List of Blackadder characters

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Main characters from Blackadder Goes Forth: Darling (left), Melchett (center), George Colthurst (right), Baldrick (down right), Blackadder (down left)

This article lists the characters in the four series and three special episodes of the British sitcom Blackadder. Blackadder was notable for featuring many repeating characters and actors, with Rowan Atkinson as the eponymous protagonist, Edmund Blackadder, and Tony Robinson as his sidekick Baldrick, together with numerous other actors in one-off parts.

Main characters[edit]

Edmund Blackadder[edit]

Main article: Edmund Blackadder
  • Prince Edmund (The Black Adder) (1): The least intelligent (while highest-ranked) of the Blackadder clan depicted in the series. On becoming Prince he initially wanted to be called "Black Vegetable" before Baldrick convinced him it was a bad idea. He killed King Richard and kept seeing his ghost. He became Duke of Edinburgh and Lord of the Privy. It is a question as to whether or not he was born from the new king or from his mother having an affair. At one point he became the Archbishop of Canterbury, but, was eventually fired, to his relief. He married the 9-year-old Princess Leia of Hungary, which he wasn't 100% pleased about. He possibly has some witch-blood in him since his mother has learnt voodoo. He was eventually dethroned as Duke of Edinburgh and gathered the other 6 evilest men in all England and they became the Black Seal. They planned to kill the royal family (except Edmund) and claim the throne. Instead they betrayed Edmund. Edmund had his ears and hands cut off before a spike went up his back-side and the twist went for his privates. All his family and the Black seal drank poison and died, making him king. But, 30 seconds later, he drank poison and died. He was very cowardly and often didn't think things through. He despises, but, fears his family and dislikes Lord Percy. His best friend is Baldrick, but even he is considered a smelly fool.
  • Lord Blackadder (2): The great-grandson of Prince Edmund, Lord Blackadder is in the service of Queen Elizabeth I. He is one of the queen's "favorites," but is all too keenly aware of the limitations of this position (on several occasions, she threatens to cut his head off, and quite happily teams with Melchett to play practical jokes on him). He despises Lord Percy even more than his predecessor and thinks of Baldrick as a stupid animal. He and Melchett dislike but tolerate one another. Lord Blackadder spends most of his time dodging death, in a variety of forms, from a variety of sources. During his stint as High Executioner, for example, he executed the wrong man at the wrong time, facing a death warrant from the Queen. On another occasion, he was unable to pay back a £1000 loan that he had taken from the Black Monks, and was threatened with being impaled by the Baby Eating Bishop of Bath and Wells. He spent two years sailing the seas with Captain Rum, seeking a route around the Cape of Good Hope, but nearly died when he discovered that the Good Captain has no crew and no ability to navigate. He is eventually murdered (along with everybody else in the court) by Prince Ludwig the Indestructible.
  • Mr. E. Blackadder (3), The Butler to the Prince Regent. He is sly, crafty and probably the smartest of all the Blackadders. He has problems keeping the Regent, George the Fourth, out of trouble. George is easy to trick and scam; Blackadder makes quite a profit out of selling all of his things when he's not looking. He treats Baldrick with a great deal of contempt, but doesn't physically abuse him nearly as much as his predecessors. Always looking for a way to improve his position, Mr. Blackadder finally gets his chance when George is challenged to a duel by the renowned swordsman, the Duke of Wellington. He switches clothes with the Prince Regent, and is defeated by Wellington, but survives thanks to a conveniently-placed cigarette box. Wellington then murders "the butler" (George in disguise), leaving Blackadder to continue as the Prince Regent. It should, perhaps, be noted that this is the only incarnation of Blackadder that we do not actually see slaughtered at the conclusion of the series. It can be assumed that he went on to become King, but we have no real proof of this.
  • Captain Blackadder (4), a tired and sarcastic soldier. He joined the army before the war and earned his stripes in the battle of Mboto Gorge, where he battled against pygmies armed with sharp kiwi and melons. He therefore finds the prospect of fighting against armed soldiers who could actually kill him both distasteful and stupid. When the 1st World War started he was sent to the trenches with Private Baldrick and Lieutenant George, whom he considers idiots but seems to have a genuine affection for. His service is further plagued by General Melchett, an old maniac with seemingly no common sense and less concern for the men under him, and Captain Kevin Darling, a short-tempered, by-the-books officer who panders to Melchett in hopes of staying far away from the front lines. He generally misses no opportunity to mock Darling's name and take him down a peg in Melchett's eyes. Captain Blackadder is a stone cold realist, and knows that if he and his men are sent "over the top," most or all of them are going to die, and therefore spends much of his time coming up with plans to avoid this possibility. In the end he, Baldrick, George and Darling are, in fact, sent over the top. It is left intentionally vague which (if any) of the four survive.
  • Ebenezer Blackadder (Blackadder Christmas Carol), owns a moustache shop, aided by Baldrick, from which he makes a modest living every year. He is the nicest man in all England, giving away all of his money and property to anyone pretending they are in need. Of course, all of his friends and neighbors see him as an easy mark, and take advantage of him shamefully. For once, Baldrick seems to be the more intelligent of the two, as he tries to convince Blackadder not to give so freely. One Christmas Eve, after giving away the years profits, the Christmas Tree, the modest Christmas gifts, and even his tiny Turkey to greedy visitors, Blackadder is visited by a friendly spirit. The spirit shows Blackadder how his predecessors behaved and that his descendants will suffer if he continues to be so self-sacrificing, and how they will come to rule the galaxy if he changes his ways. Not a fool, Ebenezer decides to embark on a new way of life immediately!
  • Lord Blackadder V (Back and Forth): A modern-day trickster and a charmer. On the eve of the new millennium, he invites his friends over for dinner, thinking to make a few quid off them through an elaborate practical joke. Using what he claims are plans from one of DaVinci's notebooks, he has Baldrick build a time machine; he then bets his friends that he can go back in time and obtain any object they desire. To his surprise the time machine, intended as a prop, actually works, and he winds up changing history. But then, when has a Blackadder ever complained about an opportunity to better himself? Blackadder is later revealed as King Edmund III of England, with Baldrick as his puppet Prime Minister.

