Wednesday, 19 March 2008

Robin Hood, a Hero or Loser for our times?

Robin Hood series 2 continued to be a good (often outstanding) programme, and Jonas Armstrong continued to prove himself as the right man for the role. He is a great Robin Hood.

I think it important to re-state that fact in the wake of such huge upset over the death of Marian, and the criticism of the producer's judgement therein; plus the added disappointment over the total redundancy of Djaq (Anjali Jay) in series 2, not to mention the less than convincing conclusion to her relationship with Will Scarlet; together with various other concerns about consistency where writing and character development were concerned.

Programmes like Robin Hood, Dr Who, Star Trek, Torchwood, etc., etc., are always going to attract an intelligent audience, keen to analyse plot lines and characters as they unfold. We want complexities, but we also expect consistency. Yes, we might be critical, but be in no doubt we enjoyed it. So, why then is this post so difficult to write? Why is Robin Hood's mercurial role in series 2 proving so difficult to define?
At the start of series 1, when Robin stood on the steps of Nottingham Castle and posed the challenge "Will you tolerate this!?" he posed that question not just to the town of Nottingham but to the country beyond; the country (and the girl) he had left behind to do his duty, believing that when he returned it would be to a better place, and one which would respect him for the service he'd done.

That moment on those steps was a thrilling one to witness. In one fell swoop Jonas Armstrong committed Kevin Costner's somnambulistic version to history. (Take away Alan Rickman and Bryan Adams from "Prince of Thieves" and you're left with very little). Jonas Armstrong, with his youthful mixture of boy next door looks and charismatic smile, delivered not only the energy of an Errol Flynn type, but also such emotionally charged scenes as Marian's initial "death scene", the tearful intensity of which we haven't seen in any Robin Hood before. Standing defiant on those Castle steps, as his arrows cut the Scarlet brothers down from the nooses around their necks, Robin Hood was a hero both of the people and for the people, even going so far as to speak openly about the unjust taxes which were being raised to furnish his beloved King's war; a war which scarred him far more than he realised.

So what happened? Did Robin Hood turn away from those people, or did they turn away from him? I offer you my assessment of the character as portrayed in Robin Hood series 2. It is only my opinion, and not necessarily the writer's intent.
Right at the start of series 2, in "Sisterhood", we can see something has changed in Robin. He should be happy. Marian had publicly demonstrated her love by riding away with him on horseback, leaving a punched out Gisborne at the altar. He had assembled and knocked into shape an excellent band of outlaws, embracing all sciences and cultures, and to which both Will Scarlet and Allan A' Dale had returned to the fold. He should be happy, but he's not. And worse than that, he's out to kill.

Of course it wouldn't work out if Robin Hood went about killing his enemies every week, otherwise we'd run out of cast members. But for the first time in that episode we had to be told an "official" reason why he can't kill the Sheriff of Nottingham, and so the thought that "he would if he could" (rather than the fact he might be restraining himself through some sense of morality) does put an entirely different slant on his character: This Robin Hood, rather than have learnt his lesson from the horrors of war, actually wants to kill. And more than that, it might be suggested by his actions in the subsequent programme "Beauty and the Booby", that he actually wants to "kill or be killed". Time and again Robin Hood instructs his outlaw gang to either stay behind when he goes on his missions, or stay back when the action starts. The loyal Much sees this straight away, and is most concerned over his master's apparently reckless, self destructive actions in the strong room. Does Robin have a death wish? And note how it is Little John, not Robin, who gives the final morale boosting call to action (something which will occur time and again from this point onwards). Does Robin also have growing concerns about his own leadership qualities and ability to inspire his gang?

In several ways, episode 3 ("Childhood"), is pivotal to the decline in Robin Hood as both a confident leader of men, and as a heroic saviour of the oppressed. Like a schoolboy he spies on Marian's encounter with a bare chested Guy, still uncertain of her loyalties, and then has to suffer the indignity of being thrown from pillar to post by "Guy the Man of Damascus Steel". His own plan to retrieve the black diamonds is thwarted by the Sheriff, and it is Marian who's macho dagger against the steel maker's spine saves the day. And to top it all, although he doesn't know it yet, there is now a traitor in his ranks. After a clear indication of unrest amongst the troops when Will Scarlet and Allan A' Dale almost left in series 1, Robin has still failed to learn from his mistakes as a leader, and Allan has deserted him.

