Robin Hood – Cause and Effect

Rrrrrrright. After last week’s moderately silly series opener, it’s back to business as usual for Robin and the gang, robbing the rich, giving to the poor, grinning inanely and delivery speeches about robbing the rich, etc.

But the Sheriff has a new Evil and Totally Bonkers Plot. He’s done a dodgy deal with an Irish chap called Finn, who claims to be the rightful King of Ireland, to sell him all the able-bodied men from the surrounding villages to form his army of liberation. He needs the money to pay Prince John’s demands, you see. Now this is a bit of a short-term solution to the problem, because John’s only going to want more money later, and with all the men gone, the villages are probably going to have problems growing enough food to survive, never mind have anything left over to pay taxes with…

In Robin’s old home of Locksley, a young woman called Kate totally fails to save her younger brother Matthew from being dragged off, and decides to do something about it. She meets Robin and the gang, and manages to mess up an ambush so thoroughly that not only are the prisoners not freed, but Robin is caught as well. It all gets a bit worse when Robin tries to get the prisoners to bust out of the castle, only to be interrupted by Guy, who’s been told by Kate that Robin is there. She only did that because Guy was going to have her brother hanged, but she needn’t have bothered, because he ends up being killed by Guy in the fight.

And so it goes on, with yet another silly plan to execute Robin. Naturally, he’s left chained up with nobody watching him, so by means far too silly to go into he manages to escape, accompanied by Finn, who’s been betrayed by his younger brother. And it was at this point that I was almost ready to give up on the show. Guy and Finn escape from a secure chamber, drop down to a drainage channel, which somehow opens out very high on a tower of the castle. I can only presume that the architect was an ancestor of M C Escher. Anyway, they manage to get to the top of the tower, flatten all the soldiers in the area, Robin being very careful not to kill any of them with a sword, but apparently not being troubled by throwing one of them off the very high tower. But now they have a problem. How to escape. Ahhhhh, no problem. They just knock out a few bits of wood supporting a small canopy on a corner of the tower[1], cling on to a horizontal bar and jump off, drifting down and outward quite slowly on what can only be described as a

Bloody medieval bloody hang glider!!!!

Only with considerably less polite words than “bloody” employed :rofl: . This is the point at which Robin Hood not so much jumped the shark[2] as jumped up and down on it while whistling Colonel Bogey, waving a white flag and wearing a tu-tu :cheesy: .

Sooooooooooooooo, anyway. The gang head off to intercept the Sheriff, who’s heading to the coast with Finn’s brother, the captured men and the money that Finn’s brother is to give the Sheriff for the men, and which the Sheriff has to pass to Prince John if he wants to keep his head. Guy gets to the Sheriff first and warns him that Robin and Finn are on the way. Finn’s naughty brother is a bit worried about this.

A moment later, Robin and gang, with Kate turn up and set off their remarkable automatic arrow shooting devices, which they either had in the right place already[3], or that they set up remarkably quickly. Good guys win, Robin and Finn divide the money, Finn decides that he’d rather have a small army that actually want to fight than a load of conscripts who’d rather not.

The Sheriff and Guy then meet Prince John’s guards, who’ve come for the money that they don’t have. The Sheriff quickly improvises a solution: he tells the guards that there isn’t any money and that Guy will be delighted to go with them and explain to John what’s happened to his money. Guy’s a bit upset about this, and a little confused as he says that this will be certain death for him, and that he won’t forget it. Well, maybe he’s planning to haunt the Sheriff after John kills him?

And finally, Kate tells Robin that she doesn’t like him offering people false hope, and goes home to the village. Looks like she’ll be back next week, though…

This series has always been at least partly a comedy, and it’s always taken a casual attitude to the odd anachronism or two, but this episode really stretched the limits. Incredibly silly, but still a lot of fun. You know I’ll be watching next week[4], don’t you?

[1] At this point, I was shouting “oh no, no, no, no….” at the TV
[2] Google it if you’re not familiar with the expression and its origin
[3] By some coincidence…
[4] Straight after the Doctor Who Special