Black Adder

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Black Adder is a British television programme from the BBC, a surreal take on British history starring Rowan Atkinson, involving cunning plans, Baldrick's trousers and deceit. Each series tended to feature the same set of actors in different settings, thus Stephen Fry played Lord Melchett, an advisor to the Queen in Series II, and General Melchett, a blustering buffoon, in Series IV.

It popularised the use of similie and associated devices for comic effect in the UK. Examples include:

  • "Madder than Mad Jack McMad, winner of last year's Mr Madman competition."
  • "I've got a plan so cunning, you could put a tail on it and call it a weasel." or "As cunning as a fox who's just been appointed Professor of Cunning at Oxford University."
  • "I'm as happy as a Frenchman who's just invented a pair of self-removing trousers."
  • "I'm as weary as a dog with no legs that's just climbed Ben Nevis"

Four series:

  • The Black Adder (Middle Ages) - The Foretelling, Born to be King, The Archbishop, The Queen of Spain's Beard, Witchsmeller Pursuivant, The Black Seal.
  • Blackadder II (Elizabethan) - Bells, Head, Potato, Money, Beer, Chains.
  • Blackadder The Third (Regency) - Dish and Dishonesty, Ink and Incapability, Nob and Nobility, Sense and Senility, Amy and Amibility, Duel and Duality.
  • Blackadder Goes Forth (World War I) - Captain Cook, Corporal Punishment, Major Star, Private Plane, General Hospital, Goodbyeee.


  • Christmas Special - (a parody of Charles Dickens' "A Christmas Carol")
  • Black Adder: Back and Forth - Time-Travel


  • Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson)
  • Lord Percy; Capt. Darling; Lord Topper and Lord Frou-Frou (Tim McInnerny)
  • Scarlet Pimpernel (Tim McInnerny and Nigel Planer)
  • S. Baldrick (a dogsbody) (Tony Robinson)
  • Prince Ludwig; Lieutenant The Honourable George Colthurst St Bartleigh; Prince George (Hugh Laurie)
  • Lord/General Melchett; The Duke of Wellington (Stephen Fry)
  • Queenie; Amy Hardwood (Miranda Richardson)
  • Nursie (Patsy Byrne)
  • Lord Flashheart (Rik Mayall)
  • Bob/Kate; Cpl. Parkhurst (Gabrielle Glaister)
  • Firing squad - Sgt. Jones and Privates Fraser, Robinson and Tipplewick (Stephen Frost, Lee Cornes, Paul Mark Elliot, Jeremy Gittins)
  • Gaoler Ploppy (Bill Wallis)
  • Mrs Ploppy (Linda Polan)
  • a guest appearance by Samuel Johnson played by Robbie Coltrane
  • Mrs. Miggins (Helen Atkinson-Wood)
  • Evil Revolutionary (Chris Barrie)
  • Wise woman of Putney heath (Babara Miller)
  • Mad Beggar (Tom Aitken)
  • Capt. Redbeard Rum (Tom Baker)
  • Mr Hardwood (Warren Clarke)
  • King George III (Gertan Klauber)
  • Sir Walter Raleigh (Simon Jones)
  • Witchsmeller persuivant (Frank Finlay)
  • Isabella (ugly Spanish infanta), Lady Whiteadder (Miriam Margolyes)
  • Lord Whiteadder (Daniel Thorndike)
  • Mollie (Cassie Stuart)

Written by Ben Elton and Richard Curtis. (with additional dialogue by Wm. Shakespeare)