Saturday, October 07, 2006

Robin Hood. Episode 1: "Will you tolerate this?"

Story: The scene opens in England, 1192, as in time honoured style, the Sheriff's men are arresting someone for poaching. (Alan A’ Dale). A hooded man steps out from the trees to rescue him. It is Robin of Loxley, passing through Sherwood Forest on his way home from the crusades.
This journey home serves to introduce us to Robin's skills which assume super heroic status with the bow, and an eye for the ladies. His partner is Much. Not Much the Miller's son of legend, but a servant of Robin's who has accompanied him on the crusades and has now earned his freedom.
When Robin reaches Nottingham he finds the old Sheriff (Marian's father in this version), has been replaced by someone far more ruthless. The injustice Robin observes persuades him to rebel against the Sheriff, rescuing both Will Scarlet and Alan A’ Dale in spectacular style in the process, and take to the forest. At the end of the programme he is challenged from the hill top by a very tall outlaw...

Observations and opinions: The BBC is clearly onto a winner with this series, choosing to pursue those traits which the general public have always favoured in their Robin Hoods; namely that of action and charm. In spite of the contemporary "hoodie" and broad accent, when Jonas Armstrong back flips out of towers, stealing a kiss on the way, there is far more of the Errol Flynns and Douglas Fairbanks about him than the Michael Praeds. This will prove popular with the public, even though those Robin Hood fans that prefer the more mystic interpretation might be disappointed.
The cast are uniformly superb, particularly Sam Troughton as Much, who had more chance to develop the character in this first episode than simply introduce himself. Outwardly Much is a bravado character, devoted to Robin, and always hungry. (Is this the Friar Tuck substitute?) But inwardly he is distressed, possibly at things he witnessed on the crusades; possibly at the thought of actually being a free man and no longer in service to Robin. We shall see. Lucy Griffiths as Marian, and Richard Armitage as Gisborne are also particularly well cast and situated for future development, and the broad accents throughout combine with the stark settings to give a real sense of authenticity which is perhaps at odds with the somewhat dubious Star Wars type music.
One very interesting innovation (which might upset some) is the absence of an English long bow. This Robin Hood uses a Saracen bow which he obtained from the crusades. So if we are not to get a Saracen outlaw in this series, like Nasir, then Robin's sympathies with the Saracen losses he witnessed overseas are perhaps expressed in this token way.

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30 Comments:

Blogger robin hood said...

robin hood. BBC Episode one.

9:53 PM  
Blogger Daniel said...

Shame it was a CBBC-esque panto. Shame about the gurning, mockney wideboy Robin as well.

The Micheal Praed Robin Hood still rules :)

10:13 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

hi daniel,

I certainly think Michael Praed's "Robin of Sherwood is going to remain the definitive version for me also. Last night I was going through the cast in my mind, comparing character for character, and I doubt those 80's versions of Gisborne, Scarlett, and the Sheriff in particular could be surpassed.

However, in my opinion this new series got off to a great start, has a lot to commend it, and I'm already looking forward to next week!

10:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I'm trying to keep an open mind about this robin hood and wait till I've watched a few more episodes but I can't help wishing they'd done a better job of the music its annoying me already!
But I agree the cast seem good.

11:13 AM  
Anonymous Tasha said...

I really enjoyed it,but agree that the Michael Praed version was better.I did like Jonas Armstrong's Robin,but not keen on Marian.She's a bit hefty,not like Judy Trott,who was a really gorgeous Marian.
Don't know yet about Richard Armitage.I like my baddies to be really bad.I felt his Guy has redeeming qualities,but this might serve to weaken the character.Time will tell.

12:11 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

anonymous,

Yes the music is awful isn't it? Totally inappropriate. They could have done something that mixed the contemporary with the "olde english". It's little details like that that are going to annoy me...

tasha,

Very interesting comment. Firstly, yes Lucy Griffiths is more "hefty" than her publicity pictures. That doesn't bother me - indeed it's probably more authentic. But I keep looking at that red dress and I'm reminded of the girl in the "New Adventures of Robin Hood", running through the forest in her red mini dress (Xena style). But I think Lucy is going to be great.

Secondly, I agree about Richard Armitage and really hope he has the opportunity to get as nasty as Robert Addie in the 80's. Armitage is such a great actor, and I really want to see him cut loose.

But hey guys, early days. I think we're all in for a real treat as this series developes now the characters have been introduced.

Doesn't look like Robin and John are going to meet on the bridge over the river though does it?

7:03 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

11:59 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i love harry lloyd to! :)

also guys up above! Robin hood has gor way better over the years the lot has been great but this new robin hood will be hard to match!! :p

with fit actors and really cool people who cant love it!

please reply back!

7:36 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

I think its great how the new series has brought the legend back to life for a whole new generation.

Harry Lloyd has certainly proved very popular, and we're all hoping Will Scarlet gets more to do in series 2.

10:13 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

yes! i agree with the first anonymous whatever! jonas is adorable! his eyes are amazing! i love him!
but not in a wierd way, you must understand!

