Saturday, October 28, 2006

Robin Hood. Episode 4: Parent Hood.

The story opens with an encounter between the Men of Sherwood and Gisborne's soldiers. Robin's outlaws have found an apparently abandoned baby, not realising it is a trap and that the baby's cries will alert Gisborne's men as to there exact location. In the ensuing fight, outlaw Roy is taken prisoner to Nottingham Castle. Whilst in the dungeons he learns that the baby is Gisborne's child, the mother of who works in the dungeons and attempts to persuade Roy that Gisborne is not all bad. After some interrogation the Sheriff allows Roy to go free, having presented him with an impossible ultimatum: He must kill Robin Hood or see his mother hanged.
Once reunited with the rest of the outlaws Roy takes Robin off alone, on a mission to leave the baby at a nearby village. There they encounter Maid Marian on a mission of her own, trying to feed the villagers against the Sheriff's specific orders. They are attacked and forced to take refuge in the village, where Marian attends to Robin's wounds in an amusing and emotional scene which gives them the opportunity to explore their relationship. But when they go their separate ways Robin is left holding the baby (and a rather unconvincing baby at that). The plot lines come thick and fast as, in punishing Marian for feeding the village, the Sheriff orders her hair cut on the public gallows, whilst back in Sherwood Forest Roy's attempt to kill Robin is thwarted, and somebody somewhere is surely keeping the doll (sorry, "baby"), safe. The climax involves the now seemingly inevitable fight in the Castle courtyard as Roy and the rest of the outlaws attempt to rescue his mother, and a genuinely sad sacrifice is made.
Comments and observations: Roy was my favourite outlaw. No contest. But I suppose one doesn't hire the talents of an actor like Gordon Kennedy (Little John), and then not give him a script. So maybe tonight's ending will make way for future developments in that respect. Keith Allen is now established without doubt as one of the great Sheriff's in Robin Hood filmdom, and his dominant on-screen taunting has brought out the best in Jonas Armstrong. Lucy Griffiths has also turned out to be most impressive as the super powered hair grips become a thing of the past. (Hopefully). The plot lines here involving Marian's rebellious spirit and defence of the people, and Roy's desperation at being torn between his love for mother and loyalty to Robin, interwove wonderfully. Personally I thought the third plot line regarding the baby to be totally extraneous, and sometimes distractingly silly. However, the fact Gisborne has a baby in Kirklees Abbey (where the real Robin Hood died), plants a few seeds for future development.

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Anonymous Tasha said...

Another enjoyable episode.Guess the baby was put in to show what a rotter Guy is,but the mother did say to Roy,that Guy had another side to him.
A ploy to keep the ladies interested in his character I would suspect.
Did my eyes deceive me?In the flashback,I'm sure one of the people attacking Robin was Guy.

11:47 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Agreed. I really enjoyed it. Especially Lucy G., who most of my search engine results mention, and who I'm now totally convinced is right for the role.

I'll have to go back and have a look at that flashback you mention. I do think Gisborne / Armitage is conveying this "other side" in some of the glances we get from him. I don't think he's very proud of what he is deep inside, BUT I'd still like the script to give more opportunity for Armitage to explore such things. Maybe all he is ever going to be is a nightmare in black to scare the kids. We'll see...

Until next week, same Hood time, same Hood channel.

12:52 PM  
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
Roy - William Beck
Edward - Michael Elwyn
Forrest - Mark Bagnall
Hansom - Josh Cole
Dan Scarlett - Sean Murray
Luke Scarlett - Jonathan Readwin

6:48 PM  

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