Watch BlackAdder

BlackAdder is a British sitcom set in the Middle Ages. The series starts in 1485 with the premise that the Battle of Bosworth Field was actually won by King Richard the III. King Richard the III is the victim of mistaken identity, and he ends up getting killed. His son, Richard IV, takes over the throne after his death.

The primary focus of the series is Edmund , the Duke of Edinburgh. Edmund is the son of Richard IV, and he is constantly trying to prove himself in his father's eyes. Edmund is Richard's second son, and he never seems to be able to get the King's favor the way his older brother does. He refers to himself as the BlackAdder, hence the series' title. Eventually, Edmund begins to give up on getting his father to love and respect him, and he decides that he must overthrow him.

The series uses a comedic lens to portray issues that were of serious concern during the Middle Ages. People, mainly women, were investigated and burned at the stake for witchcraft. There was also massive conflict between the English monarchy and the Catholic Church over how to rule the United Kingdom. While many historians look back on this time as a difficult period in human history, BlackAdder views it all with a laugh and smile. Edmund gets into many scrapes as he tries to work his way to the top. His own father often cannot even remember Edmund's name. Edmund is accompanied on his adventures by two loyal friends, the Duke of Edinburgh and Baldrick, who is a servant. Edmund constantly lies about his own skills. He is scared of fighting but tells people he has killed over 450 people in battle.

BBC
4 Seasons, 25 Episodes
June 15, 1983
Comedy
8.1/10
Cast: Rowan Atkinson, Elspet Gray, Tim McInnerny, Patrick Allen
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BlackAdder Full Episode Guide

  • Edmund and Lt. Barley share a nice rat stroganoff in their tent when word arrives that tomorrow morning the troops are going "over the top." Could a feigned bout of insanity put Edmund on the road to Calais?

  • Edmund is given three weeks to find a spy in the hospital. He takes this as an opportunity to get on with the lovely Nurse Mary and to spend the better portion of those weeks in bed.

  • Blackadder joins the Royal Flying Corps in order to escape the trenches. When he crashes

  • Bad news reaches the trenches.The October Revolution in Moscow has produced three appalling results: a cease-fire by Russia, an offensive by Germany and a Charlie Chaplin impression by Baldrick.

  • In 13 years of service to King and Country, Edmund has faced danger: in Nepal, tackling an over spiced curry; in Mombassa, confronting 200,000 grass- skirted men. But now he is truly in a pickle.

  • In the trenches on the front, Edmund vows that he's damned if he's doomed. When GeneralHaig unveils his new strategy to move his drinks cabinet nearer to Berlin, Blackadder volunteers to be Official War Artist.

  • Christmas Eve, 1850. In the reign of good Queen Vic, there stood Ebenezer Blackadder - the kindest and loveliest man in all England. That is until the Spirit of Christmas shows up and introduces him to the ways of his loathsome ancestors...

  • When Lady Morgana is struck down by a mysterious illness, Gaius is at a loss for a cure. Thankfully, a new physician, Edwin Muirden, is on hand to nurse the King's ward back to health. Will Edwin's success jeopardize Gaius's position as court physician?

  • As ever, the Prince is terminally short of cash, so he is persuaded to marry the fantastically wealthy heiress, Miss Amy Hardwood. Having wooed her heart for the Prince with a lot of drippy poetry, Blackadder is disgusted to learn that the Hardwoods have been lying about their fortunes from industry, and in fact have been living off lard butties for five years.

  • The Prince is understandably worried about his popularity after an anarchist throws a bomb at him. He agrees to recite a brilliant speech by Blackadder and decides that he wants his two favourite actors, Mr David Keanrick and Mr Enoch Mossop, to coach him. But things soon change when Baldrick thinks he overhears the actors plotting against the Prince.

  • Everyone in Britain is mad with admiration for the Scarlet Pimpernel, who has been bravely rescuing French aristocrats from the clutches of evil revolutionaries. The scornful Blackadder accepts a bet from the foppish lords Smedley and Topper that he can rescue an aristo himself. But actually going to France would be insanely dangerous, so Blackadder finds an alternative a little closer to home.

  • Prince George decides he needs to shake off his reputation as England's greatest thicky, so he agrees to patronise Dr Johnson's new dictionary. Unfortunately, Baldrick doesn't recognise the infinite value of the manuscript, which took the finest mind in England 10 years to complete, and he throws it on the fire.

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