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Look, this is the first comment I have ever written but was forced to respond to the Muppet's out there that slated the programme, and the BBC. Robin Hood over the years has been interpreted in many different guises but to the slate this after 10 or 20 minutes is ludicrous. Just because it's not what you expected doesn't mean that MILLIONS of people will not enjoy it on a Saturday night with the rest of their family. Get a grip you pretentious, I know better than you people. It's an entertaining, family orientated programme with no illusions about being a serious drama. What else do you expect in the Saturday night Dr. Who slot!!
After the first 15 minutes of the BBC's new drama 'Robin Hood', I was
pretty much certain that I wouldn't go further than the first episode.
Robin (Jonas Armstrong), back from the Crusades in Jerusalem is coming
home to Locksley, along with is ex-servant and friend, Much (Sam
Troughton). They make a pit-stop on their journey home, to help a
blacksmith in return for food... and a roll in the hay with his bosomy
daughter who looks like she just stepped out of a Justin Timberlake
music video. Riiight. Then came a dodgy back-flip, some ridiculous
one-liner and I was thoroughly unimpressed.
I know a thing or two about the legend of Robin Hood. As a kid the Disney version (yep the sing-along with the fox as Robin) was a favorite, and when I was about 6 and went on a trip to England, my family and I made a pit-stop in Nottingham, got a photo by the Robin Hood statue and even went on a little Robin Hood ride and walk through Sherwood forest. I was told the stories of Robin Hood, and have a soft spot for the Robin and Marian romance. I felt obligated to give this new BBC drama a try, since everything Robin Hood once fascinated me as a child.
The first episode, as I said, did not inspire confidence. Jonas Armstrong isn't who I picture as Robin Hood. One review described him as being the 'Orlando Bloom' type, one who "hovers somewhere between boyhood and manhood" (Daily Express, September 9, 2006). I had seen Armstrong in the fourth season of 'Teachers' and was not terribly taken by him. But in 'Robin Hood', Armstrong is initially hard to swallow as the hooded crusader, but this isn't entirely his fault. Robin initially comes across as a cocky, womanizing lad with a hefty ego, and it wasn't until about the third episode that I actually started to warm to him. What made sure I came back to watch the second, third and eventually entire series of this show was Lucy Griffiths as Maid Marian and Keith Allen as the deliciously ruthless Sheriff of Nottingham.
Newcomer, 19 year-old Lucy Griffith's Marian has dropped the 'maid' and follows the lead of 21st century female TV heroines such as Buffy, Veronica Mars and Rose Tyler... which isn't surprising, the show could not have worked with a wimpy and weak Marian. Griffiths and Armstrong do have a great chemistry as well, despite the fact that the dialogue between Marian and Robin is sometimes corny ("kiss it better?") there is a spark, and that's enough to keep the Marian/Robin romance interesting for me. Even more so is the fact that in this updated version, Marian does not welcome Robin home with open arms. He left her 5 years ago to fight for glory and King Richard in the Holy lands, and she is still feeling the sting of his desertion.
Keith Allen plays a fantastically villainous Sheriff, who sometimes reminds me of Tim Curry, and is always entertaining. Richard Armitage plays Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff's right hand man and the new lord of Robin's Locksley manor. To top it off, Gisborne is in tough pursuit of Marian, adding an extra layer of intensity to his dueling with Robin.
This show has been commissioned partly due to the huge success of the resurrected 'Doctor Who', and while it isn't quite on-par with the genius of Russell T. Davies's show, 'Robin Hood' is worth a try. At times the production value leaves you wanting, the stunts can be laughable and the acting a little wooden. It isn't really until the seventh episode "Brothers in Arms" that things really start to pick up with the drama and story lines, and from seven onwards it is a brilliant roller-coaster ride sure to make the previous six lack-luster episodes worth the watch.
In my opinion, out of the vast majority of the Robin Hoods out there, this is by far the best. It is witty, enjoyable and fast paced. Its suitable for all ages hence the 7pm airing. The casting is just right, Robin is supposed to be young, he has just returned from the crusades, Jonas Armstrong is perfectly suited. Marian (played by Lucy Griffiths) is the model woman, she stands up for what she thinks is right and isn't afraid to put herself in the line of fire so to speak. The sheriff is suitably horrid and Robin is perfect as the young, charming and cheeky rebel. As most BBC 13part shows are good, you expect this to be too and you aren't disappointed.
I enjoyed this very much, maybe that's because I was expecting a light hearted romp for families about the legend of Robin Hood and not a documentary. Exhilarating if outrageous action scenes, humour, nasty bad guys, bit of social comment for the adults. Robin a mixture of gravitas and cheekiness. Great verbal sparring between Robin and the Sheriff and a Robin and Marian. The sets were amazing, Locksley a bit sterile but the overall look was good. Did exactly what it said on the tin for me and what I expected for a programme in that time slot. Now the characters are settling in, looking forward to more good stuff from future episodes.
