Saturday, 13 June 2009

Robin Hood, Series 3. Episode 11: “The Enemy of My Enemy.”.

The Story: Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne are riding side by side through the forest, heading for the Outlaw’s camp, and arguing about their respective parents. A fight ensues, which is observed from a distance by Alan A Dale. Alan then runs to inform the rest of the Outlaws that Robin must be in trouble, thinking other soldiers must be near by. When the Outlaws reach Robin and Guy, it is Kate who manages to loose the first arrow directly at Gisborne’s heart. But Robin Hood pushes his former arch enemy out of the way just in time, and commences to explain to them all that Gisborne is now ”one of us”. The two outlaws that protest most strongly are Kate, who’s brother was killed, and John, well, because he’s John. (Even though he’s looking more like Roy Wood by the hour.)

Robin Hood tells everyone about their half brother, Archer (Clive Standen), awaiting execution in York, and also that Archer has “travelled widely” and has “knowledge of weapons brought back from the East”. (Oooooooo….) As Robin and Guy prepare to leave for York, Kate kisses Robin and asks him to “come back safely”. A little later on, whilst riding to York, both men are spotted by one of Isabella’s informers. She becomes concerned about what could have brought two sworn enemies together like this, and sends word to the Sheriff of York that they are on their way, offering a reward into the bargain.

Meanwhile, in the dungeons beneath York Castle, Archer is called out by the guards. The prisoners assume it is to be hanged, but the truth is that naughty Archer is administering a bit of what he’s brought back from the East to the Sheriff of York’s wife, between the bed sheets. He is hoping that his services here, plus a promise of knowledge in Alchemy, will soon save him from the gallows. But when he is later given chance to prove his ability to turn a rusty nail into a nugget of gold before the Sheriff of York, it isn’t long before his ruse is discovered and he is thrown back in the dungeons.

John cannot be pacified regarding Guy of Gisborne’s collaboration with Robin. Tuck tells him the collaboration makes Robin Hood seem all the more powerful that his enemies are persuaded to join him (yawn), after which Kate herself does an about face and supports Robin’s decision. At this point John symbolically drops his staff and leaves. Alan later goes in pursuit and, after a skirmish with Isabella and her troops bound for York, John is naturally persuaded to return to camp and warn the others of where she is headed.

When Robin and Guy reach York they devise a plan to have one of them captured, so he can locate Archer within the cells. (Although that plan makes no sense at all, the scene helps show a little male bonding and good humour). It turns out to be Guy who is captured, who in turn soon locates Archer and identifies him by his birth mark. Archer is not impressed to have found he has a half brother, especially one with a titled name but no money. Meanwhile, outside the Castle, Robin Hood steals some expensive clothing, and enters the Castle pretending to be a nobleman apologising for Guy’s behaviour and come to buy his freedom. The Sheriff of York accepts the bribe and Robin is shown the way to the dungeon to fetch Guy. However, whilst he is below, Isabella’s man informs the Sheriff of York about Robin and Guy and the alarm is raised.

As for Isabella herself, well she and her troops are still riding full pelt towards York, but strangely enough, the Outlaws (on foot) have overtaken her and now wait in the bushes. Kate lets fly an arrow at Isabella, (it would seem to be “Get a Gisborne Day“ for the feisty village girl), but Isabella manages to knock it to one side with her sword. (Like you do). So now, with the Nottingham contingency taken care of, it’s onwards to York the Outlaws stride.

Having to fight their way out of York Castle gives Archer a chance to display his skills, and provides another platform for a little more male bonding and bickering. Suffice to say Archer himself is even less impressed by finding one of his half brothers is a poor outlaw than he was that the other is a man with a meaningless title. When the fight becomes hopeless, Archer attempts to bribe his way out of the situation by holding a knife to Robin’s throat and offering his life as a bribe. But in the end all three end up side by side on the gallows.

At this point enter the Outlaws, refreshed from their jog. Archer and Robin Hood are quickly freed, whilst Guy is left waiting at the end of a rope. However, arrows fired simultaneously by Robin and Archer cut him loose, as Robin looks across at Archer seeing he’s met his match where marksmanship is concerned. During the fight in which everyone escapes, Guy significantly saves John from an attack, whilst Archer steals Guy’s white horse and rides away into the distance, preferring the mercenary life…

End bit: Back at camp Robin Hood persuades Kate she has to “move on”, giving himself as an example of someone who has had to do this in relation to Marian. Kate agrees to try, but confesses she can never trust Gisborne.

The best line in the show is the last one: Guy turns to the Outlaws and says, “So where do you want me to sleep?” (I loved that bit. Breaks me up every time).

Comment: How does one judge this show any more? On what basis are we to judge anything? Any and all comparisons to the Legend of Robin Hood, are of course null and void. But so to now are any comparisons to Series 1 and 2, because of the total lack of continuity. Do you know what this most reminds me of? (And I’m showing my age here). “Dallas”. When Bobby Ewing died in a car crash, but then one series later stepped out of the shower and it had all been a dream. However, I shall try to be constructive:

Positives: Although much of what I like about the way Gisborne was being written during Series 3 has now been changed, Richard Armitage himself is doing a great job; albeit (it seems to me), with tongue firmly in cheek and a glint in his eye. I’m enjoying watching him purely on the basis of an entertaining adventure, with no regard for the show’s history.

Negatives: Archer just doesn’t work for me. It’s over the top. Bedding the Sheriff’s wife; “widely travelled in the east”; etc., etc. A recipe of clichés, shaken but certainly not stirring. Pass. On top of which, Tuck's "worthy speeches" induce sleep so rapidly he's set to put Horlicks out of business.

If this was an entirely different show, (which of course it now is), and was called something else, I’d be fine with it and fairly entertained in a light hearted kind of way. It’s not a show I would consider following over time.