Baldrick[edit]

Main article: Baldrick

Baldrick is the name of several characters throughout the series. Each one serves as Blackadder's servant, sidekick and acts as a foil to the lead character. Baldrick is the only character besides Blackadder himself to appear in all instalments of the series, and can arguably be seen as Blackadder's best friend despite Blackadder's apparent contempt for him.

Melchett[edit]

Melchett (Stephen Fry) is a family line. There were two main Melchetts: Lord Melchett and General Melchett.

  • Blackadder II - The first Melchett appeared in series two of Blackadder. He is Lord Chamberlain to Queen Elizabeth I. Affectionately known to the Queen as "Melchy", the earnest Lord Melchett has set himself up as her closest personal advisor and is always close to her. He guards his position jealously and is always doing his best to please the Queen. Melchett attends the Annual Communion Wine-Tasting and is also able to officiate at marriage ceremonies, two facts which suggest that he has a career in the church alongside his duties to the Queen.
  • Blackadder Goes Forth - The Melchett dynasty has changed quite a bit in Blackadder Goes Forth; rather than being the snivelling, slimy, reserved, intelligent, obsequious sycophant that Lord Melchett was, General Sir Anthony Cecil Hogmanay Melchett, KCB[1] is a loud, childish, unintelligent, incompetent, pompous warmonger, and the main antagonist of the fourth series. The General Melchett character appearing in Blackadder Goes Forth was something of a popular caricature of World War I generals like Field Marshal Douglas Haig in that both his preferred battle tactics and general attitudes towards warfare are stuck firmly in a bygone era. He fails to understand or comprehend the basic concepts of modern trench warfare and is totally unable to come up with a new strategy that would suit it. Instead he continuously sends men to a senseless death with seemingly no tactics at all.

Melchett shared the trademark bellow "Baaah!" with Fry's earlier portrayal of Wellington, which would be delivered at random intervals for no apparent reason. In a BBC Four interview broadcast on 17 August 2007 and uploaded by the BBC to YouTube, Fry goes into some depth on the "odd history" of Melchett's "Baaah!", explaining that it began as early as his work in student productions of Shakespeare at Queens' College, Cambridge, where he would produce strange noises in order to amuse the audience. He also notes that Melchett's "Baaah!" can be found in his other acting work (although in a more subtle form), such as Peter's Friends.[2]

Lord Percy Percy[edit]

Lord Percy Percy (Tim McInnerny) is the name given to a pair of related characters. The Lord Percy of Blackadder II is the descendant of that seen in The Black Adder. The character derives his name from the factual Percy family. Unlike the first two Blackadders and Baldricks, the two Lord Percys are almost identical; both are portrayed as dim-witted, gullible and foppish. In the first series, Percy is Duke of Northumberland, while in the second he is heir to the title. The title of Duke of Northumberland was not in fact held by a real person surnamed Percy until 1766 when Hugh Percy, born Hugh Smithson, was awarded the title, although the title of the Earl of Northumberland was granted to a Percy in 1377.

  • The Black Adder - Percy is introduced in the first series as Percy, Duke of Northumberland. In the first series Percy accompanies both Prince Edmund and Baldrick on all their journeys. At one point Percy becomes the bishop of Ramsgate when Edmund becomes the Archbishop of Canterbury; he also believes he has a finger bone belonging to Jesus Christ. However Baldrick informs him that it is a fake by displaying his own collection of 10 other "Jesus fingers". In the episode "The Black Seal", Percy accidentally puts poison in the castle's entire wine supply while trying to rescue Prince Edmund from a group of maniacs. While rescuing Edmund, Percy inevitably kills him and the whole royal court when they drink the tainted wine. Percy and Baldrick run in and futilely shout, "Don't drink the wine!" immediately after.
  • Blackadder II - In this series, Lord Percy Percy (died 1566) is once again portrayed as a stupid "upper class twit". Percy has a much larger role in series two, however; this is illustrated by his almost total involvement in all of Blackadder's pursuits (whether or not Blackadder actually welcomes his input). Percy is (among other things) temporarily the best man at Blackadder's wedding, assistant Lord High Executioner and a shipmate on Blackadder's ill-fated voyage to France (despite a pronounced aquaphobia stemming from a childhood incident where he was "savaged by a turbot"). At one point, while trying to master alchemy, Percy creates a green substance that Edmund sarcastically calls "Green" and attempts to turn it into something valuable. He is shown to have a terrible female record; whilst the occasional girlfriend is mentioned, he is more often seen using rather unconvincing chat up lines on various females, and, at one point, Baldrick, who was wearing a wig and a dress while acting as a bridesmaid. Percy promptly falls in love with him, not recognizing Baldrick.

