Talk:Blackadder/Archive 1

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Name & Format

Who came up with the name and format for the show? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 14:37, 28 December 2009 (UTC)

Page Switch

I'm probably going to switch these two pages round -- Blackadder and Black Adder. The first series was in 2 words, but all subsequent stuff is 1, and I've nearly aslways seen it written as such. I'll give it a week or so for comments -- Tarquin 03:53 Aug 21, 2002 (PDT)

I agree. Season one was called "The Black Adder", then we have "Blackadder II", "Blackadder the Third", "Blackadder Goes Forth" and "Blackadder's Christmas Story". So it definitely looks like "Blackadder" became the preferred term. (source And it's the character's surname - Sir Edmund Blackadder, Captain Blackadder, etc. so one word again seems best. - ChrispyH 08:49 Sep 2, 2002 (PDT)
In the words of Grampa Simpson, Hot Diggity, that's good enough for me! Stand by ... -- Tarquin 08:58 Sep 2, 2002 (PDT)
Brilliant page. Well done all concerned. --bodnotbod 23:05, May 1, 2004 (UTC)
Note that it is Blackadder's Christmas Carol not "Story"

Allusions in opening credits

Blackadder II and Blackadder the Third both struck me as alluding to other shows not mentioned in the article. Blackadder II opens with a black adder slithering across checkered tiles, which I found quite reminiscent of the opening sequence of "I, Claudius". The ominous violin music that starts the former even recalls the striking opening notes of the latter, although it's stylistically rather different. The opening of Blackadder the Third, with Edmund looking through a library of Blackadder-themed texts, also reminds me of the Masterpiece Theatre opening, in which the camera moves about a study, revealing novels of the various stories that have been featured on the show. That may be a bit of a stretch, as Masterpiece Theatre is simply an umbrella series, created in the U.S., in which (mostly) British television series (we in the U.S. would call them "miniseries") are shown, and thus seems unlikely to have influenced the Blackadder writers. Could someone with a British perspective provide some insight on these two potential allusions? -- Jeff Q 07:16, 11 Jul 2004 (UTC)

I've certainly noticed the similarity with the I, Claudius opening sequence, so that's not just you, although whether it's intentional or not is another matter. I'm afraid I haven't seen Masterpiece Theatre, so I couldn't really comment on that. -- TheJames 14:49, 2 Aug 2004 (UTC)
Count me in as a third vote for the resemblence of Blackadder II to the opening credits to I, Claudius. --Auz 00:57, 28 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Most people in the UK are familiar with the style of the opening of the Masterpiece Theatre series, even though the full shows are not shown. 15:50, 14 November 2007 (UTC)

Only familiar with the style of Masterpiece Theatre to the extent that Cookie Monster parodies it. I doubt any intended connection, though of course can't sure. (talk) 12:54, 16 October 2008 (UTC)

Separate series pages

This page is rather big. Would it not be better to have a seperate page for each series, and just the overview and links here?

Yes - the page is now 40k and needs to be split in some way while, hopefully, containing summaries and sufficient detail for this to be a featured article. violet/riga (t) 23:11, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)
Well, one idea would be to create List of Blackadder episodes and spin out all of the episode lists for the 4 series (the specials could be added to the list too, of course). Alternatively, the sections on each series could also be spun out to separate articles and replaced by a shorter summary. In any event, "Blackadder: The Cavalier Years" is the only special not to have a separate page, so again this section spun out and replaced by a summary. -- ALoan (Talk) 11:58, 3 Nov 2004 (UTC)

Is this page featured?

I don't get it. Is this page featured or not? It's just that I did practically all the characters, and I'd quite like to give myself a pat on the back (What a true cunt I am)--Crestville 16:23, 20 Oct 2004 (UTC)

Not yet, though it is on wp:fac. violet/riga (t) 23:11, 2 Nov 2004 (UTC)


Has the pilot episode ever been included in any of the DVD compilations? Jooler 23:28, 28 Jan 2005 (UTC)

