The Black Adder (1982–1983)
3 user 1 critic

Original Pilot 



Add Image Add an image

Do you have any images for this title?



Episode cast overview:
John Savident ...
The King
Philip Fox ...
Simon Gipps-Kent ...
Oengus MacNamara ...


Add Full Plot | Add Synopsis

Plot Keywords:

unaired tv series pilot | See All (1) »


Comedy | History




Release Date:

20 June 1982 (UK)  »

Company Credits

Show detailed on  »

Technical Specs


See  »

Did You Know?


While in the first series Edmund (Black Adder) was more the idiot and comic relief than Baldrick (who in the first series comes up with ridiculous ideas but manages to somehow contribute to get Edmund out of trouble on many occasions), the roles of the characters of Black Adder and Baldrick were switched in the series that followed due to the influence of new writer Ben Elton. Actually, the pilot of the first series showed Blackadder with his later-to-be persona, rather than the dimwit that was actually shown here. While Baldrick kept many of the same mannerisms, catchphrases ("I have a cunning plan"), and actor portraying the character - Tony Robinson - he became the idiot and comic foil that Blackadder was in the first series. Blackadder, on the other hand, became a more intelligent and insulting character with each subsequent series. See more »


The Laird of Roxburgh, Selkirk and Peebles: Baldrick, that is the worst plan since Olav the Viking ordered 20.000 helmets with the horns on the inside.
See more »

Crazy Credits

"It is Europe, 400 years ago. In Spain War rages, as Christians from every land fight off the threatening terror of Turkish invasion. The French... are in uneasy peace. But in England, under the tutelage of a powerful King, the Ship of State ploughs a steady course as the Court awaits the Queen's birthday and the return of a Scottish Hero from the War......." See more »


Remade as The Black Adder: Born to Be King (1983) See more »

Frequently Asked Questions

This FAQ is empty. Add the first question.

User Reviews

If only the series had started in this way
16 April 2014 | by (United States) – See all my reviews

In my opinion, this was a rare case of getting it right the first time. This pilot was made for the purpose of selling the series to the BBC. Watching it you can clearly see why they gave the show the green light. Everything about it is spot on. So much so that you wonder why they changed the setting, the personality of its title character, as well as the overall tone of the show when they made the first BlackAdder.

This pilot feels very much like an episode from "BlackAdder II." It features the same Elizabethan setting. Yet more importantly, Edmund is the same stylish and conniving rogue that he was in the second series as well. With the same sardonic verbal wit and nasty demeanor. Yet, the original BlackAdder ended up doing things much differently. Setting itself during the Middle Ages with our slimy protagonist being a sniveling coward instead. Personally, I prefer a BlackAdder that is devilishly cool as opposed to being a dunce.

It follows the same plot as the episode called "Born to be King," from the first series. However, it is done much better as the scripting and humor are solid throughout. It is very much like series II, III, and IV in its style. Considering how flawed the first BlackAdder was, you could say the show able to hit its stride when it reverted back to the format of this pilot.

A must see for fans. I do recommend watching it after you have seen all of the series. It was never broadcast and is not available on DVD but you can see it online.

4 of 4 people found this review helpful.  Was this review helpful to you?

Message Boards

Recent Posts
Myth that first series was cr*p houndtang75
Which is your fav episode!?!? makybe_diva
The Queen of Spain's Beard tomankl
Discuss Original Pilot (1982) on the IMDb message boards »

Contribute to This Page

Create a character page for: