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Recap / Blackadder S 4 E 3 Major Star

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Edmund hates show business with a passion, that is until Melchett plans to stage a revue to boost morale, with this being a golden opportunity for him to leave the trenches. His plan goes well, until George's drag act catches the General's eye.

Tropes

  • Actor Allusion: Baldrick is strongly implied to be a Communist sympathizer (albeit one who's never going to pose much threat as a revolutionary); in real-life Tony Robinson is an outspoken socialist, and was a strong critic of Margaret Thatcher's government when this series was being made.
  • Artistic License – History: The show has always played fast and loose with historical accuracy, but it's especially prevalent here.
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    • The final episode establishes this series as taking place in 1917. General Melchett refers to the French Army mutinies "last year." The French Army suffered a series of mutinies in April 1917, which is around the time that America entered the war.
    • While Tsar Nicholas II abdicated in the March Revolution of 1917, Germany did not sign a peace treaty with Russia, signaling the latter's exit from the war and thereby freeing up most of the former's forces on the Eastern Front, until the following year.
    • At the end of the episode, Melchett believes that Baldrick is doing a poor impression of Buster Keaton, who was not a well-known star at the time that America joined the war.
  • Attractive Bent-Gender: Melchett falls for Georgina, who in fact is George in drag.
  • Breather Episode: Between the court-martial on "Corporal Punishment" and the Red Baron in "Private Plane".
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  • Brick Joke: See Telegraph Gag STOP below
  • Comically Missing the Point:
    • When Blackadder tries to tell Melchett about his fiancee's "demise".
      Blackadder: There's something wrong with your fiancee.
      Melchett: Oh my God, she's not Welsh, is she?
    • Also while Blackadder is trying to think of a replacement leading lady:
      Blackadder: Oh, of course, what was I thinking? Bob!
      [she appears, wearing a Modesty Towel]
      George: Ah yes, Bob! Can YOU think of a new leading lady?
  • Disguised in Drag: Lieutenant George develops a drag act as part of an attempt to boost troop morale, and 'Georgina' promptly attracts the amorous attentions of General Melchett, which "she" only escapes by faking "her" death. A revived drag act featuring the General's driver, Corporal Parkhurst, is dismissed by Melchett as completely unconvincing — even though Corporal Parkhurst is really a woman.
  • Dude Looks Like a Lady: Inverted. No one notices that Bob Parkhurst is a woman (except for Edmund).
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    • Also a Continuity Nod to Blackadder II.
  • Kick the Son of a Bitch: Blackadder gets back at Darling by feeding him Baldrick's dead slug, claiming it's liquorice.
  • Innocent Innuendo: Melchett, when introducing "Bob" to Blackadder:
    Well then, Bob, I'll leave you two together, why don't you get to know each other, play a game of crimmage, have a smoke, something like that. They tell me that Captain Blackadder has rather a good line in rough shag. I'm sure he'd be happy to fill your pipe.
  • Modesty Towel: "Bob" is seen wearing one after a shower.
  • Paper-Thin Disguise: "Bob" tries to pretend to be a man simply by putting on a man's uniform. Edmund tells her that she's "a girl with as much talent for disguise as a giraffe in dark glasses trying to get into a "Polar Bears Only" golf club." It fools everyone else, though.
  • Recursive Crossdressing: Bob "crossdresses" to fill for the "deceased" 'Georgina'. It doesn't work - while the soldiers like her act, Melchett finds it disgusting.
  • Singing in the Shower: Edmund is trying to work out how he's going to replace "Georgina" when he hears an off-screen Bob singing to herself in the shower.
  • Slip into Something More Comfortable: Inverted by Bob, who after performing in a dress, asks for permission to "slip into something more uncomfortable".
  • Telegraph Gag STOP:
    TO MR C CHAPLIN  
    SENNETT STUDIOS—HOLLYWOOD CALIFORNIA
    CONGRATS -{STOP}-
    HAVE FOUND ONLY PERSON IN WORLD LESS FUNNY THAN YOU -{STOP}-
    NAME—BALDRICK -{STOP}-
    SIGNED E BLACKADDER -{STOP}-
    PS—PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE STOP
    • At the end of the episode, Chaplin himself makes a comeback at Edmund:
    TWICE NIGHTLY SCREENING OF MY FILMS IN TRENCHES—EXCELLENT IDEA -{STOP}-  
    BUT MUST INSIST THAT E BLACKADDER BE PROJECTIONIST -{STOP}-
    PS—DONT LET HIM EVER STOP

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