Saturday, 6 June 2009

Robin Hood, Series 3. Episode 10: “Bad Blood”.

The story: In Sherwood Forest (which seems to have undergone a change in season since last week), Robin Hood makes a chance encounter with Guy of Gisborne. Guy assumes Robin has been following him, and that more Outlaws are at hand, but this is not the case. So Guy puts down his bow and draws his sword, eager to engage in a duel to the death with Robin. Robin is at first reluctant to do so, saying that Guy is in no fit state for such combat. (Why should he care?)

Anyway, as their swords are about to clash, “poisoned darts” fly out from the forest, hitting both men in the neck, causing them fall drugged to the ground. As they lie dormant, a shrouded figure steps out from the trees.

Robin Hood and Guy awake at nightfall, bound and tied by a camp a fire. The shrouded figure is seated nearby, and tells them both they must listen to his story in order to “save a life”. After some bickering, this they agree to do, and the rest of the show is related in flash-back style to a time 20 years previous, recounting how both Robin Hood’s and Guy of Gisborne’s parents really died.

20 years previous: In Loxley, Lady Gisborne (Guy’s mother), has been having an affair with Lord Loxley (Robin’s father), whilst her husband Lord Gisborne is away on the Crusades. She believes her husband has been killed in battle, and (as a means of establishing a way by which her new relationship can be brought out into the open), states that her lands should therefore be acquired by Lord Loxley to maintain.

As the villagers are commemorating the loss of lives in the Holy Lands, the young boy Robin is showing off his archery skills to the boy Guy. (Yes folks, he already has a Saracen bow, which I assume was brought back from the Crusades by his father.) Robin’s behaviour causes a fire to break out, which in turn seriously injures a priest. In an attempt to stop Robin, young Guy grabs the bow from him. But the result is that the villagers then assume it was Guy’s arrow that started the fire, and so he not Robin is blamed for the priest’s injury. Not only that, but an opportunistic Bailiff, who wants the Gisborne property for himself rather than let the French Lady Gisborne inherit them from her dead husband, decides to hang the boy Guy there and then. And all this while, young Robin Hood is denying it was in fact he who caused the fire, seemingly only too willing to have Guy take the blame. (Yep, you get it. They want us to like Guy more than Robin).

At which point enter Sir Roger of Gisborne, Guy‘s father. It turns out that he is not dead after all. In defence of his son Guy, Sir Roger draws swords against the Bailiff. He wins the fight, and Guy is released when the priest’s injuries are seen not to be fatal. But during the fight a curious thing is observed by the crowd when the Bailiff’s blade goes clean through Sir Roger’s hand seemingly causing him no pain.

The boy Robin later confesses to his father, Lord Loxley, that the fire had been his fault, but receives no more than a little fatherly style talk for his wrong doing. Lord Loxley also continues his affair with Lady Gisborne, regardless of her husband’s return. During one of their secret meetings, Loxley informs her that only leprosy could account for the lack of pain in her husband’s hand when the blade passed through it. She in turn informs Loxley that she is pregnant. (Hmmm, from leprosy to pregnancy in one sentence.) All of this is observed from a safe distance by the dastardly Bailiff.

Lord Loxley (being the sensitive type that he is), tells Lady Gisborne to inform the village that her husband is a leper, because in that way her marriage will immediately be dissolved. After that, he suggests she could go away and have the child she is expecting, before returning later to unite with him. (Are you still with me?) All this she agrees to, but when she returns home her husband Lord Gisborne is waiting. Much to her surprise, he is not angry at her affair, wishing only that she has found someone to take care of her when he dies. This makes Lady Gisborne sorry for the plan she has agreed to, but it is too late to stop it now, and the Bailiff soon arrives with various other authority figures, who march the leprous Lord away to the edge of the village, where a ceremony banishes him for ever.

When leaving, the noble Lord Gisborne asks only that Lord Loxley take care of his family, but the boy Guy is far less forgiving, and the seeds of future discontent are clearly being sown. Now, with Lord Gisborne out of the way, the Bailiff intends to take the Gisborne property for his own. Only this will keep him from telling the village that Lady Gisborne is pregnant with Loxley’s child. So Loxley hands over the land, believing it can easily be reclaimed when he weds the Lady. However, the marriage is doomed never to happen, and so Guy will lose those lands.

Unbeknown to Lord Loxley, Lady Gisborne continues to go into the forest and take aid to her dying husband in a small leper colony there. This causes even further resentment from Guy, who feels he is being cut off from his father. Guy’s choice at this point would be to return to France. But whatever plans he and his mother might embark upon are interrupted by the premature birth of a son. (Are you all still with me? So now Guy and Robin Hood share a “half brother”).

The baby has an arrow shaped birth mark on it’s chest, and so is given the name Archer before being taken to a safe place. (Hey, I didn’t write this stuff. I’m only reviewing it). Then, in an attempt to stop the marriage between his mother and Robin’s father, Guy goes to the leper colony to inform his father of the intended event. However, he is only angered more when he learns his father condones the marriage so that his wife will have someone to take care of her. So why (and I really don’t get this bit), in the very next scene, does the leprous Lord Gisborne go striding back into Loxley to try and stop the marriage!? (Answers on a post card please. It makes no sense to me).

As the leprous Lord enters the village, the boy Robin starts shouting “The leper is back! The leper is back!” (Don’t you just love this kid? No??) Suffice to say a fight soon breaks out between the two Lords, during which yet another accidental fire breaks out (how many is that so far?) this time started by Guy. Not only that, but Lord Loxley accidentally causes the death of Lady Gisborne in the process. (Kind of clumsy I guess). Outside the manor the dastardly Bailiff tells the villagers the fire must have been started to rid the place of disease. And so everyone readily takes up their burning torches to further that end, causing the deaths of those inside. To cut a long story short, after his father’s assumed death in the fire, the boy Robin takes possession of the Loxley Estate.

Now we go forward 20 years to see Guy’s and Robin’s reactions to this information regarding how their parents really died. “All these years I though it was my fault”, says Guy of his accidental fire starting that day, and we see a little more of the reason for his character.

Whilst Robin and Guy ponder their thoughts the mysterious man who has been relating this tale removes his cowl, and stands revealed as Robin Hood’s father. It transpires that he escaped the fire, but is now himself dying of leprosy. Furthermore, the reason he has tracked down Robin and Guy is that he needs them to “save a life”. (Yep, you saw it coming didn’t you?) Their half brother, the one with the arrow shaped birth mark on his chest, is about to be hung in Yorkshire, and they are expected to go save him. “I need you to unite,” he says. “Forgive each other to save a brother”. And then he shoots them again with his darts.

When Robin Hood and Guy next awake, it is Guy who first extends his hand to Robin as they depart for Yorkshire. (A move which will please Yorkshire Hoodies, and facilitate the change from filming the “Nottingham Castle” in Hungary to a different “Yorkshire Castle” apparently in the UK).

Comment: This episode will divide the fans for many reasons. Obviously the intention is to establish a premise for a new Robin Hood in Series 4. However, whilst I can accept the idea of a half brother inheriting the role, or a distant relation, I cannot accept any other part of this highly contrived episode which, in my opinion, undoes all the good will which the previous few episodes had helped restore.

What we have here is another appalling attempt to “re-invent” of the Legend, amounting to as much of a travesty as the murder of Marian was at the end of Series 2. Not only that, but the whole “story” holds as much “corn” as your average breakfast cereal. An arrow shaped birthmark? Calling the baby Archer? Guy accidentally meeting Robin just as Robin’s leprous father accidentally finds them both together, and informs them of their parent’s accidental deaths, soon after Robin had accidentally nearly killed a priest? Not to mention all the other little gems you have in stall if you haven’t watched it yet. (Look out for the Saracen bow on the Christian cross gravestone).

What would have been better? To perhaps see a young girl Marian in Robin Hood’s boyhood, or maybe a boy servant, Much. What I personally am left with is an overwhelming desire to go see a new Robin Hood film, (the Russell Crowe one can’t be far away); something to wash this crass nonsense all away.

Sorry Hoodies. I hated this silly concoction beyond intellectual comment.

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66 Comments:

Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood Series 3 Cast:

Robin Hood - Jonas Armstrong
Kate - Joanne Froggatt
Guy of Gisborne - Richard Armitage
Tuck - David Harewood
Sheriff of Nottingham - Keith Allen
Little John - Gordon Kennedy
Much - Sam Troughton
Allan-a-Dale - Joe Armstrong
Isabella - Lara Pulver

6 June 2009 at 21:51  
Anonymous Rav said...

One step forward with last episode...two GIANT leaps backwards with this one.