Darling[edit]

Darling (Tim McInnerny) is the name of several characters. Introduced in its fourth iteration, Blackadder Goes Forth, Captain Kevin Darling is main character Captain Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson)'s intellectual peer and bitter rival; while Blackadder reluctantly serves in World War I trenches, Darling is safely stationed some distance from the front line. Darling is the sycophantic adjutant to Stephen Fry's General Melchett. The character was originally conceived as "Captain Cartwright"; writers Ben Elton and Richard Curtis were simply unable to think of a more amusing name for him. Eventually however, Stephen Fry suggested "Darling" would be a more comedic alternative; the series makes use of a recurring joke where his name is used or referred to for comedic effect.[3]

Although Darling only features as a main character for one series of the original Blackadder run, several of his ancestors and descendants are also portrayed by McInnerny, in keeping with the series' ongoing motif of identical descendants. The Blackadder feature-length special Blackadder: Back & Forth (1999) introduced descendent character Archdeacon Darling, on better terms with the contemporary Blackadder. The time travel narrative of the special also allowed writers to introduce more historical Darlings to the series' chronology: the Duke of Darling, aide to the Duke of Wellington (Fry), and the Duc de Darling, assistant to Napoleon I (Simon Russell Beale). The final Darling, however, is also a Blackadder and was portrayed by Atkinson in BBC promotional materials in 2002; the name Sir Osmond Darling-Blackadder suggests an unknown familial union between Blackadders and Darlings at some point in their histories.

George[edit]

Main article: George (Blackadder)

George (Hugh Laurie) appears as "Prince George", Prince Regent of England and a bit of a loud mouthed idiot, "Lt. The Hon. George Colthurst St Barleigh", an overexcited and keen young lieutenant that is a bit too jolly and has never felt the full blow of the war, and "Lt. The Hon. George Bufton-Tufton."

Bob[edit]

Bob is a pseudonym used by two characters, both female, both pretending to be male and both played by Gabrielle Glaister.

  • Blackadder II - Kate, who goes by the pseudonym "Bob", is one of the first characters to appear in Blackadder II. She is a somewhat naive young woman who insists on believing her mother is dead, despite her father's insistence that she ran off with his brother. Her aging father informs her that due to his imminent dotage he must look to his daughter to sustain him, and suggests that the best way is for her to become a prostitute, against her will. After arriving in London, she disguises herself as a man and is hired as a manservant by Lord Blackadder, who casually kicks Baldrick out onto the streets. However, when Blackadder points out that "Kate" is a girl's name, she quickly claims it is short for "Bob". Blackadder becomes increasingly concerned about the attraction he feels for the boy. Eventually, after being prescribed a course of leeches by a doctor and an attempt to throw Bob out, he learns the truth (after Kate opens her doublet in front of him), and several minutes later they have sex and become engaged. However, at the wedding, Kate is seduced by Blackadder's best man, Lord Flashheart, and decides to run off with him, leaving Blackadder jilted at the altar.
  • Blackadder Goes Forth - The Blackadder Goes Forth episode "Major Star" introduces General Melchett's driver, Bob Parkhurst. Captain Blackadder recognises Bob's gender immediately. She begs Blackadder not to give her away, explaining that all her brothers have signed up, and she wants "to see how a war is fought, so badly". While Blackadder is not fooled, Lieutenant George is, failing to spot the truth even when she emerges from the shower wearing only a towel. So is Melchett, who, while attracted to the singer Gorgeous Georgina (utterly failing to recognise Lieutenant George), is outraged when she is replaced by what he perceives as a drag act involving Bob. In "Private Plane", she appears to have revealed the truth to Melchett, as she is shown dressed in more gender-neutral clothes and goes by the name "Bobbie", but still serves as Melchett's driver. As in Blackadder II, she is seduced by Squadron Commander the Lord Flashheart, and runs off with him, much to Blackadder's annoyance.

Lord Flashheart[edit]

Lord Flashheart (Rik Mayall) is the name of two characters. The first Lord Flashheart appeared in a single scene of the first episode of the second series of Blackadder. His descendant, Squadron Commander the Lord Flashheart, appeared as a major character in the fourth series in an episode called "Private Plane". In the credits of this episode the name Flashheart is written Flasheart.

Lord Flashheart is boisterous, arrogant and appears very attractive to all the women he comes in contact with. He is extremely popular among his peers, and immediately becomes the centre of attention whenever he enters a room, usually by bursting through a wall in a spectacular fashion. The two Flashhearts are stereotypes of a certain kind of hero (the Elizabethan swashbuckler and the World War I RFC flying ace, respectively), slanted to emphasise the negative qualities associated with such characters such as narcissism, sexism and promiscuity. His catchphrase is to shout "Woof!" or "Let's do-oo-ooooo it!" very loudly, while thrusting his pelvis suggestively. He commonly uses sexual innuendoes in ordinary conversation, for example, "Am I pleased to see you, or did I just put a canoe in my pocket?" Rik Mayall later recalled, "I was surprised when they asked me. Very honouring that they asked me. 'Alright,' I said, 'I'll do it as long as I get more laughs than Rowan.'"[4]

Non-recurring major characters[edit]

Prince Ludwig the Indestructible[edit]

Prince Ludwig the Indestructible (Hugh Laurie) appears in "Chains", the final episode of Blackadder II, as a German master of disguise who kidnaps Lord Blackadder and Lord Melchett, in 1566 and imprisons them in his dungeon under the watch of German guards and a Spanish inquisitorial co-conspirator. Though his initial plans to infiltrate Richmond Palace and kill Queen Elizabeth I are foiled by Blackadder and Melchett, he resurfaces moments later, disguised as the Queen, and murders the entire main cast. From a real-world point of view, this is part of Hugh Laurie's continuous set of appearances in Blackadder, but the last of those in which he is only credited as a guest actor as Laurie would later join the main cast for Blackadder the Third and Blackadder Goes Forth.