No. That's the answer. A website called 'Some of the Corpses are Amusing' had a lengthy description of the pilot, complete with screen captures - they had access to a bootleg - but although SOTCAA still exists, in altered form, it doesn't have that page any more. It was part of the site's 'edit news' section, if I recall correctly.-Ashley Pomeroy 08:57, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)
And, (cough), thanks to the internet, and for the purposes of review only, I hasten to add, this pilot episode has now entered the orbit of my hard drive. I shall see if there's anything worth mentioning in the article itself. The quality is very much like a multi-generation VHS tape. The theme tune is the same. It is set '400 years ago' according to the scrolling text at the beginning. It's shot cheaply on video in the studio. It's called THE BLACK ADDER, by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. The cast list features "Prince Edward - Rowan Atkinson", "Perry - Tim McInnerny", Baldrick - Philip Fox, who is a prolific but generally unknown television actor in the UK; the character of Baldrick is much the same, however, and he does indeed say "I have a cunning plan", which is "quite cunning". The king is not Richard III, and the historical period is much less precise; there is mention of fighting the Spanish. Blackadder's character is much more aggressive than he was in the real first series; he's closer in spirit to the scheming Blackadder of later on, but more hyperactive. It's not very funny, unfortunately. The wordplay that became so much the show's tradmark hasn't been devised yet, the grotesqueness is greatly toned down, the historical humour is very broad, and the characters aren't quite right. I'm guessing, but I assume that the producers realised this and made some drastic changes for the actual series - Rowan Atkinson was a hot property at the time, so I suppose it had to be commissioned - which also didn't work. Enter Ben Elton. "I'm afraid the eunuchs can't make it (to the party); they are in Chester, and dare not make the journey in this inclement weather", "No balls, that's their problem".-Ashley Pomeroy 20:46, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)
dot dot dot at which point I realise that the article actually has most of this information in it already. There's a webpage here [1] which has some screen captures. Where above I write 'Perry', I should have written 'Percy' - the video quality is v. poor.-Ashley Pomeroy 20:51, 12 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Real Blackadders

Would it be pertinent to include allegedly real "Blackadders" like the artist Elizabeth Blackadder and the rumored Major-General Charles Guinand Blackadder? There is a grave at St. Martin's Cathedral:

Buchan's Life of Montrose mentions a Blackadder as Captain of Scouts (so presumably Blackadder is a Scottish name anyway with no need for a MacAdder). BTW, "With each observed generation, his social standing is reduced, from prince, to lord, to royal butler to the Prince Regent, and finally a regular army captain in the trenches of World War I" wrongly considers that the last stage is a final decline; actually it's a significant recovery (though not from the Prince Regent who got usurped - but then, that's a step up from lord). P.M.Lawrence. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 08:48, 16 September 2007 (UTC)

Links in chronological order section

All but two of the links in the Chronological order section were circular, redirected back to this article. (The exceptions were Blackadder: Back & Forth, which has its own article, and Blackadder The Third, whose case disagreed with the redirect, the former of which I fixed here.) Given that this article has not been split up into separate articles, as has been suggested, it seemed more logical to have these links jump to the internal reference, as it appears to be a mini-table of contents (at least until someone creates all those other articles).

The problem is that the shows all contain Wiki italics markup ('') in the headers, which I can't figure out how to add to an internal link. (Links don't like apostrophes; the ".XX" format [where XX is the hex code for the character] doesn't seem to work if it's immediately followed by printable characters; and "%DD", where "DD" is the decimal ASCII code, didn't work, either.)

For now, the specials (whose titles include "double quotes", which links don't seem to mind) all jump to their description. I've removed the other, superfluous links, pending either a technical solution to my stated problem, or the creation of articles for each of the series. I also left "Back & Forth" as an internal link, because (A) it would be confusing to have only one of the links in the mini-TOC jump to another article, and (B) there's a link to the "B:B&F" article in its section. — Jeff Q (talk) 01:31, 8 Apr 2005 (UTC)

  • Easily fixed - just grab the links by Copy Link Location-ing (or Copy Shortcut in IE, IIRC) from the Table of Contents and copy everything after and including the # (I fixed it) = SoM 00:26, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)
    • Thanks for fixing that, and for the tip! Based on your working version, it seems we can ignore apostrophes in headers. That's good to know, too. Jeff Q 00:39, 9 Apr 2005 (UTC)

Request for references

Hi, I am working to encourage implementation of the goals of the Wikipedia:Verifiability policy. Part of that is to make sure articles cite their sources. This is particularly important for featured articles, since they are a prominent part of Wikipedia. The Fact and Reference Check Project has more information. Thank you, and please leave me a message when you have added a few references to the article. - Taxman 16:28, Apr 22, 2005 (UTC)

Are we sure of the lyrics to the theme?

I haven't seen the official lyrics, but I thought that what the article has as:

Black: his gloves of finest mole, 
Black: his codpiece made of metal, 
His horse is blacker than a bull, 
His pot is blacker than his kettle. 

should actually be:

Black: his gloves of finest mole, 
Black: his codpiece made of metal, 
His horse is blacker than a vole, 
His pot is blacker than his kettle.

Note that the latter rhymes, and voles (at least the one in the linked article) are black.