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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

13 June 2009 at 21:10  
Anonymous kitty said...

Like chess pieces the characters are being placed in position for the final . Archer is highly irritating but may calm down in time -I take it he is the new R,H-,similarities in type are rather pronounced although unlike R.H is backstory is delivered in a more concentrated form . Obviously. Gisbourne is for the off -I imagine there will be some lengthy eulogy as he departs . As Keith Allen is listed everywhere as re-appearing I take it Issy is for the off too .Like R.H i haven`t a clue what I am watching -not a scooby .It doesn`t even really have the depth of a soap. I am still amazed that Marian did not return .

13 June 2009 at 22:55  
Anonymous camilla said...

keith allen will leave the show after series 3!so i've heard at least!I haven't seen this episode yet,i'm from sweden and the first episode was on TV today!but i'm downloading it every week so i pretty much keep it up with you guys ;)

13 June 2009 at 23:21  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

which actor played Lord Loxley? Looks like the new factor owner in Coronation Street!! Thanks

13 June 2009 at 23:21  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi Robin, I am completely lost I found it all so disjointing and mostly unbelievable its getting more differant each time we watch it as you say nothing like the legend any more.

I just feel that it is kicking over the traces for want of a better expression I suppose Archer could be alright in time its early days yet for him.

I really can't see where it will end I don't think I will have my ring /arrow scenerio which I so wanted what a waste of a story line. I don't think Kate will get her man either. In fact I am so fed up with the whole episode I am going to bed

14 June 2009 at 00:01  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with your comments about Richard Armitage, he's doing a great job with what he's given and this latest episode highlighted what he brings to the show. I wouldn't be surprised if this is the last series for him though.

Pity as he's one of the best things in it and at least he's still a character that you can recognize even if he has suddenly turned away from the dark side!

As for Archer, well he could grow on me as a character, he has the right mix of qualities that in time could develop into a new Robin Hood Mk II if this show survives another series of course.

14 June 2009 at 03:07  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I quite enjoyed this, against all expectations. I need to watch it again, though, because I watched each scene the first time anticipating the dramatic bottom to fall out, so I couldn't enjoy the moment. I don't get the argument about the lack of continuity, however, so long as you accept the things it needs to be continuous about include the information gained from the last episode. Once you accepted the premise that episode set up, everybody was pretty much in character. They even managed to avoid some easy cliches, such as the tavern scene: Typically, movies have characters in that situation join robustly in on the fight that's breaking out all around them, and it serves as a bonding moment. But Robin and Guy just kept ducking and talking about their plan (or lack thereof). I found that to be much funnier.

14 June 2009 at 05:04  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Anonymous,

"As for Archer, well he could grow on me as a character"... Not me I'm afraid. I thought the actor lacked the charisma essential for Robin Hood.


Hi Camilla,

And welcome. Yes Keith goes, but I think you'll be impressed by his replacement. I certainly am.


Hi dcwash,

RE continuity: Yes, it continued with threads from last week. I just need to have a bigger time span than that in the shows I follow and ultimately buy the boxed sets for. (Incidentally, I haven't bought this show yet on dvd. When I do I'm likely to be selective).


Hi evielyn,

I have to confess, I've basically lost interest. It would now be a sort of "casual watch" on a Saturday evening, if it wasn't for making notes for these reviews. Light hearted entertainment, and nothing wrong with that concept. But I'm afraid I'm one of those "train spotter" types who, once I get into something (music or a film or TV) I like to REALLY get into it.

Also, I'm judging Archer as if he were the next Robin Hood, which we don't yet know for sure. If he is, I think he's miscast and ill conceived. If he's not? Fine.


Hi Kitty,

If you're right, and they lose Issy and Gis, the show won't be left with too much will it?

14 June 2009 at 08:12  
Blogger khandy said...


This is my first post although I have lurked for ages.

I was initially surprised be the negative views from last week show.But as this is the most traditional site I know in terms of the legend I kind of understood them.

The legend has long since been left behind and i guess the show has to be viewed in a different light.

I enjoyed last nights show in the story line they are developing. I think Jonas leaving has meant that the writers felt they must come up with an alternative replacement and the brother idea seems to fit.

The writers made Robin seem more likable last night which shocked me as I think this version of the character has been awful because of some of his character traits.

Richard Armitage has stolen this show from episode one and continues to do so. I loved the humour he got to show last night.

I kinda feel sorry for Kate her main problem is she is not Marian and most die hard fans will never accept her.

Can I just lovely blog you all seem so lovely.

14 June 2009 at 09:19  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi khandy,

And welcome.

Regarding the "traditional" aspect: I guess that's because I've been a Robin Hood fan since I first saw Richard Green on a black and white TV many moons ago. So that's what started me blogging; not this show, much though I've enjoyed the majority of it over the last 3 / 4 years.

I particularly like seeing different versions of the Legend, my all time favourite being Robin of Sherwood.

But I see no reason to cast aside the entire Legend. It's either basically Robin Hood or it's not.

On a separate note, yes, I too thought Jonas was on good form in this episode. I liked his scenes with Kate, and found them more convincing. Also, as I've said in the past, he "bounces" well off of other strong actors, and so his work with RA was very good.

I shall miss Jonas. He has a well balanced mix of Charisma with "lad next door", and does the physical stuff really well.

I found Archer lacking in screen presence. Ordinary.

14 June 2009 at 11:15  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just a question - do you think Guy knew he hadn't killed Vasey? If he knows he is alive, doesn't that bring all sorts of interesting twists to the current plot line and the assumption that he has turned over a new leaf (excuse pun - couldn't resist the forest metaphor)? He has told Robin that he killed Vasey, is he lying therefore? Maybe he is still in league with Vasey and has infiltrated the gang.... perhaps the writers haven't strayed from S1 & 2 as much as we might think?

Enjoyed this episode, BTW.