I'll comment more when I've finished pulling all my hair out.

- Rav

6 June 2009 at 22:48  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin, What a weird story I never had the impression before that Guy and Isabella had even lived in Loxley, they never mentioned it before tonight did they? Did they? All Guy had ever said before was that he had lost his lands, neither him or Robin have ever referred to the fact that they had previously known each other as children.

In Episode 1 S1 Robin announces "I am Robin of Loxley Lord of this manor your services here are no longer required" Not "What are you doing back here! Clear off!" and he never appeared to recognise Isabella either nor she him . Are we really expected to believe in this rubbish after some really good story lines it seems to have really gone into the realms of real fantasy!!

On one positive note though I must say I thought the matching of the characters was very good Guy/ Robin &Isabella looked as I thought they would have done and Malcolm did have a look of Robin as well, and Ghislaine was an older Isabella the homework has been done there with the casting, also Robin being a real spoilt cocky only son was well played out and Guy was as I expected him to be both of them real show offs neither of them likeable.

I suppose now we have to wait and see what Archer is like. I was really disappionted in this episode.

According to what both Richard and Jonas have said the last episode is very moving I dread to think what is going to happen then.

7 June 2009 at 00:02  
Anonymous Annie said...

I hate to say it, Robin, but bad as this was, it was the logical (or illogical, as the case may be) extension of episode 8. Episode 8 gave us Meg/Marian, only this time M/M really, really likes Gisborne. Thus, he gets to plead for M/M's life (instead of killing her), M/M gets it in the gut (only not only isn't Gisborne her killer, but M/M sacrifices herself for him!), and M/M gets to die in Gisborne's arms rather than Robin's. Thus, we have Marian's murder rewritten with Guy as the good (can't resist) guy. Game, Set, Match. Meanwhile Robin behaves as a right git towards Much and we're expected to believe he's suddenly fallen for Kate, whom he's never even glanced at in the previous episodes. When Robin called Kate brave, compassionate, and beautiful, I thought, yeah, if it's brave and compassionate to take a break from a mission-in-progress to ask Much (the man who expressed a fondness for you in an earlier episode) to pass Robin a note in gym telling him Kate likes him/likes him.

Episode 8 had the advantage of being well-written, but it was still all part of the grand, illogical scheme to diminish Robin as the hero and make us cheer for Gisborne. It set up the travesty that is episode 9.

I really wouldn't care if the show were just another action adventure. However, it's called Robin Hood, and though I don't mind a flawed hero, rewriting the tale with the intention of getting us to cheer for the villain is a bit much. And speaking of Much, I almost could have borne this episode if we'd had a young Much running around Locksley! No wonder the original actors are fleeing like rats abandoning a sinking ship!

P.S. I won't bother going into the ways in which this episode turns upside down all the things we were ever told about Guy and Robin in series 1 and 2. Series 3 is alternative universe Robin Hood, after all; series 1 and 2 have no place here.

7 June 2009 at 00:19  
Blogger Annette83 said...

I don't understand the bad vibes here. The best thing about Robin Hood is the complexity of the characters. It is such an interesting show because the characters are interesting. Overall, Gisborne has been a villain and Robin has been a hero. But neither man is entirely bad or good and there have to be reasons why they turned out as they did. It sounds like you guys are disappointed that Gisborne is not entirely evil. He is a complicated, tortured guy and in this episode we find out why.

We have never known much about Robin and Guy's early lives. You guys have been critical about GUy's sister appearing and now you're hating on this new set of revelations in Ep. 10. But there is nothing inconsistent here. Guy and Robin are both complicated people with long-standing animosity and it makes sense that they'd have a history. Also, there is a lot of debate about the "real" Robin Hood. So to say that the series is not faithful to the real thing is a bit absurd because we don't know about the real thing! There are so many different possibilities for story development that the writers could use; I think when people complain that the story isn't "true" to the "real" story, they are just expecting the story to be the same as all the other Robin Hood movies that have ever been done. Relax! Let's just all mellow out and enjoy this series. If you don't like it, go watch an older version. I love this series because compared to the usual 2-hr movies, the characters are so much richer and more interesting.

I enjoyed this episode, where we find out what shaped each man. How can you complain that we've been blindsided by history we didn't know about? We have to find out sometime! In this episode we find out that Robin and Guy are continuing to grow/change since Marian died. Since Gisborne killed Marian, he has evolved through grief/guilt/numbness/etc and now it looks like he might be wanting to change and become a better person. This is totally believable. He could have gone the other way and descended into guilt and grief and continued to be evil. That would have been another option for the writers. Last week Gisborne discovered that there is still hope for him (he met that girl who didn't reject him and healed a little). It is believable that now he wants to build bridges with Robin or become a better person or whatever.

Robin's kid character was portrayed as a brat, but he was young and his actions weren't bad--he was just being a kid. You guys are freaking too much to say that Robin wasn't portrayed well. The grown up Robin Hood is a mischievous brat too--he couldn't do his job if he weren't!

Gisborne's kid character was older than Robin's kid character and Gisborne had had to deal with life without his dad while his dad was at the Crusades. So his kid character was more serious and probably felt a lot of guilt because of his premature responsibilities and worries. Robin's character had his dad around during this episode and his kid character could afford to be less responsible and brattier.

I hated that Marian was killed off too, but the actress wanted to leave. What else could the writers do? The actress WAS Marian and it would have been weird if a new actress had been brought in. I think the writers have done an amazing job on this series. The new female characters are different from Marian and they make things interesting. You guys are just way too critical! Also, some of your criticisms are unfair because you are missing some history or knowledge of Middle Ages customs, etc. You might find it interesting to read a little about the Robin Hood myths out there and how people used to live.

7 June 2009 at 02:04  
Anonymous Annie said...

Hi, Robin, I just reread my comment and realized I got the numbers of the episodes wrong. When I reference episode 8, I mean episode 9; episode 9 should be episode 10.

Annette, have you seen series 1 and 2? The plot holes between what we're told in those two series and what we learn in episode 10 are big enough to bury a dinosaur. I'm all for complex characters, but the complexity of the characters needs to drive the plot rather than the reverse.

Also, I'm really interested in your saying Lucy Griffiths chose to leave. I haven't read anything to suggest it was her choice. Perhaps you could link to the article, as a lot of us have been wondering about this. Certainly that would put a whole new slant on the ending of series 2.

While it's true the Robin Hood legend has several sources, and various adaptations have put their own spin on it, there are certain continuities that those of us who have been interested in the legend since childhood expect. At the minimum, I expect the writers to keep notes from series to series. I take your point, though, that watching the series is a choice. For me, I'm afraid it's like watching a train wreck. I know it will end badly, but I can't look away.

Still, for pure comic value, this episode had its moments. When Guy tells Malcolm he's felt guilty for years about his parents' death in the fire he started, I thought it was hilarious. No doubt he was trying to work through that childhood trauma when he torched Marian's house.

7 June 2009 at 02:43  
Anonymous Rav said...

Okay, I'm feeling slightly more coherent now, but no less confused/angry.

1. Perhaps the reveal of the leper as Robin's father, and the entire parental backstory would have meant more if these characters had actually been referred to in some way during the past two-and-a-half seasons. As it was, the entire story was just dumped in out of nowhere.

2. At the beginning of S1 Robin and Guy had CLEARLY never met before. Now we're meant to believe they've grown up together?

3. Why was kid-Isabella a mute? Did she not learn how to talk until she was an adult?

4. Ghislaine's death. I can't figure this one out. Death by pointy elbow?

5. Guy is forever haunted by the fire that killed his parents and destroyed his home. But he burns down Marian's house. Okay.

6. No Marian? No Much? No Scarletts? That just sucks. Especially no Much.

7. The priest that stands up for Robin: why not make him Edward? The fireworks landing on his chest would have been a nice way to explain his frailty, and his connection to Robin when he takes control of Locksley would have been a nice reason behind Robin's betrothal to Marian later on.

8. Robin doesn't want to work with Gisbourne because "he hasn't shown any remorse over Marian." Not because, you know, he KILLED her or anything. I guess if Guy just said: "Yeah, I feel really bad about that," Robin would just get over it.

9. That birthmark didn't look like an arrowhead. The kid should be called Blobby.

10. Roger condones the marriage between Ghislaine/Malcolm, and says as much to Guy. Then he...changes his mind?

11. LEPERS DID NOT GET HUGGED IN THE MIDDLE AGES.

12. Was anyone else disappointed we didn't see Guy begin his service to the sheriff?

13. Okay, I know fans are divided on this issue, but did Robin REALLY have to be that much of a brat? Did he ever apologise to Guy for letting him take the blame for the fireworks accident? Especially since he was nearly EXECUTED for it?

