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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Plot Keywords:

unaired tv series pilot | See All (1) »






Release Date:

20 June 1982 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


There were a few cast changes between this unaired pilot and the series as transmitted (which included a remake of this script as "Born to be King"). Brian Blessed replaced John Savident as King Richard XII of Scotland (now called Richard IV of England), Robert East took over as Prince Henry ("Harry") from Robert Bathurst, whilst Philip Fox's rôle as Baldrick was inherited by Tony Robinson. 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

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.

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