I would have said hole. Blacker than a hole.--Crestville 10:48, 28 May 2005 (UTC)
Of course, mole/vole mirror each other. Plus, Google gives 234 for "vole", including Blackadder Hall, and 43 for "hole" (and 3 for bull, all from WP or WP mirrors. I don't know where that came from. It doesn't even rhyme...) - SoM
Strange... I always thought it was: "His horse is blacker than a hole". Sweetfreek 04:51, 18 Jun 2005 (UTC)

Yes, it is "vole". Case closed. (unsigned comment by User:N^O^el, who removed above comments -- Michael Warren | Talk July 5, 2005 01:17 (UTC))

This case is never going to be closed until someone can provide a real source. Google is not a source; it's a popularity meter (although I'm inclined to suspect it's correct in this case). ~ Jeff Q (talk) 08:33, 25 September 2005 (UTC)

Who is citing Google? Believe it or not, some of the people on here do actually know what they are talking about. It is, for the last time, vole . Sources? Try the Blackadder books, DVD, and Howard Goodall's official website. Can I say 'case closed' again?, I think I can: case closed. N^O^el 07:36, 20 October 2005 (UTC)

As N^O^el says the BBC DVD subtitles have vole, so thats about as authoritative as it needs to get, even if the first time around he went around trying to end the discussion the wrong way. Sfnhltb 21:09, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

It looks like somebody changed it to "hole". ThatGuamGuy 15:37, 29 August 2006 (UTC)sean

It could have something to do with this trivia on for the Blackadder DVD set: "Many Internet websites incorrectly list a line as "His horse is blacker than a vole," however the 2000 DVD release of the first series confirms that the line is actually "his horse is blacker than a hole."" Merc_2k

I thought it was two silly bulls. Wellesradio 23:03, 5 July 2007 (UTC)wellesradio


For the sake of clarity, I think this line should be changed:

'Blackadder came second in a 2004 BBC poll to find 'Britain's Best Sitcom', 
confirming the wisdom of Grade's decision to revive the show.'

As it could be read that Grade revived the show around about the same as the poll. Having said that I can't think of better wording for at the moment.

it's clarified earlier in the paragraph


The current quotes section seems a bit weak, well particularly the one very extended Young Crone section, it might be better to replace this with a selection of more pithy quotes with one from each series at least to give a better sample of the range of material in the series. I might have a go at it later when I have more time to go through it, but in case someone else feels up to it I just wanted to point it out as something I consider a weaker point of the current article. Sfnhltb 21:13, 25 October 2005 (UTC)

Have to agree with the Young Crone quote being too long. Guinness 09:15, 26 October 2005 (UTC)
I agree! I have removed two long quotes and replaced them with a shorter one from 'Beer' (Series 2). The Flasheart quote (Series 4) that was already there is pretty good, if we could get short quotes from Series 1 and 3, I think it would finish it off nicely! --20:31, 13 November 2005 (UTC)
OK, I've added a quote from Series 3 --20:44, 13 November 2005 (UTC)

List of Blackadder episodes

It has already been suggested, but I think it's time to actually transfer episodes to List of Blackadder episodes. If there are no objections, I'll go ahead and do this in about a week. I plan to follow the style of List of The Simpsons episodes, to an extent, but with a little more detail per episode. Any thoughts or suggestions? --Lox (t,c) 11:14, 12 December 2005 (UTC)

Seems there are no objections; I'm going ahead and doing this now! --Lox (t,c) 19:01, 18 December 2005 (UTC)

Content has been moved to List of Blackadder episodes and is currently being rewritten. I am going to start removing duplicate content on Blackadder to reduce article size --Lox (t,c) 14:42, 19 December 2005 (UTC)

Wibble redirecting here?

Why is Wibble to Blackadder? Shouldn't it point to Roger Irrelevant? Shermozle 14:59, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

Viz & Blackadder should fight it out. Frankly, I think Viz'd win. The Bacons? Big Vern? Buster Gonad? those flowery historical ponces got no Chance.--Crestville 15:47, 11 January 2006 (UTC)

The OED has a citation for wibble (as in "wibble and wobble") from 1871 (see this, available for free until 10pm today thanks to Balderdash and Piffle). They also have a citation for the related "wibble-wobble" back to 1847. They say "wibble" (meaning "to witter or waffle") goes back to Blackadder Goes Forth in 1989, but they must have used it in earlier series. But there are a number of sources (such as this) that refer to Roger Irrelevant earlier in the 1980s for the "nonsense" meaning. Perhaps you should tell Victoria Coren - another chance to change the dictionary? -- ALoan (Talk) 16:09, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Hmmm, that also misses the (more recent) use of Wibble as a Metasyntactic variable Shermozle 17:14, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
Ha - the OED does not even list the term "metasyntactic"! -- ALoan (Talk) 17:51, 11 January 2006 (UTC)
I've added "wibble" to metasyntactic variable, changed the redirect to that article, and discussed the history there. -- ALoan (Talk) 12:03, 12 January 2006 (UTC)
Without wishing to seem argumentative for the sake of it, I have no idea what a metathingie variable sherwaddiewaddie is, and after briefly viewing the article, I hope I never will. Perhaps a disambiguation page would be best? Optimus Sledge 23:14, 19 March 2006 (UTC)