Robin Hood the hero, the Pagan "Green Man" from the Forest, hailed since pre-Christian times as the spirit who will ensure a good harvest and bring harmony to the land, is clearly both failing and falling apart at the seams. And if ever proof were needed, look no further than episode 4 as the "Angel of Death" spreads his plague like genocidal death amongst the very people before whom Robin Hood once stood on those steps and pledged "I will not tolerate this". But his eye has long since left the ball, and now the victims of the Sheriff of Nottingham's corruption are falling in ever greater numbers. (And Will Scarlet's father, the very man who's sons Robin had saved on that inspiring day, is amongst them).
A lot has been said of the scenes between Lucy Griffiths and Richard Armitage throughout Robin Hood, and such scenes as the balcony sequence, the "wedding", and many others were impressive for their tension. But I would argue that the scenes between Jonas and Joe Armstrong in episode 5, "Ducking and Diving", are amongst the finest of the entire two series. When Robin Hood is confronted with the traitor Allan A ' Dale he is not only face to face with the man who betrayed him, but face to face with his own failure as a leader. Robin saved Allan from the gallows; Allan's brother was hung by the Sheriff of Nottingham, and yet STILL Allan has determined that working for the enemy is a better option than a future with Robin of Loxley. In these scenes between Jonas and Joe the sparks fly off the screen; both actors seizing the moment to shine for a while outside that Lucy / Guy spotlight the producers seemed intent on driving into the ground. And as extra proof that Robin has now come completely unglued, he simply and remorselessly kills the man (Henry) holding Much at knife point. No consideration for Henry's mental state, no attempt at persuasion and bargaining. Nothing. Apart that is from one arrow, clean and straight to the heart. (I loved it. But heroes aren't meant to be doing that sort of thing, and we all know he could have made a trick shot).

What we are witnessing at this stage is Robin Hood the disturbed war veteran; Robin Hood who did his duty by King and country and, having done so, cannot now understand why the consequence would appear to be this world of corruption, death and desertion he finds himself returned to. Even the girl he loves stubbornly refuses to join his cause in fighting from the Forest, preferring instead a more "hands on" approach, dispensing food in the darkened streets of Nottingham. It is not so much Robin Hood who is taking from the rich to give to the poor as it is the Night Watchman.
The next truly pivotal point in Robin Hood's decline as a heroic character occurs in episode 6, "For England". Now totally bereft of all ideas on how to stop the schemes of the Black Knights, he dresses from head to toe in sinister black, jumps on a table top, and without warning slaughters all before him, fully expectant that his actions will also result in his own death. If this was the 20th century, what we would be witnessing is an ex-war vet turned psycho with a sniper gun atop a tower block. Even Gisborne himself hasn't committed murder on this scale! But what is even worse from Robin's perspective is that Gisborne probably wouldn't have failed. He would have taken their heads off, whereas Robin's arrows simply thud into the Black Knight's hidden breastplates as the Sheriff of Nottingham has once again outwitted him. By adopting his enemies ruthless tactics and morals, Robin has lowered himself to their status, lost the fight, and become once and for all "the loser".

Robin Hood's only hope, his only "way back" to his former, confident, focussed, high spirited self, is "the girl he left behind". Robin Hood without Maid Marian is a man without purpose, because Marian is a symbol of all that was good and right about the Country he thought he was defending and fighting for. Marian empowers Robin Hood. She is quite literally the Wind Beneath His Wings. Only Marian's approval can stop his inner turmoil, if only she could be made to understand his continued unquestioning loyalty to the King, and his "big plan" to get Richard home, rather than deal with the situation himself on a local level, as he once pledged to, and as both Marian and John clearly still want to.
And so it is that, in the same episode which sees the Sheriff's men silently slaughtered without warning when ambushed from behind by Robin Hood's outlaws, he finally tells her he loves her. In fact he loves her so much his anger subsides long enough to let the traitor Allan A Dale live. When Marian's father is murdered soon after this scene, and Marian agrees to flee into Sherwood Forest with Robin, it still seems possible for a while that he can win the day; regroup his forces, draw strength from Marian, and return to destroy the corruption in Nottingham. But it will never be. It is John, not Robin, who comforts Marian in her grieving, whilst Robin stubbornly refuses to be swayed from his only plan to get King Richard home. Not for a moment has he learned anything from the desertion of Allan and the later disobedience of Djaq and John. In the end, Marian, the one person who could have saved him, seems to desert him herself, returning to Nottingham Town to continue her vigilante actions alone as the Night Watchman. Even his proposal of marriage will not persuade her to stay, and in one final ironic twist of fate, it will be Guy of Gisborne who stands bravely at Marian's side to defend Nottingham against overwhelming odds, whilst Robin Hood the loser stumbles about Sherwood Forest trying to secure the safety of his arch enemy the Sheriff.

