Blackadder (1982–1983)
6 user 1 critic

Witchsmeller Pursuivant 

When the plague rages through Europe everyone blames "witches". When Edmund fails a "test" everyone suddenly becomes his enemy.


Martin Shardlow


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Episode cast overview, first billed only:
Rowan Atkinson ... Prince Edmund / The Great Grumbledook
Frank Finlay ... The Witchsmeller Pursuivant
Elspet Gray ... The Witch Queen
Tim McInnerny ... Percy, A Witch
Tony Robinson ... Baldrick, A Witch
Richard Murdoch Richard Murdoch ... Ross, A Lord
Valentine Dyall ... Angus, A Lord
Peter Schofield Peter Schofield ... Fife, A Lord
Stephen Frost ... Soft, A Guard
Mark Arden Mark Arden ... Anon, A Guard
Perry Benson Perry Benson ... Daft Ned, A Peasant
Bert Parnaby Bert Parnaby ... Dim Cain, A Peasant
Roy Evans Roy Evans ... Dumb Abel, A Peasant
Forbes Collins Forbes Collins ... Dopey Jack, A Peasant
Patrick Duncan Patrick Duncan ... Officer, An Officer


When the plague rages through Europe everyone blames "witches". When Edmund fails a "test" everyone suddenly becomes his enemy.

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TV-PG | See all certifications »

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Release Date:

13 July 1983 (UK) See more »

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Did You Know?


This episode features a number of scenes filmed on location at Alnwick Castle in Northumberland, the setting for King Richard's castle throughout this series. Due to limitations on budget, only selected actors were filmed on location, including Frank Finlay, who filmed scenes there as the Witchsmeller. A production assistant on the series, Hilary Bevan Jones, recalls that she forgot to pick up Finlay from the location at the end of a shoot and left him behind, until the make-up team found him wandering in the snow in full Witchsmeller costume and brought him back to the hotel. See more »


In England, convicted witches were never burned at the stake (unlike in Scotland) as shown. Instead, they were hanged. There is no suggestion that the events portrayed take place north of the Scottish border. See more »


Prince Edmund: [to the Witchsmeller Pursuivant] I've been hearing about your work in Taunton. Imagine that - every single person having an affair with the same duck.
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Crazy Credits

Made in glorious TeleVision See more »


References The Night of the Hunter (1955) See more »

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User Reviews

A classic Blackadder episode, Witchsmeller Pursuivant is a great success!
31 August 2006 | by general-melchettSee all my reviews

"Let him be tried tomorrow!"

Witchsmeller Pursuivant is a truly great Blackadder episode. It is funny, yet strangely moving in a way when Edmund's mother and the young Princess Leia come to meet him in his jail cell. All of the characters keep their humour right up until the end, and there are no boring long dialogue scenes in this movie, save the trial, which isn't really boring. However, in this episode, Baldrick is not as smart as he was, and Blackadder starts to act more mature and intelligent on this one. The Blackadder episodes in this series have continually got better, and Witchsmeller Pursuivant is a strong link on the chain. It should have got a 10, but only gets a 9 because it is just not humorous or dramatic enough to scrape that perfect mark. Even so, it is a good, clever episode, and is one of the highlights of Series 1.

But the creme-de-la-creme of Series 1 is going to be the next episode. But before then, Witchsmeller Pursuivant leaves us satisfied with good humour and a clever plot, and a particularly evil bad guy to remember...

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