This week I thought we’d take a look at something to do with film, after spending two weeks in a row speaking about videogames. Films are great tools for artists, and they can prove useful in a lot of circumstances, but films can work wonders for TV shows. Films like The SpongeBob SquarePants Movie, South Park: Bigger, Longer and Uncut and to a lesser extent, The Simpsons Movie can come along when a show is at its most popular and bring in big bucks. Naturally, TV shows can receive film versions after they have ended, acting to rekindle interest in the series ahead of a potential comeback, or to play on nostalgia.
Recently, British sitcoms have been receiving films left, right and centre. Just in the last few years we’ve had Alan Partridge: Alpha Papa, David Brent: Life on the Road and Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie just to name a few. Each of these films proved very successful in the UK and were typically well-received among long-time fans of each series. People enjoy seeing the old characters they know and love being given the big-screen treatment, so much so that they’ll go out in their droves to buy box-sets of the show in question. DVD sales of Dad’s Army and Absolutely Fabulous skyrocketed when their respective films were on in the cinema. Films based on popular TV shows do great business, and for the fans they usually provide a friendly, fun couple of hours with your old favourites again.
I’ve got a cunning plan… I think it’s high-time Blackadder received this treatment. Blackadder is widely regarded as one of the finest sitcoms ever made, and since its success in the 1980s, most of its stars have gone off and forged very successful careers. None more so than the show’s lead writer, Richard Curtis. Mr. Curtis has been very successful with his films since moving away from TV. Love Actually, Bridget Jones’ Diary and Four Weddings and a Funeral are all benchmarks in the romantic comedy genre. Indeed, Curtis has turned his hand to films of his other beloved television series, Mr. Bean, not once, but twice with Bean and Mr. Bean’s Holiday. It’s a wonder that he has never attempted to create a Blackadder film.
There was almost a Blackadder film back in 2000, with the TV special Blackadder: Back & Forth. This 33 minute long special was shown in a few cinema screens in 2000, in an extremely limited run, but despite its use of film and cinema style widescreen, Back & Forth was a TV special through and through. It was fun seeing all your favourite characters again, but you only got to spend half an hour with them. 17 years later, and I think it’s about time we got to spend one last time with Blackadder, Baldrick, George and the gang. Following on from the success of the likes of Dad’s Army, Absolutely Fabulous: The Movie and The Inbetweeners Movies before them, a Blackadder film could prove to be hugely successful.
Getting the likes of Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and Rowan Atkinson together again to come up with a new plot involving Blackadder and the gang shouldn’t prove too difficult. There are plenty of paths a Blackadder film could go down. We could reunite with the likes of any of the four series, telling stories that we didn’t see during the show’s run, or we could go back in time to an era the show didn’t cover. We could see Blackadder in the Second World War, in the 17th century, or go even further back. Blackadder as a concept means we could see any character in any time period – it’s wide open. As long as we get cunning plans, it doesn’t matter when it’s set.
It would be great fun to spend time with the Blackadder gang one last time, and a film, if handled well enough, could prove hugely successful in more ways than one. Curtis’ experience in film writing and directing since Blackadder ended means a potential Blackadder film would have a writer and director sorted, immediately. A Blackadder movie could prove to be a brilliantly funny and entertaining film if done well, and I am confident that it would be done well. The more I write about this, the more I want a Blackadder movie. Make it happen!