14. Speaking of which, what remarkable timing Roger had when he turned up at Locksley just before Guy was strung up. All the way from the Holy Land too.

15. Young Robin has brown eyes. Adult Robin has blue eyes. Medieval contacts?

16. Adult Robin was astonished that Guy had a sister. Yet he grew up with her. What.

17. How did Guy not inherit Locksley/Gisbourne/whatever it was? Maybe I'm just dense, maybe I'm trying to figure out something that makes no sense, but I couldn't figure out how any of that worked.

18. Malcolm talks Ghislaine into having her husband chucked out of the village on the grounds of being a leper, and declaring herself a widow. Nice guy.

19. Malcolm turns up to save Archer from hanging, but the million or so times Robin's life has been in danger. Eh, no biggie. It's just his firstborn.

20. Right from the beginning of this season, I had assumed that TUCK would be the one to bring Robin and Guy together in an uneasy truce; and it would have been reasonably easy to insert him into that backstory - as a monk he could have been privy to the couples' secrets and the birth of Archer; thereby giving Tuck a reason to exist in this series. But why go to all that trouble when plot-holes, character assassination, and fairy dust will work just as well?

21. And now Robin and Guy are off to save a half-brother they've never met, the product of parents that they hated. Which, if there's no S4, will be nothing but a collosal waste of time.

Sorry those who enjoyed it, but this was the most ridiculous 45 minutes of television I've ever seen, even by the standards of this show. I really have no idea why I'm still here: I know the logical thing to do is just switch off the television, but having come this far, I may as well stick it out to the bitter end.

7 June 2009 at 03:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with the majority of your comments Robin, Annette,Annie and Rav. If we start over analysing the plot lines, little of it makes sense. In reality, the death of Marian was the last straw and we can either put up with these outrageous stories till the bitter end or simply turn off the TV. I for one will still be watching. Thanks Robin for maintaining this site. I always look forward to reading the comments. Cheers from Australia.

7 June 2009 at 03:44  
Blogger Annette83 said...

Anonymous--I saw your succinct comment right after posting my previous, more wordy one. You've hit the nail on the head. The death of Marian was a huge turning point for a lot of people. It disappointed me too! But it happened and the writers are doing their best. It would be a shame to let it poison the rest of the show for you! Just try to enjoy it as a different retelling.

7 June 2009 at 03:50  
Blogger Kara said...

Ok, I need some aspirin. Talk about sharp turns! This was a doozy of an episode, and even worse, it looks really bad in comparison to last week’s great ep. I’ve re-watched Dangerous Deal about 6 times this past week – currently I’m already trying to forget most of Bad Blood and have no desire to watch the twisted thing again

I think the main problem here was the writers’ were trying, in the course of an hour, to tell a story of complicated intertwined family back stories that most soap operas take about 5 years to do. And bringing the inheritance issues of the lands of Locksley into the lover’s triangle complicated an already complicated storyline. And made no sense, what with it null and voiding everything we already knew about the Gisbournes.

I do think the half–brother set up is an excellent way to (a) make Guy and Robin stop trying to kill each other and downgrade to the less lethal type of fighting of brotherly squabbling and (b) bring in the new Hooded One. I almost teared up when Gisbourne held his hand out to Robin at the end. However, I found the plot vehicle the writers choose very poorly rendered, overly complicated and very, very rushed. They needed a much better story line if they wanted to make the unknown half brother half way believable.

But why go to all that trouble when plot-holes, character assassination, and fairy dust will work just as well?

Rav – I hear you. Well put. Excellent sum up of the whole thing.

The timeline, for starters, drove me to distraction. How long did all these events take? It felt like the events from the night Guy’s father showed up to the day of the fire lasted about a month at most, yet the baby plot line dictates events must have been stretched over around 6 months. And when she was holding the baby all I could think was how could she have been pregnant with that full size baby and yet not show it?

About the lost baby: A super-special birthmark? His name is Archer? He’s sent away to be raised in secret? Please. Even Shakespeare couldn’t get away with this kind of set up (See: A Winter’s Tale, one of the Bard’s lesser known plays, not performed often due to the outlandishness of the plot)

Next: the lack of taking advantage of the prequel nature of the episode. The whole point of these types of stories is so the audience can smile knowingly at the in-jokes, foreshadowing and the before-they-were-stars angle. Where was little Marian? Where was little Much? Where was baby Will Scarlet? Where was young John? And why didn’t Isabella get to say a single line?

What was the worst here was how quickly characters made decisions, changed their minds, and made ridiculous actions. I almost expected the old school comic book noises of Bam! Biff! Kapow! to flash across the screen as characters assigned blame, changed their minds, decided to kill people, made declarations, etc. Example: The bailiff passes torches around so the crowd can help spread the fire – then yells at Guy for setting the fire? WTF?

Pros: Casting. I was impressed with whoever they got to play young Guy – well cast and well played. The casting overall has been very good – everyone who’s supposed to be related actually have a familial look. Also, I found Guy, both as an adult and a child, was the best part of the acting on this episode.

7 June 2009 at 04:00  
Anonymous Rav said...

Next: the lack of taking advantage of the prequel nature of the episode. The whole point of these types of stories is so the audience can smile knowingly at the in-jokes, foreshadowing and the before-they-were-stars angle. Where was little Marian? Where was little Much? Where was baby Will Scarlet? Where was young John? And why didn’t Isabella get to say a single line?

Good point, half the fun of a prequel is to see everyone before we *knew* them, so to speak. It would have been great to see the gang as kids: Marian and Robin's first meeting; Edward as the sheriff; Much's relationship with Robin; Guy entering Vaysey's service, etc.

However, the point of this entire episode was to introduce the character of Archer; in other words, to set up for S4.

Yes, we got to see a little of how Guy and Robin tick, but for the most part it revolved around the justification of Archer's existence, and giving Robin and Guy the most contrived reason possible to team up.

7 June 2009 at 04:12  
OpenID dcwash said...

It's funny: trolling the internet, it seems that everybody either LOVES or HATES this episode, in capital letters with nothing in between. I rather enjoyed it myself. I liked the fact that the parents were shown as human, neither perfect nor evil.

7 June 2009 at 05:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This episode was Stuuuppid.

7 June 2009 at 05:43  
Blogger Paige said...

My biggest issue with the whole episode was how Guy's character was portrayed as an older teen. He seemed like a pretty nice kid to me (not bad looking either). I just don't see how he could get from someone who seemed to care about others (when he tried to stop Robin from showing off) to the person we are introduced to in season 1. I just don't think it makes sense.

Also, I get the distinct impression that they are trying to get us to like Guy and hate Robin, from the last two episodes. Robin has been portrayed as inconsistent, hypocritical, and unfaithful (episode 9) and now a bratty, tattle tale kid.

The thing is, it doesn't make he dislike Robin. It makes me dislike the writers for 'doing it wrong'. I know it's ultimately their story, but I feel like I know the characters so much better than they do!!!

I have more, but I need to go to bed for now.

PS. Rav, are you Frebecca from the IMDB boards? I don't post on there but I 'lurk' over there a lot. All of the posters there have really good insight on things.

7 June 2009 at 05:47  
Anonymous Rav said...

PS. Rav, are you Frebecca from the IMDB boards? I don't post on there but I 'lurk' over there a lot. All of the posters there have really good insight on things.

Yes, that's me. I've visited your blog a couple of times; but for some reason my computer won't let me leave a comment!

7 June 2009 at 07:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

OMG, what a relief to see a review of this episode that makes some sense and is not "glowing". I was ready to turn it off after about 30 minutes. There were so many inconsistencies with the first two series. I'm afraid I can't swallow Guy going good and all his crimes being brushed aside - I would have much preferred him to remain with the baddies. Robin's portrayal was disappointing - are the writers wanting us to like Robin less and Guy more? Where are they heading with this story? Do the writers even know?

7 June 2009 at 10:40  
Anonymous Annie said...

Paige, to me it seems clear the writers have been bent on the Guy redemption arc throughout the 3 series. In the first 2 series, the writers used Marian to further this plotline. Many of us found her maddening as a character, in spite of Lucy's appeal as an actor, because she always seemed to cut Guy more slack than she did Robin. To give one example, she believes Guy when he tells her he did not go to the Holy Land to kill the king, though Robin has given evidence to the contrary and Marian herself has expressed relief that Guy's physician will testify he was away while he was supposed to have been sick. We thought that issue had been resolved by the end of series 1, but darned if Marian wasn't back believing Guy's account of things a few episodes into series 2. In fact, we're asked to accept that she only learns of Guy's efforts to kill the king when she is traveling with the sheriff and Guy to the Holy Land in the penultimate episode of series 2. This isn't just bad writing but practically character assassination. And, it's a very bad example to young girls, who are invited, during the pre-watershed hour, to accept that the love of a good woman can redeem a man. In fact, it's her responsibility to do so. I've read enough comments at various Robin Hood fansites asserting that Marian led Guy on, thus justifying his misdeeds, including his murder of the woman he purported to love, to know how persuasive the writers were in furthering this retrograde but still pervasive myth.

