Saturday, 8 December 2007

Robin Hood. Series 2, Episode 10. "Walkabout".

The Sheriff of Nottingham suffers not only from nightmares about Robin Hood, but also about his missing beloved Pact; the document which contains the signatures of all his Black Knights, sworn to support his attempts to overthrow King Richard. And after one particularly disturbing nightmare, the Sheriff finds himself sleep walking alone out into Sherwood Forest. When he is attacked he acquits himself well. (The script writers should thank Richard Armitage for knocking Keith Allen's tooth out in real life. It has been the source of a running gag ever since). Eventually the Sheriff comes across a rather tough outlaw beggar woman and her family of three boys. Seeing her potential he hatches a plan by which they can enter Robin Hood's camp; she to take the loot, he the Pact.
When the Sheriff is discovered missing Guy is reminded by Prince John's messenger that if anything happens to the Sheriff, Nottingham will be burnt to the ground. Although Guy doesn't know it yet, the Messenger has a vested interest in this happening: He has relatives in the re-building trade! Alarmed at the prospect of losing his position of authority, Guy sends his soldiers out looking for the Sheriff. Meanwhile, Marian comes up with a suggestion for Guy: She could ask Robin Hood into the Castle, knowing he would come to save the people. Guy appears to like that idea.
At the outlaw camp Allan A dale tells Robin Hood that Marian is asking for his help, and offers Marian's engagement ring as proof it is not a trap. They immediately set out for Nottingham, leaving no-one behind (for a change!) However, as they reach the gates John becomes increasingly concerned about the number of beggars that continue to accumulate in the streets. He believes the group should not all enter the Castle, as the poor are so dependant on them for their future welfare. Robin agrees and enters alone. As he stands before Guy and Marian she outlines the predicament the town is in: Unless the Sheriff is found, Nottingham is destroyed. Will he help? Robin smiles. He wants Guy to do the asking, which he eventually does between clenched teeth. As the outlaws once more re-group and head for Sherwood Forest Robin leaves Will behind to guarantee Marian's protection should the town be attacked.
Whilst searching the forest for the Sheriff, Robin Hood and Much pair up. "Just like old times", says Much. In the ensuing dialogue Robin tells Much of his engagement to Marian. As Robin then turns away he fails to notice Much holding back the tears…
The other pairing of Djaq and John are having a discussion about the task in hand. John feels there are already enough people looking for the Sheriff, and that they should be attending to the poor. Of Robin's plan he says "Even leaders can be wrong". They then come across the Sheriff disguised as a blind beggar, with his accomplice and her three boys. Of course the outlaws fail to recognise them, and decide to lead them back to the camp for food.
Back in Nottingham the advancing army has begun to enter the city in preparation to destroy it. Guy suggests Marian run for her own safety. She replies she will not leave him in trouble, a statement intended to support her disguise, but one he of course misconstrues. Guy will learn later that he is free to leave the town by virtue of the fact he is a Black Knight, and that if Marian was his wife by sundown, then she could leave to.
Within the courtyard Allan and Will Scarlet are arguing. Allan is asking, when it's all over, can he come back into the gang. But Will responds with a resolute "There's no coming back". His opinion might soon change as the army beyond the town's gates mount in number, forming a "ring of steel", and Guy, Allan, and Will are practically all that stands against them, the Sheriff's men having been dispatched to the forest in search of him. As this realisation sinks in, Allan and Will do indeed shake hands. Guy himself goes one better, and goes down on one knee with a proposal of marriage to Marian, saying he needs her answer by sundown. Indeed, the situation seems so bleak, even Will takes Marian aside and suggests she accepts Guy's proposal just to survive!
Within the forest Robin and Much have come across the man with whom the Sheriff swapped his black silk pyjamas for rags. They realise his plan, and rush towards the hideout. Only taking the Sheriff back to Nottingham can save the town and its people from destruction. Of course back at the hideout the Sheriff has been active in not only overcoming the giant Little John (thanks to the rather silly and unconvincing aid of the three small boys), but locating the Pact itself.
Call Gisborne what you will, but he has never been a coward. When Marian rejects his proposal on the grounds that she cannot desert the people of Nottingham in its hour of need, he retorts:" Your wilfulness will be the death of you!" Marian ponders his words as if they strike a chord somewhere deep inside, and that she suspects this indeed will one day be her fate. Guy then rides out towards the gathering army as if leaving. But he rejects their invitation to do so, and turns back to fight them using an army of his own: the amassed poor of Nottingham. As Marian stands at the ready by his side, taking his arm, Guy turns to her: "Marry me now. Make it the last thing we do".
She looks up at him, just as a familiar voice calls from outside: "Gisborne!" It is the returning Sheriff…

