Thursday, 2 July 2009

BBC axes Robin Hood. It's Official.

Above: "Archer" (Clive Standen), the half brother standing in the wings to take over, is no longer needed...

Yep, that's it folks. The show is well and truly over. After ratings for Series 3 "plummeted", the BBC has decided to axe the show. Here is one link relating the news:

http://www.guardian.co.uk/media/2009/jul/02/bbc-axes-robin-hood

My initial thoughts? I personally am not suprised. I think the makers of this show, rather than feed the Golden Goose, turned it into a Turkey. No matter how great the cast (and they certainly were!), one cannot simply take a centuries old legend and hack it about seemingly at random. The show included some great innovations, such as the Night Watchman, a contemporary "post-brit pop" Robin Hood, and even a traitor Alan A Dale. It also developed other ideas we'd seen in the past, such as the recruitment of Djaq. But then went on to test the patience of its strong and loyal fan base with ever more contradictory story lines.

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34 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

2 July 2009 at 19:40  
Anonymous kitty said...

Initially, i was surprised because of its initial revenues .But it lost the plot after the death of Marian -yes it could have been braver ,all the pieces were there. It didn`t really have to be true to a legend as there are so many versions . But it became too abstract . I am sorry for the disappointed actors .

2 July 2009 at 21:47  
Anonymous Annie said...

To be honest, I was surprised by the announcement, only because of the infusion of money for series 2 and the announcement that Sally Wainwright was already lined up as the show-runner for series 4. Series 3's whole purpose for being was to set up a series 4, which confirms the adage one should not count the chickens until they're hatched.

Ratings for series 1 were quite high but dropped when series 2 focused on the supposed love triangle, a tedious and repetitious gimic that had been exhausted in series 1. As I watched series 3, it became clear Foz Allen or whoever was responsible for the overall story arc did not have a clue what to do after Marian was murdered.

It's futile to speculate now, but I wonder how things might have gone had the writers had Marian join the outlaws in episode 1 of the second series. Marian and Djaq would have been natural allies among the outlaws, which could have resulted in good fun. Instead of the whole black knight business, we could have had individual episodes highlighting the talents of the individual actors, as we had in series 1. Series 3 could have seen the return of Richard and ended with a wedding at Locksley rather than a burial in Sherwood. Nice going, powers that be.

Robin, I look forward to your posts on the various actors. If they are anything like your tribute to Joe Armstrong's Allan-a-Dale, we still have treats in store!

2 July 2009 at 22:57  
Blogger Kara said...

Ok, even though season 3 did go crazy, and yes, there really would have been little point to keep watching with so many of my favorite characters being killed off, but I still find myself very disappointed to not be able to see how they would have handled the kidnapped king plot line and if there would have been yet another sheriff.

Shame. Oh well, there's always fanfiction.

3 July 2009 at 00:17  
Anonymous Laura said...

NOOOOOOO! *sigh* Ahh well, I suppose I'll have to watch Merlin this fall after all :( I realise Series 3 wasn't up to the standards of Series 1 and 2, but I still enjoyed it. Plus, there were so many more things I would have liked to have seen happen. I guess that's the case with any show when it gets cancelled though. Thanks for the heads up!

3 July 2009 at 01:47  
OpenID dcwash said...

I'm with Annie in being surprised, especially given the money that was invested in this series. Interestingly, the BBC itself hasn't said anything official. Which has me wondering if they might still be considering the spin-off idea, WITHOUT Tiger Aspect this time.

3 July 2009 at 02:27  
Blogger Kara said...

A... spin off??? Do you know any more about the idea, dcwash?

3 July 2009 at 02:31  
OpenID dcwash said...

What I know I learned on the Internet, and you know how trustworthy THAT is. But two separate people who either work for the BBC or are related to somebody who does have posted on another, prominent Robin Hood forum, saying that is what the BBC has been considering--something like "Robin's Legacy." Now, both posted their comments before today's Guardian story, so make of it what you will. But it makes so much sense, given the ending of the third series, that I want to believe it.

3 July 2009 at 02:41  
Anonymous Rav said...

Saddened? A little. Surprised? Not at all. This show died with Marian, and (almost) everyone knew it.

I'm just disappointed that they wasted so much time introducing Tuck (who existed mainly to spout ideas about Robin Hood as an "ideal", thus paving the way for the 'Hooded Man' as a legacy character), Archer, who was obviously meant to be Robin's replacement, and Kate, who was loathed by 99% of the fan base. The fact that Marian, Will and Djaq were written out, only to be replaced with such cardboard cutouts still hurts my brain.

Instead of kidding themselves into thinking this show could have run on with only two of its nine original cast members, the writers/producers, should have worked to give it the best send-off possible, not shape it into one long set-up for a season 4 that will now never happen.

