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 379 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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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.

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Comedy | History

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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.

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When Richard IV returns from killing the "Turks", he has both shoulder armours on. When he notices Edmund standing in Harry's place at the table he moves forward, revealing his right shoulder armour is missing. After he steps up, a camera change reveals his right shoulder armour back in place again. See more »


[King Richard is about to set out on a crusade against the Turks]
King Richard: As the good Lord said: "Love thy neighbour as thyself, unless he's Turkish, in which case, kill the !"
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Crazy Credits

Made in glorious TeleVision See more »


Remake of The Black Adder: Original Pilot (1982) 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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