Comments: A good episode in which it seems every one of the main cast got a little moment to shine: Much holding back the tears at Robin's news about the engagement; Guy showing some nobility, and possibly a genuine affection for Marian which transcends lust; Allan and Will shaking hands; John disregarding Robin's orders about the search, to go and attend to the poor. (Gordon Kennedy speaks!) So there were lots of very good little bits of character development; the kind we all love to see. I could have done without the boys overcoming John. And John's silly line to the Sheriff as his disguise fell away: "I know you". Well I hope you do John. This is the chap who once had you padlocked into an oak stock whilst heating his torture irons in the fire, and that you subsequently pinned to the ground threatening to kill. But maybe a good pair of contact lenses are hard to find in Sherwood Forest.

Next Week: The return of the Night Watchman. But for how long? Cheers Hoodies!

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22 Comments:

Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood, series 2 episode 10

Robin Hood.

Robin Hood BBC series 2.

Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong.
Marian - Lucy Griffiths.
Guy of Gisborne - Richard Armitage.
Sheriff of Nottingham - Keith Allen.
Little John - Gordon Kennedy.
Much - Sam Troughton.
Allan A Dale - Joe Armstrong.
Will Scarlet - Harry Lloyd.
Djaq - Anjali Jay.
Edward - Michael Elwynn.

8 December 2007 at 21:25:00 GMT  
Anonymous noodles said...

i really liked this episode, the fact that everyone had their own wee part. But im not wholly convinced about marians loyalty to robin. does she indeed have feelings for Guy? she didnt seem all that reluctant to say no to guy when he proposed to her! or is she just trying to keep up appearances? please answer these questions for me
i know the plot of the next 3 episodes but they were written by people who were just speculating i think, but if what i read was true it's going to be an interesting ending to say the least.
oh robin do you know if robin hood will be back for a 3rd series?

8 December 2007 at 22:06:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Noodles

the Marian & Guy situation has been confusing to say the least.

In the first series I contend (however unpopular my view), that Gisborne's advances were almost abusive with their threats of violence. There was no romantic intention of the kind one might associate with a Heathcliffe type lead character.

I think recently, aware they were going fo a third series, the writers have been stretching things out a little. Marian was certainly impressed by Guy's physique in episode 3, and that's maybe where the extent of her attentions lay. She also seems to have this whole charitable personality thing going on, like she might be able to "save" Guy from his evil ways?

Difficult to answer your question until the writing becomes a little more focussed.

Here's a difficult question for all you Hoodies: Why does Marian never speak to Djaq? The outlaw her practically brought her back from the jaws of death.

Yes there is going to be a third series.

Thankyou for not posting the supposed plots to the next 3 episodes. We don't do spoilers here. Several fans have been concerned about the amount of information the BBC themselves give away. Well, no thanks. Not here.

Spoilers are deleted.

8 December 2007 at 22:48:00 GMT  
Blogger Clement of the Glen said...

Hi Hoodies!

Can someone put an old minstrel's mind at rest and explain why, if the Sheriff is killed or vanishes, Prince John needs to completely flatten Nottingham and its Castle?

Also, don't foreget to vote for Sherwood Forest in the Lottery bid. Lets preserve Sherwood Forest, so that future generations can enjoy the magical beauty of the ancient woodland.

