The Black Adder (1983)

TV Series  -   -  Comedy | History
8.3
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Reviews: 56 user | 15 critic

In the Middle Ages, Prince Edmund the Black Adder constantly schemes and endeavors to seize the crown from his father and brother.

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Cast

Series cast summary:
...
 Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
...
 The Queen / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
...
 Percy / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Patrick Allen ...
 Narrator / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Robert East ...
 Harry, Prince of Wales (6 episodes, 1983)
...
 King Richard IV / ... (6 episodes, 1983)
...
 Baldrick / ... (6 episodes, 1983)
Bert Parnaby ...
 Cain, A Blind Beggar / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
Roy Evans ...
 Abel, A Blind Beggar / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
David Nunn ...
 Messenger / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
Perry Benson ...
 Daft Ned, A Peasant / ... (3 episodes, 1983)
...
 McAngus / ... (2 episodes, 1982-1983)
Forbes Collins ...
 Dopey Jack, A Peasant / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Barbara Miller ...
 Jane Firkettle / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Howard Lew Lewis ...
 Mr. Applebottom / ... (2 episodes, 1983)
Natasha King ...
 Princess Leia of Hungary (2 episodes, 1983)
Stephen Frost ...
 Soft, A Guard (2 episodes, 1983)
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Storyline

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 Reid Gagle

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis

Taglines:

The most gripping sitcom since 1380.

Genres:

Comedy | History

Certificate:

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Details

Country:

|

Language:

Release Date:

15 June 1983 (UK)  »

Also Known As:

Blackadder  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs

Runtime:

| (6 episodes)

Sound Mix:

Color:

Aspect Ratio:

1.33 : 1
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Did You Know?

Trivia

This show had the largest budget in the series, with a multitude of extras and props (horses, armour, etc) and on-location shooting at actual medieval locations. Rowan Atkinson has described shooting as being extravagant: "It cost a million pounds for the six episodes, a lot of money to spend... it looked great, but it wasn't as consistently funny as we would have liked." In partial consequence, the later shows had their budgets, casts and sets scaled down. See more »

Goofs

We are given the dates for King Richard IV in the very first episode. The final episode begins in the year that we have already been informed that Richard IV's reign ended. However, while Prince Edmund is in prison there is a caption that says "12 months later" that would make it a year later that Richard IV's reign ended. See more »

Quotes

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 ...
See more »

Crazy Credits

A ballad in mock praise of Blackadder plays over the closing credits. See more »

Connections

Referenced in Tony Robinson's Cunning Night Out (2007) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

See more (Spoiler Alert!) »

User Reviews

15 years of saying pardon.
26 January 2004 | by (London, England) – See all my reviews

The best of the lot. Very funny script, brilliant cast, superbly acted. I prefer Edmund as this type of meek, slimy character than in later series. Also Balders is better suited as intelligent than stupid, that character is already brilliantly done by Percy.

Each episode has a uniquely funny story. The Archbishop one where Baldrick makes holy artifacts is extremely funny. Especially as Percy thinks he bought a real artifact only to discover that it's one of Baldricks.

He marries an 8 year old princess in another episode. Very original humour, and the little princess herself is extremely funny. The way she laughs at the Vicar is hilarious.

Witchsmeller Persuivant, another great episode, possibly the best but its difficult to distinguish which is the best as they are all so good. Frank Finlay is so believable as the witch, his voice, expressions, the way he cross examines Edmund in court and entraps him. Pure genius.

The last one is fantastic. I love the way he finally gets revenge on his dad by forming an army of the 6 most evil men in England. All with uniquely evil attributes.

I don't think 6 episodes is enough for this first series. There is so much comedy there to fill 12 episodes at least. Still the second and third series, although inferior did not disappoint. The fourth however did.

Will always remain as one of the great British classics.


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