Season 1 Episode 1

The Foretelling

Aired Wednesday 9:30 PM Jun 15, 1983 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
70 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

After arriving late for the Battle of Bosworth Field, Edmund kills King Richard III (whom he thinks is stealing his horse) and secures the crown for his father.

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  • Not exactly the prestigious start Blackadder should have gotten, but still good in parts.

    I guess Blackadder needed to find its sea legs before it became a good show. The first series was pretty bad overall, but series 2, 3 and 4 are some of the best television you'll ever find.

    This episode is overlong, with too few laughs and too many drawn out sequences. I get the feeling that had it been around 20 minutes instead of 32 that it would have been forced to be more compacted and would be far better, but alas it feels like something that is sat through rather than enjoyed.

    But I'm being harsh, I have to thank this episode for starting the beautiful sitcom that was Blackadder. It's just not a laudable start...moreless
Brian Blessed

Brian Blessed

Richard IV

Robert East

Robert East

Harry, Prince of Wales

Rowan Atkinson

Rowan Atkinson

Edmund, Duke of Edinburgh

Tim McInnerny

Tim McInnerny

Percy, Duke of Northumberland

Elspet Gray

Elspet Gray

The Queen

Tony Robinson

Tony Robinson


Peter Cook

Peter Cook

Richard III

Guest Star

Peter Benson

Peter Benson

Henry VII

Guest Star

Philip Kendall

Philip Kendall


Guest Star

Patrick Allen

Patrick Allen


Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • Goof: Though the episode is set in the summer of 1485 (21 & 22 August), most trees in the background have lost their leaves. The fact that it was shot in winter becomes even more obvious when Edmund leaves the castle in one of the last scenes and there is snow on the ground.

    • Goof: After Blackadder has his haircut, the camera zooms in on his foot. He lifts his foot revealing a red tape marker on the floor.

    • Goof: When Blackadder beheads King Richard, Richard's head and helmet change position while lying on the ground.

  • QUOTES (13)

    • Edmund: Well, some people aren't fighting, they're just lying down!
      Baldrick: They're dead, my lord.

    • Prince Edmund: History, here I come!

    • (About Edmund)
      King Richard III: What a little turd.

    • Prince Edmund: They're coming! Run for the hills!
      Baldrick: No, my lord! They're coming from the hills!
      Prince Edmund: Run away from the hills! Run away from the hills! If you see the hills, go the other way!

    • Prince Edmund: Let all men who go to don armour tomorrow remember to go before they don armour tomorrow.

    • Prince Edmund: Well, frankly, everyone thought you were dead.
      Richard III: Well, frankly, I am.
      (His head floats away)

    • Prince Edmund: Tomorrow I shall prove that I am a man.
      Percy: Well, you are a man.
      Prince Edmund: But how shall it be proved, Percy?
      Percy: Well, they could always look up that tree in Rutland.

    • (Baldrick holds up a head, separated from its body)
      Baldrick: Oh dear...Richard III.

    • Percy: It will be a great day tomorrow for us nobles.
      Prince Edmund: Well, not if we lose, Percy. If we lose, I'll be chopped to pieces. My arms will end up at Essex, my torso in Norfolk, and my genitalia stuck up in a tree somewhere in Rutland.

    • Prince Edmund: And what is your name?
      Baldrick: Baldrick, my Lord.
      Prince Edmund: Then I will call you... Baldrick, Baldrick.
      Baldrick: And I will call you my Lord, my Lord.

    • Edmund: Or, as I shall be known from now on: The Black... Vegetable!
      Baldrick: My Lord, wouldn't something like 'The Black Adder' sound better?
      Edmund: No, wait. I think I have a better idea... What about…The Black…Adder!


      The sound of hoofbeats cross the glade
      Good folk, lock up you son and daughter
      Beware the deadly flashing blade
      Unless you want to end up shorter
      Black Adder! Black Adder!
      He rides a pitch black steed
      Black Adder! Black Adder!
      He's very bad indeed

      Black, his gloves of finest mole
      Black, his codpiece made of metal
      His horse is blacker than a vole
      His pot is blacker than his kettle
      Black Adder! Black Adder!
      With many a cunning plan
      Black Adder! Black Adder!
      You horrid little man!

    • Baldrick: (as he finds King Richard's head on Bosworth Field, and in a tone of voice that suggests just a minor inconvenience) Oh, dear Richard the Third.

  • NOTES (3)


    • King Richard III: What a little turd.

      Richard the Third is Cockney rhyming slang for turd in the UK.

    • Richard/Witch: It was him!/You shall be king!!
      There are not one but TWO Macbeths (Ooops! I mean "The Scottish play"!!) references here. The first is when Black Adder sees Richard III's ghost at the table, but no one else does, and goes a bit mad. The same thing happened in Macbeth as one of his victims came as a ghost during a party, and the witches at the end are of course the same witches that Macbeth saw at the start of the play.