More Remembrance: “Goodbyeee”


Comedy writer Richard Curtis is a genius in my eyes. The sensitive and respectful way in which he often places humanitarian messages into his comedy is commendable and I’m thinking today in particular about the final episode of the final series of BlackadderBlackadder Goes Forth. The episode is called Goodbyeee.  Some might say that comedy isn’t appropriate when reflecting upon the Great War but I think the final scene from this great, great series which went out shortly before Armistice day 1989, illustrates with honesty, simplicity and compassion, the raw fear and courage of those men as they directly faced the true horrors of the war in no mans land. The video is only about ten minutes long and although very funny satirically, it’s also very moving and heartbreakingly sad. That’s the sheer brilliance of writer’s Richard Curtis and Ben Elton. There are no credits at the end, the viewer is simply left to reflect upon the futility and the tragedy of the war. The film will make more sense to you if you are already familiar with the Blackadder series but even if you’re not, you can’t fail to be moved.

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4 responses to this post.

  1. I too remembered this episode of Blackadder; it went home all the more for being part of a comedy show that was normally hilarious.

    Jake Thackray wrote a song called The Remembrance: he was a singer/songwriter more usually known for his humour, but he also wrote sad and poignant songs. All of his songs were incredibly clever. In the same way as Blackadder, The Remembrance looks at war and death from the point of view of an ordinary soldier, and it sends shivers down my spine whenever I hear it.

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  2. I was never a fan of Blackadder but I watched the clip and I completely agree with your analysis. And it brought a tear to my eye.

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  3. Posted by histrionik on November 13, 2008 at 5:16 pm

    Hi Earthpal – new to WP so bear with me if I haven’t got the netiquette right. The first time I watched this episode of Blackadder – I must have been 17 or 18 – I was in tears at the end, especially with the theme played on piano juxstaposed with the poppy fields post-war.

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  4. Hi Pam, thanks for telling us about the Remembrance song by Jake Thackray. I’ve looked it up and you’re right, it’s very clever and very sad.

    Hi Debra, glad you could appreciate it.

    Histrionik, hi and welcome to WP. You’ll soon get the hang of it. Yes, the theme music (slowed down) at the end, played to the scene of the poppyfields, is silently powerful, isn’t it.

    Reply

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