I have recently been enjoying this on DVD, not having seen it since it was first shown on BBC 1 when I was 12 (you do the math). I was pleasantly surprised at how well it stands up after all this time. It may look a little dated (as much as anything set in the 12th Century can look dated) but what it loses in technical quality compared to the polished productions of today, it more than makes up with how well it treats its subject. As a legend and with no definitive source material, who is to say what is the correct version. But this is probably the closest to what is generally accepted to be the story of Robin Hood, eschewing the mysticism that made the later Michael Praed/Jason Connery version an interesting interpretation. Whatever else, it is certainly better than the most recent BBC version which managed the feat of making the story seem silly and boring at the same time (especially with Keith Allen as a low rent Alan Rickman wannabe).
Martin Potter is good as Robin (although I must have missed the scene which explains how he suddenly adopts the name Robin Hood) and it is a mystery how he never became any better known after this. Diane Keen makes a beautiful and feisty Marion and it was interesting to see Paul Darrow as The Sheriff of Nottingham several years before his star-making turn as Avon in "Blake's Seven". Thankfully Darrow resists the temptation to ham it up in the way that Alan Rickman did in the role years later which unbalanced "Robin Hood - Prince of Thieves" (even though it was entertaining). I have to disagree, however, with those posters who complained that Michael J. Jackson's King Richard was a camp interpretation. It is nothing of the kind and Jackson brings great dignity to the part which is usually only a cameo walk-on appearance.
However, where I would agree with other comments already made on here is about the theme music to this series by Stanley Myers. Like them, I too remembered this theme long after my other memories of this series had faded and it is good to hear it once again.
Accept no substitutes, this is the real deal and now it is on DVD, hopefully others will get to discover what a hidden gem this series is.
6 of 6 people found this review helpful.
Was this review helpful to you?