A year has passed since Robin of Loxley's death; the band of outlaws has scattered, and the people's enemies savor their triumph. Now, a Norman nobleman and Earl's son, Robert of Huntingdon, has been...
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Robin of Loxley is chosen by the mystical Herne the Hunter to become his 'son' and champion the oppressed. Gathering a band of comrades around him he fights a guerilla campaign against their Norman dictators, particularly the Sheriff of Nottingham and his deputy, Guy de Gisburne. Later he is succeeded by Robert of Huntingdon, renegade nobleman. This retelling of the legend introduces a strong fantasy element, with black magic and the old religion. Written by
Gareth Preston <firstname.lastname@example.org>
This is one of my favorite series, all categories, all time.
I was fortunate enough to get a hold of the whole series on VHS a few years ago. I loved it when I saw it back in -91 -92, when I was about 12. I love it as much, or more, today, which is remarkable considering my (hopefully) improved film appreciation and criticism skills. Most of the movies I liked back then I'm not that fond of today, besides for the nostalgia factor. That factor is present here as well, but there's so much more to Robin of Sherwood than nostalgia.
There are only a few bad things about this series. First, the picture and sound quality is so-so, at least in the first couple of episodes. Fortunately, it gets better. Secondly, you could have wished for a bit more blood and realism in the fighting scenes, although I know that was not an option in this case.
So, on to the good things! And there are a lot of them. First of all, Michael Praed IS Robin Hood. I don't think I have seen him in a single role since then, which only strengthen this fact for me. He delivers such a believable performance as Robin. Jason Connery had an impossible task replacing him. The fact that Michael Praed hasn't become a bigger name as an actor is unbelievable. Or perhaps that was his fate, to do this one role perfectly, then disappear.
I love Nickolas Graces Sheriff of Nottingham. He is really not a complex character, but totally rotten. The relation between him and Gisburne is just hilarious. Actually, just looking at de Rainault sitting in his throne, bored, glaring, makes me laugh even before he has said anything. Another actor that deserves extra praise is Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet. You can really feel the sadness inside of him as well as his hate for the soldiers who killed his wife. Winstone is an actor that finally has gotten his well deserved Hollywood breakthrough (in films as The Departed and Beowulf). There are a lot of other great actors here, too.
I love the portrayal of the Robin gang. They are having fun, playing, laughing, you really get a feel of the camaraderie between them, the closeness that comes from a tight bound group such as this. Those bonding scenes are so important.
I think that it being UK produced with British actors really made it better, compared to for example the -92 feature film version with Kevin Costner, that just feels fake, fake, fake. (Christian Slater as Will Scarlet, come on..) The cast being able to speak English with British accent makes it more believable, and I get the feeling that the actors, as well as the director and writers, behind the series can put themselves much more into the shoes of the Robin Hood gang than an American crew could have. The music is wonderful, Clannad is perfect for the feel of the series. The music is another of those things they just nailed.
An exciting addition also is the fantasy and magic spice that is put in there. It's not over the top, but believable and just makes the whole thing better and more interesting. I also love how nicely the mix of comedy, adventure and drama is blended.
Those are a few of the things that makes this series so alive and so genuine. It's by far the best Robin Hood version I have ever seen. I won't wrap up with the "Nothing's forgotten" quote. But one thing that never will be forgotten, for me, is this fantastic Robin Hood retelling. See it.
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