Robin Hood – Walkabout

People who’ve been paying attention to the series, or have at least been reading my comments on it, will be aware that Dick Dastardly the Sheriff has taken out a slightly unusual insurance policy. The absent King Richard’s brother John has made some special arrangements: in the event of the Sheriff dying other than of natural causes, the whole of Nottingham will be destroyed, and as a special bonus, everyone in the town will be killed. Now that’s the kind of plan that’s sure to have the odd drawback, and I’m not just talking about the insurance premium going up unexpectedly.

The Sheriff appears to have sleepwalked out of the castle and is presently missing. This wouldn’t be a Bad Thing at all, but one of Prince John’s associates, Sir Jasper, has the strange idea that the Sheriff should be around to place his seal on a record to prove that he’s not actually dead. And he’s got a suitably large army nearby to do the demolishing, burning and killing specified in the policy. While Guy tries to persuade Jasper not to pay out on the policy[1], we follow the Sheriff to the forest.

We see him wandering around, muttering to himself, swapping clothes with a beggar and meeting up with a poor woman and her children. He convinces her that he can help her get more out of Robin Hood…

Marian persuades Guy that he needs Robin’s help to find the missing Sheriff. Robin takes the gang off, leaving Will behind with instructions that Marian must get out alive, even if nobody else does[2].

Jasper tells Guy that as he’s a Black Knight, he and his family will be allowed to leave Nottingham unharmed when everyone else is slaughtered. So all he has to do is persuade her to marry him before the sun goes down.

While Robin and Much search for the Sheriff, John persuades Djaq that they need to distribute some food to the poor first. They run into an old blind man, his daughter and her young children, and decide that they’ll have to take them back to the camp. It’ll be OK because the old man is blind[3], and they can blindfold the others.

While Guy and Alan arm the townspeople so they can fight back against Jasper’s approaching army, Robin and Much meet the man who’s wearing the Sheriff’s clothes. This leads Robin to conclude that getting back to camp might be a good idea….

By the time Robin and Much do get back to the secret camp, they find that the blind man has cast off his eye bandage and long wig and revealed himself to be the Sheriff :duh: . Obviously nobody saw that one coming. The sleepwalking was actually a Cunning Plan to gain access to Robin’s camp so he can retrieve that pact that Robin stole a few weeks ago. Little John having been overpowered by the Little Kids, Robin is just in time to save the day.

Marian having declined Guy’s offer of marriage, Guy rides out of the castle to meet Jasper and his army. Now Guy’s an odd character. Most of the time, he seems quite happy to be the Sheriff’s evil henchman, and isn’t at all averse to being as thoroughly nasty as possible to as many people as possible. But just occasionally, he shows signs of having a backbone and perhaps even a touch of morality. If he can’t take Marian with him, he certainly won’t leave her to die, and he returns to the castle to lead the defence of the town.

And it all gets a bit dangerous. Alan and Will find themselves fighting on the same side for the first time in ages, and it all looks like it might get very nasty.

So, obviously it’s at that point that Robin drops the Sheriff off. The Sheriff suggests that Jasper should go away and take his army with him, which he does. For a moment, he thinks that things are all going his way, before he realises that Robin has taken the pact back, and he’s back where he started.

Yes, it was another utterly ridiculous episode. I loved it. :cheesy:

[1] Obviously Prince John Insurance Services are rather more keen on paying out than the rest of the industry…
[2] He doesn’t actually tell Will he’s expendable, but it’s certainly implied…
[3] They could tell by the bandage over his eyes….