The Black Adder is the first series of the BBC sitcom Blackadder, written by Richard Curtis and Rowan Atkinson, directed by Martin Shardlow and produced by John Lloyd. The series was originally aired on BBC One from 15 June 1983 to 20 July 1983, and was a joint production with the Australian Seven Network. Set in 1485 at the end of the British Middle Ages, the series is written as a secret history which contends that King Richard III won the Battle of Bosworth Field, only to be unintentionally assassinated, and is succeeded by Richard IV, one of the Princes in the Tower.
The series follows the exploits of Richard IV’s unfavoured second son Edmund in his various attempts to increase his standing with his father and in the final episode his quest to overthrow him. Conceived while Atkinson and Curtis were working on Not the Nine O’Clock News, the series covers a number of medieval issues in Britain in a humorous and often anachronistic manner – witchcraft, Royal succession, European relations, the Crusades and the conflict between the Crown and the Church. The filming of the series was highly ambitious, with a large cast and much location shooting. The series also features Shakespearean dialogue, often adapted for comic effect.