Robin Hood – Do You Love Me?

From some comments I’ve been getting lately, I gather that some people are taking this show a great deal more seriously than I am. Apparently all this unrealistic fighting, general silliness and even the fact that Tuck is played by a black actor is quite terrible, will lead to the collapse of civilisation as we know it, and lead to whole generations thinking that the Robin Hood legend is a load of rubbish. Oh, and it’ll probably cause earthquakes in Nottingham, or something.

Can I just say that the most prominent version of the Robin Hood legend that I remember from my childhood was the Disney cartoon in which Robin was a fox? This was the usual cheerful Disney romp, with Prince John’s closest adviser being a snake recycled from The Jungle Book. And yet, people of my generation don’t have any difficulty in realising that if Robin Hood had actually existed, he was most unlikely to have been a fox. Or to put it another way, it’s just a bit of harmless TV fun on a Saturday evening. And at least Kevin Costner isn’t in it, and it doesn’t have that bloody awful Bryan Adams song in it either. There are many versions of the Robin Hood stories, and this is just another. There’s even a completely unrelated cinema version being made.

Anyway, enough of the muttering, and on to thelatest episode. Any suggestion that this show isn’t being played largely for laughs should have evaporated the moment Guy is dragged from his bed and brought before Prince John, who revelas himself to be not just cunning, manipulative and generally quite nasty, but also very insecure. He just wants to be loved. Oh, feared and obeyed, too, but mostly loved. He’s quite upset that the Sheriff has failed to kill Robin Hood, and after suggesting that Guy would be a much better man for the job, instructs him to kill the current Sheriff.

While Robin’s gang plot to steal Prince John’s gold, Guy and the Sheriff get together. In a rare touchy-feely moment, the Sheriff tells Guy that he thinks they should work on their relationship. Guy has a bit of a think about this, and is just about to warmly stab the Sheriff in the back when his sister Isabella comes in and interrupts.

Robin and the gang recruit some extras from Locksley and attack Prince John’s coach and guards. They see off all the guards and find that they don’t have the gold, the Prince is a decoy, who introduces himself as Benjamin Palmer, physician to Prince John. Which comes in handy, as Kate managed to get herself stabbed in the ruckus. Which is quite painful.[1]

The real Prince John arrives at Nottingham, where he’s disappointed to find the Sheriff alive and well, so he tells the Sheriff to kill Guy. And just to prove what a fun sort of Prince he is, he takes his entourage to Locksley[2], where after blessing a couple who are about to be married, he orders that the church (now full of villagers) be burnt to the ground. While the fire is going on, Guy and the Sheriff make weak attempts at killing each other, and John, being bored by now, heads off.

Isabella, being a bit annoyed with John, remains behind and helps Robin and the gang when they arrive. It’s quite clear that Isabella is now the substitute for Marian, what with her being inside the castle and helping Robin. At least this time there won’t be the romantic triangle with Guy….

Benjamin lets on that the Prince is desperate to find someone with Scrofula, a nasty skin disease also known as “the King’s evil”, as it was believed that the touch of a King could cure the disease. All he has to do is cure someone and everyone will know he’s the rightful king, and his brother (the actual King, generally absent on crusades and a bit useless) will be out of a job. So the gang concoct a Cunning Plan, in which a potion of some kind brings Kate out in nasty boils.

While Guy and the Sheriff have a bit of a fight[3], John fails to cure the case of Scrofula. Guy appears to kill the Sheriff, whose last words are something to the extent of things not being what they seem[4]. Prince John naturally accuses Robin of having killed the Sheriff[5]. Finally, the Sheriff’s body is taken away on a cart, and we see his hand twitch! Now there’s a surprise!

Yes, it’s all very, very silly. But I still like it.

[1] Sorry, I just thought I’d take this episode with the same level of seriousness as its writers evidently did…
[2] Just for once, I’d like to see a different village get trashed…
[3] Anyone looking for realism will not have enjoyed this one little bit
[4] Bit of a hint, that….
[5] Which according to previous episodes means he should now be killing everyone in Nottingham. Maybe he’ll remember to do that next week

2 thoughts on “Robin Hood – Do You Love Me?

  1. Twisty

    The most prominent version of Robin Hood that I remember is, “Robin Hood: Men in Tights”. Thoroughly silly silliness – which is what made it so charming and fun. Have you seen it?

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