VOTE FOR SHERWOOD FOREST: 0870 24 24 603

Voting finishes Monday at noon!

9 December 2007 at 12:39:00 GMT  
Anonymous noodles said...

i wouldn't dare put up any spoilers i came across them by mistake!
thanks for answering my questions! AND HORRAY FOR A 3RD SERIES! Cac't get enough of that robin hood!

yea i've noticed that marian and djaq never speak and they are the only two females in the gang!
maybe marian feels a little threatened by djaq powerfulness i.e in teh medicine field that she can help peopel more than marian can.

9 December 2007 at 13:05:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Clement,

No reason I can think of. Especially now that the "darker" Robin Hood who was only to willing to put arrows and daggers in the hearts of his enemies a couple of episodes ago, seems now to have totally disappeared...

9 December 2007 at 13:37:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Noodles & Hoodies,

Before anyone asks, yes we are all doing another blog for Series 3.

It's already reserved!

9 December 2007 at 13:39:00 GMT  
Anonymous Gabby said...

Another great episode! It was so exciting, it had me on the edge of my seat thinking "will robin get there on time?"

I liked the part where Allen and Will shook hands. Has anyone else noticed that Will ALWAYS looks sad now?

I liked Djaq's joke about the man who milked goats in his sleep. I'm a bit annoyed that Mairen decided to go back to the castle. I thought that that part of her life was over and was looking forward to interesting plots with her in the forest.

All in all i really enjoyed the episode, it surprised me when i realized it was already episode 10!

Gabby

9 December 2007 at 14:57:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Gabby

I was just thinking the other day, whilst working on the pictures, Harry Lloyd does look a little thinner (certainly taller) than last year. - And tired?

9 December 2007 at 15:04:00 GMT  
Anonymous Annie said...

I enjoyed this episode, but it was one of my least favorite. Ordinarily, I am able to suspend my disbelief about holes in the plot and inconsistencies in character development, but I thought they were simply too glaring here:
1. Though I've been wanting Gordon Kennedy to get more air time, I thought it beggared belief that he would think distributing food was more important that finding the sheriff. Talk about missing the forest for the trees! Also, just two episodes ago, Little John took Marian aside and explained that there could be just one leader.
2. I think the writers missed an opportunity to restore some of the assertiveness Djaq's character showed last year. Instead of just arguing with Little John, she could have told him that she was going to continue looking for the sheriff regardless of what he decided to do.
3. I'm really tired of Marian responding to Gisborne's advances as though he's some kind of hero, instead of someone who left his child in the forest, tried to kill the king, has lied repeatedly, etc. There was never any question that Will would abandon the people of Nottingham or Marian, but he wasn't singled out for credit. When Marian took Gisborne's arm, just a week after becoming engaged to Robin, I was gutted. The only slightly redeeming element is thematic in that the writers have Little John doing the wrong thing for the right reasons and Gisborne doing the right thing for the wrong reasons.
4. Finally, though well-played, Much's "those wedding bells are breaking up that old gang of mine" refrain is getting old. If the writers want to create moments for Much and Robin to bond, why not have Much tell Robin about Eve when he learns of R&M's engagement? Remember he planned to go find her? Both could then muse and bond over the good things to come if they defeat the sheriff.

There were several small moments I liked--Will and Allan, the sheriff's "guess he does give to the poor" line, and Robin's "you really need to work on your parenting skills." The Robin-Little John moment was nice at the end, too. I don't know where the next 3 episodes will take us, but I'm bracing myself for some ghastly Marian and Gisborne development. Sorry to be so negative. I love the show, which is probably why I'm especially annoyed by the direction.

9 December 2007 at 17:53:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Nice one Annie!

I think that might have to take the prize for one of the Best Comments of All Time.

...because I thought it might be just me getting these frustrations about the writing and the inconsistencies in the characters. To be honest, I have been holding back a little in my observations….

No criticism of the cast. But I think the writing peeked with Episode 6. (Admittedly Episode 7 had superb acting).