Blackadder II End Titles Location

Does anybody know where these were filmed? I was wondering where the path that the minstrel dances around Edmund is - presumably they were filmed at a stately home. However, I couldn't find anything on any fan websites. They were probably recorded on the same day as the outside scene with Kate in Bells, as there are no more location shots in the entire series. Rob 22:36, 23 January 2006 (UTC)

Quotes and such

I wonder if most of the quotes in the section Popularity and effects on popular culture should be moved to wikiquote, just leaving a few of each to act as samples. And maybe the lyrics can go the same way as well, it doesn't add a whole lot to the article which is fairly long and has a few areas like this that don't really give much information compared to how large they are. Sfnhltb 05:07, 2 April 2006 (UTC)

I could not agree more. There are WAY too many. I back your idea of moving most of them to Wikiquote. Five quotes would actually be enough (possibly more than enough). Also, the Quotes section should probably also be moved, unless it has some value to the article. Zepheus 19:15, 23 May 2006 (UTC)

Pilot/Woman's Hour invasion

I've put brief summaries of the pilot and Woman's Hour invasion under their appropriate sections, with links to the Blackadder Hall pages. These need expanding, and possible also some fact-checking, but they're started as opposed to just holding question marks. - Zepheus 16:46, 30 May 2006 (UTC)

Possible mistake in Moral Messages?

(in Goodbyeee..., there's a scene which shows Haig playing with toy soldiers, which he sweeps nonchalantly from trench to trench, and then onto the floor while listening to Blackadder's plea to get out of the final push on the phone)

This isn't correct, IIRC. Haig merely sweeps the toy soldiers into a dustpan with a brush and then dumps the contents of the dustpan into a bin. —Preceding unsigned comment added by Stu-Rat (talkcontribs)

When you say bin, do you mean trash-bin? Just clarifying. - Zepheus 21:09, 6 June 2006 (UTC)

Yes. But just bin, not trash-bin. Rubbish bin would be acceptable. :) British show, so British word. :) --Stu-Rat 14:14, 8 June 2006 (UTC)


This article is far too expansive and covers irrelevant and redundant data. It ought to be reduced as soon as possible. I have removed the quotations from the "Popularity and Effects on Popular Culture" because the list was too long, and most of it was probably covered by wikiquote. So has the "quotes" section been remove. Not only that, but I see no justification whatsoever to include such a list in this section. Furthermore, I believe that none of the information contained there fits under it either; however, I have allowed it to remain because I believe the information could be useful if moved elsewhere. "The Shakespeare Sketch" must have some information besides a year or the entire "specials" subsection ought to be removed; this is unsatisfactory. If there's going to be so much information on each of the series, then they probably ought to have their own pages. Lastly, much of the article seems to be speculative and may require an intensive overhaul. Metalrobot 13:40, 9 June 2006 (UTC)

I would second much of Metalrobot's comments and add that it is more than a bit odd that the synopsis for the 15 minute 'Cavalier Years' special is longer than any two of the regular series sections put together. Also, the comparison to 'The Three Musketeers' is unsourced and smacks of original research. I feel sure that it was a labor of love for the wikipedian who put it in and I don't want to start an edit war, but I thought it worth mentioning so that other wikimembers can come to a consensus (or maybe they will have a cunning plan) about it.MarnetteD | Talk 15:55, 10 August 2006 (UTC)
I just want to comment, that probably because of these removals, this section has nothing to do with neither popularity, nor cultural effects anymore. It's just some information about production now (ok, and half of a sentence about Baldrick's catchphrase). The section should be renamed or edited into some other section. —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talk) 12:03, 18 January 2007 (UTC).


I strongly suggest the use of a picture of one of the more recognisable blackadder incarnations on the Edmund Blackadder template. While I appreciate the original Blackadder is held in high regard by cretain users on wikipedia, the first series is not highly thought of in general public circles. Also, the first blackadder does not represent the more familiar characteristics of the Blackadders (just look at his stupid face compared to the more condecending, refined look of the other 3). I personally would champion Blackadder II who seems the most recognisable. His image is used in the main wikipedia article and was the primary icon used in the Greatest Sitcom series.--Crestville 19:50, 14 June 2006 (UTC)


If this article used to be an FA, but has since declined in quality what's to stop us just reverting it back to its state when it was granted FA status?--Crestville 16:32, 16 June 2006 (UTC)

Beause it really wasn't good enough in the first place. ....(Complain)(Let us to it pell-mell) 02:11, 9 July 2006 (UTC)

If you're interested in sitcoms you may wish to join my new Fawlty Towers-based wikiproject to maintain the standard, and create fabulous new articles based upon this milestone in British Comedy. If you are interested, and woud like to bcome a member, please enquire at the above link, or on my talk page for more information. Thanks Foxearth 02:53, 18 July 2006 (UTC)

Mrs Miggins?