14 June 2009 at 12:07  
Anonymous Faye said...

Hi, i've been reading this blog for awhle now and i thought i'd post a comment =D

OK i thought this episode had good bits and bad bits. I loved the fightening scenes, i loved the scenes with the merry men, i loved the scene where Gisbourne got arrested.

However, I just can't get over how bad this series has been. Series 1 and 2 were so good, they had me laughing and crying and all that jazz all the way through. This series has had my eyebrows raised many times, something that did not happen ONCE in the other series. In this episode, i HATED the bit with Robin and Kate when Kate went "come back safely". I actually gagged.

I feel so depressed about this. I was sad when Marian died, sure, i cried for ages, but I didn't think too badly of it because it was a perfect storyline for series 3. But they have ruined it. RUINED IT. Robin accused GISBOURNE of not being sorry enough for killing Marian. WHAAAT?? I couldn't believe my ears when he said that. This series had real potential. But they had to ruin it in so many ways. Why did they get Robin another love interest? Why couldn't Much or Allan have had that? Why did Robin get over it so quickly? Why were Robin and Gisbourne growing up together when they had clearly never met before at the start of series 1? Why didn't Robin know Gisbourne had a sister?

I could go on and on but yeah you get the gist. *sigh*

14 June 2009 at 12:20  
Anonymous Heleen said...

like khandy I have been lurking around this blog and the ones from series 1 and 2.

It's only now that I feel the need to share my opinion about the show's episode. Probably due to the fact this series has divided the viewers in so many ways.

Robin Hood, I share your view that this series has become a casual watch (for me anyway). The reason I keep my tely switched on every Saturday is because for 1) it's become a habbit and 2) I keep expecting a great show. I've even had to re-view a couple of episodes this series online in order to understand what has been going on, as I more frequently use the tely as a background noise while this shows on. And even when I have watched a episode properly, I often find myself wondering what actually happened in it when the next episode is about to start. I never had this problem during series 1 and 2.

Worst episode for me is last weeks. I agree with all Rav commented on then. But like many episodes in this series, this one also seemed unnatural and forced. Especially the scene where Guy "saves" John. I can imagine the writers thinking "right, we need a scene where Guy needs to convince John he is to be trusted. Let's do it this way!". Somehow, for Guy to shout for John, jump of the horse, run over to him and ask him if he's al right, doesn't seem a very Guy thing to do. I would've accepted it if he'd casually walked over, helped him up, gave him a pat on the back and asked him about his physical state. But this scene just seemed very forced.

I also hate the fact that so many characters are pushed aside or are not allowed to flowish as much as some others. Much, after showing his love interests in Kate, has been shoved aside by both her and Robin and now doesn't seem to care much about either of them. John, exept for this episode, has been following Robins orders no question; not the kind of thing I would expect John to do. And, Allan, poor old Allan, has had no character development or story whatsoever in this series except for the scene in which he tries to convince John to come back this episode. And now that I discoved that something terrible is going to happen to him next episode (will not say what, as I don't want to spoil it for some viewers) I feel that the writers did not have a clue what to do with him this series. I also do not understand why Guy has not spoken to Allan at all either. Allan worked for the man! I feel the writers could've done something with this history.

All the while characters like Kate (eventhough I do like her) steal the limelight. But also she shows inconsistensies. She has gone from strong independent woman to a sort of (house)wive who's only concern is Robin and his welfare. As for Isabella, one minute I was convinced that she was the goodguy (or girl in this case), next I knew she was evil, only for her to change good again. And now she turns out evil. I really got confused about her moral status. I also do not see the point of Tuck. Much could've convinced Robin to think about it and do the right thing just as well.

Anyway, I agree about inconsistencies and and disapointed with this series as a whole. It seems like there are a lot on unnessasery changes and unused character devolopements (expect for Guy).

I could rant an awful lot more, but will spare you the long read.

14 June 2009 at 12:59  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Faye,

And welcome.

Yep, I get the gist. I think what is really stupid is that Robin had absolutely NO NEED to be given a new "love interest", simply because we all knew he was only going to be around for 13 weeks. You're right, much better to have seen Kate and Much or Alan. This way, IF kate stays, does she have to now "get over" Robin and go with Archer???

Not good planning, at all.


Hi Heleen,

And thanks for the "long read". We all like that 'round here. And yes, the "merry men" haven't had to do too much for their money this series at all. I wonder what they all do with their spare time when filming?


Hi anonymous,

Interesting thought. I always thought the Sheriff was referring to himself rather than Prince John when he whispered to Guy that "he isn't what you think he is" (or words to that effect). It was like he was warning him that he'll be back for revenge...

14 June 2009 at 13:21  
Anonymous Annie said...

If I force myself to forget everything I've known about the characters and plot up until one episode ago, I find I can enjoy a number of things about this episode:

1. Jonas and Richard play off each other brilliantly. Playing the dozens in the opening ("your mother") and the scene in the tavern were particularly good. I could see them making a buddy movie together a la Newman and Redford. Of course, if I think about the origins of their animosity, it becomes a bit harder to suspend my disbelief.

2. Loved the scenes between Allan and LJ, both of whom have been underutilized. I'm continually amazed at how great the original cast is.

3. Archer has potential, but I have to say I found most of his scenes boring, especially all the snogging! Not to sound prudish, but when did adultery become standard pre-watershed fare? That seems to be one of this year's themes: Isabella and Robin, Ghyslaine and Malcolm, Archer and Gwynneth. I suppose it's all in aid of emphasizing the Locksley men are a sordid bunch.

Next time: Much had better have something to do, preferably a significant scene or two with Robin, before S3 ends.

Finally, I've been rewatching series 1 and just finished the episode in which Guy coerces Marian into accepting his marriage proposal. I thought I recalled Guy's brutality pretty well, but he's actually worse than I remembered him. It's not just that he kills a lot of people, but that he obviously enjoys it. And when he's not killing random villagers and co-workers, he's rejoicing in their misfortune. That's not to forget the oft-mentioned Baby Seth. Since he is played by a few rags wrapped around a board, perhaps it was difficult for Guy to bond with him. Oh well.