England desperately needed a hero. Robin Hood and Much might have expected to be greeted and lauded as home coming heroes. But heroes need heroic causes, and Robin's cause was seriously flawed. And whereas Much accepted and learned from that fact, Robin never did.
For me personally, what happens in episodes 11, 12, and 13 is a shambles. There are some great moments, as when Guy discovers who is behind the Night Watchman's mask, but the whole thing lacks continuity. What is interesting about those three episodes is sometimes more the actor's performances than the script. Lucy Griffiths gives it her all. She knows it's over, and she goes out on a bang, grabbing every headline (and so she should). Anjali Rose has long since gone onto "remote pilot" and, having been ignored all series, who can blame her? In "that scene" with Harry Lloyd they both look like they're saying "Let's just get this over with. The pubs will be open in a bit". In fact, Harry Lloyd is soooo over the top I seriously think he's taking the p*ss out of the script. Go and look at it again. He cannot be serious. And we all know of Richard Armitage's concerns because he's made them public, and subsequently signed up for "Spooks".

And Jonas Armstrong? One of the best Robin Hood's ever? Series 2 asked him to go to the well one time too many, and he doesn't look too happy about it. After all, he'd already ended one series with a Lucy death scene, giving everything he had in a superb performance. Then there was Edward's death a couple of episodes previous, and now he has to do it all over again? Several readers commented on the fact Jonas didn't seem to care as much as he should have when Marian was finally killed. Who can blame him? Perhaps it should be a measure of how splendid Jonas Armstrong was that, not only has he given perhaps the most diverse set of performances ever in the Robin Hood role, but that he had to do it within a context that became increasingly frustrating and confusing as it neared its end.

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36 Comments:

Blogger robin hood said...

BBC Robin Hood Cast:

Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong
Marian - Lucy Griffiths
Guy of Gisborne - Richard Armitage
Sheriff of Nottingham - Keith Allen
Little John - Gordon Kennedy
Much - Sam Troughton
Alan A'Dale - Joe Armstrong
Will Scarlett - Harry Lloyd
Anjali Jay - Djaq

19 March 2008 at 10:30:00 GMT  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin- Have just finished reading your great review of S2 I think that the sad thing was Robin's loyalty to the King which clouded his judgement to what was going on around him. He had (in the words that he himself used to the king in the final episode)himself spent too long at war and the king was all that mattered to him at the cost of his commitment to the people of Loxley and he was increasingly frustrated by the lack of support that he received from his gang who would never and could never understand( they were only simple village folk after all and what was happening at home was all and more then they could deal with)I think that Much was lucky in that he was able to rise above what had happened , but the lack of a confidant only made everything worse for Robin he had no one to turn to or talk to and in the end he just became more remote and morose. A flawed hero indeed , but I suppose to put the war in context with all wars so many men returned and are still returning affected by what they have seen, maybe that was how Jonas was defining his script

19 March 2008 at 13:20:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Evie,

Well that's the only way the whole thing makes sense to me, even if it did leave us on a downer, "without hope".

Of course now we have to wait and see if that situation can be resolved in series 3 (whenever it airs).

Will Robin Hood return a hero? Will he save the day? Or has evil triumphed, with no distinction between the bad guys and the good?

Is there simply no place for Robin in the world anymore? Is it time to die, and take a few of the baddies with him?

