Blackadder

Blackadder (1986)

31 corrected entries

Season 2 generally

Corrected entry: The episode "Bells" and the episode "Head" appear to be inversed in their order - Lord Percy has a beard at the beginning of "Bells," and shaves it off. However, in "Head," he's got it back. In all of the other episodes, he has no beard. Also, the song at the end of "Head" mentions Lord Blackadder's origins (it mentions Edmund's great-grandfather), which makes it more a follow-on from the 1st series.

Correction: Very much your opinion though. The episodes do not necessarily follow directly on from one another (remember, due to the later episode Potato, the beginning and end of the series are separated by several years), giving a fashion follower like Lord Percy plenty of time to grow a beard and shave it off again. These episodes have not been re-ordered on the subsequent DVD releases, or in the book 'Blackadder: The Whole Damn Dynasty' (written by the show's writers Richard Curtis, Ben Elton and John Lloyd), as they surely would have had it been a broadcast error. It must therefore be assumed to be intentional on the part of the makers and not a mistake. Equally, the song only mentions Edmund's ancestor because it fits vaguely in with the idea of Blackadder achieving a little bit of power again, and would have fitted anywhere in the series.

umathegreatstationarybear

Show generally

Corrected entry: In 'Black Adder's Christmas Carol': It is obvious that all the money we see is fake, it is the wrong shape to be real money and is blank on one side.

Correction: As money was in those days. See http://www.wirksworth.org.uk/X522.htm, amongst others.

Ink and Incapability - S3-E2

Corrected entry: Blackadder speaks of Sir Thomas More being burned at the stake; in reality, More was beheaded.

Correction: Character error.

Tailkinker

Chains - S2-E6

Corrected entry: Queen Elizabeth asks Percy "play awhile, to calm my spirits" and he starts singing clapping games and nursery rhymes. One of these is "Ring o' ring o' roses", a song which was not written until the late 1800's (and which, contrary to urban legend, has nothing to do with the bubonic plague - see http://www.snopes.com/language/literary/rosie.htm for more detail).

Correction: This is one of the most frequently submitted (& also frequently corrected) mistakes on the whole site. The programme is written and performed in contemporary English, using language that the general public will understand. Ben Elton & Richard Curtis are highly intelligent well educated men and it is very unlikely that they were unaware of this anachronism (they used 'Happy Birthday' at a different point in the series, for which royalties had to be paid). I think they should be given the benefit of the doubt on this one.

Show generally

Corrected entry: In Back and Forth, Blackadder runs into Shakespeare, and he picks up a copy of Macbeth. But Macbeth was written during the time of James I.

Correction: The whole point of this show is that Blackadder and Baldrick are blundering about with a time machine, changing history as they go. The timeline of Shakespeare's literary output was just one of those changed.

The Foretelling - S1-E1

Corrected entry: Several times in this episode reference is made to Bosworth Field as the battle site, but at the time of the actual battle in 1483 it was known as Redmore or Dadlington Field.

Correction: Historically-set programmes and films routinely update the language, terms and names used in order to be understandable by present-day audiences. This is simply an example of this standard convention and thus cannot be considered a mistake.

Tailkinker

Show generally

Corrected entry: In the Christmas Carol, Queen Elizabeth claims she cannot reverse a death warrant. But in series 2, episode "Potatoe" Walter Raleigh is let off, and in episode 2-2, "Head", she also gives a pardon from death sentence.

Correction: And during the entire series she changes her mind on numerous different issues depending on what mood she is in that day, or even that moment. One of the aspects of her character is the fact that she is inconsistent and changes her mind with child like frequency, as and when the feeling takes her. So hardly a mistake, just a character trait.

Mad Ade

Money - S2-E4

Corrected entry: When Edmund realises he can't pay the bishop his debt and returns home after giving his £85 to the queen from losing his bet. Baldrick gives Edmund a drink which spills over his right leg, which no one seems to notice.

