The Black Seal

Blackadder1498. Humiliations at court finally lead Edmund to attempt to overthrow the King. He dismisses Baldrick and Percy and sets out to form The Black Seal, a band consisting of the six most evil men in the land. With their help he hopes to gain the Crown. But Edmund’s new friends are not really the type you can trust in a pinch…

Order the DVDswritten by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson
with additional dialogue by William Shakespeare
directed by Martin Shardlow
music by Howard Goodall

Guest Cast: John Carlisle (Murdered Lord), Bert Parnaby (Cain), Roy Evans (Abel), Forbes Collins (Trusting Father), Des Webb (Person of unrestricted growth), John Barrard (Retired Morris Dancer), Perry Bevon (Pigeon Vendor), John Hallam (Sir Wilfred Death), Roger Sloman (Three-Fingered Pete), Patrick Malahide (Guy de Glastonbury), Ron Cook (Sean, the Irish Bastard), Paul Brooke (Friar Bellows), Big Mick (Jack Large), Rik Mayall (Mad Gerald), Patrick Allen (Philip of Burgandy, The Hawk)

Notes: Edmund’s wife, Princess Leia, is notably not among those killed at the end of this episode. While Leia was likely around ten at the time of her marriage (1492), she would be about sixteen by the time of this episode, a more than reasonable child-bearing age for the day, thus assuring the Blackadder line to follow.

Cain and Abel (portrayed by Bert Parnaby and Roy Evans) have had a hard time. Three years earlier (in Witchsmeller Pursuivant) they were still healthy, if stupid. By 1498, they’re both blind.

Rik Mayall returned for appearances in Blackadder II (Bells), Blackadder Goes Forth (Private Plane), and Blackadder: Back & Forth. The role of Mad Gerald was credited in this episode to “himself.” Mayall is best known for his alternative comedy work in such TV series as The Young Ones, Bottom and The New Statesmen. (He also starred in Drop Dead Fred (1991), but let’s not hold that against him.)

LogBook entry by Philip R. Frey