Robin of Sherwood dir. by

22 July 2004

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I don’t know if I actually remember this from when it was originally shown on RTE, or if it was repeats. Then again, the last series, the third, was made in 1985. I was six then, so it is entirely possible that I have vague memories. But I don’t really remember watching much telly back then, we spent most of our time outside running round the estate. So it is more likely that I remember repeats. I know I watched Robin of Sherwood on a Sat. because I used to go horse-riding after it when I was in secondary school.
It doesn’t really matter, the fact that does is that I have very fond memories of Robin of Sherwood so when I spotted the first two series on DVD two years ago I barely hesitated before purchasing.

I wasn’t disappointed. Sure some of it has dated a little (namely the hair), and maybe it is a little slower than would be expected from modern TV but it was still great. Yet despite the fact that I loved the first two, it took my almost two years before I bought the third and final series. The main reason for this was that they were harder to find, and that I couldn’t come across a boxed set.
) But I recently tracked them down, and finally got around to watching both the episodes and most of the extras.

For those among you who don’t know, Robin of Sherwood was a TV series, made by HTV and Goldcrest between 1983 and 85 (i think). It totaled three series, 26 episodes in all. Written by Richard “Kip” Carpenter it took a more pagan apporach to the legend of Robin Hood, introducing the character of Herne the Hunter as a god who was the driving force behind Robin i’ the Hood.
Initially Robin was played by Michael Praed (and a very fine Robin he made too), but the actor left after the second series to join the cast of Dynasty. His Robin was based on the peasant version of the legend but when that RObin died another was called to take his place. This was Robert of Huntington, the Earl’s son and the other version of the legend.

Of course there was also a supporting cast, the Merries as well as the usual baddies of the Sheriff and Gisburne. If you have seen Kevin Costner’s film of Robin Hood then you’ll have seen many elements of this series. The TV series was where the notion of a Saracen was first brought up, and this, among others, was made a part of the film version.

I love this series, part of the reason is the alternate take on the legend of Robin Hood. A bit of magic often gains my attention, but it was handled well. Also there was a good atmosphere about the show. Maybe I imagined it, but it seemed as though everyone got on well together. The sheriff was wonderfully camp (but not too much) and evil, there was archery and swordfights, death (yet strangely little blood), humour and drama. Everything a good adventure show should have. And of course Ray Winstone :)

Well worth anyone watching, the DVDs also contain out-takes and making of features, as well as quite a few comentaries. So if you have the money to spend I’d recommend you buy and take a gander, if not, see if you can rent it.

Nostalgia is all it’s cracked up to be.

Series One
Robin Hood and the Sorcerer (Part 1) Guest star: Anthony Valentine ;
* Robin Hood and the Sorcerer (Part 2)
Guest star: Anthony Valentine
* The Witch of Elsdon
Guest Star: Angharad Rees
* Seven Poor Knights From Acre
Guest star: Yves Beneyton, Simon Rouse, Duncan Preston
* Alan A Dale
* The King’s Fool
Guest star: John Rys Davies

Series Two

* The Prophecy
Guest Star: John Nettles, George Baker
* The Children of Israel
Guest star: David De Keyser, Katherine Levy
* Lord of the Trees
Guest star: Oliver Tobias
* The Enchantment
Guest star: Gemma Craven, Anthony Valentine
* The Swords of Wayland (Part 1)
Guest star: Rula Lenska, Norman Bowler, Anthony Steel
* The Swords of Wayland (Part 2)
Guest star: Rula Lenska, Norman Bowler, Anthony Steel
* The Greatest Enemy

Series Three

* Herne’s Son (Part 1)
Guest Star: Oliver Cotton, Richard O’Brien, George Baker, Michael Craig
* Herne’s Son (Part 2)
Guest Star: Oliver Cotton, Richard O’Brien, George Baker, Michael Craig
* The Power of Albion
Guest Star: George Baker
* The Inheritance
Guest Star: Cyril Cusack, Derrick O’Connor, Cathryn Harrison
* The Sheriff of Nottingham
Guest Star: Lewis Carrol, Valentine Pelka
* The Cross of St. Ciricus
Guest Star: Dorothy Tutin, Brendan Price
* Cromm Cruac
Guest Star: Richard O’Brien, John Horsley, CLaire Parker
* The Betrayel
Guest Star: Philip Davis, Matt Frewer
* Adam Bell
Guest Star: Bryan Marshall
* The Pretender
Guest Star: Patricia Hodge, Reece Dinsdale
* Rutterkin
Guest Star: Ian Ogilvy, Philip Davis, Michael Craig
* The Time of the Wolf (Part 1)
Guest Star: Richard O’Brien
* The Time of the Wolf (Part 2)
Guest Star: Richard O’Brien

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1 Response

  1. 14 May 2010

    […] many version of Robin over the years. My personal favourite still remains the tv show from the 80s Robin of Sherwood. It managed to get the balance between myth and reality just about right, in my opinion, of course. […]