Admittedly we're only 3 or 4 episodes past that milestone, but I don't think the level of excitement has sustained, and its largely because of the lack of continuity and consistency in the characters.

To add to your list: Marian calling Robin "Hood" in Guy's presence sounded plain ridiculous and unconvincing to say the least.

And Much's tears were a bit excessive for just a "breaking up that old gang of mine" reaction. Maybe, as at the very start, we're meant to speculate all over again about Much's emotions for Robin. (And no, nobody cares if he is gay.)

I hope, simply to sustain into a 3rd series, the BBC don't slip into a formulaic model of "guest character" every week / Marian dupes Guy / Nobody dare touch the Sheriff / etc etc.....

9 December 2007 at 18:26:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

harry lloyd is so fit

9 December 2007 at 19:12:00 GMT  
Blogger Emily said...

Annie, I very much agree with all of your observations (yes, Robin too). Its difficult for me to believe that the writers are having such difficulty with creativity and characterizations. There are many fans who are writers who do a lot better in some of their fanfictions than these professional writers. That said, it was a pretty good episode.
I would though, like to add these critisisms:

Djaq. I agree this was a missed opportunity to bring back her strong assertiveness. In addition to that, the scene where the beggars attack John was quite messy - where was Djaq? John was fighting by himself. And why does she only ever show up after everyone else, holding her sword out? Also, in the last episode, there was hint of a Djaq and Will romance with Much's honey comment. If Will was in danger of dying, with an army marching on Nottingham, don't you think those to might be a little upset with their job arrangement?
In fact to further that, the thought of death and razing doesn't really seem to faze the characters quite as much as it should.

Marian. I was incredibly annoyed last week as well when she decided to rejoin Gisbourne at the castle. It's as thought the writers are floundering as to know what to do with her character and want to recreate her role as a spy in the castle, because they can't come up with what to do for her next at the Outlaw Camp. However, after seeing this episode, I realized the plot problems they would have had with Marian and the Sheriff at the camp at the same time. They would have had to change Episode 10, I think, and perhaps that was too complicated for them to do. Continuity would have been a major problem. Also, who would Gisbourne interact with with only Allan to bond with? *sarcastic* That said, I dislike - no abhor - the Marian/Gisbourne bits, and fourthly, Marian is a fighter. In the least, even if she cannot reveal how much of a warrior she is, should we not have seen her arming herself if they were about to be attacked? Does retaining her ladylike facade remain important in the light of fighting for her life? Marian just looks rather vacant. I know she must act helpless while she's at the castle, but her fire has dimmed. It's no secret to Guy she's a stubborn, firey person, so why should she hide it as much as she does? I feel like I am repeating myself. Marian is both a warrior and a cunning, feminine woman but they do not know how to properly show this. She should have had a sword hidden under a cloak or something!

3. Much and Robin: Yes, I think perhaps Much should have remembered Eve at that moment. But she's been conveniently forgotten about by the writers as well - much to my disapointment. I don't know if it was tears about the gang breaking up - it struck me that Much was very happy for him. Much has always had a great deal invested in Robin - he was first his manservant, then his best friend. He just looks moved and impressed that Robin got her to say yes. He's wildly happy for him because he knows how much they've both gone through.

Funny how no one got around to doing any fighting, even though Nottingham was under attack.

~~~~
It seems to me that I am saying much of the same things as I said last week. Annie has already said the rest of what I thought. I did like Allan and Will's scene at the castle, and Allan's apearance at the camp. I think Allan's character has been one of the most consistant lately, strangely enough.
~~~~

