The problem with bringing back Blackadder (as I’m sure many others will have noted by now) is that the fourth series was rounded off with such a beautiful finality that a fifth series would just feel surplus. It would just be a continuation of a story we all thought had ended ages ago, with all the characters being blown to pieces on the battlefields of the first world war. I remember my GCSE English teacher, Mr. Dale, talking about that final scene twenty years ago: it’s as if, in that last moment when Blackadder, Baldrick and co. leave the trench, the program switches from comedy to tragedy. The music slowed, the shot faded to a field of poppies, and it became a homage to so many dead young men. To go back and continue that story, especially after over thirty-five years, would probably feel rather misplaced.
If an author wrote a sequel to a bestselling novel after so long, you would probably accuse them of just wanting to make an easy few quid without going to the effort of creating anything original, and to be honest this kind of smacks of the same thing. The entertainment world seems saturated with long running franchises at the moment; why not create new stuff rather than reviving characters we all thought had had their time? Of course, there’s every chance another Blackadder series could rule (I’ve been wrong about things like this before). Yet this feels like going over old ground which would perhaps be best left to history, especially given the finality, beauty and seriousness of it’s last shot.