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The Black Adder (TV Series 1982–1983) Poster

(1982–1983)

Trivia

According to Tony Robinson, he was flattered at being offered the role of Baldrick, and only later learned that the role had been turned down by nearly every bit-part actor.
According to Rowan Atkinson, he had no idea how to play Blackadder right up to the point where the cameras were rolling for the first time; he didn't even know what voice to use for the character.
This is the only show in the Blackadder saga which was scripted by Rowan Atkinson; Ben Elton took over from Black-Adder II (1986).
Rowan Atkinson has a stutter, which causes him to struggle with the letter 'B.' He has to visualise the letter before he says it - which is why he puts extra emphasis on words containing that letter. Eg Bob. Later he created the character Mr. Bean (1990) for this reason.
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.
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Blackadder is based on Edmund, the antagonist of William Shakespeare's play "King Lear": a scheming illegitimate son of a king who plots to take the crown for himself.
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The series was primarily shot at Alnwick Castle, Northumberland.
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Although Brian Blessed plays Robert East's father, East is in fact 4 years older than Blessed.
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This season 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.
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This is the only Blackadder series not to feature Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie or Miranda Richardson.
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The first episode was aired in Sweden on February 22, 1986. The second episode was supposed to have been aired one week later (March 1), but was postponed for a week, because most of the air time of Swedish television on that day was occupied by the news of the murder of Swedish prime minister Olof Palme on the night before.
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Rowan Atkinson admits that he disliked this season of the show.
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For the original transmission both The Black Adder: Born to Be King (1983) and The Black Adder: The Queen of Spain's Beard (1983) were swapped in place so 'The Queen Of Spain's Beard' was shown directly after The Black Adder: The Foretelling (1983) mainly because 'Born To Be King' wasn't ready in time. The correct order has been restored for the video and DVD releases.
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According to the opening credits, King Richard III was succeeded by his nephew, Richard, Duke of York (Harry and Edmund's father) in 1485. In fact, young Richard was only 12 when he and his brother Edward disappeared under suspicious circumstances in 1483, with no children of their own. From this, it can be ascertained that all of the Blackadder canon takes place in an alternate historical timeline.
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Rowan Atkinson and Richard Curtis came up with the idea of a historical sitcom during work on Not the Nine O'Clock News (1979).
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The "Blackadder" theme is played with a trumpet solo backed by an orchestra.
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See also

Goofs | Crazy Credits | Quotes | Alternate Versions | Connections | Soundtracks

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