The Black Adder (pilot episode)

The Black Adder (Pilot Episode)

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The Black Adder (pilot episode)

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The Black Adder is the unaired pilot episode of the BBC television series Blackadder. Taped on 20 June 1982, it features the original incarnation of Rowan Atkinson's character Edmund Blackadder. Following this pilot, The Black Adder eventually went into production and the first six-part series was broadcast in 1983, but with a number of changes to the casting, characterisation and plot; while the transmitted series was set in 1485 and the years following the Battle of Bosworth Field, this untransmitted pilot was set some 100 years later, around 1583, apparently during the Elizabethan Era.

A close adaptation of the script of the pilot episode was used for the second episode of the first series, "Born to Be King", which contains many similar characters, situations and lines to the pilot.


Like the first series, The Black Adder, it was written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson. However, the episode features a number of major differences to the aired first series.

Historical setting and characters

The pilot episode is introduced with on-screen scrolling text which announces that the setting is "Europe, 400 years ago" which, based on the date of production, places the episode during the reign of Queen Elizabeth I. In this respect, and in the design of the sets and costumes, the pilot bears much resemblance to the second series, Blackadder II (1986) which...
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