Now that Guy has murdered Marian, the character of Robin has been shoehorned into the Guy redemption arc. For Guy to be redeemed, the character of Robin must be diminished, even if that means the writers have to ignore the previous series and create a backstory that makes no sense.

Before I am accused of being an apologist for Robin, let me say that I think he has always been a flawed hero and thus more interesting as a character. He's arrogant and unreflective, and these qualities get him in trouble. But he's also generous and large-hearted. His impulsiveness cuts two ways, in other words. But in series 3, he's become a one-dimensional character--basically an action hero/ladies man. This doesn't follow from the Robin we knew in series 1, who was able to admit his mistakes. It also makes no sense that such a man would have devoted followers, so the other outlaws are also reduced in our eyes.

And I have no objection to a good redemption story, but the pertinent word here is "good." It needs to make sense, and frankly, I just don't buy Guy's journey towards hero status. Richard Armitage is doing an amazing job with the character, but it's not believable given what we know about Guy from previous episodes. And how much more interesting his road to redemption would have been had it been based on genuine reflection and remorse, rather than justification of his actions by past wrongs. That's not redemption, that's rationalization, especially given those past wrongs depend on storylines that don't follow from the previous episodes.

My investment in this version of the Robin Hood legend no doubt seems over the top, and honestly, I have difficulty explaining it to myself. The best I can come up with is that I think the producers put together one of the best acting assembles going and have wasted their talents. All you have to do is look at their other projects: Sam Troughton currently receiving good reviews in the RSC's production of Julius Caesar, Joe Armstrong with a starring role in a new BBC drama with A-list actors, Harry Lloyd receiving good reviews in the West End, Jonas with new and promising projects, and Richard Armstrong, whose acting credentials require no publicity here. And that doesn't even take account of the stellar guest stars. No one can deny the actors have done a great job, but what a waste that they weren't given better stories.

I'm one of those people who has to see things through to the end once I'm invested, so I'll be around to see who dies and how. But after series 3, I'm done.

7 June 2009 at 15:00  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

This episode was crap. The end.

7 June 2009 at 15:18  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin,I agree with everything Rav has said I think it is all a ploy to set us up for S4.

As I said in my earlier message I thought all of the characters in the flash back were very finely drawn they had all been well matched to their adult ones I seem to be the only one however who didn't think Guy was nicer then Robin because he wasn't he eavesdropped,caused trouble and was as unlikeable as Robin who as I said before was a spoilt,cocky little brat it was good however to see that the parents had feet of clay just like some do today.

I am like Annie with the train crash though I have to watch now to the bitter end as I have committed myself to see who dies and who stays even it it means
watching Robin ride off into the sunset with Kate, after hugging Guy of course and telling him he loves him as a brother and forgives him everything!!.

Tongue in cheek? I wonder We can't say now can we what is going to happen I know I shall be transfixed like a Rabbit in headlights unable to look away I am one sad person but I have become like so many of us involved in this story we are all here for better or worse ( lets hope its not too much of the latter)

7 June 2009 at 15:37  
Blogger Kara said...

even it it means
watching Robin ride off into the sunset with Kate, after hugging Guy of course and telling him he loves him as a brother and forgives him everything!!


Oh please God no!!!! I was planning on sticking around for series 4 to watch Richard Armitrige - but if that's how S3 ends, I am done.

Considering how much I've enjoyed previous episodes, I hope this is just a lone sour ep.

My hopes for the end of S3 were that the writers would work in the actual legends of Robin Hood killed by a nun, having here Isabella playing the nun's part, but the end rapidly approaches and there doesn't seem to be any set up for this.

Oh well, fingers still crossed that Robin will depart with 'Marian' being his last word.

7 June 2009 at 16:01  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Annette83,

"The best thing about Robin Hood is the complexity of the characters." I cannot say I've found much interesting in tyhe Outlaws this series. What have they had to do? But yes, the weekly guest appearances have often been excellent. But I think this show was an exception to that. Poor.

"Neither man is entirely bad or good and there have to be reasons why they turned out as they did." Agreed. But I have the rasons from folk lore, and they're much more interesting than what the writers are attempting here.

"We have never known much about Robin and Guy's early lives." Agreed. But what we didn't want is this version.

"You guys have been critical about Guy's sister appearing" No we haven't. The comment boxes on this blog mut be about 99% in favour of isabella. In fact I'd go as far as saying she's\ the clear favourite here.

"To say that the series is not faithful to the real thing is a bit absurd because we don't know about the real thing!" Not absurd at all. What we know are the "real stories". If the writers want to go invent a new hero, then go ahead. But the story of a character (even if fictitious) is the real story. And no-one here is expecting things to "stay the same". Far from it. For example, developments in Alan as a traitor, Djaq as a female outlaw, and Tuck as a black man, etc., etc., were all broadly applauded here.

"Last week Gisborne discovered that there is still hope for him (he met that girl who didn't reject him and healed a little). It is believable that now he wants to build bridges with Robin or become a better person or whatever." I have no issues with this point. Nor expressed any.

"Robin's kid character was portrayed as a brat, but he was young and his actions weren't bad--he was just being a kid. You guys are freaking too much to say that Robin wasn't portrayed well." I don't think I said in my review that Robin wasn't portrayed well, but whilst we're on the subject, that particular boy wasn't as well cast as the many "child actors" we've seen in the series.

"Gisborne's kid character was older than Robin's kid character and Gisborne had had to deal with life without his dad while his dad was at the Crusades." Agreed, but what you're doing here is explaining and defending aspects of a story. My problem is that the whole story was bad.

"I hated that Marian was killed off too, but the actress wanted to leave. What else could the writers do?" This is not about Marian. As I've said times many over recent weeks, the writers have had to recover from the disastrous position which they inherited. I think for the last few episodes they did that really well.

I welcome your comments, and it's good to have alternative views being expressed here. that's what it's all about. but it does read rather like you've got things to say regardless of how relevamnt they might be. You seem to have a pre-conceived idea of how "we" feel overall about the show in general. An inaccurate one at that. For example:

"You guys are just way too critical!" Since when??? Possibly you've mixed me up with another site, because this is the first episode to get really panned. It deserved it.

7 June 2009 at 16:07  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Annie,

"I really wouldn't care if the show were just another action adventure. However, it's called Robin Hood". I love the idea of developing the Legend, and exploring aspects of it. In that way I think Robin of Sherwood was the best version yet. And the "old" Robin of Sean Connery's "Robin and Marian" movie. I'm not a big Errol Flynn fan (the outlaws look like garden gnomes, speeded up), but I can see it's appeal to the masses. I never saw the appeal in Costner, and still don't. But explore the Legend? Yes please. However, to write a completely different character and story? No. It's wrong.

"And speaking of Much, I almost could have borne this episode if we'd had a young Much running around Locksley!" These are the missed opportunities I can't undersatnd. I agree.

"Annette, have you seen series 1 and 2? The plot holes between what we're told in those two series and what we learn in episode 10 are big enough to bury a dinosaur. Also, I'm really interested in your saying Lucy Griffiths chose to leave. I haven't read anything to suggest it was her choice. Perhaps you could link to the article, as a lot of us have been wondering about this."

"There are certain continuities that those of us who have been interested in the legend since childhood expect. At the minimum, I expect the writers to keep notes from series to series. I take your point, though, that watching the series is a choice. For me, I'm afraid it's like watching a train wreck. I know it will end badly, but I can't look away." Well, I always said I wouldn't "blog" a fourth series, even though the majority of this third series I really like. I reckon I can look away now...

-----------------------

Hi Anonymus Australia,

And thanks for the kind words. I know from my stat counter I get LOADS of Australian readers here. Welcome.

---------------------

Hi dcwash (http://dcwash.livejournal.com/)

Glad to hear you enjoyed it. Regarding the parents, I found them a little bland when compared to previous guest appearances, but in fairness it was rather hard to judge because of the "to and fro" editing in this one.