King Richard IV of England[edit]

King Richard IV of England, Scotland and Ireland (Brian Blessed) is the father of Prince Harry and Prince Edmund Plantagenet, and serves as the main antagonist in the first series. The character is very loosely based on the historical figure Richard of Shrewsbury, 1st Duke of York, one of the Princes in the Tower who disappeared in 1483. In the alternate chronology of The Black Adder, King Richard III of England (played by Peter Cook) is introduced as being a "kind and thoughtful man" who cherishes his nephews (the two princes) placed into his care, in contrast to the common historical portrait of Richard III as a usurper who murdered the princes. Richard, Duke of York grew into "a big strong boy" and becomes his uncle's favourite, reflected by his being seated at the side of the king at the banquet on the eve of the Battle of Bosworth Field, which Richard wins. As such, Richard supports the House of York during the Wars of the Roses.[5] Richard is crowned King Richard IV of England after Richard III is accidentally killed by Edmund, and though he by far favours Harry over Edmund, he loves both of his sons dearly and is saddened by Edmund's imminent death in the final episode. As he drinks a toast to his son's honour, he and the entire royal court are poisoned fatally after Lord Percy poisons the entire vat of wine in an exaggerated attempt to kill the Black Seal, a group of assassins led by Edmund's arch-enemy.

Gertrude of Flanders[edit]

Gertrude of Flanders (Elspet Gray) is the wife of King Richard of England and Scotland and mother of Princes Harry and Edmund. In attitude, Gertrude mainly seems to be rather distant and absent-minded. She once had an affair with a Scottish laird, which may have resulted in Edmund's birth. Even Gertrude doesn't seem entirely sure who his father was. She appears mainly to give Edmund unwanted advice and embarrass him. The character's name is never given in dialogue in The Black Adder, her name only appearing in the credits. Like her family, she is killed in the series' finale after drinking wine poisoned by Lord Percy.

Bishop of Bath and Wells[edit]

The baby-eating Bishop of Bath and Wells (Ronald Lacey) is an enforcer for a loan-sharking operation, "The Black Bank," in the episode "Money". Blackadder owes him and the "Black Bank" 1,000 pounds, and when Blackadder cannot afford to pay, the bishop threatens to shove a hot poker into his bowels. Blackadder drugs the bishop and blackmails him by having the bishop sketched in bed with Lord Percy.

Nursie[edit]

Nursie (Patsy Byrne), real name "Bernard", appears in all six episodes of Blackadder II and two of the Blackadder specials; Blackadder's Christmas Carol and Blackadder: Back & Forth. Once Queenie's childhood nurse, by the time of her appearances in Blackadder II, Nursie is either senile or otherwise irreversibly stupid, but remains at court at the side of the Queen for unknown reasons, as the Queen repeatedly treats Nursie with contempt. Nursie frequently embarrasses herself by openly recounting tales of the Queen's childhood, prompting Queenie's standard reply of "Shut up, Nursie." She is also known for her complete non sequiturs in conversation. Lord Blackadder describes her as "a sad, insane old woman with an udder fixation."[6] In the series' finale, she is killed by Prince Ludwig the Indestructible along with the entire main cast. In Blackadder's Christmas Carol, a vision of the future depicts her as the silliest of Queen Asphyxia XIX's triple husbandoid.

Byrne later said that she was sometimes asked - in reference to a scene in the final episode of Blackadder II - whether she kept the cow costume in her wardrobe.[7]

Harry, Prince of Wales[edit]

Prince Henry "Harry" Plantagenet, Earl of March (1460-1498) (Robert East) was in Blackadder (series 1). His Royal titles were the Prince of Wales, Earl of March, Captain of the Guard, Grand Warden of the Northern and Eastern Marches, Chief Lunatic of the Duchy of Gloucester, Viceroy of Wales, Sheriff of Nottingham, Marquess of the Midlands, Lord Po-Maker-In-Ordinary, and Harbinger of the Doomed Rat. A member of the House of York, Harry is the first son of King Richard IV of England (Brian Blessed) and Queen consort Gertrude of Flanders (Elspet Gray) and great-nephew of Richard III (Peter Cook). He has a younger brother (possibly his half-brother), Prince Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh (Rowan Atkinson).

The first portrayal of Prince Harry in the Blackadder story world was in the pilot episode which was shot in 1983 but never broadcast. In this episode, which is set sometime during the Elizabethan Era, Harry's character is one of two sons of the King and Queen of England. Although monarchs are not explicitly named, Harry may be intended as a fictional offspring of Queen Elizabeth I. This version of the character was played by the actor Robert Bathurst.[8] Prince Harry made his first televised appearance (played by Robert East) in episode 1 of The Black Adder, entitled "The Foretelling", in which the events of the first series are set up by rewriting a period of English history and telling the story of a fictional ruling monarch who succeeds Richard III after the Battle of Bosworth Field.

