of Captain Darling is a great example of the brillance of the show

    'Come sit next to me Darling' 'Thanks sir'

    And Hugh Laurie as George, so disgustingly cheerful in such a depressing place as the trenches of Western Europe

    '(singing) Row row row your boat gently down the stream, belts off, trousers down isn't life a scream!'.

    Brillant first episodemoreless
Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson

Captain Edmund Blackadder

Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson

Private S Baldrick

Stephen Fry

Stephen Fry

General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett

Hugh Laurie

Hugh Laurie

Lieutenant the Honourable George Colthurst St. Barleigh

Tim McInnerny

Tim McInnerny

Captain Kevin Darling

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (5)

    • Blackadder: Field Marshal Haig is about to make yet another gargantuan effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin.

      General Haig is considered "The Butcher" by many historians, due to his old warfare strategies, using cavalry in muddy conditions and ordering men to "walk" across No Mans Land to the enemy trenches believing that artillery barrages had killed them all. In fact, it only worsened the situation for the British soldiers, by tangling barbed wire and creating more muddy and difficult conditions to fight in.

    • LOOK CLOSE: When Capt. Blackadder throws Lt. George's helmet up in the air, we hear machine gun fire and a helmet full of bullet holes comes flying down. Later, when Lt. George comes into the room, his helmet is hole-less, and now is covered in barbed wire. Either Lt. George has more than one helmet (which is very unlikely because in the army you were only allowed one helmet), or they goofed up.

    • Capt. Darling claimed he spoke on the phone with Pope Gregory IX (a name Capt. Blackadder conjured up in discussing a phone call he had with Gen. Melchett). Actually, the Pope during World War I was Benedict XV.

    • Response to First goof : General Melchett is quite mad and insane, it is not unlikely that he simply forgot.

    • Throughout this episode, Melchett seems to not know who Blackadder is; however, in "Goodbyeee" it is revealed that they were stationed together eariler and knew each other pretty well.

  • QUOTES (24)

    • Blackadder: I know from long experience all my men have the artistic talent of a cluster of colour blind hedgehogs in a bag.

    • Blackadder: Field Marshal Haig is about to make yet another gargantuan effort to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin.

    • George: When I was at school, education could go hang. As long as a boy could hit a six, sing the school song very loud and take hot crumpet from behind without blubbing.

    • Baldrick: I have a cunning plan to get us out of getting killed, sir.
      Blackadder: Ah, yes, what is it?
      Baldrick: Cooking. You know how staff HQ is always on the lookout for good cooks? Well, we go over there we cook 'em something, and we get out of the trenches that way.
      Blackadder: Baldrick, It's a brilliant plan.
      Baldrick: Is it? Permission to write home immediately, sir! This is the first brilliant plan a Baldrick's ever had! For centuries we've tried, and they've always turned out to be total pig swill. My mother will be as pleased as punch.
      Blackadder: Hmm, if only she were as good-looking as punch, Baldrick.

    • Baldrick: Permission to speak, sir.
      Blackadder: Granted, with a due sense of exhaustion and dread.

    • Blackadder: Something's going on, and I think i can make an educated guess what it is. Something which you, George, would find hard to do.

    • Blackadder: I smell something fishy, and I'm not talking about the contents of Baldrick's 'apple crumble.'

    • (While looking at "King and Country")
      Blackadder: The British tommies are all portrayed as six foot six with biceps the size of Bournemouth.

    • George: Tally-ho, pip-pip, and Bernard's your uncle.
      Blackadder: In English we say "Good Morning".

    • Baldrick: The chances of there being two bullets with my name on them are very small indeed.
      Blackadder: Yes. That's not the only thing around here that's "very small indeed". Your brain, for example, is so minute, Baldrick that if a hungry cannibal cracked your head open, there wouldn't be enough inside to cover a small water biscuit.

    • Baldrick: Well, were going over aren't we sir?
      Blackadder: Yes we are, unless I can think of some brilliant plan.
      Baldrick: Would you like some Rat-o-van to help you think?
      Blackadder: Rat-o-van?
      Baldrick: Yeah it's rat, that's been...
      Blackadder and Baldrick: over by a van.

    • Lt. George: Permission to say Bravo at an annoyingly loud volume sir?
      General Melchet: Permission Granted.
      Lt. George: BRAVO!

    • Blackadder: All right, total and utter quiet. Do you understand? So for instance, if any of us crawl over some barbed wire, they are on no account to go… aarhhh!
      Baldrick: Did you just crawl over some barbed wire sir?
      Blackadder: No Baldrick, I just put my elbow in a blob of Ice cream.

    • George: Oh sir, just one thing. If we should happen to tread on a mine, what do we do?
      Blackadder: Well normal procedure Lieutenant, is to jump 200 ft into the air, and then scatter yourself over a wide area.

    • Baldrick: You know the funny thing is, my father was a nun.
      Blackadder: No he wasn't.
      Baldrick: He was so sir. I know because, whenever he was up in court, and the judge would say "occupation", he'd say 'none'.

