Throughout the ages, men of flair, faculty and outstanding courage have contributed to England’s glorious heritage. Others, like snivelling worm Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh (alias the Black Adder), the bitter and twisted son of a medieval king, have emerged from the dust of dodgy documents to claim their wrongful position in history. And so begins the first age of the Blackadder Family Dynasty.
Rowan Atkinson – Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh
Tony Robinson – Baldrick
Tim McInnerny – Percy, Duke of Northumberland
Brian Blessed – Richard IV
Elspet Gray – The Queen
Robert East – Harry, Prince of Wales
Episode 1: The Foretelling (1485)
First shown 15th June 1983
From out of the swirling mists of the Dark Ages comes a lone horseman cursed from youth by the deformed haircut and sporting a particularly evil pair of tights.
Edmund accidentally kills King Richard III, making his father King while he hides Henry Tudor in his room.
Peter Benson – Henry VII
Philip Kendall – Painter
Kathleen St. John – Goncril
Barbara Miller – Regan
Gretchen Franklin – Cordelia
Special Guest: Peter Cook as Richard III
Episode 2: Born to be King (1486)
First shown 6th July 1983
Treachery, murder and Morris-dancing break out in all their full horror when an orange-faced stranger arrives at court.
With King Richard off to the crusades, Edmund comes across evidence that casts doubt on Prince Harry’s stature as next in line to the throne.
Angus Deayton – Jumping Jew of Jerusalem
Joolia Cappleman – Celia, Countess of Cheltenham
Martin Clarke – Sir Dominick Prique of Stratford
Martin Soan – 2nd Wooferoonie
Malcolm Hardee – 3rd Wooferoonie
David Nunn – Messenger
Special Guest: Alex Norton as McAngus, Duke of Argyll
Episode 3: The Archbishop (1487)
First shown 29th June 1983
The landscape is littered with dead Archbishops of Canterbury. Edmund’s cunning plan is to get his deadliest rival appointed to the vacancy…
Edmund is made the Archbishop, which has not been a very safe office to hold, especially when the King doesn’t agree with the church.
Paul McDowell – Herbert, Archbishop of Canterbury
Arthur Hewlett – Godfrey, Archbishop of Canterbury
Arthur Hewlett – William, Bishop of London
Joyce Grant – Mother Superior
Carolyn Colquohoun – Sister Sara
Russell Enoch – The Duke of Winchester
Bert Barnaby – Cain, A Peasant
Roy Evans – Abel, A Peasant
David Nunn – Messenger
David Delve – Sir George de Boeuf
Leslie Sands – Lord Graveney
Special Guest: Bill Wallis as Sir Justin de Boinod
Episode 4: The Queen of Spain’s beard (1492)
First shown 22nd June 1983
The King’s international treachery gives the hideous Edmund a chance to press his clammy body against one of Europe’s most eligible princesses.
In order to prevent a war with Spain, Edmund must marry a Spanish Princess.
Jim Broadbent – Don Speekingleesh, An Interpreter
Jane Freeman – Mrs. Applebottom
John Rapley – Rev. Lloyd
Howard Lew Lewis – Mr. Applebottom
Stephen Tate – Lord Chiswick
Kenn Wells – 1st Messenger
Richard Mitchley – 2nd Messenger
David Nunn – 3rd & 4th Messengers
Willoughby Goddard – Archbishop
Natasha King – Princess Leia of Hungary
Harriet Keevil – Lady on Ramparts
Special Guest: Miriam Margolyes as Princess Maria
Episode 5: Witchsmeller Persuivant (1495)
First shown 13th July 1983
The King is a bit under the weather with the Black Death. Witchcraft is diagnosed by the Black Adder and only one man can root it out.
Edmund gets accused of being a witch by a witchsmeller.
Richard Murdoch – Ross, A Lord
Valentine Dyall – Angus, A Lord
Peter Schofield – Fife, A Lord
Stephen Frost – Soft, A Guard
Mark Arden – Anon, A Guard
Perry Benson – Daft Ned, A Peasant
Bert Parnaby – Dim Cain, A Peasant
Roy Evans – Dumb Abel, A Peasant
Forbes Collins – Dopey Jack, A Peasant
Patrick Duncan – Officer, An Officer
Barbara Miller – Jane Firkettle
Natasha King – Princess Leia
Howard Lew Lewis – Piers, A Yeoman
Sarah Thomas – Mrs. Field, A Goodwife
Louise Gold – Mrs. Tyler, A Goodwife
Gareth Milne – Stuntman
Special Guest: Frank Finlay as the witchsmeller
Episode 6: The Black Seal (1498)
First shown 20th July 1983
In a final gesture of defiance Edmund rides forth to seek out the Seven Most Evil Men in the land and return with them to seize the throne.
John Carlisle – Murdered Lord
Bert Parnaby – Cain, a blind beggar
Roy Evans – Abel, a blind beggar
Forbes Collins – Trusting Father
Des Webb – Person of unrestricted growth
John Barrard – Old Man
Perry Bevon – Pigeon Vendor
Paul Brooke – Friar Bellows
Big Mick – Jack Large
Roger Slomon – Three-Fingered Pete
Patrick Malahide – Guy de Glastonbury
John Hallam – Sir Wilfred Death
Patrick Allen – The Hawk
Ron Cook – Sean the Irish Bastard
Special Guest: Mad Gerald as Mad Gerald (although it does look a bit like Rik Mayall)
Impress your friends with some useless trivia from the Blackadder archives.
In the pilot episode, Baldrick was played by the actor Philip Fox.
The castle shown in the opening titles is Alnwick castle on the Duke of Northumberland’s estate.
The Blackadder series was cancelled by the Michael Grade, controller of the BBC after lower than expected ratings and huge costs.
The three witches that appear at the end of The Foretelling are named after King Lear’s daughters.
The famous Blue Stone of Galveston is quite blue.
The second episode Born to be King was originally shown as episode 4
A strange coincidence is that episode 4 was originally shown as episode 2
Other people whose job titles always appear on the back of the programs you get at local theatrical emporiums.
Graphic Designer – Steve Connelly
Property Buyers – Penny Rollinson & Tricia Ruddell
Visual Effects Designer – Chris Lawson
Production Assistant – Jan Hallett
Assistant Floor Manager – Hilary Bevan-Jones
Film Camerman – Willian Dudman
Film Recordist – Clive Derbyshire
Film Editor – Mike Jackson
Camera Supervisor – Ron Peverall
Vision Mixer – Angela Wilson
VT Editor – Mykola Pawluk
Costume Designer – Odile Dicks-Mireaux
Make-Up Designer – Deanne Turner
Technical Manager – Terry Brett
Lighting – Brian Clemett
Sound – Richard Chamberlain
Production Manager – Marcus Mortimer
Designers – Nigel Curzon & Chris Hull
Director – Martin Shardlow
Producer – John Lloyd