Captain Cook (Blackadder)

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"Captain Cook"
Blackadder Goes Forth episode
Episode no. Series 4
(Blackadder Goes Forth)

Episode 1
Directed by Richard Boden
Written by Ben Elton, Richard Curtis
Original air date 28 September 1989
Episode chronology
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"Duel and Duality"
Next →
"Corporal Punishment"
List of Blackadder episodes

"Captain Cook", or "Plan A: Captain Cook", is the first episode of Blackadder Goes Forth, the fourth series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder.


The episode starts with Blackadder and Baldrick discussing the latter'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 a copy of the propaganda magazine King and Country, which Blackadder uses for toilet paper, and a new service revolver. Blackadder deduces from these ominous signs that an advance against the Germans is imminent, one which they will likely not survive. Baldrick suggests that they take up cooking at HQ to get out of the assault but Blackadder shoots down the idea, knowing Baldrick is the worst cook in the world: his cream custard, for instance, is really just cat's vomit.

Shortly afterwards, Blackadder is called to the office of General Melchett for a special mission: Field Marshal 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 is in search of a way to raise their spirits. After Blackadder jokingly suggests Haig's resignation and suicide (which Melchett takes literally and has noted down), he is told that they need new inspiring artwork for the front cover of King and Country. Blackadder is uninterested until he learns that the artist needs to leave the trenches for Paris, and attempts to paint a work of art by himself. He and Baldrick both fail, but when George reveals he can paint surprisingly well, Blackadder gets him to paint a picture of a British soldier (resembling Blackadder) standing next to the body of a dead nun in a ruined French village.

When Melchett and Captain Darling arrive to inspect their work, Blackadder displays his own painting "War" in place of George's. The General rejects it; George tries to protest, but he and Baldrick are only to speak when given permission by Blackadder, which the Captain refuses to grant. The next painting, Baldrick's "My Family and Other Animals", shows vomit and is rejected by Melchett as well. Blackadder proceeds to take credit for George's painting, earning himself the position of war artist.

Melchett then reveals that the King and Country cover story was just a ploy: instead of Paris, the chosen artist will in fact go into no man's land and draw the enemy positions. With debatable help from George and Baldrick, he returns with a sketch illustrating immense fictional enemy defensive capabilities, including large numbers of armament factories and elephants. Darling and Blackadder suggest 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 Blackadder, George and Baldrick avoid by dressing up as Italian chefs and substituting themselves for Melchett's chef. After serving Baldrick's vile cuisine to Melchett and Darling, the three escape back to the trenches, where Blackadder asks Baldrick how he managed to get so much custard out of such a small cat.

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