19 March 2008 at 16:29:00 GMT  
Blogger Clement of the Glen said...

I have a question for you Robin. Now I want you to be honest, I know there are many young Hoodies looking over you shoulder. But stand back from this new BBC Robin Hood series and tell me where it would stand in your list of top ten Robin productions of all time (film & television)?

19 March 2008 at 17:30:00 GMT  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin - Thought provoking indeed! Another twig mentioned on your review about Robin's relationship with Marian the trouble between them was ( in my interpretation) Robin's out and out jealousy of Guy He was feeling vunerable which was understandable as he mentioned once to Much at the end of S1 Gisborne had taken his life which sadly at the end of S2 proved to be the case. He had nothing left with which to offer Marian and as I said that made him feel more
bitter then ever We know that when Marian at the end did show her true feelings for him which sadly for them both really did come to pass that Gisborne had indeed taken everything of his that he held dear. His Lands , His Title and most of all his wife. Where indeed will Robin go from there Hopefully the only way will be up

19 March 2008 at 18:19:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Clement,

Certainly below Robin of Sherwood as a TV series.

RoS had superior settings, and unbeatable portrayals of Will Scarlet (Ray Winstone) and Guy of Gisborne (Robert Addie). It also had all that Pagan mysticism, and none of the King Richard complications, which I've never liked. The only thing that the Jonas version had which was superior to RoS was Lucy's Marian (much better than Judi Trott), and the development of Much.

It's hard to place it against movies. My favourites are still "Robin and Marian", (Sean Connery & Audrey Hepburn), and 1991's "Robin Hood" (with Uma Thurman as Marian). But I'm afraid these are outside populist tastes. In the former Robin Hood is an "old" man, and in the latter most people didn't get the Green Man connection in the changing landscape and went to see Costner's version instead. (Their loss).

If I was pressed to position Jonas as Robin Hood ( a position which has to take some account of the programme itself) I would probably say:

1. Michael Praed. (Not necessarily the best actor, but a stunning series).

2. Richard Greene. (A loooong running TV series which continues to thrill).

3=. Jonas Armstrong. (Possibly higher because of the range of emotions he was asked to portray, but I doubt he will last as long as Richard Greene).

3=. Sean Connery ("Robin and Marian"). No doubt the best actor on the list, but the fact the film only shows his final days limits his positioning here.

Errol Flynn is good fun, but there's no difference between his Robin Hood and his General Custer (or anything else he did). The original Disney is better than the Flynn one (which I'm sure you'll agree).

19 March 2008 at 19:07:00 GMT  
Blogger Clement of the Glen said...

Interesting Robin,
I am short of time but I would go:

1.Story of Robin Hood (Disney-Not the Cartoon)
2. Robin Of Sherwood

3. Adventures of Robin Hood (Richard Greene)

4. Adventures of Robin Hood (Errol Flynn)

Jonas and the Beeb's Robin Hood would sit about 5th. I feel the whole production could have been so much better. With the sheer quality of cotume dramas the Beeb constamtly turn out the final product was very below par.

19 March 2008 at 20:43:00 GMT  
Anonymous kitty said...

Loved your review although i was never a fan of Robin . I felt that there was more complexity needed , more passion between him and Marian . The relationship between him and Mutch was ironically the one with greater depth. But i agree about your interpretation of his relationship with Allan . What could have lifted it would have been more information about his back story

19 March 2008 at 21:53:00 GMT  
Anonymous andy said...

Hot gossip -she`s back in what capacity and for how long I know not . As soon as I know you will know

19 March 2008 at 21:55:00 GMT  
Blogger evielyn said...

I agree about the back story it would have been nice to have known a little about his family and what was supposed to have happened to them. Who for instance did he leave in charge of his estates when he went off to the holy land?

19 March 2008 at 22:15:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Kitty,

Very good point about Much, probably the one person he really could and should have turned to. I think his neglect of Much is yet another indication of him "losing it".

Kitty & Evielyn,

Witches being amongst my favourite things, yes I agree that a bit more back story especially about Matilda would have been worth while. She was great.

There are so many lost opportunities like this. (Another being Guy's child).

andy,

ever hopeful?

19 March 2008 at 23:00:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Evielyn P.S.,

I don't know about his estates, but I'm guessing that as Marian's father Edward was the Sheriff when he left for the wars, it wouldn't have seemed a problem.

