The Black Adder: Season 1, Episode 2

Born to Be King (22 Jun. 1983)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, History
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Ratings: 7.5/10 from 366 users  
Reviews: 6 user | 1 critic

When Edmund's Scottish lands are given to the King's Supreme Commander, Douglas McAngus, he plots revenge.



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Title: Born to Be King (22 Jun 1983)

Born to Be King (22 Jun 1983) on IMDb 7.5/10

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Episode cast overview:
Robert East ...
Harry, Prince of Wales
Angus Deayton ...
Jumping Jew of Jerusalem
Joolia Cappleman ...
Celia, Countess of Cheltenham
Martin Clarke ...
Sir Dominick Prique of Stratford
Martin Soan ...
2nd Wooferoonie
Malcolm Hardee ...
3rd Wooferoonie
David Nunn ...


When Edmund's Scottish lands are given to the King's Supreme Commander, Douglas McAngus, he plots revenge.

Plot Summary | Add Synopsis


Comedy | History

Parents Guide:






Release Date:

22 June 1983 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


This episode is largely a remake of the original unaired pilot. Differences in the original pilot include:
  • The pilot was set during the 16th-century Elizabethan era (which would later be the setting for Black-Adder II (1986)). However, the queen (unnamed, but whose portrayal strongly resembles Elizabeth I) is married to the also-unnamed king.

  • The king is not at the crusades, but at home.

  • Edmund's plot to kill McAngus involves a hanging with a fake rope, not a staged stabbing with a real dagger. The plan backfires in much the same way.

  • The King, Prince Henry and Baldrick are played by different actors, respectively John Savident, Robert Bathurst and Philip Fox.

  • Edmund's personality is sarcastic and Machiavellian, much more like his descendants in the later seasons; likewise, Baldrick's character is closer to the simpleton dogsbody of later incarnations.

See more »


In the hunting scene McAngus tries but fails to sheath his dagger after using it to skin an animal but instead holds it in place until his back is turned. With The Black Adder hanging upside-down behind him a reshoot was presumably not thought desirable. See more »


Baldrick: I have a cunning plan...
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast in Geographical Order See more »


Remake of The Black Adder: Original Pilot See more »

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User Reviews

Better than the first episode.
31 August 2006 | by (United Kingdom) – See all my reviews

"Let's see the Black Adder wriggle out of this one!"

This episode was better than The Foretelling, and also introduced us to some new faces. The slapstick was stronger, and the humorous lines were done with more vigour. Edmund is still a weed and a wimp in this one, but it only serves to make it funnier. However, his sharp wit and expertly delivered nasty comments are what really gives the later series their kicks.

Born to be King improves on the weaknesses of The Foretelling and gave me a more humorous viewing, but Blackadder's excessively long dialogue scenes in his quarters still aren't that funny. On the whole, it is a relatively good episode, and shows how much Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson have developed their humorous writing since The Foretelling. However, the episodes still get funnier from here. It gets an 8 out of 10 rating from me, only losing out from a 9 because it still hasn't got the right deliveries of certain lines.

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