The Black Adder: Season 1, Episode 3

The Archbishop (29 Jun. 1983)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy, History
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Someone is assassinating the archbishops of England. Blackadder hopes that Harry will become the next archbishop of Canterbury, since this will make him the only heir of the throne. To his ... See full summary »



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Paul McDowell ...
Herbert, Archbishop of Canterbury
Arthur Hewlett ...
Godfrey, Archbishop of Canterbury / William, Bishop of London
Joyce Grant ...
Mother Superior
Carolyn Colquhoun ...
Sister Sara
Robert East ...
Harry, Prince of Wales
William Russell ...
The Duke of Winchester (as Russell Enoch)
Bert Parnaby ...
Roy Evans ...
Abel, A Peasant
David Nunn ...
Bill Wallis ...
Sir Justin de Boinod
Sir George de Boeuf
Leslie Sands ...
Lord Graveney


Someone is assassinating the archbishops of England. Blackadder hopes that Harry will become the next archbishop of Canterbury, since this will make him the only heir of the throne. To his great surprise, the King chooses Blackadder instead... Written by J. Rieper

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29 June 1983 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


William Russell, best remembered as Doctor Who (1963) companion Ian Chesterton, was a last minute replacement for actor Wilfrid Brambell in the role of the Duke of Winchester. Brambell walked off set after becoming impatient with delays in shooting the scene. Russell was credited as Russell Enoch. See more »


Prince Edmund: Yes, almost as tragic as Archbishop Bertum being struck by a falling gargoyle while swimming off Beachy Head.
Harry: Quite, quite. And nearly as tragic as poor old Archbishop Wilfred slipping and falling backward onto the spire of Norwich Castle. Oh, Lord, you do work in mysterious ways.
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Crazy Credits

Cast in Order of Reverence See more »


Featured in Blackadder's Most Cunning Moments (2008) See more »

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User Reviews

If you don't enjoy this one, I hope something slightly unpleasant happens to you, like an onion falling on your head.
24 December 2009 | by (Hampshire, England) – See all my reviews

The Archbishop of Canterbury is a dangerous office to hold when a bloodthirsty King is in competition with the church for land and riches. When the latest Archbishop meets with a terrible accident (impaled on a two foot long spike on a Turkish helmet), Edmund is appointed to the post and understandably fears for his life.

Although it's blatantly obvious that it is Edmund who will be made the next Archbishop, the moment when the announcement is made by the king (Brian Blessed) is still bloody funny thanks to the fact that Edmund is sporting an outrageously daft outfit that includes his enormous 'Black Russian' codpiece. And this is just one of the many hilarious scenes in what proves to be a consistently very funny episode: a pathetic, grovelling Edmund tries to worm his way out of his new job; the slimy prince concocts a cunning money making scheme selling fake religious artifacts, pardons and curses; Brian Blessed tucks into a roast horse leg for lunch; and the appearance of two drunken knights fresh from the crusades results in some brilliant moments of pure farce involving nuns.

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