Mrs Miggins[edit]

Mrs Miggins (Helen Atkinson-Wood) plays a supporting role in Blackadder the Third.[9][10] In Blackadder II, Mrs Miggins is referred to as a pie shop owner but never appears. In the third series, Mrs Miggins plays a major role and appears in all episodes. She now owns a coffee shop that Blackadder visits regularly. In the final episode, she runs off with Blackadder's Scottish cousin, MacAdder.[11]

Queenie[edit]

"Queenie" (Miranda Richardson) is a caricature of the historical figure Queen Elizabeth I of England, as the main antagonist in Blackadder II. Though only twice referred to as "Queenie" in the series, this name is commonly used by the general public.[citation needed] In contrast to the usual regal and austere depiction of Elizabeth I, Miranda Richardson's portrayal is childish, spoiled and silly, possessing a fiery temper.[12] Amanda Barrie's portrayal of Cleopatra in the 1964 film Carry on Cleo as a childish seductress has been suggested as an inspiration for Richardson's interpretation of Elizabeth I.[13] It has been remarked that Queenie closely resembles the character Violet Elizabeth Bott featured in the Just William books of Richmal Crompton.

Queenie's immature behaviour is expressed in her desire to "get squiffy and seduce nobles" (and force presents off them on pain of death). A naughty schoolgirl at heart, Queenie loves to party, play games and get drunk. If anyone fails to laugh at her jokes, they risk execution, but, to her followers' bemusement and frustration, she sometimes tires of their toadying and welcomes a more cynical approach.

Minor characters[edit]

