SIMILING SITCOM beloved of Radio Times, and Only Good Thing in the career of Richard Curtis. For four series Blackadder (ROWAN ATKINSON) plus enduring cohorts Baldrick (TONY ROBINSON) and the other ones (usually played by a combination of TIM MCINNERY, STEPHEN FRY and HUGH LAURIE) brought “alternative” comedy to the mainstream. Words such as “wibble” and “Bob” were designated as funny and viewers were introduced to a legion of unseen but appositely named characters who happened to live in pertinently monikered houses, situated in relevantly titled streets based in aptly appelated towns (i.e. Thicky McThick of Thicky Manor Thickstreet, Thickton). The programme was just good enough to transcend the annoying fact that people who shouldn’t like it, did; but by its fourth series, BLACKADDER was looking a little tired with a recycling of plotlines and characters that made yet another sodding Dwayne Dibbly cameo in an episode of RED DWARF seem like a breath of fresh air by comparison. Famously the final episode concluded with everyone bar Stephen Fry getting blasted to smithereens while running across a BBC studio, but running very slowly to ensure they didn’t trip over a trailing camera cable.