(Mrs Miggins' pie shop was a never-seen running gag in Blackadder II; she — or at least, a descendant of hers — is now finally shown). Wasn't Mrs Miggin's Pie Shop shown in the episode "Potato"? This is a serious question, as i can't recall and may indeed be confused. WookMuff 10:20, 12 August 2006 (UTC)

No Mrs Miggin's pie shop was never shown in series 2. I believe it was mentioned twice (I may be forgetting one?), once in 'Potato' when she was 'bed ridden from the nose down' and had baked a pie in the shape of 'an enormous pie' and once in 'Money' when Blackadder demands money off the bishop for a 'slap-up meal at Mrs Miggins'.Jameskeates 07:55, 18 August 2006 (UTC)

And in 'Bells' when Percy suggests he and Bob eat there. VolatileChemical 11:04, 10 January 2007 (UTC)

black snake??

What is the species of black snake shown in the intro of Blackadder II??--Sonjaaa 21:00, 30 August 2006 (UTC)

LOL!!! Er .. hang on, you aren't joking are you? This may help: Vipera_berus#Description :¬) Garrick92 12:02, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

I'm not joking! Right now the article says it's actually not a viper/adder, so I was wondering, what is it then? or is it a European viper after all?--Sonjaaa 20:32, 1 September 2006 (UTC)

maybe the producers didn't anticipate nerds out there who would bemoan the fact that it isn't really technically an adder/viper. Hell a snake's a snake, right? Wellesradio 22:20, 10 July 2007 (UTC)Wellesradio

Linking to articles on real-life historical figures in the character list?

Specifically, Sir Walter 'Ooh What A Big Ship I've Got' Raleigh, and Field Marshal Douglas "Douggie" Haig. Should we really be linking to the real people? Shouldn't we look at creating new articles about the fictional caricatures in Blackadder, in the same way as we have one for Queenie? At the moment we're not even consistent. --Loccy 11:04, 6 September 2006 (UTC)

spoiler warning

Need to push the spoiler warning up a bit to as early as Blackadder#Developments over the series where it states "...then dies after succumbing to some poisoned wine...". Stating that the Main character dies is definetely a spoiler. 12:25, 29 November 2006 (UTC)

Theme Music

The opening theme music for Series 3 (Regency) is lengthily described in the article. But, could someone please tell me the derivation and the significance of the closing theme music in this series. Thank you!--PeadarMaguidhir 11:18, 7 January 2007 (UTC)

Origin of Name

The Blackadder series was almost certainly named, without his foreknowledge and to his subsequent mild irritation, after Dr Eric Blackadder, with whom I played golf on a number of occasions in the mid-eighties at the Hampstead course. Dr Blackadder had been senior medical adviser at the BBC for a considerable period before I met him. I believe he was then in his mid-sixties - I have had no contact with him since 1990 and I see his name does not appear in the list of Hampstead members for 2003-4.

The name "Blackadder" sounds outlandish to South-East-of-England ears. However there are 24 individual entries under that surname in the Edinburgh and District telephone directory. There is at least one village - I believe two - called Blackadder in the South-East of Scotland. (There is also a "Whiteadder").

Dr Blackadder, at the time I knew him, had all the formality and correctness of an Edinburgh doctor. I grew up in Edinburgh myself, and although I was about twenty years younger and a very different character to him, I felt we understood each other. It was not difficult, however, for me to imagine that the creative spirits in which the BBC abounds might identify Dr Blackadder as an object of parody. Some might see thoughtfulness, but others stiffness, in his manner of speaking.

The way Dr Blackadder told me the story indicated clearly that he thought his name had been deliberately purloined for the series. He said he had been present at a BBC cocktail party when a TV producer he knew rushed up to him. My memory after more than a decade and a half is bound to be faulty in minor respects, but I believe the producer said something like the following to Dr Blackadder. "Oh Eric, so glad to see you at last, been trying to get hold of you, but you know how it is, one never gets enough time, every time I tried to phone you you weren't there, terribly sorry, gosh is that the time, anyway, just wanted to tell you, really sorry you weren't informed, anyway Eric old chap we've just done a new comedy series, heavens I should have been gone five minutes ago, the point is, Eric, that the series happens to bear your name, can't think how that happened, one of those things that just transpires in our world, but very glad to have told you now, load off my mind, 'fraid it's in the can now so nothing can be done, you never know how these things are going to turn out but I have a sort of hunch this one might be quite good, really must rush now but so glad to have talked with you, definitely talk at more length soon, bye."

Dr Blackadder also told me that after the series had become successful he booked a family dinner for about ten in some London restaurant. He was slightly startled by the red-carpet treatment which the manager and staff accorded him and his guests, until the manager asked him with a hint of dismay in his voice when Rowan Atkinson was going to turn up.

Iainsmith 22:11, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

I have reinserted a mention of Eric´s claim, given that my story, if not his, is verified here:

Iainsmith 12:36, 7 August 2007 (UTC)

Might the name Black Adder (originally, as may recall, Black Vegetable) also owe something to him whom Shakespeare's French King described as "...that black name, Edward, Black Prince of Wales"? (Henry V, 2.4.56)?--PeadarMaguidhir (talk) 00:31, 1 May 2008 (UTC)

Butler to Captain: Upwards Move?

