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"The Black Adder"
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"The Black Adder" (1983) More at IMDbPro »TV series 1983-1983

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Overview

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8.3/10   20,715 votes »
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Seasons:
1
Release Date:
15 June 1983 (UK) See more »
Genre:
Tagline:
The most gripping sitcom since 1380.
Plot:
In the Middle Ages, Prince Edmund the Black Adder constantly schemes and endeavors to seize the crown from his father and brother. Full summary »
User Reviews:
The Original and Best See more (56 total) »

Cast

 (Series Cast Summary - 11 of 17)

Rowan Atkinson ... Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)

Elspet Gray ... The Queen / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)

Tim McInnerny ... Percy / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Patrick Allen ... Narrator / ... (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Robert East ... Harry, Prince of Wales (6 episodes, 1983)

Brian Blessed ... King Richard IV / ... (6 episodes, 1983)

Tony Robinson ... 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)
(more)

Series Directed by
Martin Shardlow (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Writing credits
Rowan Atkinson (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Richard Curtis (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
William Shakespeare (6 episodes, 1983)

Series Produced by
John Lloyd .... producer (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Original Music by
Howard Goodall (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
 
Series Film Editing by
Mike Jackson (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Production Design by
Chris Hull (6 episodes, 1983)
Nigel Curzon (3 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Costume Design by
Odile Dicks-Mireaux (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Makeup Department
Deanne Turner .... makeup designer (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Production Management
Marcus Mortimer .... production manager (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Art Department
Tricia Ruddell .... property buyer (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Steve Connelly .... graphic designer (6 episodes, 1983)
Penny Rollinson .... property buyer (3 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Sound Department
Richard Chamberlain .... sound (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
John Taylor .... boom operator (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Clive Derbyshire .... film recordist (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Visual Effects by
Chris Lawson .... visual effects designer (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Stunts
Gareth Milne .... stuntman (2 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Camera and Electrical Department
Brian Clemett .... lighting (6 episodes, 1983)
William Dudman .... film cameraman (6 episodes, 1983)
Ron Peverall .... camera supervisor (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Editorial Department
Angela Wilson .... vision mixer (6 episodes, 1982-1983)
Mykola Pawluk .... vt editor (6 episodes, 1983)
 
Series Other crew
Hilary Bevan Jones .... assistant floor manager / production team (7 episodes, 1982-1983)
Jan Hallett .... production assistant (6 episodes, 1983)
Peter Granger .... technical manager (5 episodes, 1983)
 

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Additional Details

Also Known As:
Runtime:
195 min | 35 min (6 episodes)
Country:
Language:
Color:
Aspect Ratio:
1.33 : 1 See more »
Sound Mix:
Certification:
Company:

Did You Know?

Trivia:
This is the only Blackadder series not to feature Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie or Miranda Richardson.See more »
Goofs:
Anachronisms: 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. Thus, the title didn't exist in the late 1480s.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...See more »
Movie Connections:

FAQ

Why is Prince Edmund not named Edmund Blackadder?
See more »
44 out of 50 people found the following review useful.
The Original and Best, 13 December 2000
Author: GoonerMan from Hampshire, England

This is the first, and in my opinion, the best of the Blackadder series - although the second installment runs a very close second. This series, in retrospect, is often dismissed as less funny than its successors and this may be due to its different style and sense of humour. This comparison unfortunately causes the viewer to miss what makes this series such an excellent piece of comedy writing and production.

The whole series centres on Edmund (Rowan Atkinson), the son of the younger of the two princes who in history were murdered in the Tower of London, allegedly by Richard III. In this take on history, where real history is dismissed as being rewritten by Henry Tudor, the princes were not murdered and Richard Duke of York grows up 'to be a strong boy'. The first episode of the series lays the foundation, explaining how Richard III dies, how Edmund's father becomes King and also the important, accidental, foretelling by three Witches (a clever alude to the witches in Shakespeare's Macbeth) to Edmund that one day he will be King. The rest of the series follows Edmund in his attempts to realise this foretelling.

Edmund's definite goal throughout the series, which forms the basis of the subsequent plotlines, gives it a direction perhaps missing in the following series, and it also gives his character more depth. Blackadder (as he names himself), in this series, is significantly different to his persona of the subsequent time-periods - being slimy, selfish and not particularly bright. There is a definite bond between the main characters, Blackadder and his sidekicks, Percy and Baldrick (excellently played by Tim McInnerny and Tony Robinson respectively) and although Blackadder treats his underlings with contempt at times, they collaborate as a team throughout in a series of 'cunning plans'. Baldrick is indeed the intelligent character of the group, the man in the know and his character has much more depth than his smelly and stupid character of later series.

Each plot in the series follows a similar pattern - Blackadder getting himself into a situation and having to get himself out of it. The humour presented is more subtle, relying more on the use of visual comedy, language and historical satire than on blind sarcasm. Many of the gags are implied and expect the viewer to work out the meaning as opposed to ramming it down their throats. Additionally, the script contains a number of lines that cleverly misuse Shakespeare for added effect, a classic example being Richard III calling for 'my horse, my horse my kingdom for a horse' in the style of someone calling for his dog. The supporting cast all play their part superbly, particularly Brian Blessed as Richard IV, the maniacal war-monger who hates his slimy son and fails to get his name right. The late, great Peter Cook also makes an appearance as Richard III in the first episode.

This series must be watched out of context with what followed. It was not written for the popular market, being first screened on BBC2. Watch it, laugh, then watch it again to catch some of the gags you missed the first time. Comedy written this well is unfortunately extremely rare, and to dismiss it without appreciating its aims does not do it justice. This series not only shows Rowan Atkinson at his very best, but also the writing of Richard Curtis (and Atkinson) and it is an overlooked classic of British comedy.

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