14 June 2009 at 17:42  
Blogger Polly said...

Richard Armitage is great, I'll definitely stop watching the show when he leaves,the rest of the show has lost its magic to me.

14 June 2009 at 20:12  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Polly,

Me to. And if Robin Hood needs one thing, it needs "magic"; that certain special charisma.

14 June 2009 at 20:16  
Anonymous camilla said...

have just watched the was ok but nothing more.I have never liked kate and i'll never will.she just can't do anything right,she tried to kill issy.suprise suprise,it failed.

when it comes to archer i think he has potential,but he has an attitude i don't like.

when isabella first joined the series i was glad that she and robin find each other and i still hope they will do it again.i'm so naive ;) but i don't understand why marian was replaced by isabella and then isabella by kate as robins loveinterest.what's the point?

some of you have already said that RH has lost it's magic and i can only agree,and i don't know if it will be found again in two episodes...

14 June 2009 at 20:51  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Camilla,

I think Rob Kazinsky would have been a better choice, but I reckon those rumours were just the usual rubbish put about by agents trying to raise profiles.

15 June 2009 at 00:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think if Archer does become the new Robin Hood he needs to be given time to grow into the role. I know you feel he has no presence at all and is just not special enough and you may well be proved right.

That said, I initially didn't think much of Jonas in the part, expecially when up against the likes of Armitage but he's grown into the role and I'll now be quite upset when he leaves.

And Jonas definitely works better when he has a strong actor to "bounce off" as has been said. His scenes with Richard and Keith are always great to watch.

Although the continuity of this show has gone to hell in a handcard I really enjoyed watching Guy and Robin working together. The scenes in the tavern and as they tried to break out of the dungeon were good and funny at times despite the poor dialogue some of the actors have to say.

This Robin Hood has moved so far away from its origins that it is almost a separate show now. I guess it's up to the writers where they want to take it for a series 4 if commissioned. No Robin Hood, no Marion, a female Sheriff and probably no Guy!

15 June 2009 at 02:12  
Blogger Kara said...

My likes and dislikes of this episode:


* The opening fight between Guy and Robin; I really liked the dialogue of that fight – it was 1,000 times better than the previous exchange they had about Marion’s death in the last ep. And I liked the camera angles of both the near miss of both the arrow and sword.

* Pissed off Kate. Kate was actually interesting for a few seconds when she got legitimately angry.

* Isabella. She really brings the crazy evil – especially with her facial expressions. The paranoia was a nice touch, too. She’s really getting into the Evil Overlord role with the clothes, hair, laugh, schemes, and insane determination to kill them herself.

* Little John and Alan. I liked their interactions. John’s bordering on falling off the Cliff of Reason into the Pit of Extremism, but I think Alan can pull him back.

* Alehouse brawl. Hilarious. I loved the whole scene, from them both barking at the guy who threw the chair, to Robin getting Guy arrested. I liked the rhythm of their back-and-forth conversation and planning and arguing and fighting, both together and with each other.

* Great hall standoff. Nice little dance of drama.

* Guy’s lines of “so glad I came to rescue my brother” and “he stole my horse.” I really liked his deadpan delivery of those lines.


* York Castle. That exterior shot was so fake it actually hurt to watch, while I’m pretty sure they used the same interiors as Nottingham Castle – isn’t that the same great hall?

* “Mysteries of the Orient.” I’m sorry, I’m too busy rolling my eyes to make any comment on this.

* Insipid Kate. Kate giving Robin puppy eyes is nauseating.

* The sheriff’s wife. She really grated on my nerves, especially around the millionth time she begged “take-me-with-you!” Gag.

* Friar Tuck. I agree with the comment in the synopses – he’s a snoozefest.

* Old Man In The Dungeon. What was his point exactly?

On the fence

* Guy doing the robbing-the-rich thing at the tollhouse. It was weird to watch him trying to be Good – he still seemed to be in Evil mindset. Was that on purpose on Richard Armitrige’s part? That he’s still in the transition stage? Or was it just an awkward bit of writing? I can’t tell.

* Archer’s character and dialogue. I want to see more before deciding.

15 June 2009 at 02:37  
Anonymous D said...

I agree with one of the earlier commenters who said that this episode showed how good the original cast was. I loved Jonas and Richard in this episode (if you ignore completely what there characters were up until last week's horrible episode), and Lara Pulver is still great. But other than that I think the series is over for me. It's just not the same anymore more... and one more thing, where was Much in this episode? Has he even really been in this series? Talk about wasting good talent...

15 June 2009 at 04:03  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Anonymous,

I agree that the scenes with RA and Jonas were entertaining in their own way. As has been said, a kind of "buddy buddy" Butch and Sundance way.


Hi D,

Sam Troughton has certainly been wasted. And he made such a huge contribution in the past.


Hi Kara,

As individual points I think the vasy majority of us would go along with each of those. But, what's turning people off the show is that these little scenes bare little or no relation to the show's history as a whole. "Context" is the missing ingredient.

I also dislike the Castle. Such effects looked great in 1930s / 50s Hollywood. But in films like the 1960s Hammer versions of Robin Hood, and in the 1980s with Robin of Sherwood, actual Castles were used to better effect. However, using such effects is cheaper than location shooting, and can be re-used endlessly, (and it never rains).

It certainly seems that people are more favourable towards the Archer character than me.

15 June 2009 at 08:52  
Anonymous Rav said...

In short:


If last episode wasn't proof enough that the writers didn't bother to watch S1 and 2, then the complete lack of Guy/Allan acknowledgement would have convinced you. The writer of this episode had absolutely no idea that Allan worked for Guy throughout most of S2.

