The second episode of the new series managed to stay on the fun side of silly without actually crossing the line and being too stupid to tolerate. It’s a fine line, and some people may draw it in a different place than I do, but this is my site, so it’s my line that counts. So there
Following on from last week’s revelation that the Sheriff is plotting with the Black Knights, a gang of other dodgy characters, to kill King Richard when he returns to England, Robin has found out that all the tax money is being kept in a secret strongroom in the castle. And so the gang turn up and try to rob it. This turns out to be a wee bit tricky, as the room has a nice selection of booby traps of the kind that Indiana Jones would recognise. Temporarily defeated by the arrows, automatic gate and the like, the gang leave to plan their next step.
While Guy, err, rewards the men who built the strongroom in the traditional manner involving the pointy end of a sword or two, the Sheriff gets on with his next Evil Plan. He’s invited Count Friedrich, a German nobleman, to Nottingham to gamble in his, err, casino. Friedrich appears to be a buffoon, played by Dexter Fletcher with an alarming range of accents and more than a slight touch of campness. The Sheriff “persuades” Marian to look after Friedrich and generally distract him.
And while that’s going on, Robin and the gang meet Stephen, the man whose designs were borrowed for the Sheriff’s strongroom.
And so it goes. Lots of the usual silliness follows, with Friedrich proving to be more than he seems, the strongroom being not quite what it seems either, and everyone happy at the end. Well, everyone except the Sheriff and Guy, but we don’t really care about them, so that’s quite in order. And the rest of the Black Knights are due for a little disappointment, too.
It is, of course, complete rubbish. It makes no sense historically, not that much sense as legend, and most of Robin’s gang look far too clean and pretty to be even vaguely believable. But it’s all done with a nicely light touch, and above all, it’s fun.