8:55 PM  
Anonymous steph said...

im the anonymous before that one! ha lol

i know what you mean and in episode 8 jonas was ausome!!!! hes super sexy! :p

steph

7:07 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

My fave character is Much played by Sam Troughton. He is so sweet and very funny. also cute too. I would give so much just to meet him in person. lol.:)

7:43 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Jess,
In the early part of this series he was certainly my favourite to. He brought the whole thing to life with his humour. And the bit in the bath when he broke down in tears was very moving.
If you want to see anything else Sam Troughton's been in he's also in Alien vs Predator. (But not as funny).

8:55 PM  
Anonymous katie said...

robin hood is brilliant! all episodes has been good and i just cant wait to see the next!
i agree with steph episode 8 was wicked and well put together!

jonas armstrong has got to be my favourite! hes fit,talented and funny!! he plays robin very well!

7:21 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hia Robin Hood, Thanx for replying to me i wasn't expecting it but i'm chuffed. I did find that scene in the bath very moving too. only a gr8 actor can pass something like that off. I think he will always be my favourite character. I have seen alien vs predator i was kind of dissapointed as he was like one of the first people to die but he was in it thats wat really counts. I think they have a gr8 team of actor in Robin Hood at the mo. I think they work well together and hope too see much more going on in further episodes. I hope that Will Scarlet and Djaq get together they suit. soz allan. not that fussed on Keith Allen as the Sheriff, bit too cocky for my liking but i suppose he is only playing the part. soz. Hope to see more of happening wid Much in future episodes. Thanx again. :p

7:03 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hey steph!
lol, is jonas ur fave charachter? he is totally mine. next would be maid marian, shes so young but shes a great actress!
freya

7:06 PM  
Anonymous steph said...

hey anonymous

i didnt think youd reply back to me!! lol

well jonas armstrong is my fave charater then harry lloyd but lucy (who plays marian) is a brilliant actor to!!! lol

i agree with jess to about the will and jack/Djaq get together thing!

bye!

7:05 AM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hia again. just a thort. where are you guys from? just wunderin. bit dissapointed with last sats episode. i thort it was rubbish even though Much was centre screen. Jess xxxx

7:02 PM  
Anonymous Jess said...

Hia again. just a thort. where are you guys from? just wunderin. bit dissapointed with last sats episode. i thort it was rubbish even though Much was centre screen. Jess xxxx

7:04 PM  
Anonymous steph said...

yeah i agree last saturdays episode disappointed me a bit!! but i looking forward to next weeks maybe it will be a bit better! i saw a clip of it and it looks good!!!!

7:25 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

hi
i just thought id rite 2 say that; a) jonus armstrong is so belivably fit!! lol
b) . . . jonus is hot xx lol xx and a gr8 actor 2, makes a fabby robin hood
c) lucy griffiths is makin a gr8 marion altho im hoping for a gd kiss soon. im glad marion is finally softening to robin, is v good to see (altho slightly annoyed, robin is mine!)
d) gisborne is a good character altho not as 'complex' as some of his many fans wud have it. altho he is acted very well by richard armitage, dont get me wrong, gisborne is emotionally insensitive, knows only how to bully to get his way, kills without thinking and, even tho the sheriff (acted fabulously by kieth allen, an unbeatable sheriff i thnk, lovin his interpretation of da character) pulls the right strings with gisborne, gisborne still is a BAD man, not secretly 'good' as suggested by other sites. all in all the casting and sharp lines have made this series the best ever; a gorgeous robin acted v v well, a great marion, all the outlaws are very well casted and acted (lovin harry lloyd as will scarlet)the sheriff is sososo gd at being bad and gisborne is acted v well! fab. xxx

5:44 PM  
Anonymous lisa said...

is jonas armstrong going out with lucy?

7:06 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

not as far as I know lisa.

PS: For Hoodies commenting here, are you sure youre on the main page? This post was quite some time ago.... You should be able yo view almost the entire series above it...

either way. no problem.

10:37 AM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Lucy Griffiths is so fit! Hope she's in somethin else after RH. and, BIG MASSIVE SPOILER WARNING!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! She dies in the last episode apparently! It can't be true!

7:53 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

na she dont she gets stabbed!!!!

1:41 PM  
Anonymous sascha griffiths said...

lol very subtle

3:16 PM  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

On the picture there's no any saracen bow. That is a hungarian reflex bow from around 1000 A.C.

http://www.atarn.org/magyar/magyar_2/bow.htm
http://www.bmf.hu/journal/Horvath_Kortvelyesi_Legeza_6.pdf
http://www.classic-bow.com/
http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Hungarian_bow

The Hungarian bow is cavalry weapon opposite of long bow.

5:18 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks for the input "anon" about the bows.

The emphasis on all my Robin Hood blogs focuses more on the entertainment behind the legend rather than the historical truths. But thanks again. Much appreciated.

7:19 PM  
Blogger Lark said...

Any idea on when/where they are filming series 3 in Budapest? I will be there in July and want to 'bump' into them.

6:23 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Lark,

According to Gordon Kennedy's interview, this is the pub in Budapest the cast go drinking in:

http://www.kaledonia.hu/index.php?lang=en

I hope you've been reading the separate blog for series 2. (Linked on the sidebar). I'll have yet another for series 3.

7:28 PM  

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