The article describes Blackadder's drift in social status, and includes the statement:

With each observed generation, his social standing is reduced, from prince, to lord, to royal butler, before he moves upward to regular army captain in Blackadder Goes Forth and King of modern Britain in 'Back and Forth'.

I can't argue that 'king' isn't higher than 'butler', obviously; but I was lucky enough to grow up at a British stately home, and I'm well aware that a butler would, at the time of Prince George, have been an extremely important and well-respected member of 'common' society. Certainly he's not an aristocrat by any measure, but he was the head of the house and the top of the 'Upstairs, Downstairs' hierarchy. Royal butler would have been higher still. A captain would also have been well-respected, of course, but I'm doubtful about the comparison. The two positions are relatively unrelated, so can we confidently say that 'captain' is higher than 'butler'? - Shrivenzale 09:19, 2 April 2007 (UTC)

I agree, this should be changed. Royal butler is definitely higher than a regular Army Captain. No offence to army captains out there, but it's much easier to land a job as a captain in the army during a major war (even if he is a career army man) than it is to become the royal butler. Wellesradio 22:40, 5 July 2007 (UTC)Wellesradio

Yeah, I don't think anyone is particularly envious of soldiers in the trenches of WW1--Crestville 22:43, 5 July 2007 (UTC)

Just so it's accompanied with a note: I changed this bit to show that he did indeed gradually sink down the social ladder. I also removed the bit that says "King of modern Britain in 'Back and Forth" because he doesn't start out as king in Back & Forth. Furtehermore, Back and Forth isn't really one of the series. Wellesradio 22:12, 10 July 2007 (UTC)Wellesradio

Captain Blackadder born 1871?

What is the source for Captain Blackadder's birth date being 1871? A Google search doesn't turn this up in any non-Wiki-mirror sources. Jess Cully 00:48, 28 April 2007 (UTC)

It seems improbable anyway as he is a career solider (he fought before WWI began) and would be unlikely to still be a Captain at the age of 46 especially given the attrition in WWI.
You think they put that much thought into it?--Crestville 11:51, 7 August 2007 (UTC)
Probably not, but... a 19th Century career soldier didn't have to be a commissioned officer. A career soldier may have been promoted through the Non Commissioned Officer ranks in normal events (up to Major General, since the rank is actually Sargeant Major General, i.e. an NCO) in a 25 year career. Thus a career soldier who would normally raise to Sargeant Major may have been promoted to Captain in WW1. This may explain Capt. Blackadders resentment of other officers... Although I have a sneaking suspicion that none of this occurred to Ben Elton et al when they wrote it. LessHeard vanU 22:57, 11 August 2007 (UTC)

Error I wish to discuss

When I first read this article, I thought to myself, "I ought to change that," but then I realized there's probably a big Blackadder community here and so I should consult them first. So here goes (forth): this article mentions and I quote, "Each Blackadder and Baldrick are also saddled with the company of a dim-witted aristocrat (who is dimmer than even the dimmest Baldrick) whose presence Blackadder must somehow tolerate. In the first two series, this role was taken by Lord Percy Percy (Tim McInnerny), whereas this position was assumed in the third series by Prince George (Hugh Laurie) and in the fourth by Lieutenant George, again played by Laurie (see George (Blackadder character))." This somehow gives the impression that the first two Percies (sp?) are in the same vein as George. I disagree. In every series there is one aristocrat whose power Edmund wishes to usurp. In the first series, it is his father, Richard IV and to a lesser degree Edmund's brother Harry. Richard is a zany character, but seeing as how this Edmund is an idiot, Richard is naturally more intelligent than he. Percy is closer to Baldrick in this series because he is portrayed as Edmund's sidekick, although Percy is a lord. But all in all in this incarnation Edumund is still socially superior to Percy. In the second series, the zany aristocrat is Queen Elizabeth. Percy is also present here, but he is still Edmund's subordinate. They are both Lords, but only Edmund has garnered Queen Bess's confidence and friendship (the other aristocrat here, Melchett, is equal in brains and power to Edmund). In the third, George is definitely as much a burden to Edmund as Baldrick or Percy, but it would be false to compare Edmund's relationship to Percy with that of his relationship to George. Edmund does what George orders him to do (or he's supposed to anyway) while Percy does whatever Edmund tells him to do (or he's supposed to anyway). Somebody should change this paragraph to state rather that in every series there is a peron of power whom Edmund attempts to overthrow or manipulate rather than stating it as it is with this flase comparison. Furthermore, I don't feel that Baldrick was in any sense "burdened" with Percy's company. In fact, together they managed to stop the king's assasins (and kill Edmund). Wellesradio 22:37, 5 July 2007 (UTC)Wellesradio