    • Blackadder: Now, where the hell are we?
      George: Well, it's difficult to say, we appear to have crawled
      into an area marked with mushrooms.
      Blackadder: (patiently) What do those symbols denote?
      George: Pfff. That we're in a field of mushrooms?
      Blackadder: Lieutenant, that is a military map, it is unlikely to list interesting flora and fungi. Look at the key and you'll discover that those mushrooms aren't for picking.
      George: Good Lord, you're quite right sir, it says "mine". So, these mushrooms must belong to the man who made the map.
      Blackadder: Either that, or we're in the middle of a minefield.
      Baldrick: Oh dear.
      George: So, he owns the field as well?

    • General Melchett: (to Baldrick) Ah, tally-ho, yippety-dip and zing zang spillip! Looking forward to bullying off for the final chukka?
      Blackadder: Permission to speak.
      (Baldrick is silent)
      Blackadder: Answer the General, Baldrick!
      Baldrick: (whispers) I can't answer him, sir, I don't know what he's talking about.

    • General Melchett: Are you looking forward to the big push?
      Baldrick: No sir, I'm absolutely terrified.
      General Melchett: The healthy humor of the honest Tommy. Don't worry my boy, if you should falter, remember that Captain Darling and I are behind you.
      Blackadder: About thirty-five miles behind you.

    • General Melchett: There is, however, one small problem.
      Blackadder: That everyone always gets slaughtered in the first ten seconds?
      General Melchett: That's right. And Field Marshall Haig is worried that this may be depressing the men a tadge. So, he's looking to find a way to cheer them up.
      Blackadder: Well, his resignation and suicide would seem the obvious suggestion.
      General Melchett: Interesting thought. Make a note of it, Darling.

    • Blackadder: I, on the other hand, am a fully rounded human being with a degree from the university of life, a diploma from the school of hard knocks, and three gold stars from the kindergarten of getting the shit kicked out of me.

    • Blackadder: Baldrick, what are you doing out there?
      Baldrick: (from outside) I'm carving something on this bullet, sir.
      Blackadder: What are you carving?
      Baldrick: (coming in) I'm carving 'Baldrick', sir.
      Blackadder: Why?
      Baldrick: It's a cunning plan actually.
      Blackadder: Of course it is.
      Baldrick: You see, you know they say that somewhere there's a bullet with your name on it?
      Blackadder: Yeesss.
      Baldrick: Well I thought if I owned the bullet with my name on it, I'd never get hit by it, 'cause I won't ever shoot myself.
      Blackadder: Oh, shame.

    • Blackadder: (to Baldrick) You're the worst cook in the entire world.
      Baldrick: Oh yeah, that's right.
      Blackadder: There are amoeba on Saturn that can boil a better egg than you. Your filet mignon in sauce Bearnaise look like dog turds in glue.
      Baldrick: That's because they are.
      Blackadder: Your plum duff tastes like it's a mole hill decorated with rabbit droppings…
      Baldrick: I thought you wouldn't notice.
      Blackadder: And your cream custard has the texture of cat's vomit.
      Baldrick: Again, it's…

    • George: Row row row your boat
      Melchett: Gently down the stream
      Both: Belts off, trousers down, isn't life a scream *grunt and thrust*!

    • Edmund: I wonder if you've enjoyed, as I have, sir, that marvelous painting in the National Portrait Gallery "Bag Interior" by the Colour Blind Hedgehog workshop of Sienna?

  • NOTES (4)

    • Stephen Fry re-joins the cast as General Sir Anthoney, Cecil Hogmany Melchett. He previously played Lord Melchett in series 2 and The Duke of Wellington in series 3.

    • Tim Mcinnerny rejoins the cast as Captain Kevin Darling. He previously played Lord Percy Percy in series 1 and 2 and played a guest appearance as the 'Scarlet Pimpernel' in series 3.

    • After the musical credits, all the technical credits of Blackadder Goes Forth, including director (Richard Boden) and producer (John Lloyd) are reduced to cryptic abbreviations, a serial number, the person's last name, and his/her first initial.

      These resemble traditional british army abbreviations for rank/functions within the service. The number would be the serial number of the soldier, the name appearing last. These abbreviations are meaningless in army terms, of course, referring to TV producton jobs.

    • The "plan" part of the titles for this series originally appeared in the Radio Times.


    • Melchett and Blackadder: "The Big Push"

      "The Big Push" mentioned here by Melchett and Blackadder may be inspired by a line of dialogue from "Lawrence of Arabia" in which General Allenby (Jack Hawkins) discusses the role the Arab tribes Major Lawrence (Peter O'Toole) has gathered in his planned advance across the Damascus ("I don't care about your 'Big Push!'" - Lawrence).

      Additional Comment: According to many WWI history sources "The Big Push" was how British cabinet ministers, propagandists, generals, and foot soldiers talked about the 1916 Battle of the Somme. This is a much more likely reason for using the phrase in this episode. The phrase is so well known that a Board Game was made called "The Big Push".