  • Lord Angus (Valentine Dyall) - ("Witchsmeller Pursuivant")
  • Anon (Mark Arden) - A guard at the Royal Palace, along with Soft. ("Witchsmeller Pursuivant", "The Black Seal")
  • Tally Applebottom (Jane Freeman) - A peasant with an apparent inability to stop laughing madly, she very nearly committed bigamy with Prince Edmund. ("The Queen of Spain's Beard")
  • Thomas Applebottom (Howard Lew Lewis) - Tally Applebottom's husband. He wasn't terribly happy that Prince Edmund was attempting to marry his wife. He also appears in the prologue of "Witchsmeller Pursuivant" in which he dies of the Black Death. ("The Queen of Spain's Beard", "Witchsmeller Pursuivant")
  • Tom the Balladeer (Tony Aitken) - A minstrel who sings songs about the continued failures of Lord Edmund Blackadder (Elizabethan). Other than a brief scene in "Money", the minstrel appeared only in the closing credits to each episode of Blackadder II where he in the first episodes annoys Blackadder and gets hunted in the later episodes. In one episode, the minstrel appeared before Blackadder (coincidentally, the same one he had a brief appearance in). In the last episode, Blackadder caught the minstrel and possibly drowned him. (Blackadder II)
  • Beadle and the Enormous Orphans - Beadle, an orphan master (Denis Lill) and his enormous orphans (David Barber, Erkan Mustafa and David Nunn) appear in the Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol. Despite claiming to be poor, all three of the orphans are actually morbidly obese. They are, in fact, so fat that they must push and shove each other in order to all fit into a room, with Blackadder remarking that he is always afraid of "bursting one of them and getting showered in two dozen semi-digested pies."
  • Friar Bellows (Paul Brooke) - A member of The Black Seal and the clergy, Friar Bellows' godliness was somewhat less than complete given his fondness for fornication and murder. ("The Black Seal")
  • Ivor "Jest Ye Not Madam" Biggun (Geoffrey McGivern) was a politician who participated in the Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election in "Dish and Dishonesty", standing for the Standing at the Back Dressed Stupidly and Looking Stupid Party (an early frivolous party and possibly a parody of the Official Monster Raving Loony Party). Biggun loses the seat to Baldrick, but, unlike the others, takes his defeat jovially, saying that: "if you can't laugh, what can you do?". His party's policies included: "the compulsory serving of asparagus at breakfast, free corsets for the under-fives, and the abolition of slavery", the latter of which was apparently added "for a joke".
  • Brigadier General Horace Bolsom (actor unknown) was a candidate for the Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election in "Dish and Dishonesty", standing for the Keep Royalty White, Rat Catching and Safe Sewage Residents Party.
  • Philip of Burgundy aka "The Hawk/Thrush"(Patrick Allen) - The deadly childhood rival of Prince Edmund, he was known to his enemies as "The Hawk" (or, when a child, "The Thrush"). Philip managed to wrest control of The Black Seal away from Edmund, leading to Edmund's hideously violent but amusing death on a bizarre torture device, the "amusing" part coming from the feathers used to tickle Edmund under "what's left of [his] arms". Philip was poisoned by Baldrick and Percy along with the members of The Black Seal. ("The Black Seal")
  • Sir Talbot Buxomly MP (Denis Lill) was a Member of Parliament for the village of Dunny-on-the-Wold in Suffolk, who was recruited by Mr. E. Blackadder and the Prince Regent in the Blackadder the Third episode "Dish and Dishonesty" to prevent the Prince Regent from being removed from the Civil List in the House of Commons, but soon died as he sat on a chair while meeting the Prince, and left his seat open for a by-election in Dunny-on-the-Wold.
  • Cain & Abel (Bert Parnaby & Roy Evans) - A pair of peasants with a great admiration for a faceful of manure. ("The Archbishop", "Witchsmeller Pursuivant", "The Black Seal")
  • Lord Chiswick (Stephen Tate) - Lord Chiswick was a courtier to King Richard IV of England. His most significant function appeared to be keeping the King supplied with fresh horses, although he did occasionally curb his master's fiery temper.
  • Cordelia (Gretchen Franklin) - One of a triad of three haggard witches. Named Goneril, Regan and Cordelia after King Lear's daughters, they foretell that Edmund shall become king, despite him referring to them as "hideous crones", "loathsome drabs" and "snaggle-toothed vultures". It is only after he leaves that they realise they've mixed him up with Henry Tudor (i.e. the genuine Macbeth). They appear to make this mistake frequently. The witches appeared in the episode, "The Foretelling".
  • Sir Justin de Boinod (Bill Wallis) - An English knight of Norman descent freshly returned from the Crusades, he and his drunken colleague Sir George de Boeuf attempted to murder Edmund Plantagenet, Archbishop of Canterbury after misunderstanding the King. Fortunately for Edmund, they failed to fully replicate the murder of Thomas a Becket and Edmund was merely excommunicated. ("The Archbishop")
  • Sir George de Boeuf (David Delve) - One of the two knights involved in the failed assassination of Prince Edmund during his tenure as Archbishop of Canterbury. ("The Archbishop")
  • Maria Escalosa, Infanta of Spain (Miriam Margolyes) - Infanta of Spain, Maria Escalosa was briefly engaged to Prince Edmund following an arranged marriage by the King for his own political gains. Expecting a ravishing Royal princess, Edmund was rather disappointed to discover she didn't quite accord with his mental picture, being short and fat.
  • Nurse Mary Fletcher-Brown (Miranda Richardson), appears in the Blackadder Goes Forth episode "General Hospital". Like Amy Hardwood in Blackadder the Third she has a "fluffy bunny act", (her bedside manner), but is really a highly intelligent cynic. Though Prince George was originally disgusted by Amy's stupid act, his descendant Lieutenant George thinks Nurse Mary is "an absolute peach," and appears to be regressing to the nursery under her care. She had a brief fling with Captain Blackadder, but this time it was he who was leading her on, suspecting her of being a German spy and eventually exposing her (calling her "Nurse Fleischer-Baum") with three few supposed facts. She was sent to be executed by firing squad, but when Blackadder learns that the real source of information being leaked to the Germans was an unwitting Lieutenant George, he rushes after her, and it is unclear as to whether or not she survives.
  • Le Comte de Frou Frou (Tim McInnerny) appeared in Blackadder the Third. He was presumably a foppish, disgruntled, homesick French aristocrat. The character was forced to flee his home country for England, in order to escape the French Revolution. He was later revealed to be a disguise adopted by Prince George's friend Lord Topper, alias one half of the Scarlet Pimpernel.
  • Mad Gerald (Rik Mayall) - A one-time cellmate of Prince Edmund whilst the latter was waiting to be eaten alive by snails, he had two friends: Mr Rat and, fortunately for Edmund, Mr Key, which Gerald made from his own teeth. ("The Black Seal") Actor Rik Mayall would later return as Lord Flashheart in Blackadder II's "Bells", as Squadron Commander The Lord Flashheart in Blackadder Goes Forth's "Private Plane" and as Robin Hood in Blackadder: Back & Forth.
  • Goneril (Kathleen St John) - One of a triad of three haggard witches, modelled on the witches from Macbeth. Named Goneril, Regan and Cordelia after King Lear's daughters, they foretell that Edmund shall become king, despite him referring to them as "hideous crones", "loathsome drabs" and "snaggle-toothed vultures". It is only after he leaves that they realise they've mixed him up with Henry Tudor (i.e. the genuine Macbeth). They appear to make this mistake frequently. The witches appeared in the episode, "The Foretelling".
  • Field Marshal Sir Douglas Haig (Geoffrey Palmer) - The hard nosed leader of the British Army during the First World War whose best advice for Blackadder to escape the final push was to stick two pencils up his nose and his underpants on his head so that he would be classed as insane and sent home, a plan which Blackadder had already tried... "The phrase rhymes with clucking bell." (i.e. "fucking hell").
  • Amy Hardwood (Miranda Richardson) - Amy was chosen by Mr. E. Blackadder to be the bride of his master, the Prince Regent, due to his belief that her father, a moronic industrialist with a Northern accent, was extremely rich. However, upon the discovery that Mr. Hardwood wished his daughter to marry the Prince for his money, Blackadder called it off, realising the Hardwoods were impoverished.
  • Keanrick and Mossop (Hugh Paddick and Kenneth Connor) are two actors who run a local theatre that Prince George frequents. Despite their flamboyant, over the top and unconvincing style of acting, George loves their performances, although he can never tell that they aren't real. His butler, Mr. E. Blackadder is not as interested in their performances.
  • Kate's Father (Edward Jewesbury) - The father of "Bob", or rather Kate. As he had grown too old to support himself and his daughter, he was in favour of the idea of Kate becoming a prostitute. Instead, she decided to go to London, disguise herself as a boy, and seek her fortune. ("Bells")
  • Jack Large (Big Mick) - Also known as Unspeakably Violent Jack, the Bull-Buggering, Priest-Killer of No Fixed Abode, his fearsome reputation was somewhat undermined by his being somewhat less than five foot tall. Jack was a member of The Black Seal and died after being poisoned by Baldrick and Percy. ("The Black Seal")