His estates were probably never threatened until the new Sheriff (Keith Allen) came along.

19 March 2008 at 23:04:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Two options are around in rumour form
`, She is back as a ghost -Guy i killed by Robin relatively early on -episode 2/3
She is back as inperson Guy is killed later on episode 7/8

20 March 2008 at 10:31:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Dear Hoodies,

Just a couple of reminders here: Speculation is fine. It's part of the fun.

But, as and when things get underway with series 3, this site has a "no spoilers" policy.

("Spoiler" comments are deleted, or if necessary, comment verification can be introduced, which would be a shame.)

But also remember that Lucy's death came as a HUGE surprise to us all. So exactly what does or does not happen in the future is not something I would place a bet on, no matter what we "hear"...

20 March 2008 at 11:08:00 GMT  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin- I had forgotten about Guy's baby that was a story line that just disappeared! Also Eve she and Much seemed to go well together Much is such a lovely character I would love for him to have a bit of romance for himself as you pointed out Robin really was quite off hand with him which after the early days of their being so close was such a shame

20 March 2008 at 20:13:00 GMT  
Anonymous kitty said...

What really annoys me .This is the time around when we saw the early beginnings of the renaissance . Is there any mention ,no not really unless one counts the gunpowder story as a foray into that area.
I am convinced that Mutch is gay and there exists considerable evidence within this Robin Hood to support that idea. In series three the writers should start using some imagination instead of death as the only option to dispense with a character . R.A leaving? -that figures he has a better offer

22 March 2008 at 20:21:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

does anyone know if there is a dvd coming out for this series?!

23 March 2008 at 10:16:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

There certainly will be.

I note Amazon don't appear to be taking advance orders yet. Maybe the BBC are waiting 'til the whole thing finishes screening in USA and Australia.

Then I'll be looking for combined offers with series 1...

23 March 2008 at 10:31:00 GMT  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin - Happy Easter
I had this email in my in box yesterday from Admin robinhood2006.com just confirming what we have already mentioned on your site. Only a couple of new(to me) items
Quote- If it is true that MERLIN is in the Autumn Robin Hood slot then S3 will not air until 2009 possibly in the Dr Who slot which will be vacated in the Spring but as it is still unconfirmed anywhere and the BBC Robin Hood site is still showing 2008 its bad news for all hoodies but at least it won't be up against X Factor which is a high rating programme - unquote
Also it says that both Oz and the US will be receiving the DVD box S2set very soon but we have to wait until much later in the year!!
Hope you don't mind me mentioning it but did you manage to catch up with Richard the Lionheart on BBC2 last night I thought it was very good I was interested in it because of the ficitous angle we have been discussing here ie Robin
and also for the factual side of it which I have never really known much about

23 March 2008 at 16:09:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Eveilyn,

Hope you got plenty of choc eggs today.


I did enjoy the Richard the Lionheart programme, and considered a mini post on it until our 'arry got bumped off so soon.

But I can't help believing it was a little kind? I would like a historian to present the case for both Richard and John and tell me truly which was the best King for England.

As far as I know, Richard's Crusades bankrupted the country, he barely spoke English, spent his time mostly in France, etc., etc.

He seems to be a bit like America's General Custer, who's reputation relies more on a charismatic appearance on the battle field rather than any great skill.

But yes, I did think it was well presented overall; well filmed.

Thanks for the other info.

23 March 2008 at 21:01:00 GMT  
OpenID dcwash said...

The rumor du jour I've heard lately is that "Merlin" will take "Robin Hood's" time slot, but that "Robin Hood" will move back a couple of hours, away from the "childrn's hour.' That's as opposed to not airing until 2009. Though I like the idea--I like the way such a move will ease the restrictions the production is now under--I honestly don't have any reason to put my faith in that rumor any more than in any of the others floating around.

