|Captain Edmund Blackadder (1871-1917)|
|Occupation||British Army Captain|
|First appearance||"Captain Cook"|
|Episode count||6 Episodes|
|Played by||Rowan Atkinson|
Captain Edmund Blackadder (1871-1917) was a Captain in the British Army, and served in the First World War. He was the main character of the fourth series and is the sixth Blackadder shown in the series. Throughout his time during the war he tried numerous ways to escape his post as to avoid leaving the trenches and getting killed by the enemy, however not even the cunning nature of the Blackadder Family could prevent this, and he bravely and reluctantly met his fate along with the rest of the soldiers posted with him.
Captain Blackadder, having spent the last three years in the trenches of the First World War, is an accomplished career soldier who holds the overly-enthusiastic and idealistic volunteers he commands in withering contempt. He claims to have joined the army in 1886, when "if you saw someone in a skirt, you shot him and nicked his country". He joined the 19th/45th East African Rifles, when Britain was fighting colonial wars during the Scramble for Africa, a time when "the prerequisite for any battle was that the enemy should under no circumstances carry guns". He described the military as having been "little more than a travel agency for men with unusually high sex drives". He was hailed as the 'Hero of Mboto Gorge' in 1890, where he had faced "ten thousand Watutsi warriors armed to the teeth with kiwi fruit and dry guava halves". He even saved the life of Douglas Haig (later Field Marshal Douglas Haig) when he was nearly killed by a pygmy woman with a sharpened mango. At some point before the First World War, Captain Blackadder transferred to the local regiment of Cambridge (either the Cambridgeshire Regiment or the Suffolk Regiment). Upon the outbreak of war, Blackadder was quite shocked when 4,500,000 heavily-armed Germans "hoved into view".
Captain Blackadder shares his trench with Private Baldrick, and Lieutenant George. Although well-intentioned, both fail to understand their predicament and demonstrate a high level of incompetence, hindering Blackadder's escape attempts and augmenting his sense of frustration. He also harbours little respect for his superiors, whose failure to grasp the concept of modern industrial warfare has resulted in tens of thousands of deaths for very little territorial gain; he once described the war as "a gargantuan effort by Field Marshall Haig to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to
Berlin". Naturally, Blackadder spends most of his time trying to get out of the trenches before the insane General Melchett gives him the order to "climb out of the trenches and walk very slowly towards the enemy". Blackadder's attempts to escape are opposed by Melchett, who does not realise the futility of the war, and Melchett's assistant Captain Darling, who does. Darling and Blackadder have a natural animosity towards one another, since Darling is aware that Blackadder is attempting to avoid his duty, while Blackadder hates Darling for his comfortable position several miles behind the front. Darling would gladly see Blackadder killed by German machine guns, although the two bury the hatchet without saying a word when Darling is posted to the front line in the final episode (for the first time in the series they courteously greet each other as "Captain").
- Blackadder: "I think I might get my headstone done"
- George: "Oh really? What are you going to put on it, Sir?"
- Blackadder: "Here lies Edmund Blackadder, and he's bloody annoyed" - "Captain Cook"
- Captain Blackadder is the first Blackadder to break his family's curse of increasingly having lower standings in society with each successive generation. The first Blackadder was a Prince, the second was a Lord, the third was a Knight, the fourth was a Butler to a Prince and the fifth was a working man. Captain Blackadder has a higher standing that his previous two ancestors by being a celebrated Captain in the army, though what social standing he has as a civilian is never revealed.
- Blackadder: "I only smoke cigarettes after making love. So back in England I'm a 20-a-day man" - "General Hospital"