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

Witchsmeller Pursuivant 

When the plague rages through Europe everyone blames "witches". When Edmund fails a "test" everyone suddenly becomes his enemy.



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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
The Witchsmeller Pursuivant
Richard Murdoch ...
Ross, A Lord
Angus, A Lord
Peter Schofield ...
Fife, A Lord
Soft, A Guard
Mark Arden ...
Anon, A Guard
Perry Benson ...
Daft Ned, A Peasant
Bert Parnaby ...
Roy Evans ...
Dumb Abel, A Peasant
Forbes Collins ...
Dopey Jack, A Peasant
Patrick Duncan ...
Officer, An Officer


When the plague rages through Europe everyone blames "witches". When Edmund fails a "test" everyone suddenly becomes his enemy.

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Release Date:

13 July 1983 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


This episode features a number of scenes filmed on location at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, the setting for King Richard's castle throughout this series. Due to limitations on budget, only selected actors were filmed on location, including Frank Finlay, who filmed scenes there as the Witchsmeller. A production assistant on the series, Hilary Bevan Jones, recalls that she forgot to pick up Finlay from the location at the end of a shoot and left him behind, until the make-up team found him wandering in the snow in full Witchsmeller costume and brought him back to the hotel. See more »


The witchsmeller uses two eggs, one white and one brown, while explaining his function to Harry. In close-up, the brown egg is in his lower hand representing evil. In the long shot (after crushing both eggs), the brown egg shell is in his upper hand, representing good. See more »


Prince Edmund: Does anybody know what happened?
Peasant: [Raising his hand] No. I don't.
See more »

Crazy Credits

Cast in Order of Witchiness See more »


References Bewitched (1964) See more »

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User Reviews

Witches? Please, tell me more
18 December 2016 | by See all my reviews

"Witchsmeller Pursuivant" keeps the high quality with another funny episode, an episode that plays to humanity's unfounded beliefs of magic and gods, and how easy it is to control the gullible masses.

In a very silly way.

The plague is ravishing around England, and Edmund gets picked up as a witch. A WITCH!, that talks to his horse, gives bloody milk to his cat and well, you know, all things witches do. Edmund (and Percy and Baldrick) will try to keep alive in any way possible. As always.

The dialogue flies and the banter is as good as in all the other episodes of the first season, but there are not so many jokes and sometimes is almost impossible to hear what the Witchhunter... smeller says. It is a little repetitive in the 'Edmund is a witch', which makes the episode's rhythm falter a little bit, but it shows in a hilarious way how people can be easily controlled (when they want to be).

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