I thought in the Elizabethan one it is Melchett's power that Blackadder wishes to usurp? Gustav von Humpelschmumpel 14:36, 10 July 2007 (UTC)

You know, I thought the same at first, but as I watched the entire series I realized they were pretty equal in power except that Melchett seemed to be a bit more of a suck up which is why he's always with the Queen. I guess he would be equal to Prince Harry in a sense. (You'll notice however that in series One it wasn't really Harry that Edmund was trying to steal from) What Blackadder really wants is to marry Queen Elizabeth, hence taking or sharing in her power and wealth. Wellesradio 22:18, 10 July 2007 (UTC)Wellesradio

Blackadder template

It refers to the Edmund of Back and Forth as "King Edmund Blackadder III", whereas the page itself is titled "Lord Edmund Blackadder V". Shouldn't it just be one or the other to avoid confusion? Also, where does the V come from? Is he officially referred to as that anywhere? Miremare 15:08, 14 August 2007 (UTC)


I removed the {{fact}} tag since there are copies of the Pilot on Youtube. AreJay 01:16, 29 August 2007 (UTC)

List of characters

The list of characters in Blackadder III should include MacAdder, cousin of Blackadder, either in the category of "Blackadders" or in "other characters —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 11:11, 10 September 2007 (UTC)

Catch Phrase: "cunning plan" - inaccuracy in article

I'd like to discuss the following text as I think it's inaccurate:

While each episode was plot-driven, they were still formulaic to a degree. For example, starting with the third season, whenever Blackadder found himself in a difficult situation (as was the case most of the time), Baldrick would invariably suggest a solution, starting with the words, "I have a cunning plan". This became the character's catch phrase and, while his ideas were usually totally unhelpful, he would sometimes come up with a scheme that went towards saving the day.

In fact the "cunning plan" catch phrase originated in the first series where Baldrick was the intelligent one and Blackadder was the dim one. When they are in a tight spot Baldrick details a "cunning plan"; Blackadder then says "no wait, wait I have a better idea" and repeats Baldrick's plan verbatim. The first instance of a "cunning plan" was the second episode of the first series. By the third series Baldrick is an idiot, his "cunning plan" in this series is always ridiculous and stupid. Additionally, in the first series the theme song finishes with "Blackadder, Blackadder, with many a cunning plan, Blackadder, Blackadder, you horrid little man".

I think the text should be edited as it is very clever on the part of Curtis and Elton that the "cunning plan" catchphrase evolves according to the intelligence of the central characters between the series.



P.S. I watched the first series of Blackadder in 1983 from Episode 2 onwards. I was aged 9 at the time and was allowed to stay up late by my strict parents because they thought it was educational for my sister and I to watch it. I have been a huge fan from that time onwards :-)

(Geenahj (talk) 06:06, 9 July 2008 (UTC))

 Done --Ged UK (talk) 06:52, 9 July 2008 (UTC)

wow! That was quick. Thanks a lot.  :-) (Geenahj (talk) 07:20, 9 July 2008 (UTC))

Chronological order?

The list of series and specials section which claims to be in chronological order is a little confusing, because the dates after the entries place them in clearly a non-chronological order! Is the ordering supposed to represent the setting, or the production? It should specify for clarity to the reader. – Kieran T (talk) 17:52, 22 October 2008 (UTC)

At first glance, it seems to be chronological in the fictional Blackadder universe rather than broadcast dates in the real life which are in parentheses. DonQuixote (talk) 18:35, 22 October 2008 (UTC)


It is very debatable if the pilot episode "1775" belongs in a list of Blackadder incarnations. All the information the internet can give us, tells us that it does not feature anyone named Blackadder, and no writers or actors from the Blackadder series. It is more likely just an idea inspired by the succes of Blackadder in the previous year, more or less like Chelmsford 123. Spiny Norman (talk) 21:10, 24 November 2008 (UTC)

Moved here after 6 months uncited and templated as OR. Successors: series inspired by Blackadder

Some historical comedies made in the decade after Blackadder show possible traces of Blackadder influence. These include:

A Canadian sitcom which ran for two seasons in 2001 and 2002. The show is set in 18th-century Canada, and features a twisted Canadian history in which Benny "Blackfly" Broughton (Ron James), a jack-of-all-trades of colonial Canada, is joined by the by-the-book British officer, Corporal Entwhistle (Colin Mochrie).
Chelmsford 123
With one series in 1988 and one in 1990, Chelmsford 123 tells the story of Roman Britain, and the rivalry between the civilized but slightly ineffectual Romans, and the primitive but resourceful native Britons. While not directly copied, the characters and the plots nevertheless reveal a strong influence from the Blackadder series.[original research?]
Further Up Pompeii (1991)
As discussed in the previous paragraph, Up Pompeii was in some ways an important predecessor to the Blackadder series, with incarnations of Lurcio showing up in various periods in history. But its last appearance would even be after the Blackadder series has ended. In 1991, LWT attempted to revive the show. Frankie Howerd returned once more as the Roman Lurcio, who had now gained his freedom and owned a tavern and slaves of his own. The pilot episode was not a success and Howerd himself died shortly after it was aired, and no series was made.
1775 (US series pilot)
This was the pilot for a prospective US Blackadder series. It was shot in 1992 and aired once, but failed to be picked up. There was no real link with the Blackadder story: the cast was completely different, the series was set in colonial Philadelphia, and the main character's name was Jeremy Proctor.[1]
The Secret Diary of Desmond Pfeiffer
In 1998, the US channel UPN made a sitcom about Desmond Pfeiffer, the black servant to president Abraham Lincoln. In this version of history, Desmond is the brains and the one who keeps things running, not unlike Blackadder and the Prince of Wales in the third Blackadder series. The show attracted criticism for being politically incorrect, and did not attract significant ratings; it was cancelled after one month.


The plot device of a 'modern' man in ancient times is not new, and has a venerable history in fiction. Likewise there have been many books and plays using a historical setting for comedy. An early example of a movie using multiple historical periods is The Three Ages from 1923, in which Buster Keaton relives the same story three ages: the Stone Age, Roman times, and the 1920s.

In TV comedies, perhaps the most obvious 'ancestor' of the Blackadder series is Up Pompeii!. The series, starring Frankie Howerd as Lurcio, was set in ancient Rome and made similar play with historical characters. Even the apparent 'reincarnation' device found in Blackadder [2] is also used. The TV series inspired three feature films, the first of which, Up Pompeii!, was also set in Imperial Rome with Howerd as Lurcio. The film ended with the eruption of Vesuvius and had a final scene set in the present day, in which the actors all played tourists closely resembling their ancient roles, with Howerd being a tour guide, showing them around the ruins of Pompeii. The second was set in medieval times and called Up the Chastity Belt, with Howerd's character as 'Lurkalot' (cf The Black Adder). In this, Howerd's character is discovered to be a double of Richard Lionheart, and later assumes the throne under his identity while the real king leads a bawdy life as Lurkalot (cf Blackadder the Third). Most strikingly, the third and final Up ... film, Up the Front, sees Howerd's character reborn as 'Private Lurk' and fighting in the First World War (cf Blackadder Goes Forth). In 1991, after 4 generations of Blackadders had come and gone, Frankie Howerd returned as the (Roman) Lurcio for one last time, in a pilot episode called "Further up Pompeii", that failed to become a series.

The Blackadder stories draw on a variety of literary, historical, and film backgrounds for its story and characters. The first two series draw heavily upon the works of William Shakespeare. The first episode of The Black Adder, The Foretelling, references Richard III (the characters and setting), Macbeth (the three witches predicting Blackadder's rise to power and the appearance of King Richard's ghost at the dinner), and King Lear (the witches are named Goneril, Regan, and Cordelia). Bells, the first episode of the second series, draws on Twelfth Night with its cross-dressing "Bob" character. The third series parodies at various points classic novels such as The Scarlet Pimpernel (Nob and Nobility), Cyrano de Bergerac (Amy and Amiability), and The Prince and the Pauper (Duel and Duality), and the titles themselves parody Sense and Sensibility. There are also many references to classic films, for instance Blackadder's forming of his dark army in The Black Seal is parodic of The Magnificent Seven (down to Blackadder holding up fingers to indicate the number of men he has), the Season 1 episode The Archbishop explicitly parodies Becket.

other children in need

I seen to have stumbled againts a children in need special not mentioned in this article, which can be seen here; —Preceding unsigned comment added by Bob doe jr. the third (talkcontribs) 20:33, 25 October 2009 (UTC)

Name order in infobox

The current order of the names is in the order in which they appeared as regulars in the series. This has a logic. The changes that are being made do not seem to have any logic. Please explain the changes and then try and get a consensus for them before changing them again. Other editors thoughts are welcome. MarnetteD | Talk 19:59, 6 April 2010 (UTC)

So many mistakes in the last edit summary for this situation. First, Miranda is in all of the series except the first. Next. Fry does not play the same character in series two and three. He plays Lord Melchett In series two and the Duke of Wellington in the last episode of series three. You may want to actually rewatch the show before adding a summary so filled with errors next time. Your addition of BB also is a mistake as he IS only in one series - the first one. Please be aware that this page is about the entire series there are separate pages for the individual series. You have still not tried to gain a consensus here which is wikiprocedure. MarnetteD | Talk 02:25, 9 April 2010 (UTC)


I agree with the previous comment (a few sections above) about this. The entry in the "Chronological Order" table is the only mention in the article, and it's not referenced at all. I suggest removing it unless references (not just to its existence, but to its direct connection with Blackadder) can be provided. Loganberry (Talk) 20:57, 14 April 2010 (UTC)