Correction: Er, so? How is spilling your drink a mistake? Edmund's got bigger things to worry about - his impending death for one - than a bit of damp on his leg.

umathegreatstationarybear

Plan D: Private Plane - S4-E4

Corrected entry: While it is conceivable that Flashheart would be so lost as to be unaware of which side of the lines he crashed on, it is absurd that he would mistake a uniformed British officer for a German. The uniforms are completely different - they aren't even the same colour. 'Friend or foe' recognition was hammered into pilots at every stage of their training to prevent them accidentally bombing or strafing their own side.

Correction: Blackadder is not a historical drama. It is a comedy. Flashheart is an idiot, and so obsessed with himself or certain he's right that no one else matters. All he saw was a soldier, so he attacked.

Soylent Purple

Season 1 generally

Corrected entry: Edmund is the son of the King of England and his title is Duke of Edinburgh. However the Dukedom was first created on July 26 1726 so there was no Duke of Edinburgh during the period in which Series 1 is set.

Correction: The whole series is a ridiculous re-writing of English history. The character and his position are entirely fictional creations of the writers. Just as there was no King Richard IV of England or Archbishop of Canterbury called Edmund.

Beer - S2-E5

Corrected entry: In the episode "Beer", set in the 1560s, the "Happy Birthday" song is sung by several characters. This song was not written until 1893 by two American school teachers, copyrighted in 1935. Neither is the song in the public domain. It still earns significant fees to the copyright holders each time it is recorded for sale, i.e. in a movie or on television. In most of the episodes, the various historical inaccuracies are intentional. This one, though, appears to have been an accident, a genuine mistake on the part of the writers. It should be noted that unintentional historical errors are very rare in Blackadder, "unintentional" being the key word.

tromatic

Correction: There is no way this mistake could have been overlooked in the production process. For starters the producers would have had to pay the royalties. This is entirely a deliberate gag by the writers.

Head - S2-E2

Corrected entry: Nursey says that ointment is what's needed when your head's been cut off and that's what she used with Queenie's "sister Mary when they done her." Mary, Queen of Scots, was the only close relative of Elizabeth that was beheaded and called Mary but she was a cousin. Elizabeth's half-sister Mary was not beheaded, she was queen (as Mary I) before Elizabeth and died of influenza and cancer. Also, Mary was beheaded in 1587 when Elizabeth was 54, Miranda Richardson hardly seems 54 and in "Potato," Sir Walter Raleigh has just returned from America and mentions that he left Plymouth in spring of 1552 so Mary is over thirty years away from her beheading.

Correction: Nursey is a complete barmpot who is prone to talking absolute nonsense.

Beer - S2-E5

Corrected entry: I know Percy's not that bright, but he adds "Cardinal Wolsey" to the list of party guests. Given that Wolsey died in 1530, and Queen Elizabeth ruled from 1558 onwards (she wasn't even born until 1533), he must have been dead for at least 28 years by this point (even in the Blackadder world of history). Obviously it's done for the joke, but it's still wrong.

He's My Brother

Correction: A self-correcting mistake. Percy is an idiot. He said the first name that came into his head without stopping to realise Wolsey is dead.

Show generally

Corrected entry: In the first series the lead character's name was written as two words, "The Black Adder" (well, technically three words), and in subsequent series it was written as one word, "Blackadder". This is not a mistake, however; this is the normal way that languages evolve. The name evolved from the two word pseudonym used by Prince Edmund into the one word name used by his descendants.

tromatic

Correction: This is not valid trivia. It's obvious to anyone who watches the show, or even just reads the title.

The Black Seal - S1-E6

Corrected entry: At the end of the episode, all are drinking poisoned wine. When they have drunk the wine, everybody falls off. When they show BlackAdder, one of the man lifts his head up. He's supposed to be dead.

Correction: However, as was shown in a previous scene (with one of the members of the Black Seal), not all people are killed outright by one cup of poison and survive for a short while after.

Plan A: Captain Cook - S4-E1

Corrected entry: Both Captain Blackadder and Captain Darling make references to facetious conversations with Pope Gregory IX. Obviously they didn't speak to the pontiff, but it is not even a joke that way because Gregory IX was pope from 1227-1241; if they wanted the Pope reigning at the time of the Great War, they meant to say Benedict XV (1914-1922).

