"Robin Hood" Sheriff Got Your Tongue? (TV Episode 2006) Poster

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Better than last time (which wasn't difficult)
Igenlode Wordsmith14 October 2006
The rumours were right: the second episode is definitely better -- as in, it's actually watchable now.

I still don't find either Much or the pantomime Sheriff funny, Robin is still ridiculously young to be coming back home five years older and wiser (wiser? Has he learnt tactics yet? And just what is the meaning of getting his shaky new allies to risk their lives against heavily-armoured troops for five minutes just so that he can have a philosophical debate with the Sheriff?), and the 'bowshot' location names and jerky rewind stunts are still annoying. But the real first-episode killer, the stilted dialogue delivery, has reduced by a long way -- not, sadly, gone altogether, but reduced to the level of annoyance every so often rather than constant nails-on-a-blackboard torture.

However, at least I now have not one but two characters I enjoy watching: to Guy of Gisbourne I can now add Little John :-)

Annoyances: all-too-blatant digs at contemporary politics (terrorist training camps at the Crusades? Come on!); people fighting with swords who inflict all their damage by kicking people (doesn't anybody EVER get a blow in?); highlighting the credibility problem of failing to kill anybody, even the Sheriff's faceless and stereotypical "Guards! Guards!" (presumably on the grounds that this would be unsuitable for children?) by having a long debate about it; would-be humorous lines that aren't. The Sheriff's black silk pyjamas: horribly anachronistic -- where's his nightshirt and bedgown?

Good points: Marian telling Robin how stupid and useless he is, when he is being stupid and useless. The Sheriff proudly proclaiming that he is going to be vindictive and cruel, and nothing Robin says is going to stop him. (Played straight for once -- he doesn't flinch under Robin's threats -- and that's much more effective.) The outlaws scoffing at the idea of noble heroics.

Rather a negative-sounding list, when I look at it, but then the show still 'could do better' so far as its end-of-term report goes; I wouldn't actively recommend it yet. In honour of its improvement, however, I'll upgrade my initial rating from a 4 to a 6.

(Edit: Right, I've now watched the third episode of this, and that's enough -- I'll leave it to those who actually enjoy it, which frankly I don't.)
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Pure camp, a little better than Ep. 1, and reasonably fun
Merciful_Wolf29 July 2011
Warning: Spoilers
(For a full review of this and more episodes, movies, and books, visit my regularly-updated blog at http://twilightswarden.wordpress.com/) There's more fun swashbuckling in this episode, and I quite enjoyed it. You can't take it seriously, of course – it's pure camp, winking at the audience the whole way and just generally trying to have a good time. That's why I'm finding it easy to accept the offenses against history, logic, and physics, etc.

But it's also why I'm getting increasingly annoyed by the character of Marian. Other characters seem half aware that they are in a swashbuckling comedy (Robin more than half), but Marian takes herself far too seriously. Consider this: near the climax of this episode, Robin has turned himself in to the sheriff in order to save the peasants of Locksley from the Sheriff's violence. Robin is sentenced to hang the following morning, but naturally Marian visits him in prison with the intention of helping him escape. Before she does this, however, she tries to chew Robin out for being a selfish "fool." Her reasoning is this: Robin gave himself in, which means he'll die, which means he won't be around to protect the people of Locksley, which means he did the wrong thing. Robin laughs at this nonsense, but likes her too much to point out just how illogical she is. Because, following her reasoning, Robin should be protecting his people by doing something which leads directly to their gruesome mutilation. She won't even admit to his honor and integrity in doing this. Now, to be fair, much of her frustration with Robin comes from her own hurt feelings regarding him leaving for the Crusades while they were still engaged—but then who is being selfish? At any rate, Marian is the only character who is a complete bore when on screen. She doesn't seem to realize that in a Robin Hood show, you're supposed to have fun! Fortunately, the other actors get this very well. Special mentions here go to Keith Allen as the entertainingly despicable Sheriff and Gordon Kennedy as Little John. The former is quite a cunning fellow, as he quickly deduces that Robin values the lives and freedom of others far above his own life, and will not kill unless it is the last resort to save lives. And the latter gives this episode its emotional weight, as we learn he has a son in Locksley that he's never seen, on account of his being an outlaw for so long. Kennedy is older and appears far more mature than the other young men on screen, and that works greatly in his favor. This isn't a buffoonish Little John, or a simple one—he may express himself forthrightly, but there's lots of thought behind his eyes. I like this portrayal—he's easily my favorite of the band so far.

It's nice to see Robin effectively at the head of the outlaws by the end of this episode. Every Robin Hood movie or show wants to start with an origin story, so it takes an episode or two for him to make friends with the outlaws and become their leader. It makes sense to do this, but the part I really came for is all the robbing from the rich, giving to the poor. Hopefully, that may now commence with gusto!
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Brilliant once again!
xox-cheekychimps-xox28 November 2007
I think that this episode was better than the first episode, but that doesn't mean to say i didn't like the first episode, I LOVED IT! but what i mean to say is that the story is coming together and everyone is fitting in together and everybody has their own part in the story. I find it really annoying when people say that robin comes back too young, because an older man wouldn't be able to fight in a war and run around in a forest and all these daring things robin does. I would also like to say to all the actors/actresses in the show that they are doing a great job. People who do not like the show shouldn't watch it and if they don't have anything nice to say about the show, then don't say it. They say it isn't historically correct, well flick over to the history documentary programmes and watch them instead, this is first-class Saturday night entertainment and it when people say something bad about it, it just makes them sound like grumpy old men. I think this show is going to go a long long way. can't wait for the next episode!
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