7 June 2009 at 16:07  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi evielyn,

"I never had the impression before that Guy and Isabella had even lived in Loxley, they never mentioned it before tonight did they?" I don't think so. But hey, my mind's spinning now on this one anyway. Certainly it's crazy that we get all this knowing each other in childhood coming out now. Especially, as you say, considering the fact he's been giving Isabella the full on snog without any mention of that! It's a complete joke.

I get the impression this was all put together before the rest of the series. the clue? Look at the season at the start and then go look at the leaves on the trees last week.

"I suppose now we have to wait and see what Archer is like." Archer Hood? Doesn't have the same ring to it somehow. However, tyhe Yorkshire Hoodies, who have long contested Robin hood came from there, will be pleased. (Even though we in Nottingham can say they just got Archer but we got the real Robin!)

:)

-------------------

Hi Kara,

"... made no sense, what with it null and voiding everything we already knew about the Gisbournes." As has been mentioned above, this is particularly relevant in relation to Robin and Isabella knowing each other as kids, but not once mentioning that before.

"I found the plot vehicle the writers choose very poorly rendered, overly complicated and very, very rushed. They needed a much better story line if they wanted to make the unknown half brother half way believable." The more I think about this, the more I think it was done with no collaboration as to what the rest of Series 3 was doing. And I share all your observations about time lines.

"The bailiff passes torches around so the crowd can help spread the fire – then yells at Guy for setting the fire? WTF?" Okay, I'm starting to laugh out loud now. Kara, you've cheered me up.

"I was impressed with whoever they got to play young Guy – well cast and well played." Fair comment. He did sulk well. But I didn't think the boy playing Robin was suitably cast. Nothing to do with the "brat" thing. That's fine. I just don't think the right boy was chosen. Too angelic looking for Jonas.


Hi Paige,

"My biggest issue with the whole episode was how Guy's character was portrayed as an older teen. He seemed like a pretty nice kid to me (not bad looking either). I just don't see how he could get from someone who seemed to care about others (when he tried to stop Robin from showing off) to the person we are introduced to in season 1." He would certainly have had to start training as soon as that episode finished if he were to become a King's assassin on time!

"The thing is, it doesn't make he dislike Robin. It makes me dislike the writers for 'doing it wrong'. I know it's ultimately their story, but I feel like I know the characters so much better than they do!!!" You do, because Robin Hood is NOT "their story". What we have in this episode is someone attempting to put someone else's brand name on a new product.

7 June 2009 at 16:09  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Rav,

As ever, you liust a superb set of points which everyone should read through. ("death by pointy elbow", "blobby" and "medievel contacts" had me in absolute hysterics!!! Thankyou.)

And yes, something I left out of my review, all this hugging of lepers. Weird. Yes I know some kinds are not contageous by touch (I've seen Ben Hur!), but who would take the chance? Or maybe that's what Robin Hood dies of at the end of the series? Death by pointy elbow leprosy?


"How did Guy not inherit Locksley/Gisbourne/whatever it was?" I can answer that one. I think. It was because the Bailiff was given the property as his price for keeping quiet about the pregnancy. Lord Loxley thought he could get them back when he married Lady Gisborne, but of course he didn't do that.

Thanks Rav. really enjoyed your comment.

---------------------

Hi Anonymous,

Thanks for the input. Certainly not a "glowing" review from me.

Whenever I post my review I often wonder what people themselves are thinking. There are times, of course, when no-one agrees. (I like Kate for example!) But what I do appreciate most of all is the fact people offer their own opinions. variety being the spice of life and all that.

---------------------

EVERYONE

I hope I've got my responses in some kind of order which makes sense. It was hard getting to them all in time.

BREAK FOR COFFEE, THEN I SHALL GO THROUGH THE REST!

7 June 2009 at 16:10  
Anonymous kitty said...

My sympathy is with the writer , she was given a point where the story had to take us . Explore in greater depth the development of the characters of Robin and Guy ,whilst at the same time create more viewer empathy in relation to Guy rather than Robin in 45 minutes .
That she achieved , will we accept a new Loxley be it Archer or indeed Guy -probably . If i was a total cynic i would expect the return of Marian in the last episode with some bizarre story of the Healing powers in the east or she asked Djaq and Will to lie as she did not want Robin to remain with her and leave England without a hero .
Stacking up nicely for season four which I imagine will take the story back on track .
Do i think it was twaddle of course I do , but Laura had an awful lot of information ,direction and empathy to force upon and influence us in a short time frame .

Would we accept Guy as the new Robin ? Or will it be this Archer chap ?

7 June 2009 at 16:21  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Emily,

I'm glad I'm not alone in liking Kate, but I agree her shortcomings haven't been criticised in quite the same way as they have in other Outlaws. However, as you say, so little time is devoted to the "main" characters, it's hard to get all that in.

I don't find the Kate / Robin romance believable either. But I like it from the point of view of Robin Hood moving on and dating a nice village girl. I don't think it's about potential marriage.

Your observations about Jonas and his body language regarding Kate and Isabella are good. And of course, as people are saying, we are now led to believe he knew isabella when they were kids! I personally think (and have said in the past), that Jonas's performances when it comes to "one on one" are dependant on who he is opposite. Male or female, I think this is an aspect of his work. He really needs someone like Lara Pulver or Keith Allen to get to him inside. For example, remember the heated fights in the cellar with Joe?

Regarding the quota of women in the show: there's no reason I know of. (Unless Gordon Brown is choosing the cast!) There really should be more.
----------------------

Hi Annie

Regarding "investment":

I think the anger of fans is perfectly understandable, and should be respected. After all is said and done, it is the fans who will (or will not) ensure a show's longevity.

For myself, as I've stated in the past, I'm a Robin Hood fan. I really like what Jonas was able to do in series 1, but that's not what started me writing about Robin Hood. As a kid I watched Richard Green. As a young adult I watched Michael Praed. (The best version). And I agree, when series 1 of the current version started, I was impressed by what you describe as "one of the best acting assembles going". A pity that, even after 3 Seasons, and many many great episodes, we are still left with this feeling of what "might have been".

A fourth series? After reading some of the humour above, I reckon it could be worth following just for the bloggers alone!

7 June 2009 at 16:41  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Kitty,

I couldn't accept Guy as Robin Hood. It would be such a waste. But right now, even "Men in Tights" is looking tempting. (And I've never seen it).

7 June 2009 at 16:43  
Blogger robin hood said...

Everyone,



Just one small point here regarding "history": Some of the earliest ballads about Robin hood do of course suggest he was related to Will Scarlet. I think it's mostly by way of being cousins rather than half brothers, although I stand to be corrected on that.

And yes, many "serious" researchers believe Robin Hood came from Yorkshire because the early ballads make references to town(s) there. So, one can say there are BITS of stuff there which relate to what's happening.

7 June 2009 at 16:48  
Anonymous Pipa said...

Don't be sorry, this episode was all a nonsense from minute 1 'yil the end! The boy who played young Robin had brown eyes and Jonas Armstrong has blue eyes! What were they thinking, that the fans wouldn't notice??
What a nonsense...

7 June 2009 at 18:30  
Anonymous kitty said...

Of course it was nonsense , but the programme lost Robin Hood a long timne ago . ironically ,the social cruelty of the medieval times was depicted but i feel that was knowledge that the writer already possesed and utilised as a backdrop .
Parallels exist between this episode and episode 11 and 12 in the last series in relation to the speed of the episode and its stark disregard for space and time . Subtlety was not present nor was it present in this episode.
I feel we are being brought to a point where series four can start .
Maybe Archer is the new Robin and Gisbourne dies , Jonas Armstrong is quoted as stating several actors leave . We know about him and Allen guessed about Sam T . as he is committed for the next three years on the stage . We guess about Richard Armitage because he has Spooks and is in demand for other things but he has been a jobbing actor for a long time and maybe doesn`t want to risk not having enough work . Equally Joe Armstrong is no surprise as he is committed to another series , this means any writer has to tidy up and project the new blood which again would be limiting as their is no back story . I bet Isabella survives -she is just so wonderfully bad . Any ideas R.H

7 June 2009 at 19:50  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Kitty,

I do of course have a lot of sympathy with what you're saying. The writers were in a terrible situation. Also, sometimes at risk of being a lone voice, I've been generally really supportive of this 3rd series. Most of it was MUCH better than I anticipated. And (as stated in my reviews) I actually think some episodes were far better constructed within themselves than was always the case in the past.

The problem here is the total lack (once again) of any real co-ordination. I return to an earlier point I made: This episode seems to have been filmed out of sequence. Or is that just my impression about the season in the Forest?

Certainly it appears to have been written with no knowledge of what other writers had written not only during the history of the show, but within the 3rd series itself. However, 'nuff sed.

What would my ideas involve?

