ABC TV is broadcasting the 3rd and final series of Robin Hood on ABC2 digital TV from Sunday May 1st at 7:30pm
Fans can purchase Robin Hood Series 1 and Robin Hood Series 2 from Chaos DVD’s for a competitive price
When it was first shown by the BBC in the UK the series was promoted as:
Fun, modern and intelligent, Robin Hood 2006 sets out to entertain a whole new generation [with] a unique blend of exhilarating action adventure, wit and romance. Robin Hood’s striking new look (no tights), coupled with the sharp scripts, updates the popular legend for a sophisticated contemporary audience.
Full of action, humour and romance, Robin Hood outwits and delights us as he fights the authority of the evil Sheriff of Nottingham with outrageous scams, disguises, tricks and ingenuity, breathtaking archery and incredible swordplay.
This should be a warning to viewers expecting a serious BBC drama, because that’s definitely not what this series offers. Its much closer to being light “comic book” style entertainment similar to the new series of Dr Who whose timeslot it fills when Dr Who is between series.
Some characters including the sheriff are overplayed, others like Marion have been modernised eg: she is as just as good as the men at archery or fighting and there are parallels to the current war in Iraq with Robin and Much suffering from traumatic stress disorder nightmares and questioning whether the king was tricked into going to war on false pretences.
Initially it brought to mind the movie “Robin Hood Men in Tights” but to be fair it’s not that silly and BBC1 shows are usually lightweight entertainment aimed at a broad demographic. One viewer described it to me as: “camp comedy with a bit of blood n guts” which is probably pretty accurate.
The cast list includes:
Good guys: Robin Hood (Jonas Armstrong), Marian (Lucy Griffiths), Much (Sam Troughton), Little John (Gordon Kennedy), Will Scarlet (Harry Lloyd) and Allan-a-Dale (Joe Armstrong). Fans of the Robin Hood books will notice that I didn’t mention Friar Tuck, he isn’t mentioned anywhere in series 1 or Series 2.
Bad Guys: Vaysey, Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen), Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage) and a host of sheriff’s black clothed men who always get beaten with ease by Robin and his men in fairly bloodless circumstances (possibly done to ensure that children are allowed to watch the show by parents).
The first series was shot in Hungary, standing in for 12th century England with a reported budget of £8 million and as the series was filmed in High Definition (HD) it should be simulcast on digital only ABC HD TV as well as the usual standard definition format on Channel 2 digital and analog.
After the first episode, the Guardian newspaper reviewer said:
The challenge for the new Robin Hood is to appeal to younger viewers while pulling in their parents as well. It will be no easy task. About as difficult, in fact, as simultaneously firing two arrows from the same bow, and both hitting the target. But as Robin showed in the opening episode, it can be done.
In the UK at least, the show succeeded in getting very good ratings (between 6-8 million viewers per episode), and the BBC has subsequently commissioned a 2nd and 3rd series. The ABC will of course be hoping that Robin Hood will provide them with winning ratings on Saturday nights here in Australia.
However I think these reasons will result in the 3rd series being unsuccessful 🙁
- A major character Maid Marian was killed off at the end of Series 2
- Very few “merry men” left in the gang after Will Scarlet decided to stay in the Holy Land with Djaq.
- A lack of plot diversity (too many sheriff vs robin episodes). From memory the Robin Hood books had more varied plots with Robin and his men sometimes venturing away from Sherwood Forest