In WW2 France, Rene Artois runs a small café where Resistance fighters, Gestapo men, German Army officers and escaped Allied POWs interact daily, ignorant of one another's true identity or presence, exasperating Rene.
Set in England at the end of the War of the Roses, we soon find out that the history we know is a Tudor fiction. In fact, Henry VII did not actually win the battle of Bosworth Field; he lost and though Richard III died in the battle, his nephew King Richard IV (who certainly was not smothered while still a boy in the Tower of London) reigned on for some years. The story focuses on Richard IV's younger son Prince Edmund, a sniveling coward who calls himself the 'Black Adder'. Assisted by his grungy servant Baldrick and the moronic Lord Percy, Edmund plots his rise to greatness. Written by
In the unaired The Black Adder: Original Pilot (1982), Blackadder was portrayed as a devious and scheming character. When the series was picked up, however, Edmund Blackadder was changed to an intelligent but sniveling weasel; according to Richard Curtis, he thought it would make the character more complicated and interesting rather than present him as a swaggering hero. In the final episode of the season The Black Adder: The Black Seal (1983), he begins to show signs of his scheming self, and in later seasons (generations?) the character is the Machiavellian cynic the show is better known for. See more »
Blackadder is throughout the series referred to as the Duke of Edinburgh, a title that was first bestowed by King George I in 1726, on his grandson, Prince Frederick Lewis, in the Peerage of Great Britain. In the 1480s, the King of England had no jurisdiction over Scotland, where Edinburgh is. Giving Edmund an anachronistic, geographically useless title is a joke, as explained in the DVD special features. See more »
Opening tune singer:
The sound of hoof beats 'cross the glade / Good folk, lock up your son and daughter / Beware the deadly flashing blade / Unless you want to end up shorter / Black Adder, Black Adder, he rides a pitch black steed / Black Adder, Black Adder, he's very bad indeed / Black: his gloves of finest mole / Black: his codpiece made of metal / His horse is blacker than a vole / His pot is blacker than his kettle / Black Adder, Black Adder, with many a cunning plan / Black Adder, Black Adder, you horrid ...
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If you are having trouble defining wit, sarcasm or tongue-in-cheek watch one episode of "Black Adder". It's all there and then some. Each episode mints a new insult or sly comeback. The art of verbal humor has finally found a champion in the authors and actors of Black Adder.
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