The Wildgoose Chase

I met Chelsea Pensioner Walter Wildgoose in 1977 when he was 87 and I was 26. Through a series of letters written over the last year of his life, he passed along his life story - the workhouse children's home, a life in the British Army witnessing the opening battles of World War I and life in India, a remarkable family surviving the bombs of World War II London. This blog will document my research and progress on the novel I'm writing about this amazing man.

Sunday, August 14, 2005

Light entertainment to break the gloom

I needed a weekend break from the constant churning over how things worked for military families in late 19th century India or the horrors of early World War I battles, so I put that aside and watched all six episodes of Blackadder Goes Forth. It plays, of course, on all the stereotypical stuff of the brainless public school/Ox-bridge men pitted against the regular army grunts.

The last episode ("Goodbyeee") does a darn good job of encapsulating the various reasons - non-reasons? - for the war and gives a sort of timeline leading up the last battles (in between the pants-on-head, pencils-up-nose bits). Laughed myself silly until the last scene - which found me blubbering that these guys still, in the end, had to go over the top (though I've read that the last scene has been voted one the Top 10 funniest moments on TV in England - ?).

Anyway, it was a welcome break from the more serious work. Don't know if Walter would've liked the Blackadder stuff, but he had a great sense of humor, always appreciating the lighter side of life.
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posted by MaryB @ 7:50 PM  


  • At 8:52 AM , Blogger PT said...

    I think this thing about the final scene of "Blackadder Goes Forth" being is somewhat of an urban legend perpetuated (somehow) by various Blackadder fan-sites.

    The climax of the final episode of "Blackadder Goes Forth", came in at No. 9 in the "Top 100 TV Moments", in a poll carried out by Channel4 television back in 1999.

    It is also routinely cited in polls of "best sitcom episode".

    Obviously, none of this implies that the final scene is funny. Simply that the scene (and show) are very good indeed because of the programme makers' bravery at the sudden switch from comedy to pathos.

  • At 8:52 AM , Blogger PT said...

    Oops! "Being funny" is what I meant to type in the first para.


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