- Blackadder the Third
show_name = Blackadder the Third
caption = Title screen of "Blackadder the Third"
picture_format = 4:3
runtime = 30 minutes
Richard Curtis& Ben Elton
producer = John Lloyd
Rowan Atkinson Tony Robinson Hugh Laurie Helen Atkinson-Wood
language = English
17 September 1987
22 October 1987
num_episodes = 6
preceded_by = "
followed_by = "
Blackadder's Christmas Carol"
website = http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/blackadder/episodes/three/
imdb_id = 0092324
"Blackadder the Third" [Presented as "Black Adder The Third" on the title screen, but referred to as one word by the BBC] is the third series of the
BBC situation comedy" Blackadder", written by Richard Curtisand Ben Elton, which aired from 17 Septemberto 22 October 1987.
The series was set during the
English Regency, and saw the principal character, Mr. E. Blackadderserve as butler to the Prince Regent and have to contend with, or cash in on, the fads of the age embraced by his master.
The third series reduced the number of principal characters again compared to the previous series, but instead included a number of significant
cameo roles by well-known comic actors.Lewisohn, Mark, [http://web.archive.org/web/20050408072600/www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/b/blackadderthethi_7770770.shtml "Blackadder the Third] at the former BBC Guide to Comedy, URL accessed 03 June, 2007]
The programme won a
BAFTAaward for Best Comedy Series in 1988 and received three further nominations. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092324/awards Awards at IMDb] , URL accessed 04 April, 2008]
"Blackadder the Third" is set in the late 18th and early 19th centuries, a period known as the Regency. For much of this time, King George III was incapacitated due to poor mental health, and his son George, the
Prince of Wales, acted as regent. From 1811 until his father's death in 1820, he was known as "the Prince Regent".
In the series, E. Blackadder Esquire (
Rowan Atkinson) is the butler to the Prince of Wales ( Hugh Laurie), a complete fopand idiot. Despite Edmund's respected intelligence and abilities, he has no personal fortune to speak of. According to Edmund he has been serving the Prince Regent all their lives, since they were both breastfeeding(when he had to show the Prince which part of his mother was "serving the drinks").
Tony Robinson) remains similar to his " Blackadder II" predecessor, although his "cunning plans" cease to be even remotely intelligent. As Blackadder himself is now a servant, he is labelled as Blackadder's " dogsbody". In this series, Baldrick often displays a more belligerent attitude towards his master, even referring to him once as a "lazy, big-nosed, rubber-faced bastard".
There are three main sets: the Prince's quarters, which are large and lavish, the below-stairs kitchen hangout of Blackadder and Baldrick, which is dark and squalid (though in fairness, very large and with a very high ceiling), and finally
Mrs. Miggins' coffeehouse. Mrs. Miggins' pie shop was a never-seen running gagin "Blackadder II"; she — or at least, a descendant of hers — is now finally shown, played by Helen Atkinson-Wood.
The plots of the series feature a number of then-contemporary issues and personalities, such as
rotten boroughs, Dr. Samuel Johnson (played by Robbie Coltrane), the French Revolution(featuring Chris Barrie) and the Scarlet Pimpernel, over-the-top theatrical actors, squirrel-hating highwaymen, and a duelwith the Duke of Wellington (played by Stephen Fry).
The last episode of the series also features Rowan Atkinson in the role of Blackadder's Scottish cousin McAdder, supposedly a fierce swordsman. Interesting enough, this leads to a dialogue in which Atkinson is acting both parts. Following the aftermath of this episode, Blackadder finds fortune and ends up (permanently) posing as the Prince Regent after the real Prince Regent, disguised as Blackadder, is shot by the Duke of Wellington.
The series aired for six episodes broadcast on Thursdays on
BBC Oneat 9.30pm between the 17 September 1987 to 22 October 1987. The titles of the episodes are always a noun paired with another, derived from an alliterative cognate adjective. Example: "Sense and Senility" (based on the Jane Austennovel " Sense and Sensibility").
Rowan Atkinsonas Edmund Blackadder
Tony Robinsonas Baldrick
Hugh Laurieas the Prince Regent
Helen Atkinson-Woodas Mrs. MigginsAlthough this series reduced the size of the show's cast, the programme featured a number of guest appearances in each episode. Three of the regular cast members from " Blackadder II" ( Tim McInnerny, Stephen Fry, and Miranda Richardson) all appeared in guest roles. Fry and McInnerny would return as regular performers for the fourth series of "Blackadder".
Music and titles
The opening theme is this time played on a
harpsichord, oboeand celloover close-ups of Blackadder searching a book-case. [ [http://www.howardgoodall.co.uk/tvthemes/tv.htm Official Howard Goodall website] , URL accessed 17 March, 2007] The credits and title appear on the books' spines, and each has a condition and script to match each character, for example Baldrick's is plain and in poor condition. Other amusing interspersed titles include "From Black Deathto Blackadder", "The Blackobite Rebellion of 1745", "The Encyclopædia Blackaddica" and "Landscape Gardening" by Capability Brownadder. [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092324/trivia Trivia] at IMDb.com, URL accessed 03 June, 2007] . Hidden inside a hollow book, he finds a romance novel(complete with steamy cover art) bearing the episode's title. The closing creditsare presented in the style of a theatre programme from a Regency-era play, and with an entirely new closing theme.
The programme won a
BAFTAaward for Best Comedy Series in 1988. In addition the series was nominated for three further awards; Rowan Atkinson for "Best Light Entertainment Performance", Antony Thorpe for "Best Design" and Victoria Pocock for "Best Make Up". [ [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0092324/awards Awards at IMDb] , URL accessed 04 April, 2008] The four series of " Blackadder" were voted into second place in the BBC's " Britain's Best Sitcom" in 2004. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/sitcom/winner.shtml The final top-ten of Britain’s Best Sitcom] , URL accessed 04 April 2008]
* [http://web.archive.org/web/20050408072600/www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/guide/articles/b/blackadderthethi_7770770.shtml "Blackadder the Third"] at the former BBC Guide to Comedy (archive)
* [http://www.bbc.co.uk/comedy/blackadderthethird/ "Blackadder the Third"] at the new BBC Comedy Guide
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