Captain Cook (Blackadder)

Captain Cook (Blackadder)

Infobox Television episode
Title = Plan A: Captain Cook
Series = Blackadder Goes Forth

Caption = Baldrick disguised as an Italian chef
Airdate = 28/09/1989
Writer = Ben Elton, Richard Curtis
Director =
Guests =
Episode list = List of Blackadder episodes
Season = 4
Episode = 1
Prev = Blackadder's Christmas Carol
Next = Corporal Punishment

"Captain Cook" is the first episode of "Blackadder Goes Forth", the fourth season of the BBC sitcom "Blackadder".


When General Haig unveils his new strategy to advance on the German trenches (or as Blackadder puts it, to "move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin"), Blackadder volunteers to be the Official War Artist.


The episode starts with Blackadder and Baldrick discussing Baldrick's latest feeble cunning plan: namely, Baldrick carving his name on a bullet to get around the fact that 'there's a bullet with his name on it'. Lt. George enters and provides Blackadder with two things: a copy of "King and Country" (a propaganda magazine Blackadder says is about as convincing as Doctor Crippin's defence lawyer and that he uses it as toilet paper), and a new service Blackadder never sent off for, as well as some trench ladders that according to Baldrick were used as fuel. Blackadder smells something fishy ("and I'm not talking about the contents of Baldrick's apple crumble."), and deduces that an advance against the Germans is imminent (as Blackadder puts it 'another gargantuan effort by Field Marshall Haig to move his drinks cabinet six inches closer to Berlin').

Baldrick suggests that they take up cooking at HQ to get out of the assault, and Blackadder admits this is a good plan, but refuses, stating that Baldrick is the world's worst cook (creating fillet mignons in sauce bernaise that 'taste like dog turd in glue', a plum duff 'tasting like a mole hill decorated with rabbit droppings' and a 'cream custard with the texture of cat vomit'), and that if he cooked at HQ, he'd be arrested for the greatest mass food poisoning 'since Lucretia Borgia invited 500 close friends for a wine and anthrax party'.

Shortly afterwards, Blackadder is called to the office of General Melchett for a special mission: Field Marshall Haig's supreme tactical plan (where the men climb out of their trenches and walk slowly towards the enemy...a plan they've used 18 times before) is weakening the men's morale, and he needs a piece of art for the front cover of the magazine "King and Country" (although Melchett takes note of Blackadder's suggestion to raise morale through Haig's resignation and suicide).

Having suggested that the chosen artist should be allowed to leave the trenches for Paris, Captain Blackadder attempts to paint a work of art by himself. Unsurprisingly, he fails (his efforts involve an indistinct image of two socks and a hand grenade being shoved up Kaiser Wilhelm II's backside). Baldrick also makes an attempt, but when George reveals he can paint surprisingly well, Blackadder gets him to paint an amazingly good picture of a British soldier (resembling Blackadder) standing next to a body of a dead nun in a ruined French village.

However, when Melchett and Darling arrive to inspect the work, Blackadder proceeds to take credit for George's painting, earning himself the position of war artist. Unfortunately, to his horror, Melchett then reveals that the "King and Country" cover story was just a cover story: instead of Paris, the chosen artist will in fact go into no man's land and draw the enemy positions. With the help of George and Pvt. Baldrick, he returns with a made-up sketch illustrating immense fictional enemy defensive capabilities (including large numbers of armament factories and elephants). Darling and Blackadder suggests that the push should be cancelled. Melchett responds by saying that would be exactly what the enemy would expect... and what they won't do, in order to make the Germans think that the British intelligence is rotten. Melchett orders the attack anyway, which the three avoid by dressing up as Italian chefs and substituting themselves for General Melchett's chef (Baldrick's earlier plan). After serving Baldrick's poisonous cuisine to Melchett and Darling, the three escape back to the trenches, where Blackadder asks how did Baldrick get so much 'custard' out of a small cat.


*This is the only episode from all four seasons to feature no one other than the regular cast (unless one counts the cat).
*Blackadder's painting may be inspired by the use of murdered nurse Edith Cavell in British propaganda.

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