1. Keep Isabella as the Sheriff. She's like a mix of Cruella de Ville and Catherine Tramell (Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct).

2. Make Guy the Night Watchman. In this way he can continue to redeem himself "in Marian's eyes", as well as retain something of a mercenary attitude. He would be well placed to fight both Robin Hood AND his sister the Sheriff. (I've really enjoyed the way Guy has been written this series. They should keep RA at whatever cost for the next series. As Night Watchman he wouldn't need to be there all the time).

3. Re-instate "Litte John" as Robin Hood's second in command. The new leader will need an experienced ex-outlaw leader at hand. Also, Gordon Kennedy deserves a much higher profile.

4. Give Brother Tuck some serious character flaws. (I thought he was said to have a hidden past in all the publicity?) He's just ridiculously perfect. Maybe he could be a deserter from an Arab army, and nothing to do with the church. Maybe they could come looking for him.

5. More Witchcraft. This was the best thing about Robin of Sherwood and (along with Rickman's Sheriff), the ONLY good thing in Prince of Thieves. We've already got the character, who (until this week), was said to have helped bring Robin Hood up. (Another discarded thread).

6. A reformed Guy would remember he has a son. Worth checking him out.

Anyone else out there want to join the fantasy list?

7 June 2009 at 21:05  
Anonymous Sabrina said...

Hi Robin, I've never posted on here before but I felt the need to now. I have been loyal to this show and watched every episode since the very beginning and I found this episode to be very inconsistent with what we already know about the characters. It was a bit of a mess of an episode, too much like a soap opera and it feels as though the writers can't be bothered to check consistency and it is obvious their setting up this Archer thing so that he can take over as Robin Hood when Jonas quits- but with the way the ratings have been dropping and the actors quitting a fourth series doesn't look promising.

I like all of your ideas, although I sort of disagree with the Tuck thing because I think he might already have a flaw in that he seems very bossy to me, but he does seem pretty perfect apart from that. Plus they don't seem to give Tuck much to do anymore, his key episodes were episodes 1 and 3 and in episode 1 he showed that he knew the sort of stuff Djaq used to contribute in the gang, but that's another thing the writer's have forgotten about.

With the Witchcraft idea I think it would be perfect to bring Matilda back, she was a great character and could help the gang.

Also I think number 6 is a brilliant idea, it would certainly support the redemption thing and Seth might be a toddler now as well. Guy's still his dad even though he did dump him in the forest.

Sorry for the very long comment, I've been tempted to comment here for a while so I've had a lot I wanted to say. Random but I really like your blog :D

8 June 2009 at 00:36  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Sabrina,

And welcome!

Everyone 'round here loves long comments and, as you can see, they do get read by everyone and responded to.

Although you say you think a 4th series is unlikely, I reckon it will happen. But I fear the "atmosphere" of that first Series is long gone. For example, give me the current "Castle" in Hungary any time over that "fake" one we saw in the trailer for next week. It looks so out of context; more like a 1940s Hollywood creation.

8 June 2009 at 01:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Ha Haaa! Brilliant assessment, Robin Hood. Yes, I too am looking forward to the Ridley Scott version so that I can get back to the real world of legend.

bennie

8 June 2009 at 02:45  
OpenID dcwash said...

"Equally Joe Armstrong is no surprise as he is committed to another series"

Wait, what? I knew about "Breaking the Mould," but my understanding is that that's a one-off drama, not a series.

8 June 2009 at 02:48  
Blogger Paige said...

Hi everyone!

Wow! It's only been a day, and I've been left in the dust!

Re Annie: While I agree with most of what you said regarding Guy, My one insight regarding Marian cutting Guy more slack than she did Robin was b/c she had higher expectations of him. She knew Robin was capable of greater things, and when he made mistakes she gave him a hard time about it. This however, does not cover her believing Guy's word over Robin's.

I also have no problem with a Guy redemption arc, but I hate that they are doing it at Robin's expense. I've always been a Robin fan, and there are many people that are Guy fans. Pretty much everyone falls into one of these categories, and what the writers are doing is going to please half of the fans (possibly over half...) and disappoint the others. Robin has always been a flawed hero in this show. What's bad is when he stops having any virtues.

What this episode showed us is, "Poor Guy! Robin was always so mean to him! Life has always been so unfair to Guy!".
And that makes me (as a Robin fan) rather upset.

Sorry, my thoughts are still somewhat jumbled so I may jump around a little bit.

I really agree with you about Guy's redepmtion needing to be believable. They were really on the right track last week with the whole Meg storyline. He admitted that it was his own wrong doing which led to Marian's death, and definately moved forward. They didn't brush what he did under the rug last episode, they dealt with it. This episode they were back to trying the 'redemption by sympathy' route. The only way to make Guy's return believable is to have all of his issues placed in the front and dealt with.

Regarding investment, I can't believe how many people feel this way. I can't believe I'm this attached to the show myself! The cast really is spectacular, and has made mountains out of the molehills they were given. Definately one of the best casts I've seen.

Like many others, I'll watch the train wreck until the end of series 3. Then I'm getting out. Unless Will and Djaq return, in which case I might consider sticking around.

Re Robin:

You're right about it not really being their story. I just meant that they are the ones who have created the character traits of this particular Robin Hood. You'd think they'd know what they were doing!

I'm not even going to try to explain all of the things that were wrong with this episode. Like many others have said, what's the point of showing a flashback if you leave out characters that should have been there. I would have loved to see little Much or Marian! All of it seemed so out of place, and did not jive with the previous series' at all. In far too many ways to list.

One last thing I wanted to mention, was that I did learn something about Guy's character this episode. Despite what I said before (about making Guy too nice) I think that after this episode I have a better understanding of his position when he sold Isabella to Thornton. I can now honestly believe that it was not with a conscious knowledge of the situation he would be sending her to. He was little more than a teenager, and a very disturbed one at that. He wouldn't have known what to do with a sister, and probably did what he thought was best for her.

Ok, I'll stop now. :)

8 June 2009 at 05:08  
Blogger Paige said...

Oh, and one last thing I forgot to mention. Robin's mad at Gisbourne b/c he's not sorry for killing Marian?! I couldn't believe he said that. I was rather upset.

8 June 2009 at 05:40  
Anonymous Annie said...

dcwash, the Joe Armstrong drama I mentined is "Breaking the Mould." It's not a series but (I think) a 4-hour drama in two parts (or as the BBC sometimes does it 4 or even 8 parts). I couldn't remember the name when I posted, and my calling it a BBC drama was ambiguous. This is OT, but I think your episode summaries are hilarious, insightful, and elegantly written. I also read your fan fiction occasionally, but as I'm not an LJ member, I can't post a response.
Robin, apologies for using your blog to send a personal message!

Paige, I have also used the argument that Marian expects more from Robin than Guy. In my experience, a lot of Robin fans find that unpersuasive, so I've shifted my argument a bit. I agree with your take, though.

8 June 2009 at 13:20  
Anonymous Hannah said...

I actually, on the surface, rather enjoyed this episode. But that required me to do two things- watch it at face value and forget the rest of the series/past series. My main reason for liking it actually was just because it was a break from the usual bad guys vs good, good guys get captured, good guys get free, twisted politics and relationships e.t.c. When I saw the trailer last week I thought it was such an ingenious idea, one which had so much possibility. But, well, you've all explained it- pretty ludicrous. I didn't like Robin's Dad- very un-noble like, quite rough and lacked integrity and wasn't the sort of father figure I thought Robin would have. Also like other still thought the past doesn't explain why Guy becomes so twisted, selfish, interested in personal gain, kills people without caring e.t.c. And there's no way around it- Guy and Robin CLEARLY didn't know each other at start of series one, and Robin didn't know Guy had a sister.

I understand they needed the Archer set up. But it was so predictable and sickly. And I don't much like the look of Archer either.

I do think both Guy and Robin will leave- don't know about the others. And about the idea that Marion was killed off because Lucy wanted to leave- well I believed that was true. The official BBC story is that she 'had been on a fantastic journey with the show and is now exploring other opportunities.' Of course that doesn't confirm whether she chose to leave or was forced to persue those other opportunities because she was written out. owever I did fidn this interview with Jonas Armstrong:

http://uk.tv.ign.com/articles/896/896189p1.html

where he says it was her last minute decision to leave. I don't know how trustworthy the source is but there you go.