Correction: That's rather the point in Blackadder's case - he's being facetious, referring to a conversation that's hardly likely to happen. Picking the name of a Pope who's been dead for nearly seven hundred years is entirely in character. And as for Darling, as is established on many occasions throughout the series, he's not exactly the sharpest knife in the drawer, so he doesn't pick up on it when Blackadder claims to be the wrong Pope.

Tailkinker

Show generally

Corrected entry: In 'Blackadder back and Forth', we hear George ask Blackadder for a pair of old underpants so that he'll pay him the £10,000. However, after Blackadder returns from the past the first (and second) times, he has not got the underpants, so why is George giving him the money?

Correction: I suspect it's because they asked Blackadder to prove his time machine worked, by gathering the things they asked for. Two out of 3 isn't bad, so George accepts that the machine works.

Plan E: General Hospital - S4-E5

Corrected entry: During George's first day in the hospital, he mentions in his letter that Blackadder 'lay down and stuck his foot over the side of the trench'. The trench walls are at least 8 feet tall, so there's no way Blackadder could have done this.

Correction: The exact wording is that he lay on his back and stuck his foot over the edge. That doesn't exclude the possibility that he was lying on top of something.

tw_stuart

Season 4 generally

Corrected entry: In the opening sequence, watch the members of the band who aren't in the main cast - there are at least two shots where one or more of the band are obviously smiling/laughing at what the main cast members are doing at the time (most noticeably is when Blackadder yells the "Eyes Right" command - there's a guy a short distance behind Blackadder who grins during the salute.

Correction: I've watched the opening a few times now and can see nobody who is obviously smiling or laughing and especially not during the moment mentioned.

tw_stuart

Its when George yells eyes right. One bloke has a huge grin on his face and is slow to react.

Chains - S2-E6

Corrected entry: How does the Spanish guard know that Blackadder gets the charades clues wrong at first, and then starts getting them right? He doesn't speak any English and would have no idea whether he was making the right connections or not.

Correction: Many people can understand a language far better than they can speak it - the guard is presumably able to understand enough to know when Blackadder's along the right lines (although it isn't good enough to understand Blackadder's rather involved insults).

Tailkinker

Plan E: General Hospital - S4-E5

Corrected entry: Blackadder makes the joke, "I imagine he went to one of the great Universities, Oxford, Cambridge, Hull." This is probably around 1916, but Hull University didn't exist until 1927. We cannot put it down to the joke either, as he explains later the nurse failed to point out its quality, not its existence.

David Mercier

Correction: The original question by Blackadder was not a joke, it was a deliberate mistake to trick Nurse Mary. As for the explanation later when he reveals her to be the spy, his exact words are that only two of them are great universities. The mistake is only valid if he had emphasised the word universities which he does not. His words can easily be interpreted as saying that only two of them are universities which was, at the time, true.

tw_stuart

Plan E: General Hospital - S4-E5

Corrected entry: In the beginning of the scene, Nurse Mary is reading a newspaper. She puts it on the sofa, but few shots later, the newspaper is gone.

xx:xx:xx

Correction: The end and back of the sofa are open and if you watch carefully when she puts it down, the newspaper slides off the sofa and falls on the floor. We don't see the area where it must have fallen so there's no mistake.

tw_stuart

Head - S2-E2

Corrected entry: One of my favorite lines is when Blackadder refers to himself as "The new minister of religious genocide". However, the word "genocide" didn't appear until around the mid-1940's when Raphael Lemkin invented it specifically to describe the events witnessed in the Holocaust.

Correction: 'Blackadder' is written and performed in contemporary English. This is a straightforward film convention, not an error. Only a handful of academics would understand a television show shot in genuine Elizabethan English.

Dish and Dishonesty - S3-E1

Corrected entry: William Pitt the Elder is heard introducing his "Younger" brother as the new Prime Minister. However, Pitt the Elder was Prime Minister from 1766 to 1767, and Pitt the Younger was from 1783 to 1801, so it's inaccurate for them to follow on from each other like this. It's also worth pointing out that if Pitt the Elder is supposed to be the PM at the start of the episode (something Blackadder attests to), then the Prince Regent would have been around 4 years old at the time.

