I remember seeing various parts of this on PBS when I was a kid. It was quite amusing, if very crude (first place I heard a sodomy joke). Atkinson was complaining about five/six years back about the decline of free speech in Britain; too bad the fool joined the ranks of Monty Python and so many others in degrading the British culture his freedom and well being depended on. Enjoy Sharia Rowan!
Monthy Pyton was excellent.
Though well known, it is worth noting the change of direction Blackadder took after the first series. From series two, Blackadder is the intelligent cynic caught between the dim proles and the equally dim aristocracy as opposed to the somewhat dull-witted and silly character he played in the first series. The second, third and fourth series are the ones favoured by the public and indeed the ones most repeated. The character's change and the more class conscious humour of the show coincided with the addition of Ben Elton (scion of Jewish emigres) to the writing team.
The relative contemporariness of Blackadder Goes Forth also made it much loved, especially the "poignant" ending. It also allowed for jokes about things like the university system ("Three great universities: Oxford, Cambridge and Hull") etc.
Also, there is likely a certain class element and ressentiment at play in both the Pythons and Richard Curtis (the gentile writer of Blackadder). They all tended to be upper middle class and public school (or at least grammar school) educated , but certainly non-aristocratic. This is reflected in Cleese's nostalgia for what he mistakenly terms "middle-class culture". Ultimately it couldn't be sustained once they had rubbished and ridiculed the old structures that had created and cultivated it i.e. the near feudal system of England, vestiges of which existed into the 1960s (Roger Scruton makes some mention of this in his memoirs) and even later (the death blow was probably the eviction of most hereditary peers from the House of Lords under New Labour). I remember Auberon Waugh saying something along the lines of Oxford having been ruined by grammar school oiks whilst he was there.