8 June 2009 at 14:30  
Anonymous Hannah said...

And I've just to the bottom of the article (it's pretty good actually)- check out the second to last paragraph- pretty much what everyone's been saying about this series- seems they predicted it and their prediction came very true ;)

8 June 2009 at 14:36  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin, I have been catching up with all the great comments for this week you were saying earlier about your fantasy Ideas for a follow up I was also thinking about all of the characters that have appeared in this series

no1/ The most wasted -
it has to be Tuck he really hasn't done anything has he and I thought he was going to be really good especially after episode1/ and the one with Abbot was it no3? but he is just like a damp squib. I listened to his interview at the start and he said then that he was signed for 2 series lets hope he improves
no2/ The best new one-
In my mind it has to be Isabella she is really brilliant and like you say she would make a great Sheriff

I thought of 6 good ones who were only in it for one episode I liked Sir Jasper,Scrope, The Irish King (can't remember his name!)Squire Thornton he was really evil, Meg she was great, a shame she was killed off and the Bishop all of those I thought were good within their storylines and of course I also liked Prince John although towards the end he did go a bit over the top.

It has been a shame that all of these have somewhat detracted from the gang there has been no repartee between them at all no Robin/ Much master/servant chats apart from episode 1 which I felt was the last time they all really seemed to care about each other

They all seem now to be disjointed almost as if (with most of them) that they no longer care and are just working out their notice!!

What do you think?

8 June 2009 at 17:14  
Anonymous Camilla said...

i really don't like kate,she think she is so perfect,but she is a moaning bitch!!i hope she will be killed off ;) Isabella is far mor intresting and brings something to the series!

i can only agree what everbody who dislike this episode has written.I hope the writers makes better scripts the few episodes remaining

8 June 2009 at 20:56  
Anonymous camilla said...

omg my grammar sucks!!i'm so tired ;)

8 June 2009 at 20:59  
Anonymous Rav said...

I've read the article that Hannah recommended before, but it was interesting coming back to it in hindsight; particularly concerning this prediction:

"In total, the actor made light of Griffiths' quick exodus and did his best to throw us a few bones for the third season, but it seems that the writers may be scrambling to fill in the gaps made by a missing love interest and that the cast will be flying by the seat of their pants, acting scene-by-scene, until they came come to grips with an unsteady storyline."

They called it!

8 June 2009 at 22:57  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Paige


"I have a better understanding of his position when he sold Isabella to Thornton."

Me to. BUT, that's still one mighty leap to becoming a trained assassin, intent on killing King Richard, within the time frame..

------

Hi Annie,


No apologies necessary for using these boxes however you wish to contact each other.

-----

Hi Hannah,


I find Jonas a little bit evasive in his replies regarding Lucy, but one can understand that. The only way we'll ever get an answer is if and when Lucy is riding high, less concerned about what she says, and gets on a chat show somewhere...

------

Hi evielyn,


I know how you feel about Tuck Such a waste of a great actor. (And to think I was practically campaigning on the earlier blog to get a Tuck on board).

Your comment about "no longer caring" and "working out their notice" does seem harsh. But, what else are they being given to do?

Yes, I know there are a lot of outlaws and only 13 episodes per series, but I totally reject the views expressed by some that these characters cannot be more integral to the stories.

-------

Hi Camilla,


No doubt that Isabella is more interesting than Kate. I just have a soft spot for kate 'cos I think she hasn't always been given a fair hearing.

Now go get some sleep!

-----

Hi Rav,


Indeed.

That interview is more revealing for what is NOT said than what is...

8 June 2009 at 23:40  
Anonymous Rav said...

Robin: Have you really never seen "Robin Hood: Men in Tights"? Though I admit it is rather silly (it is a spoof after all), I have fond memories of it as a kid. It is worth saying that it's actually more of a send-up of the Kevin Costner movie than the RH legends; but I'd still recommend it on the sole basis of what they do with the bridge-fight between Robin and Little John. You'll never be able to look at it the same way again.

Having given this episode some more thought, I think I've twigged as to why it bothered me (yeah, apart from my 21 point list of complaints).

The flashbacks weren't so much about how Robin and Guy ended up the way they were, so much as it was about Archer's existence (and as such, the lengthy melodrama that went on between the parents). And not only do I find the Robin/Guy teamup to find this lost brother too abrupt and *completely* out of the blue, but I really see no reason why Archer needs to be their half-brother at all. (It seems a very contrived way to get them to work together, and set up Archer as the next Robin Hood).

I would have found the whole thing more convincing if *Tuck* had been attempting to get Guy and Robin to work together this entire series; acting as a go-between in the castle and the forest: a confessor/therapist for Guy, and a spy for Robin. (I came into this series believing that this was the entire POINT of the character: to provide redemption for Guy, and a higher calling for Robin. Instead, he's just the token black guy).

Tuck should have explained to Robin that Guy was a remorseful, broken man, and potentially, could be used against Isabella and the forces at the castle. To Guy, on the other hand, he could have been preaching that the best way for redemption was to join forces with his worst enemy for the common good.

Instead of all that unbelievable half-brother nonsense, Tuck hears about a man in Yorkshire who apparently has access to explosives and other weapons from the Orient. He pulls the whole drugged dart action on Robin and Guy, and convinces them to work together in order to secure the safety of a valuable ally.

(OR, if they did want to go the whole half-brother route, surely it would have worked better to have Tuck integrated into those flashbacks somehow: ideally, as the man who took Archer away to be fostered. At the very least, it would have given Tuck something to do on this show other than pontificate about "Robin as an ideal").

As it is, I just can't believe that Robin and Guy are going to bury their differences in order to rescue a brother they don't know (or why Robin needs Guy's help in order to save Archer anyway. He saves people's lives for a living). I would be more open to the idea that Guy would find Archer as a "weapon" to take down the system more important than the fact he's his brother, yet Malcolm makes no mention of this at all.

I love the idea that Robin/Guy are working together; I don't buy the way in which it's come about. Such a truce needed time as well as a significant amount of convincing in order for both men to come to grips with the idea.

(Of course, even MORE ideally, Marian would still be alive, and SHE would be the one convincing them to work together in this way).

9 June 2009 at 08:44  
Anonymous Rav said...

(Oh, and I'm basing my assumption that Archer has access to handy weapons/explosives from the Orient on what I saw in the preview clip.)

9 June 2009 at 08:47  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Rav,

Nope, never seen "Men In Tights". (Hence the complete lack of a review on my main Robin Hood blog). I'm sure it's funny, but hey, not my thing.

Truth be told, I've only seen the cartoon Fox in small clips.

Regarding your idea about Tuck being used as the person who has secretly been training Archer since childhood, perhaps helping hide him away for some mystical reason, "waiting for the day": that's such a brilliant idea!

9 June 2009 at 15:30  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Oh, where to begin.
This episode seems to have gotten under everyone's skin and I must admit it has mine too.

I find myself hanging on not because I really want to know what's going to happen but because I'm ready for it to be over. This season (for me) has been disjointed, contrived, and FULL of holes. I often wonder if the writers remember what they wrote in previous episodes. It pays to do your homework!!!

Particularly with this episode I felt the writers were trying to redeam Gisbourne in a last ditch effort and for what I'm unsure. Perhaps that will come in the last few episodes. Gisbourne is SOOO good when he's bad. I'm not sure how I feel about he and Robin "teaming up." I was happy that they didn't actually make them brothers, only that they had a common brother. The flashbacks were horrible and I agree with whoever said that Robin's father was far from noble. I expected him to be and he did not deliver. The story with he and Gisbourne's mother was just stupid.

I've read (from practically everyone) about all specific holes in the plot so I won't even go there.

I'm not sure what this show is trying to be anymore. The first two series were so great, and this one just feels lost.

As an aside, I read the discussion regarding Lucy leaving and the interview with Jonas and I believe there is more to the story for sure. I find it hard to believe that a brand new actress who lands a leading role as a first timer would so willingly give that up. If it was her decision she would be talking about it and from what I've read she's staying pretty mum about it. I believe they thought killing her off would take the show in into unchartered waters. I believe it has backfired into a regretable decision.

So many thoughts, so little time.

-sjl

9 June 2009 at 17:30  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi sjl,


"I often wonder if the writers remember what they wrote in previous episodes."

The problem is that no-one appears to be co-ordinating the writers. And certainly those episodes in Series 3 before this one, bare no relation to it. I really enjoyed most of Series 3 until now. (Apart from the first one or two which involved repeated visits to the dungeon!)

"I'm not sure what this show is trying to be anymore." For what it's worth, here's my opinion:

Living in Nottingham is perhaps ideally suited to assessing people's opinions about any Robin Hood movie / TV series. Well, on the streets of Nottingham, the Jonas version didn't really go down all that well. (Let's face it, we loved it, but it always had its critics). Yes it brings in a considerable revenue (according to Keith Allen anyway, although the noted lack of awards would suggest otherwise) from outside the UK. But is it being watched simply because we love the Legend?