David Mercier

Correction: At the very start, Blackadder does indeed say about "Pit the Elder" but, the next scene (In parliament) the speaker of the house says "I call upon the new Prime Minister of Great Britain and her empires, Mr William Pitt, the Younger". Pitt the Elder never introduces his brother.

Baz94

Plan E: General Hospital - S4-E5

Corrected entry: Black Adder says that there are four verses to "God Save the King." There are actually five, and technically there are six. However, the final verse is very anti-Scottish (added after the Jacobite rebellion of 1745-46), and is very rarely seen and even more rarely performed.

David Mercier

Correction: While this may be true, Blackadder is merely trying to confuse Darling into confessing he's a German spy.

umathegreatstationarybear

The Witchsmeller Pursuivant - S1-E5

Corrected entry: When Edmund, Baldrick and Percy are put on the fire, Edmund says "Oh (cough) off, Baldrick", but his mouth moves as if he's saying a word at the point of the cough - the cough sound was dubbed in over the original word.

Correction: That's the gag. It was not meant to be Edmund coughing, but a member of the crowd. There are few swear words allowed in a sitcom and f*** isn't one of them (which is presumably what Edmund said). The cough was placed at the convenient place as to drown out the original word. There was a similar gag in series 2, whereby the episode is cut off just as Lady Whiteadder is about to say the 'f' word at the end of 'Beer'.

Chimera

Season 2 generally

Corrected entry: Blackadder's house is confusing, particularly the "front" room we spend the series in. In "Potato", Blackadder fires an arrow down on the crowd, and calls down, showing that that room is on the second floor. In "Beer", this room leads into the corridor (which is level with the room), and the front door is level with the street, as shown by the Puritans entering.

Correction: The street that the front door opens out onto need not be at the same level as the street outside the window. The house could be built on the side of a hill so the streets might not be at the same height.

Duel and Duality - S3-E6

Corrected entry: At the end when Blackadder is talking to the king, you see Hugh Laurie (Prince Regent) moving his hand up and scratching his head when he's supposedly dead.

rabid anarchist

Correction: The prince later wakes up telling Baldrick that "I had a cigarette case too" (which would have stopped the bullet that supposedly killed him), so him scratching himself doesn't seem like that much of a mistake to me.

The Black Seal - S1-E6

Corrected entry: How come 'Mr Key' could open the door? Are Mad Gerald's teeth exactly the right shape to fit or something?

Correction: In 1400's door locks were bigger, so "Mr Key" would fit in the lock and open the door.

Bells - S2-E1

Corrected entry: When Edmund goes to see the wise woman, she advises that one option to get out of his predicament would be to "kill Bob". He hasn't told her Bob's name at this point, only that he is in love with his manservant. Although the "wise woman" is a crone and could be thought to have insight of this nature, she's portrayed as far too rubbish.

Eliza

Correction: The first thing she says to him is "Hail Edmund, Lord of Adders Black", she couldn't know who he was since she's a recluse and Edmund tells Baldrick that he'd rather trust Dr Leech then some old crone - so she has some ability in the mystical to know his name.

Chains - S2-E6

Corrected entry: How on earth did Edmund know that the party was going to be a fancy dress party? Queenie, Nursey, Baldrick and Percy didn't discuss it until after Queenie wrote to Edmund to tell him that they were going to spend the money on a party so Edmund couldn't have told Prince Ludwig what to go as.

Correction: When Edmund recounts his words to Prince Ludwig they're actually along the lines of 'IF they have a fancy dress party then Nursie always goes as a cow'. Edmund didn't know for certain that the party was fancy dress he was just preparing for that eventuality so they'd still be able to tell who Ludwig was.

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Quotes

Percy: It will be a great day tomorrow for we nobles.
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.

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Mistakes

Back and Forth: When Blackadder first goes into the time machine to get the items from Baldrick, and the door goes up, you can see a crew member pushing the door closed, wearing a red shirt.

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Trivia

There are in fact two versions of the bonfire scene. Although most countries use the intended censored version (where somebody coughs right as Edmund says the F word) there are a few US editions where you can hear him swearing uninterrupted.

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