Blackadder goes Forth

Blackadder goes forth’ is a highly entertaining and very popular comedy series. It is, however, more then just comedy; it helps the audience understand many things about the 1st World War. In the episode ‘Goodbyee’, we see Blackadder and the other characters ‘go over the top’. We also get to find out a lot more about their personality, friends and what made them join the War.

The programme teaches us that the trenches were very wet and dirty with lots of people in a very small amount of space. There were not that many supplies in the trenches which meant most people had to make do with what they have available too them. There was very little to do in the trances, which let most people very bored.

Most of the earlier wars had been very easy to win because the opponent offered very little resistance, as in World War 1 there was 4 1/2 million Germans on the other side on no mans land trying to kill them. Neither side moved that far because the enemy was always pushing them back.

Most of the soldiers in the trenches know a friend and/or loved one who had been killed in the war. Because they’re where so many enemy soldiers in the trenches on the other side of no mans land this made it very difficult to try and attack the enemy. Simply because you would get shot to peaces before you could even get out of you teach.

Most people thought the war was going to be a lot of fun, but when they got there they found it was quite different. The training was also very bad, all the men had to do was bayonet a few bags of hay.

I will now be looking very closely at the last ten minuets of the programme. I will focus on the many visual images, sounds and special effects making us feel certain things about the soldiers who died, and those in charge of the war.

The men are filmed in slow-motion so you have more time to see what is happening around them, it is for this reason that the music is played slower then normal. This is as the men go into oblivion, and a very few people remember the individuals. The picture turns from colour to black and white to show that it is and old event.

As the image changes to a large empty field the colour returns, this is to show that the field is still there. There is then total silence for a few seconds this is so the audience remember all the soldiers who died in that field and many others. The silence is replaced by a birdsong; this is to show that there is still life in the field.


I think I have shown that we learn a great deal about the 1st World War, and what it must have been like for those involved, just by watching this one episode of Blackadder. The use of sound and visual effects makes us think very carefully about the soldiers of the war, because we got to know them and like them (because they make us laugh), we sympathise.