And I was SO looking forward to seeing these two together again!


You're right about Richard Armitage. He knows neither story nor characterization makes a shred of sense, so he's just having fun while it lasts.


*Allan saves John from soldiers on horseback*

John: Hurry, we have to get to York!

Allan: Shouldn't we take the horses?

John: No! They'll just slow us down!

I swear, if I ever contract a brain tumour later in life, I'm going to blame it on the effort it takes me to try and make sense of this show.


Archie McAwesome? Meh.

And I just KNEW they'd have him as Robin's equal in archery. *eye roll*


The finale next week. To be honest, I'm dreading it, to the point where I may not watch it at all. We know Robin is a goner, but I hope the other Original Outlaws make it through.

Boys, please don't be afraid to use Kate as a human shield. She's got to be useful for SOMETHING.

15 June 2009 at 11:08  
Blogger Kara said...

Boys, please don't be afraid to use Kate as a human shield. She's got to be useful for SOMETHING.

Rav, thanks for the laugh - nice way to start the week!

I'm trying to ignore context/story/continuity problems so I can enjoy watching Richard Armitrige. If he doesn't survive the final, I'm gone.

15 June 2009 at 13:55  
Blogger Paige said...

Rav, didn't you see it? They were using her as a sword holder at the beginning. She's not completely useless! ;)

Ok, so I just blogged about this last night, so I'm not going to give my take on everything that happened, but I wanted to touch on the whole 'context' issue.

I think Robin hit the nail on the head. RA is such a proffesional actor. During the first two seasons he had his back story and character totally figured out, which is what drew a lot of people to his character I think.

Now, they have completely thrown his character out the window. There is no possible way to make sense of his character now. Unless you're a die hard Guy fan. :) So, RA is left with nothing but playing the character on a week by week basis. I, personally, don't think he'll be returning. (Not a spoiler, b/c I've never heard anything that supports this.)

Seeing RA and Jonas work together was really good, and fun, but had no context, like RH said. I could suspend my disbelief (sort of) while I was watching it, but afterwards I almost couldn't help laughing at the silliness.

In a sense, I can't wait till this series is over. Then I can finally be free!

Oh, and Rav, LOL at your #3. I was wondering why they didn't take the horses!

15 June 2009 at 13:58  
Blogger Kara said...

using such effects is cheaper than location shooting, and can be re-used endlessly, (and it never rains).

Oh don't get me started on the weather / seasons of this show! It really bugs me that it seems to almost always be mid-summer in Sherwood and it never, ever rains. No winter, no snow, no climate problems. I didn't realize Sherwood Forest was on the equator!

Also, as cheesy as it sounds, I think a Christmas episode would have been fun...

15 June 2009 at 14:01  
Blogger Royal_Nonesuch said...


Great review and it's one I largely agree with. I felt the actor who played Archer did a nice job. He fits the part of a character like that--tall, atheletic and handsome, but he just lacked something. Actually, I think I just got off on the rong foot because of the SHeriff's wife thing. It made him lack integrity in my eyes (integrity that even Gisborne seems to have).

As for RA and Guy, I think you summarized that well. It's almost as though, in my opnion, the writers are pretending some of the worse stuff Guy did didn't really happen and instead of the tortured angsty soul we are getting Crockett and Tubbs Robinb Hood style which is fine on its own. In fact, I quite enjoy the funny, more action based stuff gong on with Robin and Guy. I do agree, however, with your feeling that the show has, to borrow a Yeats phrase, "change utterly".


15 June 2009 at 15:35  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Just watched the episode of Robin hood the one with the new boy Clive Standen in it and just wanted to say what an amazing young actor this guy is.he has everything the looks the talent and the sword fighting skills of a real leading man just what this show needs!please please say he features heavily in the last few episodes as Archer has really given this show the injection of WOW! that it sorely needed.We WANT MORE ARCHER!!!

15 June 2009 at 18:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I only started watching this show with series 3 and am now working my way through the first two series too. As a result I feel somewhat at odds with most of this blog! Series 3 got me hooked and made me want to see the other episodes. No, this show is not Dr Who, but it doesn't deserve all these negative comments.

1. Marian's death - the only viable option with Lucy wanting to leave. And to be fair, if she had stayed on the twists and turns of Series 3 (Isabella, Gisborne's redemption) could not have happened. They would have been better marrying her and Robin, defeating the Sheriff and ending the programme at the end of Series 2 than go on with the same storyline. This is a reworking of the legend remember.

2. Characterisation - we have in fact seen what Robin is like without Marian. He is more arrogant, thinks less of Much and also kills more readily. But we still love him! The characterisation can't be that bad! As for Gisborne, I think his character development has been superb. I do agree that Tuck has become boring, but although I found Kate annoying at the start she has grown on me. It is in Robin's character to try and forget things and move on asap so I understand why he has a relationship with Kate, but it is still clear he doesn't like her as much as she likes him. Allan and Much have been underused in terms of dialogue, but not in terms of the action which ignites this series.

3. Loose ends - Because you all watched series 1 ep 1 assuming Robin and Guy had never met, that is how you will always interpret that first scene together. But now we know they grew up together, if you go back and watch it now, there is nothing to suggest that they didn't! Remember Robin only was about 10! I agree however that it is strange that he didn't remember Isabella.

This series is moving towards an amazing conclusion. Archer is exactly how I expected him to be, and Guy has become the man Marian knew he could. Now Robin has seen this too. This is still one amazing, fun TV show with two of TV's best characters-Robin and Guy!

15 June 2009 at 21:22  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Anonymous,

I'm glad you're enjoying the show, and I appreciate the fact everyone has a different opinion and takes the time to share that with others. If you read back through this blog you will find very positive comments and reviews about a very significant percentage of Series 3. (I think the majority of episodes were greeted most favourably).

