Black Adder the Third: Season 1, Episode 4

Sense and Senility (8 Oct. 1987)

TV Episode  |   |  Comedy
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 356 users  
Reviews: 3 user | 1 critic

Following a failed assassination attempt, the Prince Regent hires two actors to tutor him in public speaking.


(as Mifs. Mandie Fletcher)


(by), (by)
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Title: Sense and Senility (08 Oct 1987)

Sense and Senility (08 Oct 1987) on IMDb 8.2/10

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Episode cast overview:
Edmund Blackadder, butler to the Prince (as Mr. Rowan Atkinson)
Baldrick, a dogsbody (as Mr. Tony Robinson)
The Prince Regent, their master (as Mr. Hugh Laurie)
Hugh Paddick ...
Keanrick, thespian (as Mr. Hugh Paddick)
Mossop, thespian (as Mr. Kenneth Connor)
Mrs. Miggins, a coffee shoppekeeper (as Mifs. Helen Atkinson-Wood)
Ben Elton ...
Anarchist (as Mr. Ben Elton)


The Prince Recent attends the theater, where he narrowly survives an assassination attempt. Shocked to learn that he is not loved by everyone in the country, he dispatches Edmund Blackadder to hire actors to educate him in speech and deportment. Blackadder is rightly worried about the consequences of this meeting, as the Prince seems incapable of understanding the concept of acting. Written by Murray Chapman

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Release Date:

8 October 1987 (UK)  »

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Did You Know?


The character names of Mossop and Keanrick refer to three famous thespians of the 18th and 19th century: the Irish actor Henry Mossop (1729-1744), the English actor Edmund Kean (1789-1833), and the English actor David Garrick (1717-1779). See more »


In the play within the play there are two daggers and two swords on the stage when the actors are taking their applause. A moment later, when the anarchist jumps onto the stage, both swords and a dagger have gone. See more »


Baldrick: You look smart, Mr Blackadder. Going somewhere nice?
Blackadder: No. I'm off to the theatre.
Baldrick: Don't you like it then?
Blackadder: No I don't. A lot of stupid actors strutting around shouting, with their chests thrust out so far you'd think their nipples were attached to a pair of charging elephants. And the worst thing about it is having to go with Prince Mini-Brain!
Baldrick: What, doesn't he like it either?
Blackadder: Oh, no. He loves it. The problem is he doesn't realise it's made up.
See more »


References Sense and Sensibility (1971) See more »

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User Reviews

The actors are revolting!
5 June 2010 | by (Bradenton, Florida) – See all my reviews

Edmund is less than thrilled that he and the thicky, George, are going to the theater. Part of this is due to the actors' overacting but most is that George is so dim he thinks it's all real--at one point yelling out in the middle of "Julius Caesar" to "look behind you, Julius!" when the actor is about to get stabbed! Unexpectedly, however, in the middle of the play an anarchist makes an attempt on the thicky's life. So the Regent decides to make a nice speech to show the common people that he loves them. But, as he's a thicky and can barely talk, the plan is to have a couple famous actors help coach him on how to deliver his speech.

When the actors arrive, they are pompous and annoying. Not surprisingly, Edmund hates them--and vice-versa. So, when the two actors begin rehearsing a play involving regicide and Baldrick and George think they are plotting to kill the Regent, Edmund takes advantage of this to make a few pounds AND rid himself of the annoying actors.

Overall, a very funny episode--one of the better ones of season three. Silly, funny and well-written. Plus the actors are such trolls that when bad things happen to them, the audience is left laughing!

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