Funny you mention it, Robin, but the fact that Marian and Djaq never talk has been something that I've noticed repeatedly.
Marian just breezes by and doesn't even really look as though she acknowledges Djaq's existence. But that is indeed odd. She speaks to Much. She speaks to Little John. She speaks to Will. She speaks to Allan.
Good point about Djaq saving her life. I don't know if this is on purpose or not, my first instinct would chock it up to one of the inconsistancies. And, you know, considering that there are very few women in their world who have the skills the two of them have - you'd think their interests may cross. I've always kind of hoped we'd get to see some scenes with them together - neither of them have any women friends, and a break from the boys might be nice every once in awhile ;)
~~~
That all said, I really did find it amusing to have the Sheriff wandering about Sherwood in his nightclothes. It was good for a laugh. It was a good idea, and generally all round well done.
And I am looking forward to seeing the Nightwatchman in action next week - I have a feeling its going to be a rather big episode for Marian.

9 December 2007 at 23:32:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Annie,

Wow. Thanks for your insightful remarks, as always. Once again, in line with Annie, you "hit the nail on then head" as we say in England.

All I can respond in saying is :Yes, absolutely!

I may slightly disagree with your feelings about the Sheriff. I like him when he's crushing canaries, hanging people before schedule, and threatening to cut young people's arms off. I admit if he was acting like it was "for real" all that would be gross. But Keith Allen used to walk that delicate tight rope between pantomime and drama. I worry of late he's become a bit "buffoon" like. (Maybe he's still recovering from Armitage's blow to the mouth!)

I am very intrigued by the title of your as yet invisible blog, "Loxley". (Great title). The more the merrier!

And just one last thing to everybody, because you, Annie, and I are pointing out a few criticisms, Yes we are loving this series overall. Can't get enough!

10 December 2007 at 00:29:00 GMT  
Blogger Emily said...

Yes, we do love it! I had been toying with the idea of doing a "News from Locksley" blog, where I write about what's happening (each week) from someone at Locksley's point of view or even just a place to just let myself say what I want!
Being a writer, I'd rather like the more creative version of the latter, as we already discuss our points of view here!
I just ran out of time and it's now Episode 10!

10 December 2007 at 02:18:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Emily

Episode 10! Where did the time go???

It seems only a couple of weeks ago we were all dreading the summer seaon without a Robin Hood. Now we're nearly there again!

Anyway, when you get sorted with your site, I'd love to reciprocate links if that's the kind of thing you want. (I appreciate not every Robin Hood wants to do that).

No doubt you've seen Clemewnt of the Glen's site? Amazing.

10 December 2007 at 11:27:00 GMT  
Anonymous Annie said...

Emily, I had the same thought about Allan's character. I think the writers have done a better job making his actions and motivations consistent with what we know of him. At first I found it quite hard to believe that he would betray Robin, since Robin never gave up on Allan's brother, even after he blew several chances. But Allan was portrayed last year as somewhat of an opportunist and self-justifying. He decides what will be in his own best interest and then thinks of a rationale for his actions. The writers have also done a good job at portraying his other side, which is loyalty to and affection for his former comrades. I'm fascinated to know how this will play out.

Couldn't agree more about the Djaq and Marian relationship. In last year's episode 13, I thought the writers were laying the ground for a friendship between the two women when Djaq saved Marian's life. Djaq's expression of respect ("I did not think you would be so brave.") was a very moving moment. That got dropped, though. There would be opportunities for humor and interesting turns of plot to have the two of them bonding at the outlaw's camp, rolling their eyes over the actions of the men, occasionally upstaging the boys, etc.

I agree that Much wants what is best for Robin. I didn't have a problem with his reaction to the proposal so much as his spending the rest of the episode talking about how he would be on his own after the king returned. It was sweet when Robin told him "I like worrying about you, Much." Perhaps his constant need for reassurance is explained by Robin's inexcusable behavior in "A Clue: No." (Hey, if the writers don't give me a rationale, I'll go find one!)

A thought about why the writers are having such a tough time with consistency. As we've seen, Dominic Minghella is committed to drawing parallels between Robin Hood's time and contemporary crises in the Middle East. I've applauded these efforts, though they are sometimes a bit heavy-handed in execution. I wonder if the desire to keep events in the Holy Land front and center have meant sacrificing character development and effective plotting?

