‘Blackadder’ turns 40 with never-before-broadcast lost pilot! — Feeling old yet?

Blackadder, L-R. Percy (Tim McInnerny), Baldrick (Sir Tony Robinson) and Edmund Blackadder (Rowan Atkinson). Photo: BBC/Tiger Aspect

Let me just go ahead and start with the following observation and get it out of the way. There’s NO WAY Blackadder is 40 years old, is there? As the series ran from 1983-1989, 2023 marks the 40th anniversary of the Richard Curtis/Rowan Atkinson/Ben Elton series so, it must be so.

To celebrate, UK’s Gold Channel will broadcast two new documentaries, Blackadder: The Lost Pilot and Blackadder: A Cunning StoryIn Blackadder: The Lost Pilot, Baldrick (Sir Tony Robinson) goes on a quest to discover the truth behind the Blackadder origin story.

A Gold channel spokesperson explained: “Tony’s journey takes him back in time to find out where Blackadder really began, and to uncover the story of the never before broadcast 1982 Blackadder pilot episode.”

It’s a personal story for Tony – Baldrick has defined his career and playing the character transformed his life. But Tony didn’t play Baldrick in the pilot, Philip Fox did. And there’s so much about Blackadder‘s beginnings he doesn’t know. Along the way he will speak to comedy greats including the series creator and writer Richard Curtis and co-writer Ben Elton. The climax of the program will be a special screening of the never-before-broadcast pilot.

The second documentary, Blackadder: A Cunning Story, will take a look back at the making of the entire Blackadder series to commemorate the 40th anniversary, featuring contributions from Blackadder‘s “biggest fans” including Jack WhitehallDarren HarriottSarah HadlandArdal O’Hanlon and Nina Wadia.

Sir Tony Robinson reflects back on his 40 years as Baldrick: “It’s been wonderful to journey back to where it all began“. 40 years! Next, you’re going to expect me to believe that Fawlty Towers will turn 50 in 2025! Oh, wait….

In: Comedy