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The Black Adder: Witchsmeller Pursuivant (BBC-1 13 Jul 1983, with Frank Finley)

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In Witchsmeller Pursuivant it’s 1495 and the King contracts the most terrible of diseases. Worse than a runny nose or one of those irritating tickles you get in the back of your throat, it is the dreaded Black Death. He immediately blames it on witchcraft and sends for the only man who can sniff out the hocus-pocus — the Witchsmeller.

Black Adder and the WitchsmellerLord Percy is in no doubt that witchcraft is afoot. He tells Edmund: ‘Only this morning in the courtyard, I saw a horse with two heads and two bodies!’ ‘Two horses standing next to each other?’ suggests Edmund. ‘Yes, I suppose it could have been,’ concedes Percy.

The Witchsmeller’s finger of suspicion soon points at Edmund who faces being burnt at the stake, something which his new wife, the beautiful Princess Leia of Hungary, is quite looking forward to. His salvation rests with Percy who is defending him at the trial. They might as well fetch the matches now. The case looks lost when the Witchsmeller produces a signed confession from Edmund’s dead horse, Black Satin, confirming that his former master is a servant of Satan. And another witness states that Edmund has fathered a poodle. But with the day of execution dawning, the tables are dramatically turned on the Witchsmeller himself.

Guest Star: Frank Finlay
Playing the cruel, corrupt Witchsmeller was a far cry from Frank Finlay’s usual roles. For he had made his name as a dangerously suave womaniser in 1970s drama series such as Casanova and A Bouquet of Barbed Wire. Even the Witchsmeller’s best friends (not that he had any, given the nature of his job) would be hard pushed to call him suave.

production details
UK / BBC One / 1×30 minute episode / Broadcast 13 July 1983

Series: The Black Adder Episode 5 of 6

cast
Rowan Atkinson as Edmund
Tony Robinson as Baldrick
Tim McInnerny as Lord Percy
Elspet Gray as The Queen
Brian Blessed as The King, Richard IV
Robert East as Prince Harry
Natasha King as Leia
Frank Finlay as The Witchsmeller
Richard Murdoch
Peter Schofield
Valentine Dyall
Patrick Duncan
Stephen Frost
Mark Arden
Barbara Miller
Perry Benson
Bert Parnaby
Roy Evans
Forbes Collins
Howard Lew Lewis
Sarah Thomas
Louise Gold

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Episodes

Hazell: Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost (ITV 31 May 1979, with Meg Davies)

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Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost

In Hazell and the Suffolk Ghost our intrepid hero pays a visit to the seaside when an accountant, Peter Harlow, calls him in over a cottage he has been left in a will. He has no idea why he has been left the cottage but since he has taken over ownership more than a few strange things have been happening.

Hazell stays at the cottage for a few days and manages to find no small amount of comfort when Harlow’s wife Stephanie turns up (Harlow himself is in New York). Although there is clearly something spooky going on it’s definitely man made and it doesn’t take Hazell too long to work it out.

The episode was a rare outing outside of London for the series, it was filmed in the East Anglian village of Walberswick and surrounds. Although all the interiors were filmed in studio of coure.

classic quote
I may be common but I’m not stupid

production details
UK / ITV – Thames / 1×50 minute episode / Broadcast Thursday 31 May 1979

Writer: Richard Harris / Production Design: Philip Blowers, Peter Elliot / Director: Mike Vardy

Series: Hazell Season 2 Episode 7

cast
Nicholas Ball as Hazell
Michael Gaunt as Peter Harlow
John Woodnutt as Vicar
Desmond Llewellyn as Bell
Richard Simpson as Weaver
Meg Davies as Stephanie Harlow
Desmond McNamara as Tel
Peter Woodward as Gregory Summers
Joy Steward as Mrs Summers

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Episodes

Blake’s 7: Breakdown (BBC-1 6 Mar 1978, with Julian Glover)

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Episodes

Blake’s 7: Project Avalon (BBC-1 27 Feb 1978, with Glynis Barber)

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