Finally, I want to reiterate that I love the show and the characters. I think the acting ranges from good to excellent each week. It's not surprising to see great performances out of Keith Allan, Gordon Kennedy, and Richard Armitage, but I'm consistently amazed at Lucy Griffiths's development as an actor. She was good last year, but I think she's been terrific this year. The rest of the gang are also excellent. I'm hesitant to single anyone else, really. As you can tell, I'm a little obsessed with this show!

10 December 2007 at 14:16:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Annie,

I'd just like to endorse what you said about Lucy Griffiths. I think her performances (when given the right script), have been outstanding. Surely deserving of some kind of Award?

And the other "young" actor who has truly impressed me is Joe Armstrong as Allan. He's carried out that "traitor but still a cheeky chappie" role in style.

I think they both have such a future ahead of them they're unlikely to want to get type cast here much longer...

10 December 2007 at 16:45:00 GMT  
Blogger Emily said...

Robin,
Yes, of course you can link me, and yes, I've seen Clement of the Glen's site - it's really really good.
Its been this show that has made me really love Robin Hood, though I can trace my Robin Hood roots to my childhood, watching Disney's animated Robin Hood (where he and Marian are foxes). Ooodelalay! Classic.
And yes, Joe Armstrong has been absolutely fantastic.

Annie,
I think that Djaq and Marian would be very funny together too, That is, if Djaq found her wit again!

It's possible that they are having difficulty because of their focus on the Holy Land that they are having trouble with characterization? Yes, it's possible. But, even still, the whole focus of Robin Hood is to get the King back from the Holy Land right? In the overall picture?
I think another factor to be added into that theory is their use of guest stars every week.
While I do enjoy some of these interesting characters, they do get a lot of screen time and it then leaves less plot and storytime for the recurring characters.
A lot of the characters are from the Holy Land - which is helpful and beneficial to the show because they're desperate for news on the King, which ties into keeping the Holy Land the focus. Some had no contribution to the main plot at all - for example, Count Fruitcake. It made for a funny episode, but he definitely more than made the impression of the biggest joke of series 2 than did anything useful.
Lucy has been wonderful, I agree. Even in the episodes where the script was a little off, she shone.

11 December 2007 at 03:33:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Emily,

My favourite Robin Hood movie is "Robin and Marian" (Sean Connery and Audrey Hepburn). The Holy Lands and the Crusades are really it's central theme. King Richard is depicted as being in the wrong, in fact more or less insane, and the "old" soldier Robin Hood is seen as divided by his loyalty to the King but totally sickened and disillusioned by what he has witnessed. Hence he returns to Sherwood and Marian (and the Sheriff!)

The importance of the "Saracen Outlaw" (which we've had since the mid 1980s), is to illustrate just how advanced and civilised the culture those Crusaders went to destroy, really were.

Djaq did that in fine style in series 1 with her medical skills, her ability to read, her scientific knowledge, her lack of superstition, and her enquiring mind.

We can't change History. But, our perceptions of Historical events can and do change. Entertainment is often the first place that starts to happen.

Okay, "heavy stuff" maybe...

Can't wait for Saturday. I hope we get a good old fashioned kick ass Night Watchman episode!

We'll do the link up as soon as you get underway.

11 December 2007 at 09:56:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Robin,

I can't describe how i love this show. Regardless of historical inaccurancies, way out of this world costume/wardrobe pertainning especially to Marian,everything is thrown overbroad for me everytime they make me laugh as i never laugh in years,and cried silly to Robin and Marian. A simple fan like me can't ask for more...

Maybe a Series 3...which we will have i just learned that Tiger Aspect will comfirmed soon with a formal statement...

13 December 2007 at 15:02:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi anon,

You don't have to describe, because I'm sure we all know just how you feel.

I get bored witless by programmes which pontificate about historical accuracies, and did he exist, and all that stuff.

My blogs embrace and celebrate the beautiful legend! (I think it was western movie director John Ford who said never tell the truth, tell the legend!)

I miss Lucy's Top Shop style of last year. I think she's toned it down too much since! (I hate Djaq's new look though. That awful top!)

13 December 2007 at 16:01:00 GMT  

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