  • Princess Leia of Hungary (Natasha King) - In 1492, at the age of eight, she married the show's central character, Prince Edmund, although she was originally betrothed to his brother, Prince Harry. A last-minute complication had changed matters, and Edmund was married to Leia instead of his original fiancée, Maria Escalosa, the Spanish Infanta (played by Miriam Margolyes). Three years later, Leia seemed uncomprehending or unconcerned at the prospect of her husband being burned as a witch.
  • Reverend Lloyd (John Rapley) - The priest who nearly bigamously married Prince Edmund to Tally Applebottom via rather violent persuasion by Baldrick. Fortunately, Tally Applebottom's husband Thomas made a well-timed interruption of the ceremony, accompanied by a large scythe. ("The Queen of Spain's Beard")
  • MacAdder (Rowan Atkinson) - The nearly identical—though red-haired—Scottish cousin of Mr. E. Blackadder. He is known as being the "most dangerous man ever to wear a skirt in Europe". He believes he is rightful king of England and plans to incite rebellion, meaning his cousin hates him. He is apparently a skilled swordsman, but also a kipper salesman and married to a woman named Morag back in Scotland though he initiates in an affair with Mrs. Miggins. He had two children, a boy named Jamie and girl Angus. Edmund Blackadder wants him to take his place in the duel with the Iron Duke of Wellington to which MacAdder replies: "Why don't I take the place of the Duke of Wellington and kill the Prince?" Edmund Blackadder tells MacAdder that if he does this he will incur the wrath of the bailiffs. MacAdder thereby declines and leaves for Scotland with Miggins, foiling Blackadder's plan.
  • Dougal MacAngus, 4th Duke of Argyll (Alex Norton) - The character appears in the episode "Born to be King". He is Supreme Commander of the King's Army and the Fourth Duke of Argyll. Upon his return from a crusade against the Turks, he is rewarded for his bravery with Prince Edmund's Scottish lands. Enraged, Edmund schemes to have him stabbed on stage during the entertainment.
  • Messenger (David Nunn) - The character is presented as being clumsy and unintelligent and speaks with a strong estuary English accent.[14] Each time the Messenger appears he enters a room and announces "My Lord, news!". In The Queen of Spain's Beard, he is one of three messengers bearing news about various European nobility, announcing "Lord Wessex is dead!". King Richard's retort, "I like not this news! Bring me some other news!" is based on a line from Shakespeare's Richard III Act 4 Scene 4 in which Richard says, "There, take thou that till thou bring better news," after hearing bad news from a messenger.[15] The Blackadder Messenger is also prone to a kind of compulsive mimicry, mirroring Prince Edmund's movements.[14]
  • Millicent (Nicola Bryant) is Blackadder's rich, spoilt-rotten goddaughter in the Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol. She wears a ridiculously large bonnet with a feather and has a piercing cackle of a laugh that forces Blackadder to wear a pair of earmuffs.
  • Master William Pitt the Even Younger was the fictional younger brother of William Pitt the Younger who took part in the Dunny-on-the-Wold by-election in "Dish and Dishonesty", as a representative of the Whigs. Pitt the Even Younger was put up as a candidate against Baldrick by his older brother, Pitt the Younger, but the announcement was welcomed with only sarcasm, and Mr. E. Blackadder began to ask the name of the candidate, including names such as: Pitt the Toddler, Pitt the Embryo, and Pitt the Glint in the Milkman's Eye, poking fun at Pitt the Younger's adolescence.
  • Queen Victoria (Miriam Margolyes) and Prince Albert (Jim Broadbent) are two main characters in the Christmas special Blackadder's Christmas Carol. Victoria, while portrayed as being quite small and fat, with Blackadder remarking that she is "the winner of "the round Britain's shortest, fattest, dumpiest woman" competition," is not portrayed in a similar way to Queenie, being portrayed instead as kind hearted and pleasant, with her favourite Christmas habit being going out posing as common folk with Albert to determine and reward the virtuous. Albert, meanwhile, is portrayed as somewhat dim-witted, being unable to keep secrets, thus causing him to inadvertently reveal his wife's surprise presents, and having a thick German accent.
  • King Richard III of England (Peter Cook) is a fictionalised version of the real Richard III of England. The series' first episode, "The Foretelling", explains that King Richard III was actually a kind, benevolent ruler who doted on his nephews, and that his popular image as a murderous usurper is based on lies spread by his rival, Henry Tudor.
  • Captain Redbeard Rum (Tom Baker) - A deranged seafarer who claims to have had his legs "sliced clean off by a falling sail, and swept into the sea before [my] very eyes" and possesses "a beard you could lose a badger in". Rum is the sole captain with, according to Sir Walter Raleigh, few enough marbles to aid Blackadder in the his trip around the Cape of Good Hope, and hence captains Blackadder's voyage of discovery - a trip that was intended to be little more than to France and back, but somehow ends up in Australia. Unlike the average seafarer, Rum actually seem to prefer drinking his own urine to water. Percy notes that Rum began doing so before the water ran out.
  • Mrs. Scratchit (Pauline Melville) is a woman who appears in Blackadder's Christmas Carol. While seemingly a weak and sweet-natured woman, she is actually a very greedy con artist who has a "crippled" son called Tiny Tom, who is, in fact, morbidly obese (weighing fifteen stone and is "built like a brick privy".) She starts off swindling £17 off Blackadder in return for 17 matchsticks, claiming it is needed to feed herself and her family, claiming they are too poor to afford any meals, apart from "what Grandfather can scrape from under his big toenail."
  • Lord Smedley (Nigel Planer) - An extremely annoying friend of George and one half of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the other half being his friend Lord Topper. He is killed by a suicide pill given to him by Blackadder when he is disguised as Madame Guillotine in order to rescue him and Baldrick. ("Nob and Nobility")
  • Brigadier Sir Bernard Proudfoot Smith (Bill Wallis) - A patient with thick German accent at the hospital in the fourth series episode "General Hospital." Captain Darling thinks he is the German spy, but he is revealed at the end of the episode to be the finest spy in British Army, who picked up "a teensy-veensy bit" of an accent while working undercover in Germany.
  • Lord Topper (Tim McInnerny) - An extremely irritating friend of George he is offered the chance to go and rescue a French aristocrat by Blackadder but he refuses. He then disguises himself as Le Comte de Frou Frou and is 'rescued' by Blackadder and Baldrick. After being captured by an evil revolutionary (Chris Barrie) and escaping, he reveals himself to be Topper and, coincidently, one half of the Scarlet Pimpernel, the other half being his friend, Lord Smedley, who had already been killed by a suicide pill given to him by Blackadder. When he is about to tell George the truth about his 'rescue', he is also killed the same way as Smedley, Blackadder slipping a suicide pill into his wine. ("Nob and Nobility")
  • Nathaniel, Lord Whiteadder (Daniel Thorndike) and Lady Whiteadder (Miriam Margolyes) are Blackadder's Puritanical aunt and uncle in the episode Beer. Blackadder describes them as "the most fanatical Puritans in England" and is pleased to get a message that they are coming to his house to discuss their "whopping great inheritance." Unfortunately, Blackadder's meeting with them coincides with a drinking competition Melchett and some friends have challenged him to. He is, therefore, forced to hold the two dinners in separate rooms.
  • The Wise Woman (Barbara Miller) - A "deranged druid" (according to Blackadder) who Baldrick habitually used to cure medical complaints. Out of desperation, Blackadder decided to brave the swampy wilderness of Putney and seek her counsel to cure him of his "homosexuality" when he found himself attracted to "Bob". She recommends Blackadder sleep with "him", as that's what she tends to do with people she's attracted to - although she has to drug them first, due to her being "so old and warty". Her subsequent alternative solutions are met with equal disdain; Blackadder vehemently refuses to kill 'Bob', declines the suggestion to kill himself, and treats the solution of killing everybody in the whole world- thus preventing anyone from learning his secret- with disdain. ("Bells")
  • The Witchsmeller Pursuivant(Frank Finlay) - During the episode "Witchsmeller Pursuivant", plague breaks out and reports of strange and unexplained phenomena, such as "two women claiming to have been raped by a fish", abound. The council of Lords recommends that "The Witchsmeller Pursuivant" be sent for, in order to track down and eliminate the presumed cause of the ill omens. After Edmund mocks the Witchsmeller by referring to him as "Old Big-nose", the Witchsmeller tricks Edmund into incriminating himself as a witch. During the ensuing trial, Edmund, Percy and Baldrick are found guilty of witchcraft and sentenced to be burned at the stake. However, the Queen provides Edmund with an apparent voodoo dummy of the Witchsmeller, which falls into the fire when Edmund is about to be burned, resulting in the Witchsmeller dying himself and Edmund being apparently cleared.