I will refrain from commenting anymore about Marian. I think it's all been said (many times), although no doubt the "Lucy wanting to leave" comment will perhaps incite a response from others. However, I do disagree that "this is a reworking of the legend." In my opinion a re-working uses elements from the Legend and gives them a new perspective. This show ignores the legend (apart from the names). But what has upset the majority of fans here is that these recent episodes have been, not so much a re-working of the Legend, but a re-working of the Show itself.

Characterisation has not really come in for too much criticism. What has been heavily criticised is the lack of continuity. I agree with all your points about Gisborne, Tuck, Kate, and also that Alan and Much have been neglected.

I'm also glad Archer will have some fans, even though I won't be listed amongst them.

15 June 2009 at 21:42  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Kara,

I would also have liked a Christmas special.

Sherwood Forest looks great in the snow:

15 June 2009 at 21:45  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Rav and Hi Paige,

Thanks. You guys break me up!

15 June 2009 at 21:46  
Blogger Paige said...

*bows* I really do try.

Re Anonymous:

Someone posted comments similar to this one on another message board, and I think the answer to this one (in part) is b/c you have just gotten into the series.

As someone who got into this show after season 1, I have invested a lot of time and emotion (I know, pathetic) in this show. I've become attached to these character, and watched them develop. I've had hopes and plan as to how they would develop, only to watch those characters be destroyed, or killed, or ignored. It can be frustrating to never have something go your way, as a fan.

Regarding Marian and Lucy, I have to disagree with you there.

First, there has never been an official statement made, that Lucy asked to leave. In fact, the Farewell to Marian Featurette on the DVD strongly suggests that it was the writer's decision. Until Lucy decides to give us a definitive answer, we'll just have to guess, but we can't flat out say, Lucy wanted out.

Second, the writer's definately could have chosen another route. Sure, it might have been unrealistic to have Marian run off to a convent, or be severely injured, or something like that, but it certainly couldn't have recieved a more negative response than the one they chose.

Also, even if they did decide that Marian had to die, did Sir Guy really have to kill her? I've never understood that. Not only did it upset Robin/Marian fans, but it also upset Guy/Marian fans. They could not have chosen a way for her to die that would have upset more fans. (Ok, I take that back, Robin and Guy could have both killed her, and then gloated about it, but that's besides the point...) Why on earth would they have Guy kill her, after all of the work they put into redeeming him? And even if they wanted Guy to do it, why not have it be an obvious accident? A stray arrow? Marian blocking a strike at the King? There were so many options, and yet they chose the one they did.

Sorry, but as a writer myself, you always have a choice. They do this for a living, for pete's sake! They could have come up with something else!

Also, I disagree with the idea that Guy's redemtion would have been impossible with Marian alive. I think it would have been more believeable if she were alive. Marian could have acted as bridge between Robin and Guy, sort of easing them into an alliance. She did it before in Walkabout!

I also don't see how Marian's story at all effects Isabella's existence.

Anyway, the one thing I agree with you upon is that they would have made more people happy if they ended the show at season 2. They could even give Guy redemtion! Have him kill the Sheriff and have Robin and Marian ride off into the sunset.

Ok, my rant is over. Sorry for a whole post that was pretty off topic, but I'm still bitter about the whole thing. As I've said before, when season 3 is over, I'm going to forget it ever happened.

16 June 2009 at 06:12  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: Paige and Robin Hood

I appreciate your comments and can see totally where you are coming from. I just think that the fact is that we should accept that Marian's death was going to change the show. She is a main character who impacted on every other character in the show, and so the dynamic must change with her leaving - similar to how Dr Who can change completely with each regeneration, and people love that not hate it! Robin, Guy and the gang are still very much recognisable though, and for me going back and watching series 1 and 2 now I don't think they jar as much with this series as many say they do.
As for Guy killing Marian, I am a huge Guy fan and I can see why the writers did it. He had to do it in order to realise how much he needed Marian, and also now the effect his actions had on others. I don't think his redemption could have been achieved with Marian continuing to do the manipulative "bridge between Guy and Robin thing". With her engagement to Robin it endangered her integrity.
With regard to Isabella, the excitement of not knowing what side she was on as she used and abused Robin could not have happened if Marian had lived. And I think this blog agreed that Izzy's main episodes such as "Too hot to handle" and "A dangerous deal" were some of the best.
I know I am an exception to most of you on this blog, and maybe you would have enjoyed this series better if you had started with it and are now watching the others like me! Sometimes it is easier to connect the beginning of a plot with the end when you see the end first!

16 June 2009 at 13:37  
Anonymous Annie said...

Anonymous wrote:

As for Guy killing Marian, I am a huge Guy fan and I can see why the writers did it. He had to do it in order to realise how much he needed Marian, and also now the effect his actions had on others. I don't think his redemption could have been achieved with Marian continuing to do the manipulative "bridge between Guy and Robin thing". (italics added by Annie)

I realize I take this show way too seriously, but somehow I can't get on board with a redemption that requires one character to murder another before he can understand how much he needs her. Somehow I don't think this defense would hold up in court, and I'm unconvinced it would even be cause for absolution in the confessional. I realize I'm oversimplifying to make a point, but in brief this is the character arc the writers handed us.

Had Robin Hood begun with series 3, and been advertized as a story of how Guy of Gisborne is redeemed at the expense of the hero's character, I for one would not have given it a try. That's not a commentary on your liking the show. What we have here, I believe, is a difference between those of us who were drawn to the BBC version because we're in love with the Robin Hood legend and those who like it for the "medieval romp" it has become. Both are valid, but they can't be reconciled anymore than, in my opinion, the idea that the road to redemption must be traveled over the dead body of a good woman can be reconciled with the ideas of remorse and forgiveness many of us hold.