In these scenes between Jonas and Joe the sparks fly off the screen; both actors seizing the moment to shine for a while outside that Lucy / Guy spotlight the producers seemed intent on driving into the ground.
I agree, but it's interesting to note it wasn't just the actors pulling out all the stops, but everybody else involved in the production as well. Look at the lighting in the tavern scene between Robin and Allan, for instance. It's superb, playing up each actor's physical charms in the closeups and using shadows and light to accentuate the tension and brooding emotions in the characters' interactions. That said, the scene between them that really blew me away came two episodes later, when they were fighting to the death until Marian intervened. There was a point where Jonas slammed Joe's head into the stone floor that made me gasp, mostly because Joe did something that made his eyes go out of focus for a moment. I halfway thought he was really injured, and even when I got past that, I pretty much expected that to be The End of Allan.

(By the way, what is it with this show and the actors' names? You've got a Jonas Armstrong and a Joe Armstrong, which much lead to all kinds of confusion on the set, as well as a looming character named Richard and an actor named Richard. In the DVD commentaries, you could hear everybody getting mixed up as to who the others were referring to in a given scene. Apparently they've resorted to calling each other by their characters' names to make things easier.)

25 March 2008 at 08:06:00 GMT  
Anonymous kitty said...

It wouldn`t really matter if Richard only spoke French as that was the language of the courts at this time . England was heavily divided into regional languages of anglo saxon origin , to a greater or lesser extent influenced by scandinavian languages.
Richard`s prestige and standing developed through folklore , undeniably influenced by his sheer physical presence and his good looks . There is no doubt he was an excellent general but his attitude towards woman was dreadful even by the standards of the day . John brought administration and enforced the laws of the land .
I am not a medieval historian my knowledge is found through reading meieval language at University .
The rumour hear is Merlin is the later programme .

25 March 2008 at 12:03:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Kitty,

tyhanks for all that. I do find the Richard or John debate interesting. Maybe because of the dilema of the present world situation...

dcwash,

I wonder if this "later in the evening" rumour is simply a misquote of the earlier rumour about screening Merlin and skipping Robin Hood for a year (i.e., "later"...)

25 March 2008 at 13:47:00 GMT  
OpenID dcwash said...

The thing is, I have a hard time believing that they'd (whoever "they" is) would unilaterally decide to delay the show a whole six months, given it's popularity at home and the demands of all the international broadcasters they're so proud of having. I have a feeling that we're all cooking up a lot if intrigue--some of it based on announced staff changes, some of it based on the reading of entrails--but that that in the end everything's going to wind up pretty much the same as it always has been.

Oh, and I've posted here a good bit, but it's been so long I forgot my username! I thought I'd try Open ID because I use the same name to read and write about the show in several places, and that would kind of link them all together.

25 March 2008 at 14:17:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

dcwash,

I take them all with a big pinch of salt. Including the very first one about master tapes being stolen....

I have asked before that people should quote sources and provide a URL link to their information.

The BBC are loving every minute of it I'm sure.

25 March 2008 at 14:42:00 GMT  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin- It would be interesting to know who was considered to be the best King. As you say Richard wasn't in this country for long, but it is documented - in fact it was mentioned on the programme -that he had to come home to save his throne from Prince John all though he did appear to love war dying in the end fighting the French. John I seem to remember from school( a long time ago) was a weak king ruled by lots of real life Sheriff of Nottingham's until the Barons of the country took over and made him sign Magna Carta in 1215 at Runnymede. As you said Poor old 'arry never lasted long in the show did he and rather a gruesome end I thought Do you think his character was real? I thought the synopsis at the beginning said all events were based on fact

25 March 2008 at 15:16:00 GMT  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Anthony Minghella died suddenly last Tuesday . He was of course the elder brother and famous writer of emotional screen plays . His younger brother Dominic is the main writer behind Robin Hood although I note he is not appearing in the listings for R.H series three .Dominic was the writer behind the disasterous disjointed episodes twelve and thirteen . I wonder if his brothers unexpected illness was a contributory factor

25 March 2008 at 17:01:00 GMT  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks for bringing that up

Anthony Minghella is of course a sad loss to the industry, and I was wondering whether or not to make reference here.

Knowledge of his brother's illness must have been a difficult time to work through.

25 March 2008 at 17:24:00 GMT  
Blogger Joni said...

I agree 125%. One of the biggest problems I had with the series as a whole was in the almost over development of Guy and the way the writers/producers/whomever completely ignored Robin's development. They say they killed off Marian to find out what Robin would be like without her, but I don't believe it. I think they killed her off because of Guy. There's a letter that the BBC/Tiger Aspect sent out to people who wrote in to let them know that they "shouldn't worry because Guy will feel sorry for what he's done". I couldn't care less about GUY. I mean, Richard is fabulous and all, but for heaven's sake - if they killed her off just to see what would happen?

