|Captain Kevin Darling (ca. 1884 - 1917)|
|Occupation||British Army Captain|
|First appearance||"Captain Cook"|
|Episode count||6 Episodes|
|Played by||Tim McInnerny|
Captain Kevin Darling, MC (ca. 1884 - 1917), whose surname is a constant embarrassment to him, is a British Army Captain, serving in the First World War. He is a pencil-pushing staff officer; aide to General Melchett.
Kevin Darling was born in Croydon and educated in the Ipplethorpe Primary School, and even has a girlfriend called Doris. In "Private Plane", when pushed by Blackadder, Darling lets slip that he once attempted to join the Women's Auxiliary Balloon Corps (although he says there is nothing "cushy" about this), presumably to take advantage of the six months' training in order to avoid combat, and then it is implied he pulled out before any actual assignments by claiming his ears go 'pop'. It is unknown how he achieved the position of General Melchett’s secretary.
Despite (or perhaps because of) his constant toadying, Melchett doesn’t think much of Darling, and although later claiming to regard him as a son, he takes pains to point out that he's certainly not a favourite, but rather a "sort of spotty, illegitimate sprog that no-one really likes". Darling's main duties at GHQ include organising truckloads of paper clips, filling out paperwork, sending orders to the front and helping Melchett with his dickie-bows and his dicky bladder. Ironically, although Blackadder continually mocks and derides him for not being on the front line and toadying to Melchett, it is pretty apparent that Blackadder would switch places with him in a heartbeat.
Unlike most characters (who are usually comic foils), Darling is portrayed as a rival and intellectual equal to Blackadder, with whom he is always in conflict, and one who usually triumphs. However, Blackadder often gets some sort of revenge, for example feeding Darling, along with Melchett, with one of Baldrick's banquets (each dish consisting of unsavoury ingredients), getting him to eat Baldrick's "Charlie Chaplin" Moustache (in reality a dead slug) by telling him it's liquorice, watching as Lord Flashheart headbutts him out cold, interrogating him until he bursts into tears and protests that he's not a German spy, or serving Darling some of Baldrick's "coffee"—made from mud, using dandruff as sugar and saliva as milk (Blackadder did not take up Baldrick's offer of 'chocolate sprinkles', a rare showing of mercy for him.) In response, Darling is constantly trying to get rid of Edmund Blackadder: acting as the prosecution in his court martial (shown to have an extensive collection of reports on Blackadder’s dereliction of duty), and refusing to waste time and resources on a rescue mission to save Blackadder and Baldrick after their plane crashes behind enemy lines.
However, Darling is also often at the recieving end of Melchett’s oblivious abuse, such as shooting him in the foot and of course sending him out onto the front line with the rest of the cast, and neither Blackadder or Darling considers the job to be a ‘cushy option’.
Blackadder and Darling finally achieve a form of consolidation in the finale episode "Goodbyeee", when Darling is sent to join Blackadder and his men at the front line for the 'final push' (Darling is given his orders by General Melchett, who believes it to be something of a treat rather than a death sentence). This is the first occasion where they both use the title of captain whilst addressing each other. In the final scene both captains reluctantly go forward, side-by-side, into the machine-gun fire that will almost certainly kill them.
- Is left-handed as revealed in the episode "Captain Cook".
- Due to the character’s pronounced twitch, it took Tim McInnerny around six weeks to stop himself doing it, it having developed into a nervous tic due to its continued use.