16 June 2009 at 15:09  
Blogger evielyn said...

I really do feel that if there is a S4 then it will have nothing at all to do with the Robin Hood legend as most of the main characters will no longer be there so why would they even try to name it Robin Hood?
Robin gone Marian gone and most of his men! Seems silly to me to continue with a legend with no one in it that we remember it will just be a fill in for early Saturday evenings between the Dr Who programmes. Someone earlier said about Dr Who regenerating and so could Robin but not if he is killed off. Dr Who is a completely differant concept and can no way be anything like RH.

I will also be very surprised if many people watch a Robin Hood programme with a person in it who is only RH by default. No its a shame in deed, I am very much at the moment like a startled Rabbit caught in the headlights of an approaching Car unable to look away for the next 2 weeks even if I wanted to.I must see it through to the bitter end although I very much think that I myself will be very disappionted

Anonymous I have read your comments with interest but don't read the ends of books first although usually with legends you think that you know the story lines!or at least you think that you do I must disagree about one point at least, Robin and Guy did not know each other before ( although Robin remembered him later in the series from being in the holyland and Guy said he had seen Robin fight over there a story that Guy systematically denied to Marian until confronted with it in front of her by the Sheriff on the way to Portsmouth in S2 E12)
and also in the episode( Sheriff got your tongue?I think!) Guy is visiting Marian and he tells her how pleased he is that he has been given Loxley and that his father would be very pleased as he had lost his lands years before when the King had confiscated them To which Marian replies "so Loxley becomes your Gisbourne ?" It is also mentioned a couple of times by differant people in the first 2 series that Gisbourne had no lands until he was given Robin's So I am sorry Anon but I can't buy your interptretation of the story at all

Sorry for going on everyone only I am really angry just like Paige.

16 June 2009 at 18:15  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks Paige and Evielyn for your eloquent responses,

I don't think there's anything i can add to them, and you both know I feel exactly the same.

But also a big thanks to Anonymous for an alternative opinion. I / we love to hear different perspectives on an issue.

My own feelings in a nutshell are simple:

1. After a dubious start, full of repetition, Series 4 went on to have some really great writing and some absolutely superb guest villians.

2. I totally resent the fact Series 4 will use "Robin Hood" as a brand name rather than the basis for telling / interpreting some of the best stories in folk lore which have endured (and will continue to endure), for centuries. Especially given the fact that NOTHING which has substituted for them has been at all comparable.

16 June 2009 at 18:42  
Blogger robin hood said...

PS: Thanks to you to Annie. I missed you amongst all the anonymoussssss around here.

16 June 2009 at 18:43  
Blogger evielyn said...

Hi again, I have just bought the new Radio Times for next week and on the letters page is a letter from a lady saying how silly it is to kill off all of the main charcters in a popular TV series as all it has done is make the ratings fall!!
Robin Hood she says is the latest example as all of the people in the legend have gone and its turned into a medieval Spooks - there is no answer to that is there ?

16 June 2009 at 19:23  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

will epsiode both 12 and 13 be on tv this saturday?

16 June 2009 at 20:52  
Blogger evielyn said...

As far as I can see its just the first part E12 1/2 at 6-45

16 June 2009 at 21:19  
Blogger robin hood said...

It's no longer as good as Spooks. Not even close.

16 June 2009 at 21:20  
Blogger Paige said...

Hi again!

I just wanted to agree with Robin. Anonymous, just b/c we disagree with you does not mean that your views are not appriciated. One of the things that I will always remember fondly about this show, are the wide variety of opinions held by fans. Most of the fans that I've come across are intelligent people who have very well thought out views, and are courteous of others. We may not always agree, but we don't resent alternative views. We just feel strongly about some things...

16 June 2009 at 22:11  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Since the death of Marian was brought up and I wasn't here last year I thought I'd throw my two cents in.

1. I was sure it would be a "Dallas" dream type thing and she would reappear in the first epidsode. Clearly that didn't work out so well for me.

2. The way she was tauting Guy just before he killed her was out of character for her. She was always policically astute. To have her ranting at Guy didn't make any sense to me.

3. I hated that she was killed by Guy in a jealous rage. There is far too much of that happening in real life.

As for this episode,when Robin kissed Kate, I actually chringed. I wouldn't mind her so much if she were with Allan or Much though.

I will keep watching but this show had so much talent and promise and it threw most of it away. It makes me sad, as I don't watch much tv, but I did love this show but I do not love this season. I miss the orginial characters (and I am including Much, Little John and Allan in this group).


16 June 2009 at 23:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I think RA has simply stopped trying to make any sense of his character, and I can't blame him. If he leaves, I stop watching. It's that simple.

Also, a thought. Archer is younger than both Robin and Gisbourne, yes? Is it just me, or does he actually look older than Robin? To me he looks about the same age as Guy.

17 June 2009 at 10:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Re: What we have here, I believe, is a difference between those of us who were drawn to the BBC version because we're in love with the Robin Hood legend and those who like it for the "medieval romp" it has become.

I think that is the best summary of our different opinions that I have read! I love the legend but I approached this show seeing it as something entirely different (perhaps because Marian had already died by the time I started watching) and so I can get over all the little incontinuities.
Just to clear something up - I don't mean that you have to murder someone to finally see how much you needed them. What I was saying was that, in Guy's case, I don't think his redemption would have been as effective if he hadn't done such a terrible thing. If he had shown remorse and changed sides after Marian and Robin had married, we would all have been really happy, yes. But the interesting thing about his character at the start of this series was knowing that he had committed the worst crime ever, and we weren't sure what direction it would turn him until "A dangerous deal"
Thanks for your patience with my conflicting views everyone, I just want you all to enjoy this series as much as I have!

17 June 2009 at 10:32  
Anonymous Rav said...

I actually envy those who have come to the show late and are thus able to enjoy it. I dearly want to still love this show, and for it to be the funny, romantic, crazy show that it used to be,'s just disappointed me one too many times.