I like this version, and think the actors are good. Fair enough if it's
really not your thing, but they can't please everyone.
I appreciate that it's not historically accurate, but how can it be when it's based on a legend? I don't see why it has to be - it's a drama program, not a documentary. :-)
As for the comment in one post that anyone who enjoyed it must be either ignorant or from the BBC: I am neither. It seems a shame to join a discussion only to offensively reject any opinion that conflicts with your own. :-(
I hope the rumour that it's been commissioned for a second series is true.
When I first saw it I thought it was really bad and almost didn't watch it again. The first episode was cringe-worthy.But... I stuck with it and with each passing week it got better and better. Now, I'm hooked. It's great entertainment. People who say that it is not historically correct are just being picky. Not many people care whether it is correct or not. As long as it is good drama and entertaining then it will be watched. Robin Hood has all of those things. Brilliant drama, occasionally funny and has got a hint of romance running through it. The actors, though not widely known are great and Robin Hood gets better as each week passes. Definitely something you should give a try.
finally something to fill the gap left by 'Doctor Who'. A quirky, enjoyable, funny program which had me on the edge of my seat. This is what we've been waiting for, from the BBC, after such shows as 'Doctor Who' and 'Pride & Prejudice'. The characters were already well structured even after the first episode. Jonas Armstrong is a great choice for Robin Hood, as he is a 'bad boy'. With his rugged features and lovely accent, he really makes the character of Robin come alive. Along with the other actors and actresses, he really makes the legend reality. A must-see for any fans of Action/Comedy and maybe romantics. It combines lots of genres to make it appeal to everyone. Now all i have to say is, watch it! or you'll be sorry you missed it!
Recently the BBC has been delivering some much improved family drama
and Robin Hood promised to be the latest blockbusting instalment.
having missed the first series, I tuned in to see what all the hype was
about but came away feeling very disappointed.
I'm all for using a bit of artistic licence in the name of entertainment but some of the detail, acting and direction leaves much to be desired. For example, how can Robin shoot an arrow to free the ropes on a tied up maiden if her wrists are pointing away from him on the other side of a big wooden post? And how is it that none of the sheriff's guards managed to spot the ample bosom on Maid Marion when she was in disguise and insisted on referring to her as a man?
Overall, the script was quite weak, much of the acting quite stiff, the costumes lacking and many of the key characters seemed to have been miscast. I just couldn't get on with the actress playing Maid Marion at all.
I never thought I'd hear myself say this but even Kevin Costner's mediocre version of the myth of Robin Hood was more believable and much more enjoyable. For a better TV version, try out the 1980s Robin of Sherwood series instead.
Jonas Armstrong's Hood is possibly the smuggest character I've ever seen on TV drama. Makes me want to root for the sheriff except he's an equally tedious pantomine villain. Richard Armitage who plays Gisborne would have made a far better Hood, both physically and charisma wise. This show also takes a cue from the mediocre Herecules the Legendary Journeys with lukewarm comedy provided by boring buffoon like sidekicks. The biggest difference between this and the mid eighties series Robin of Sherwood is the twenty odd year time gap between them, because Britain has changed enormously in that time. I'm talking about the story lines not the lavishness/ special effects. In 1984 it was still OK to celebrate the indigenous British Saxon/ Celtc culture so you had episodes about the Swords of Weiland( the Mythical Saxon smith) and Herne the Hunter ( from Celtic myth) to the background of a heavily Celtic mystical soundtrack. It was gritty and serious. Fast forward twenty years and you've got Robin quoting the Koran, the English/ Welsh longbow takes a backseat to the 'Saracen' bow and multicultural Britain appears to be up and running in the twelfth century.Also the crusades being snidely linked by the script to the Iraq war. The crusades were a bad thing according to this show which English kids will watch. There's no show telling them that 400 years ago ships from the North African caliphate were raiding British coastal towns for slaves. No shows about the Muslim crusades in Spain and South west Europe. This is brainwashing. If they wanted a happy clappy series which all cultures in Britain can relate to, why not set it in a fantasy world instead of rewriting history.
Season 1 was an enjoyable romp once it got the gang assembled, and
Season 2 had an energetic Empire Strikes Back quality, but we're
halfway through Season 3 and it's a turkey. New lackluster characters
are being introduced into the gang, taking the focus off the old
characters we actually like. The writers seem to have lost the thread
of the story. At the end of Season 2 they set the audience up for a big
showdown, but they deflated the tension in the very first episode.
There are continuity issues every episode, such as, Why does Gisborne
suddenly have a sister when he spent the first season moping about
having no family? Did Gisborne's soldiers get eaten? Prince John was
supposed to be angry about his tax money, but when Gisborne returns,
it's to kill Robin Hood, not to squeeze money from the sheriff. With a
few exceptions, most of the scripts feel as if they were hastily
sketched out, without much care toward development of character or
continuity. It's a shame.
The one exception to the lackluster season is Toby Stephens as Prince John. He's the perfect combination of insecurity, viciousness, and preening pomposity. He's very funny.
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