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28 October 2014

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  the King is not deadThe Foretelling
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Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh, arrives late for the Battle of Bosworth Field. He's supposed to be fighting on side of the Plantaganets, but due to sheer incompetence, he manages to chop off Richard III's head. Then he saves the life of Henry Tudor, leader of the opposing army.

Now his father is King, Edmund wants to be taken more seriously, and having toyed with the idea of calling himself The Black Vegetable, he settles for The Black Adder. A legend is born.

quote Blackadder: If we lose, I'll be chopped into pieces. My arm'll end up in Essex, my torso in Norfolk and my genitalia stuck up a tree somewhere in Rutland.

quote Blackadder: Let all men who go to don armour tomorrow remember to go before they don armour tomorrow.

quote Blackadder: Run away from the hills! If you see hills, run the other way!

brush up
shakespeare King Richard's opening speech is a comic reworking of the oft-quoted soliloquy from Richard III: "Now is the winter of our discontent..."

King Richard inspires his troops with the heroic words, "Once more unto the breach, dear friends, once more..." These were spoken by Shakespeare's Henry V, not Richard III.

Harry's sorrowful words over the body of his dead uncle, "O! pardon me, thou bleeding piece of earth," are exactly what Anthony says to the dead Caesar in Julius Caesar. He then mysteriously switches to a quote from Hamlet: "And flights of angels sing thee to their rest".

Richard III's return to haunt his killer, Edmund, is reminiscent of Banquo's ghost in Macbeth.

The three crones who turn up at the end of the episode to tell Edmund that he will be king one day, are inspired by the witches from Macbeth. Their names are Goneril, Regan and Cordelia, the names of King Lear's three daughters.

try a quiz Test Your Cunning Try the Black Adder series one quiz.

fact Edmund's brother Harry is afraid of spoons.

evil Edmund accidentally chops off Uncle Richard's head. It could happen to anyone.

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All series of Blackadder are available on DVD/Video from the BBC Shop and other online retailers.
Blackadder Episode Guide
Series One Black Adder
The Foretelling
Born To Be King
The Archbishop
The Queen of Spain's Beard
Witchsmeller Pursuivant
The Black Seal

Series OneBlackadder II
Series One Blackadder the Third
Dish & Dishonesty
Ink & Incapability
Nob & Nobility
Sense & Senility
Amy & Amiability
Duel & Duality
Series four Blackadder Goes Forth
Captain Cook
Corporal Punishment
Major Star
Private Plane
General Hospital

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