Science Fiction and Fantasy Association of New Zealand

True Black Adder The True History of the Black Adder
by J. F. Roberts
Preface Publishing

Supplied for review by Random House

Reviewed By: Simon Litten

The True History of the Black Adder is, as one would expect from the title, a history of the Blackadder TV series. What it is not is a dry who talked with whom (with or without menaces) to bring the comic geniuses that are the Blackadder together – because, Balders, there was no cunning plan about this one. It was just crotchety, malign Fate who just happened to standing in the shadows with a sock full of lead as the BBC executives took an attractive wad of cash out of the ATM of light entertainment programming and inflicted four six-episode series on the dribbling, puling masses. What were they expecting? A man in a gorilla suit? Historical accuracy? The recipe for turnip jam sandwiches? No; they got more success than they bargained for, which is no feat I can assure you. And that’s what this book is all about – malign Fate. I meant "success", forget that I mentioned malign Fate; she’ll be getting her own book next week.

This book is for lovers of the Blackadder TV series, but better than that it is also for those who had a passable interest in the shows and wanted to know that little bit more. It’s also for those who have an interest in the British comedy flowering of the late seventies and early eighties and how it became interconnected. The book also tracks what the stars, writers and producers of the Blackadder series did after it all stopped happening.

So saunter down to shops before the hoi polloi open another chain of crepe and kebab shops and get yourself a copy of this book. If nothing else it has some great pictures of the cast, which you can tear out and pin to a dartboard – or not.

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