BLACKADDER’S CHRISTMAS CAROL (1988) – My 11th Annual Christmas Carol-A-Thon continues here at Balladeer’s Blog! Long-time readers know what a big fan I am of Rowan Atkinson’s work – especially his Blackadder programs. Hell, I’m even an enormous fan of his more serious work in Full Throttle. And I never tire of telling anyone who will listen that I think he’d make a perfect Dikaiopolis in Aristophanes’ comedy The Acharnians.
As to why it took me so long to finally get around to reviewing Blackadder’s Christmas Carol, it’s the same reason that applied to the George C Scott version: I wanted to handle some of the more obscure Carols before hitting the well-known ones.
This Christmas Special is set in Victorian England with Atkinson starring as Ebenezer Blackadder, owner of a moustache shop. Tony Robinson is on hand as yet another member of the Baldrick family line.
In typically perverse Blackadder fashion the storyline reverses the usual sequence of events. Ebenezer starts out as a kind-hearted and generous soul but soon the Christmas Spirit (Robbie Coltrane) shows him visions of Blackadders Past, Present and Yet-to-Come.
Ebenezer comes to admire the selfishness and sardonic wit of his ancestors as he sees them in new comedy skits featuring Atkinson and other characters from Blackadder II. We also get a bonus member of the Blackadder bloodline in the form of Ebenezer’s father.
In the present day Ebenezer reflects on how all his profits go to dubious charities and con artists whose dishonest nature he is at last aware of now that he has witnessed the snarky way that earlier Blackadder men dealt with the world.
For Christmas Yet to Come, Coltrane shows Ebenezer competing visions: one in which he continues his pleasant, giving ways and his descendants wind up as slaves to the Baldrick family line … and one in which he becomes as ruthless as his forebears, letting his descendants wind up as Darth Vaderish rulers of a Galactic Empire complete with a sexy wife.
Ebenezer’s Christmas Morning conversion finds him as nasty and sardonic as his ancestors, treating one and all with disdain. I won’t spoil the closing joke for you if you’ve never seen this Holiday Special.
Blackadder’s Christmas Carol features plenty of memorable gags, many of which are catch-phrases for us Blackadder geeks (“Well baste my pudding!”) as well as the infamous reference to crucifying a dog for an Easter pageant.
Obviously if you’re not a fan of British comedy, especially of the Blackadder/ Absolutely Fabulous kind, this will not find its way into your yearly rotation of Christmas Carol versions. +++
FOR DOZENS MORE VERSIONS OF A CHRISTMAS CAROL CLICK HERE: https://glitternight.com/category/a-christmas-carol-2/
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