References[edit]

  1. ^ General Meltchett wears the star of a Knight Commander of the Order of the Bath (Military Division) on the left breast of his mess uniform in episode 3, "Major Star", of Blackadder Goes Forth.
  2. ^ "Interview with Stephen Fry, broadcast 17/08/07". YouTube. Retrieved 21 July 2007. 
  3. ^ "The Insider". 
  4. ^ Rik Mayall Blackadder Interview - YouTube
  5. ^ Curtis et al. 1999: 1
  6. ^ "Blackadder, Chains". BBC. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  7. ^ "Blackadder interviews". BBC. Retrieved 2009-07-19. 
  8. ^ "The Pilot Episode". Blackadder Hall. Retrieved 26 December 2010. 
  9. ^ Paul Evans (freelance writer) (28 March 2008). "Enamoured of Carla Bruni?". New Statesman. Retrieved 11 April 2011. "As Mrs Miggins said of the fleeing French aristos in Blackadder the Third: “ooh la la and an éclair for both of us!”" 
  10. ^ Michael Klossner (2002), The Europe of 1500-1815 on film and television, p. 44 
  11. ^ David Brandon (2008), Life in a Seventeenth-Century Coffee Shop, "Most of us would have seen the hilarious depiction of Mrs Miggins' coffee shop in "Blackadder," but what was it really like in the first cafes, as coffee drinking became more popular?" 
  12. ^ Grabes, Herbert (2005). Literature, literary history and cultural memory. Gunter Narr Verlag. p. 206. ISBN 978-3-8233-4175-8. 
  13. ^ Ross, Robert; Collins, Phil (2002). The Carry on companion. Batsford. p. 46. ISBN 978-0-7134-8771-8. 
  14. ^ a b Roberts, J.F. The True History of the Black Adder : The complete and unadulterated history of the creation of a comedy legend. London: Preface. p. 121. ISBN 9781848093461. Retrieved 1 January 2013. 
  15. ^ "The Queen of Spain's Beard". BBC Comedy. May 2003. Retrieved 1 January 2013.