The Black Adder is where it all began, and Captain Edmund Blackadder is where it ended. Spanning four series, this show looks at the lives of four different people of the same lineage, sharing the same name. Loaded with historical inaccuracies and not highly believable, it's nevertheless distinctive and appealing in its writing. Especially beginning with Blackadder-II, when Ben Elton signed on to help write the series, Blackadder has been characteristically bad-tempered and self-centred, yet, highly intelligent and witty. The other constant throughout the series is his sidekick Baldrick, whose character also changes with Elton's arrival and becomes increasingly stupid, especially when juxtapositioned with the sharp Blackadder.

Since the series is in four different eras, with different characters, they come across as completely different television shows, and indeed have their own names:

  1. The Black Adder: The most steeped in history and also one of the most inaccurate, this series supposes that Richard III's nephew, Richard, Duke of York, went on to become Richard IV, King of England. Richard IV had two sons, Henry and Edmund: the latter would go one to rename himself, 'The Black Adder'. Here, Edmund is trying to grasp as much power as he can, and hopefully one day be king! This may happen with the help of his 'friend' Percy, Duke of Northumberland, and his squire, Baldrick.

  2. Blackadder II: Similarly to the previous series, Blackadder is surrounded by the same two men, only all are of a different generation. This time, we find Blackadder as a Lord in Elizabethan England, and more to the point within Queen Elizabeth I's court. Although she highly favours Edmund, she is still extremely capricious, making every gesture Blackadder makes a potentially perilous one. Edmund's nemesis for the series is Lord Melchett, a friend, confident, jester, adviser, or any other function the Queen demands of him. Blackadder and Melchett struggle for the upper-hand of the Queen's favour.

  3. Blackadder The Third: Blackadder's position and status has taken a severe hit as we see this descendant as a butler to the Prince Regent, George, the Prince of Wales, son of King George III. Different from the last series, Blackadder lacks his 'friend' Percy, yet still retains Baldrick as his dogsbody. Another vast difference is the lack of peril and threat that the Queen provided, instead, Blackadder is in a position to take advantage of the Princes idiocy. Likewise, the watchful eye of a constant nemesis, as seen in both the second and fourth series, is also absent, and instead relies solely on the presence of one off characters to create the needed tension.

  4. Blackadder Goes Forth: The final chapter in the saga (specials excluded). In this series, the Blackadder character is a throwback to the second series. Surrounded by moronic 'friends', this time Lieutenant George St. Barleigh and Private S. Baldrick, as well as another fickle leader, General Melchett, and finally a nemesis, Captain Darling, returns to keep a watchful eye on all his shenanigans. The backdrop this time is The Great War (WWI): a war highlighted by its monstrousness, both in loss of life and purpose.

    Blackadder Theme Song 1

    Blackadder Theme Song 2

    Blackadder Theme Song 3

    Blackadder Theme Song 4

Episode Info

Prev: S04-Special -- Blackadder: Back & Forth (Dec/31/1999)

Starting out at a dinner table on December 31, 1999, Blackadder attempts to defraud his cohorts of £10,000 each by having Baldrick build a fake time machine. Unfortunately, the time machine works and the pair end up face-to-face with a Tyrannosaurus Rex. Trying to get home, they stop off a number at a number of times, including the Battle of Waterloo and Roman Britain.

Available Episodes

Nov 02, 1989
Season 4 episode 6

General Hospital
Oct 26, 1989
Season 4 episode 5

Private Plane
Oct 19, 1989
Season 4 episode 4

Major Star
Oct 12, 1989
Season 4 episode 3

Corporal Punishment
Oct 05, 1989
Season 4 episode 2

Captain Cook
Sep 28, 1989
Season 4 episode 1

Duel and Duality
Oct 22, 1987
Season 3 episode 6

Rowan AtkinsonRowan Atkinson
As Prince Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh / Lord Edmund Blackadder / Edmund Blackadder, Esq. / Captain Edmund Blackadder
Tony RobinsonTony Robinson
As Baldrick, son of Robin the Dung Gatherer / Baldrick / S. Baldrick / Private S. Baldrick
Tim McInnernyTim McInnerny
As Lord Percy Percy, Duke of Northumberland / Lord Percy Percy, heir to the Duchy of Northumberland / Captain Kevin Darling (1983, 1986, 1989)
Stephen FryStephen Fry
As Lord Melchett / General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett (1986, 1989)
Hugh LaurieHugh Laurie
As George, Prince of Wales and the Prince Regent / Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St. Bartleigh (1987, 1989)
Miranda RichardsonMiranda Richardson
As Queen Elizabeth I of England (1986)
Brian BlessedBrian Blessed
As King Richard IV of England (1983)
Robert EastRobert East
As Harry, Prince of Wales (1983)
Elspet GrayElspet Gray
As Queen Gertrude of Flanders (1983)
Patrick AllenPatrick Allen
As Narrator (uncredited) (1983)

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Producer: John Lloyd (2)
Production Designer: Anthony Thorpe (1)
Editor: Chris Wadsworth
Music: Howard Goodall
Costume Designer: Annie Hardinge
Make-up: Victoria Pocock
Property Master: Monica Boggust
Production Management: Prue Saenger
Cinematographer: Ron Green
Graphics: Graham Kern

View full crew list
Recurring Guests

Miranda Richardson as Amy Hardwood/The Shadow (4 eps)
Stephen Fry as The Duke of Wellington (4 eps)
Rik Mayall as Mad Gerald (Credited as 'Himself') (4 eps)
Hugh Laurie as Simon Partridge (4 eps)
David Nunn as Messenger (4 eps)
Miriam Margolyes as Infanta Maria Escalosa of Spain (3 eps)
Tony Robinson as Baldrick / Legionary Baldricus (3 eps)
Roy Evans as Abel, A Peasant (3 eps)
Rowan Atkinson as Lord Edmund Blackadder / Centurion Blackaddicus (3 eps)
Gabrielle Glaister as Driver Parkhurst (3 eps)

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Classification: Scripted
Genre: Comedy
Status: Ended
Network: BBC one ( United Kingdom)
Runtime: 30 Minutes
Premiere: June 15, 1983
Ended: December 31, 1999
• Černá zmije (Used In Czech Republic)
• Crna Guja (Used In Croatia)
• Črni gad (Used In Slovenia)
• Czarna Żmija (Used In Poland)
• Den Sorte snog (Used In Denmark)
• Fekete Vipera (Used In Hungary)
• L'Escurçó Negre (Catalan Title), (Used In Spain)
• La Víbora Negra (Used In Spain)
• La Vipère noire (Used In France)
• Musta Kyy (Used In Finland)
• Sorte Orm (Used In Norway)
• Svarte Orm (Used In Sweden)
• The Black Adder
• Чёрная Гадюка (Used In Russia)
• Черното влечуго (Used In Bulgaria)
• הפתן השחור (Used In Israel)
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Gus (Challenge)