The Black Adder (1982–1983)
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Original Pilot 

TV-PG | | Comedy | Episode aired 20 June 1982


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


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unaired tv series pilot | See All (1) »






Release Date:

20 June 1982 (UK)  »

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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 »

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User Reviews

Good but the chemistry is still not quite there...
2 June 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

This pilot episode of "Blackadder" is listed under the first series, but it really bears far more similarity in style to the second. In many ways, it's like the "Born to Be King" episode from the first series filmed with characters much like those of the second. Edmund in particular is pretty much the same angry, conniving jerk he was in "Blackadder II" and it's set during this same time period.

As for the actors, it's not the wonderful mix you got from the actual shows. The biggest difference is Baldrick. Instead of the wonderfully stupid and pathetic guy played by Tony Robinson, here he is a normal looking guy and so the chemistry between him and his master, Edmund, is lacking--even when the dialog is identical to that of the later show. The king is also pretty dull--a pale shadow of the bombastic and bigger than life king played later by Brian Blessed. The only familiar faces, other than Rowan Atkinson, is Percy (who plays the same sort of moron he was in the first two series) and Edmund's mom.

As a result of these differences, the chemistry is a bit lacking--though the writing and quality still is evident. You cannot blame anyone for the flat and rough moments (such as during the play) in the pilot, as it IS a pilot and the show lacks polish--which is true of just about every pilot. For fans of the series, this is a must- see. For those not acquainted with the Blackadder series, WAIT--see the shows first as the pilot just isn't quite up to snuff.

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