I can understand that only just discovering it means that one is not as "attached" to the characters or the storylines as those who have been following it from the start (the same thing happened to me with "Buffy." I came to the show late, loved the later seasons, and was surprised to find that all the long-term fans hated them. It was only when I watched earlier seasons that I realised why).

I will greet the end of this season with more relief than sadness, and then do the best I can to forget I ever watched it. As far as I'm concerned, the show ended in "Lardner's Ring," with Marian choosing to escape back into the forest rather than return with Gisbourne to the castle. I'll just make up the rest of the story myself.

18 June 2009 at 00:16  
Blogger Kara said...

Sherwood Forest looks great in the snow:

That was so pretty! Thank you!

18 June 2009 at 01:29  
Blogger Paige said...

I agree, Rav. Although, I'm sorta glad I got to enjoy those early moments. Like you, I'm going to make up my own ending to season 2.

I had a very long post typed up last night, but my computer acted up, and I lost it. And I'm not typing it up again. :( It made me mad. So, I did have a response to all of you people, but it's lost somewhere is cyberspace now.

18 June 2009 at 03:38  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Paige and Rav,

i actually haven't added ANY of this show to my Robin Hood DVD collection yet. But I reckon I'll settle for just Series 1.

That'll do me fine.

18 June 2009 at 19:24  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

So Archer is supposed to be 20 years old?

Yeah, right.


18 June 2009 at 20:41  
Anonymous kitty said...

This is ridiculous -Lucy Griffiths did not ask to leave . Her death was supposed to serve as a catalyst for developing Robin as a sronger character ,only it failed miserably.
We might find that series four brings the idea of Robin Hood back to a concept that all of us can relate too. I am stunned that Marian was not brought back in some form or other due to the popularity of the character .
In these cash strapped times why on earth would you throw potential revenue down the toilet . Although I was convinced Gisbourne would die , because it would appear to be the natural conclusion to the fate of the character .The charcter is unbelievably popular , if he goes a lot of viewers and the attached revenue will depart .
Therefore, the next series would in the main be a vehicle for new characters which I imagine would be difficult to flog.

18 June 2009 at 21:32  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

What did you think when you found out you'd be killing Maid Marian?
"When I read that I phoned the writer and said, 'What the f*** are you doing?' He said they wanted the most shocking storyline that's going to rock Robin Hood. This is what they decided to do. I still think they're playing with fire, but in a way they've shown an audience they're not scared of shaking up the show and reinventing the show. It means they can go anywhere with it now."

What's going to happen to Gisborne now?
"I think he deserves his comeuppance, to be honest. What form that will take, I don't know."

18 June 2009 at 21:58  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Really Sorry R.H thought I had
deleted the f and xx`s . All taken
from digital spy -All the above is a Richard Armitage quote from
digital spy

18 June 2009 at 22:09  
Anonymous Rav said...

This is what they decided to do. I still think they're playing with fire, but in a way they've shown an audience they're not scared of shaking up the show and reinventing the show. It means they can go anywhere with it now.

And where did they go? Nowhere particularly interesting.

If killing Marian was meant to be some strange science experiment to answer the question how Robin would cope without her, then the answer should have been something more profound than: "surprisingly well."

Once again we come back to the point we all made over a year ago: that Marian's death was entirely and completely pointless.

18 June 2009 at 23:43  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Anonymous,

It's okay. I think our younger readers can accept the context of that quote.

Whilst we're on the subject of RA interviews, although I admire him greatly as an actor, I do think he "talks the talk" when it comes to PR. He knows exactly what to say and when to say it.

And as Rav said above, what did it benefit the show or the writing that Marian was murdered?

The best aspect of this show right from the beginning, the thing which really made it work and attracted such a loyal audience, was that cast which lept in the air at the end of Series 1.

19 June 2009 at 00:00  
Anonymous Annie said...

Rav wrote

If killing Marian was meant to be some strange science experiment to answer the question how Robin would cope without her, then the answer should have been something more profound than: "surprisingly well."

Just brilliant!

Robin Hood wrote

The best aspect of this show right from the beginning, the thing which really made it work and attracted such a loyal audience, was that cast which lept in the air at the end of Series 1.

Truly one of the best endings of a series ever!

19 June 2009 at 04:35  
Blogger Paige said...

Amen to that! The series has never topped it.

19 June 2009 at 19:29  
Anonymous kitty said...

Re the above comments and forgetting Richard Armitage if one looks at digital spy and finds the comments re Robin Hood The camera and vocal interview with Gordon Kennedy reinforces the death of Marian was a writers decision. The decsions to leave are Jonas Armstrong and Keith Allen the rest appears to be experimental writing . Marian`s death and Djacs emigration left an established female void . In the interview in Digital Spy -Gordon Kennedy makes it quite clear he wants to stay .
The interviews are actually rather good -Sam Troughton comes over as seriously bright

19 June 2009 at 21:53  
Anonymous firefly said...

I can't believe they just killed Allen

20 June 2009 at 19:59  
Blogger Victoria said...

One thing that amused me was the fact that in the precredits sequence Robin and Guy's truce lasted a whole 43 seconds before they were punching the living daylights out of each other just like old times. 43 seconds!

I found I enjoyed Gisborne as a good guy much more than I expected, and as others have said it was great to see Richard Armitage get an opportunity to show his comedy timing. I also agree it was such a wasted opportunity not to have some Guy/Allan interaction - I was so looking forward to seeing how they'd react to one another now Gisborne has nothing and they're equals rather than master and 'boy'. Even an exchange of glances would have been a nice nod to the past for viewers who watched the previous series but we weren't even given that.

23 June 2009 at 21:39  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Victoria,

I also felt a bit cheated regarding the lack of Allan / Guy interaction. After all, it provided some great moments in Series 2. Joe used to excell at those quick one-liners directed at Guy.

23 June 2009 at 23:21  

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