Man. Four months on now and I'm still seething over this. There are parts of legends that you can alter and still be ok with things, but there are some things you don't mess with - this is one of them.

Is it wrong to hope that the show flops after a few episodes? Just to stick it to the "artistic reasons" they've been claiming?

3 April 2008 at 03:03:00 BST  
OpenID dcwash said...

The DVDs for Series 2--now out in Australia, but not due to be released in the UK until October, for some reason--has a "featurette" on the death of Marian where they talk about why they did it. The actors commentaries also get into it. That said, I haven't seen the featurette and I've only heard the clips of the commentary posted on Richard Armitage's website, so I can't speak directly as to what they say.

By the way, I used to post here as "kej," but I forgot my user name after some computer crashes and took up the OpenID format.)

3 April 2008 at 03:11:00 BST  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks Joni. Yes we are in total agreement.

However, as to the the third / fourth series being a flop? As I've said before, I think the BBC are looking at this as another potential "Life On Mars" , "Taggart", "Hotel Babylon", etc., etc., where the original characters are long since gone, but it can still run with a smaller but respectable audience figure over a longer period.

What do I think of that? Hate it. The only reason I'm blogging series 3 is out of a sense of loyalty to readers of this blog. I honestly can't say I'm looking forward to the series now.

3 April 2008 at 10:21:00 BST  
Blogger robin hood said...

dcwash / kej,

Thanks for the info. Does anyone out there have a transcript from this featurette? Does it tell us anything about the reason for losing Lucy?

Keith Allen interview on BBC Scotland was pretty useless. It was very brief, and more or less \a plug for his autobiography. Allen seemed unusually subdued, the interviewer seemed more interested in talking about himself, and the Robin Hood series was not mentioned. Just thought I'd let you all know.

3 April 2008 at 10:27:00 BST  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin- I wonder if there will even be a S3 I know some stars have supposedly signed up but with everything is disarray and so much secrecy who knows what is happening, there has been so much speculation on your site alone I'm certain that the BBC and the prodution team have also had reems of it (so much on the same theme they are most probably sick of it)
I know they say that any publicity is better then none but even so there has been so many negative things said I do wonder how they dare go on -hence the possibility of Merlin airing instead in the evning RH spot in the Autumn. I am taping Paul O Grady's show to night (too early for me to watch)maybe Keith Allen will come up with something positive although I won't hold my breath

3 April 2008 at 16:22:00 BST  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin- I actually found myself with a spare few minutes (whilst cooking the tea) so watched Keith Allen he is so funny In case not everyone managed to catch him he chatted about lots of things and the only things he said about RH were that he loves playing the villian and that Robin Hood is the biggest selling series overseas ever especially in S/America!! he talked briefly about killing the budgie ( a mistake by the sheriff apparently) and they showed the clip where he informed Marian that she was off to the Holy Land and that was all, no mention of S3 at all but he was funny I enjoyed what he did say. So thats that still none the wiser

3 April 2008 at 18:02:00 BST  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Evielyn,

Yes I managed to catch it to (in spite of VirginMedia's best efforts to keep shutting down).

As you say, entertaining but none the wiser.

I've been a Keith Allen fan for years though, and well remember his first appearances in the post punk days of early Channel 4.

I passed him on a beach once down South. He was just as formidable looking in real life!

3 April 2008 at 19:00:00 BST  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hello, I've been reading this blog for a while now and this is my first comment on it. I think it's great!

Anyway, on the subject- I think Robin's too loyal to King Richard. He doesn't seem so bothered about the poor anymore. There weren't so many scenes in Locksley last series, and Locksley is Robin's home village throughout series 2 he's only fussed about making sure the King is okay. I hope they don't carry on this in series 3.
I also didn't like how Robin wasn't so likeable in series 2. He was often moody and shouting at the gang and being mean to Much, and even though Robin has grown up I don't think Robin should change personality.

11 May 2008 at 23:05:00 BST  

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