I think the BBC / Tiger, are reverting to a more "traditional" approach. Castles looking like they're from the days of "glass painted" Hollywood backdrops; costumes; and an action hero Robin Hood. If it wasn't for the fact they've screwed up big time in the past, and are having to recover from that, they would then have a product more "acceptable" to the public at large. But the public have lost patience.

Scott Ridley's movie, staring Russell Crowe now as Robin instead of the Sheriff, and apparently renamed "Robin Hood" instead of "Notingham", is set to blow any Series 4 out of the water. That movie will have the merchandising, the promos, the pc games, etc. From that moment on, the public will be wanting a better Robin Hood than a man called Archer with a dodgy arrowhead on his chest.

9 June 2009 at 19:33  
Anonymous kitty said...

Mist of time perhaps but it was clear through Richard Armitage`s comments Lucy Griffiths departure was orchestrated by the writers not the actress .
Dr Who disappeared into oblivion due to its modern irrelevance . It was wonderfully resurected by Russell T. Davies -why couldn`t Robin Hood without the tights .
Gisbourne`s metamorphisis could be a ruse and he reverts back to his established type ;all this serves to achieve nothing but generate sympathy and confuse the viewer . Or he dies in spectacular hero form but has there been enough time for the viewer to care . Or it has been deceided he must figure in Season three (This stands against what Richard Armitage himself said )

Castles we have castles a plenty up here -there is the ideal Dumbarton Castle down the road from the B>B>C or Newark Castle which is on the other side of the water but they could easily film there and be back in time for tea . Spectacular tower houses such as Portencross ( i sound like the Tourist Board )
Archie Hood -sounds like a used car salesman the mind boggles

9 June 2009 at 21:18  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I really enjoyed about the 1st 10 minutes of this episode but then:
Child Robin has brown eyes.

The priest should have been a younger Edward.

Marian, Much and Will Scarlett's Dad were missing from the flashbacks.

Robin didn't know Guy or his sister prior to meeting them (oops! bad writers)

The whole "Luke I am your father" thing. Worked in Star Wars, but alas, didn't work here.

It really annoys me when the writers forget who the characters are and force personality changes to make it fit some weird plot thing.

I would like Will and Djaq to come back for S4. I could go with Little John and the Queen having a romance (some excellent comedy potential there).

And I am sorry to admit this but I cannot stand Russell Crowe. I was so sad when I heard he was going to be Robin Hood in the movie.

I agree Rav that Tuck should have been the one to take Archer away and I love the idea of Tuck being the one to teach Archer. It's so Merlin/King Arthurish...

Sorry for the repeats and disjointedness, I had to get it off my chest.
I loved the posts.
Prufrock

10 June 2009 at 02:13  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Kitty,

I think RA talks very good "pr" a lot of the time... But with regard to his opinion on Lucy, I think he came close to revealing the truth. He and her did seem to hit it of as colleagues, both having expressed appreciation of each other's support / ability. I don't think Lucy spoke at all about certain other leading cast members...


And yes, you have great castles. (I know a little about Scotland...) Much better to make use of them than use fake effects.

10 June 2009 at 10:10  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Prufrock,

just to be clear: I'm not particularly a Russell Crowe fan, and wish they'd kept him as the Sheriff and recruited a younger man as Robin Hood. (Sam Riley had been rumoured at one point). Crowe was reported as being "too fat", but whether that was gossip, or it actually came from Ridley Scott, who knows?


However, from the perspective of this Robin Hood being the outlaw during his latter years (shades of Sean Connery's version?) and with Ridley Scott directing, it will be huge. That is if they ever stop arguing:

http://www.littleabout.com/news/17510,russell-crowe-ridley-scott-caught-tiff.html

10 June 2009 at 10:18  
Blogger Kara said...

Continuing on the fantasy wish list, I would like to see more use of historical / legendary background the characters have been associated with. For example:

1. The kidnapped king. The ransom of King Richard is worthy of a season long story arch, with tons of potential to mine – the Bavarian booby could come back, or Will and Djaq, or Queen Eleanor, to break the news of the kidnapping, or Blondel could be introduced. Then there’s raising the ransom money, and making sure (a) everyone pays, and (b) all the money gets there. Tons of story potential here!

2. Isaac of York. While the infamous massacre at York would probably be considered too heavy for the tone of this show, the show has gone out of its way to address the Muslim/Christian divide. Why not include the Jewish faith as part of that?

3. Alan’s true love. Yes, Alan-a-Dale has no resemblance here to his legendary singing counterpart, but why not use the love story part? I’d love to see Alan actually develop strong feelings for someone rather than just his usual ‘you’re cute, lets hang out’ attitude.

4. The nun’s tale. Some of the oldest ballads describe Robin Hood finally getting killed by a nun – Isabella’s downfall could mean a forced retirement to a nunnery, where she kills off Robin when he goes to the local nunnery looking for medical aid after one too many sword fights.

10 June 2009 at 22:55  
OpenID dcwash said...

I've read a number of complaints regarding this episode about the lack of Marian and Edward, but I think people are forgetting that Knighton is an entirely different manor and village from Locksley. Everything we saw happen, from Ghilaine's original welcome-home celebration to the final fire, took place within only a few days, didn't it? In which case, why would Marian or Edward come over from Knighton to involve themselves in such internal Locksley matters? (Especially since Marian would only have been about five years old at the time!)

And to Annie: Thank you so much for your kind words. But you really should join LJ so we can talk about it there instead of taking over Robin's blog! Come to think of it, I think you may be able to leave comments on LJ without being a member, it's just that they're posted anonymously. (Unless you identify yourself in the comment.)

11 June 2009 at 04:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Right, I completely agree that the writers who wrote this episode had obviously never seen or even had the faintest sniff of the earlier series. Not only were Much and Marian missing, but prior to series 1 episode 1 Guy and Robin had never met!!!! (I apologise if someone's brought this up already).

Yes, this episode was utter claptrap, but there was one thing I found extremely interesting, again apologies if someone's mentioned it already, haven;t had time to read all the other comments: The love triangle between Roger, Malcolm and Ghislaine ended in exactly the OPPOSITE way to the Guy Robin Marian one: With LOCKSLEY killing one half of (former) GISBORNE'S established relationship, as opposed to GISBORNE killing one half of (former) LOCKSLEY's established relationship.

11 June 2009 at 09:31  
Anonymous kitty said...

Regardless of individual feelings the Guy/Marian /Robin possessed a thread we are missing the thread of continuity regardless of content.
I think last weeks episode was just a push towards the programmes new identity in series four .

11 June 2009 at 20:56  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Robin is mad because Guy doesn't show remorse? Not because he killed Marion but because he doesn't feel bad enough about it. weird

12 June 2009 at 02:52  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Kara,


Certainly after the references we've had to Kirklees Abbey though the show, I to want to see that involved in Robin's anticipated death...

Hi dcwash,,


Very good point about Knighton. And don't worry about taking over my blog.

Hi Kitty,


Yes, I think the whole of series 3 can be seen as setting up ready for 4. (Change of Sheriff, change of Robin, possibly a change of city?) Abd quite possibly a change of viewers!

12 June 2009 at 11:22  
Anonymous Annie said...

Since the subject of Kirklees was raised, I have what I consider a modest (though likely futile) wish for the final episode. If Robin is to die, as we all assume, I really want to see him shoot a last arrow into Sherwood and ask to be buried where it falls. I know the writers are determined to create a new version of the legend that breaks with tradition, but perhaps since they've killed Marian and transformed the villain into a hero, they could make a gesture towards those of us who recall the old legends fondly? The "last arrow" has always been a particular favorite of mine.

12 June 2009 at 16:24  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Annie,

Me to. And with Much taking the role normally ascribed to Little John.

But I very much doubt it will happen that way. After all, they ignored 100% of the other great stories...

12 June 2009 at 17:44  
Blogger evielyn said...

I would really love Robin to shoot his last arrow into the forest to land by where he has buried Marian's ring it really would have come full circle then and would make up for the rubbish that was the last episode.
I can't believe that the ring will lie there forgotten forever if that doesn't happen. As once Jonas has gone it won't mean a thing to anyone else

12 June 2009 at 21:44  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Evielyn, excellent point about the ring. Maybe that's part of the reason they made such a big deal about burying it.

Prufrock

13 June 2009 at 01:30  
Blogger Polly said...

This episode was the worst thing I've watched for several years.

I was disappointed

14 June 2009 at 20:08  
Blogger mwaki said...

This is creapy and fun!!!it gets interesting by the minute....

14 June 2009 at 22:47  

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