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Black Adder: Back and Forth

Rowan Atkinson , Brian Blessed    Unrated   VHS Tape
2.9 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (12 customer reviews)

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Most helpful customer reviews
2.0 out of 5 stars Great potential, little product March 21 2002
Originally created to be shown in the Millennium Dome, Blackadder Back and Forth is a victim of the Millennium Fever which afflicted the nation during 1999. Instead of another classic Rowan Atkinson - Tony Robinson double act, we are treated to about 30 mins of cliched plot, weak dialogue and a film that is the poor relation of all the Blackadder series seen before.
The threadbare plot surrounds Blackadder's attempts to win a bet with the guests at his Millennium party, the challenge being that they will each give him £10,000 if he can travel back in time and bring back various items to prove that the feat has been accomplished. Baldrick has built a time machine which, as far as Blackadder knows, acts as a trapdoor to his basement where, amongst the junk, he has hidden various items that look old enough to be passed off as fakes (one of the requested items being the Duke of Wellington's boots). Unfortunately, Baldrick built the time machine from a Leonardo Da Vinci's textbook which, somewhat unsurprisingly, means that it works thus he and Blackadder are catapulted to various different periods of time, ranging from an encounter with Shakespeare to Wellington at the Battle of Waterloo. The upshot of this is that they have to get back to 1999 in time for midnight.
Unfortunately that is about all you get as far as plot. There's a couple of smutty jokes about various maidens and the occasional witty retort from Blackadder but, generally, this is one which you shouldn't rush out to get from the local video shop/cinema. In an effort to fill up the rest of the running time, you are treated (I use the term loosely) to a "behind the scenes" look at bits edited from the film whilst various members of the cast and production team witter inanely at the screen.
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5.0 out of 5 stars Blackadder at His Best! March 12 2001
By A Customer
For fans of the Blackadder comedy series, or for those who just love to laugh, this video will not disappoint. It details the zany travels of Lord Blackadder and his witless sidekick Baldrick "back and forth" through the centuries in their time machine.
Witness Blackadder's hilarious impact on the course of history, as he time-sails through historical eras and moments such as the Prehistoric age; encounters with William Shakespeare (in a hilarious cameo starring Colin Firth as the Bard) and Robin Hood (with Kate Moss as Maid Marian); The Battle of Waterloo; and many others.
You'll also laugh heartily when Blackadder returns to the present with "relics" stolen from each incident and discovers how he has unanticipatedly altered course of history--as well as his hilarious return travels to "right" his historical "wrongs."
This is Rowan Atkinson--also famous for his Mr. Bean character--at his best and includes the regular members of the Blackadder cast such as Miranda Richardson. As mentioned, there are delightful cameo appearances by Firth, Moss, and others.
This video will appeal to the Blackadder "novice," one who wants a sample taste for the more recent and zany comedy of the series. This is destined to become a family favorite! If you love odd-ball, wacky British humor ("humour"), this is an essential for your collection!
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4.0 out of 5 stars If Blackadder was the Doctor... March 11 2001
By A Customer
It is so wonderful to see the creative team that brought the world BLACK ADDER come together again for a lavish new production. BLACKADDER: BACK AND FORTH reunites the brilliant ensemble cast and writers who previously made four six-part series and two specials. This movie not only serves fans the fresh BLACK ADDER fix they have needed for so long, but it reminisces of the Doctor's adventures on DOCTOR WHO. It's also doubtful viewers who are unfamiliar with BLACK ADDER will fully appreciate its wit.
It's New Year's Eve 1999 and Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson) announces to a few gullible friends (Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie, Miranda Richardson, and Tim McInnerny) he has a time machine [designed by Leonardo di Vinci and built by Baldrick (Tony Robinson)]. Blackadder bets that he can travel through time and bring back trophies from his trip. His friends shout out their orders for artifacts from the past, then Blackadder and Baldrick blast off. To Blackadder's chagrin, he realizes the machine really works when they come face-to-face with a ferocious dinosaur. He and Baldrick move back and forth through time until they eventually make it back home.
Blackadder and Baldrick's travels in the box will remind fans of cult TV so much of the Doctor--especially when the machine moves through space--they may almost expect to hear the TARDIS's grinding when it lands in each time period. Considering Atkinson's interest in the portraying the Doctor has been documented (he even did so in a Comedy Relief special), the similarities are likely deliberate.
Co-writers Richard Curtis (FOUR WEDDINGS AND A FUNERAL, NOTTING HILL) and Ben Elton (THIN BLUE LINE) always do an excellent job of satirizing British history. In this case, the script misses establishing status quo and momentum.
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Edmumd Black Adder becomes a "Timelord". This would be twice for Black Adder star Rowan Atkinson after appearing as the Doctor in the Doctor Who Comedy Relief "The Curse of Fatal Death". I found this new installment of the Black Adder series to be very amusing with finds Edmund Black Adder and Balderick traveling through time in a make shift time machine. And making a mess of everything. Regulars to the series Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Miranda Richardson all return and are wonderful in multiple roles. Stephen Fry's best scene in the movie is as the Duke of Wellington during his famous victory against Napoleon. You'll also notice the lack of a laugh track in this episode. I found that to be very refreshing in a televison comedy. But I recommend this video highly for those who have only seen Rowan as "Mr. Bean". "Black Adder" is both very intelligent and sophmoric at the same time.
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Most recent customer reviews
1.0 out of 5 stars Sad parody of themselves
Watching this, I was embarrassed for the actors. It was like watching an aging rock band reunion when all the members had forgotten how to play. Read more
Published on June 7 2004 by J. Bosch
1.0 out of 5 stars Give it a rest!!
If there exists a singular proof that you can't re-warm a souffle', this is it. The writing is thin beyond belief, as though the purpose of Elton and Curtis is to kill off their... Read more
Published on April 11 2003 by Robert Kelley
5.0 out of 5 stars It is still very funny
Don't think, just sit and watch it....
Published on Jan. 10 2002
5.0 out of 5 stars This Is What Got Me Hooked on Black Adder!
I was watching PBS one afternoon and they showed a promo on Black Adder V - Back and Forth to be aired that very night at 10 p.m. Read more
Published on Jan. 5 2002 by Jean Heather Akins
4.0 out of 5 stars It was hilarious.
Don't believe the bad reviews. It's classic Blackadder all the way. He's as slimy, avaricous, clever, suave as ever and Baldrick is funnier than ever. Read more
Published on Dec 25 2001 by Barbara Powell
2.0 out of 5 stars A dud, I'm sad to say
PLEASE don't let this be your introduction to the Black Adder series. It should only be purchased by completists, as it is the weakest of the bunch. Read more
Published on Sept. 26 2001 by Balto Reader
1.0 out of 5 stars surprisingly terrible
I have been a major fan of Black Adder for a long, long time. I was overjoyed to hear that there was a new episode. How utterly disappointing it is. Read more
Published on Aug. 6 2001 by Springfield
1.0 out of 5 stars A waste of money
Though this tape costs about as much as the normal tapes, it contains only 1 half-hour episode. Back and Forth starts out slow, and never picks up the pace. Read more
Published on July 26 2001 by I'm Lynda
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