Thanks Robin for creating this blog: it's been a great place to visit and grouse about certain "creative decisions" that the writers made. I'm sad it has to end like this, but hey, I still have my S1 DVDs, copious amounts of fanfiction, and the the Ridley Scott version on the horizon.

3 July 2009 at 05:51  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi all,

Well, I am certainly disappointed. Especially, as has been said, after so much time was "wasted" setting up something which won't happen simply because of the way it was being handled. Rav has mentioned the 3: Tuck, Archer, and Kate.

What in the end was achieved by that brain dead re-structuring of the show's roots? Nothing. It only served to see more people switch off.

I'm not a great Russell Crowe fan, but roll on.

3 July 2009 at 09:02  
Blogger evielyn said...

I can't say that I am really surprised or even say that I am sorry about the axing !! I did have many mixed feelings about a show that had lost its main character
-Robin's Legacy did sound a good title but would have needed a lot of thought go into it-
I am with Annie with the Wedding in Loxley and individual episodes for individual characters so much
more interesting then a burial in Sherwood.

I always knew that I would never feel the same about the programme once Jonas had gone as I really liked him I thought he was lovely and felt sorry for him in the end with such silly scripts.
In my opinion he could never have been replaced in any way in that particular series.

I am really looking forward to your tribute to Jonas I do hope you will continue to run this blog Robin we always have lots of treats in store with everything that you come up with

I incidentally I blame the BBC for last Saturday nights Fiasco. I always pre-record my Saturday nights viewing as I work until 5pm and had no idea that it had been switched to BBC2 I also know of at least 2 other people that missed it for the sames reason I was lucky that I could catch up with it on iplayer but not everyone can. I thought that was very poor for a final episode of a drama that isn't even being repeated until next monday on BBC3. Was there much of a warning no one has mentioned it at all?
All because the BBC thought the Tennis more important.(I enjoy Tennis but it already had its slot on BBC2 ) it then goes on to say that the last episode lost viewers for that reason and then seems surprised.
I also wonder if another reason for not making a 4th series is MONEY, so many progammes on BBC and ITV are not being recommisioned lots of old favourites so Robin Hood at the end of the day is just another casualty.

3 July 2009 at 14:57  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Evielyn,

I really liked Jonas to. However, I would have accepted him being replaced if it was done in a more imaginative way; one that hadn't relied on screwing up the show's previous history for a start.

And I'm sure the axing is of course to do with money, simply because a show with such falling ratings (their words not mine), cannot easily be exported.

Yes, the blog will stay here (as indeed they all have), and there are more articles on the way when the dust settles a little.

3 July 2009 at 17:06  
Blogger Jaybadger said...

Oh :(
A pity... I was curious to see what Series 4 would be like...
Guess it's Merlin now I guess, I actually think it was 'so-so' to watch, it's nice to have something for Saturday afternoon.
Oh well. So what's gonna happen to this blog?


PS. With Marian, Vasey, Gisbourne, Allan, Robin himself and probably Isabella dead, the show did sorta have a doubtful future. But the BBC should've made the decision way earlier... that way the producers could've rounded it off in a better way, knowing that there's no point of 'opening up possibilities', though a spin-off won't be THAT bad... and I'd love to see a RH and Who crossover!

3 July 2009 at 19:11  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi JayBadger,

I'm certainly looking forward to "The Doctor" when he re-appears. I think the new actor is a GREAT choice, even though David T is my all time fave. (Even better than the mighty Tom baker).

I shall have to quench my thirst for all things Robin with long walks in Sherwood Forest, and my dvd collection.

3 July 2009 at 19:49  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

I agree with Rav. "The show died with Marian." anything after that was just viewed more curiosity about where the writers would go with the plot line. I must admit that I watched the final episode online and kept fast forwarding to get to the final sequence with Robin and Marian.
Thank you again for your dedication Robin and I'll look forward to reading your oommnents on the Russell Crowe film. I recently saw a picture of him in character in Who magazine, looking a little too chunky on his white horse.
Best wishes
Robin Hood fan in Australia

4 July 2009 at 08:10  
Blogger Jaybadger said...

Robin Hood:
I'm realtively young, compared to what I guess most of everyone else's age is, so I don't go back to watching (from my point of view) 'old' TV.
I hope that Matt Smith guy will be good. The Sun (looking through at the corner shops) also said they found the new companion, but that IS the Sun.

Apparently the upcoming RH movie (the Russel Crowe one :)- he was good in Gladiator) will have singing in it. Uh-oh...

4 July 2009 at 20:22  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Jaybadger,

I can well understand the idea of not being attracted to "old television".

I love it when new ideas are good. (Like Jonas, Sam, Alan, Lucy, etc.)

I think matt Smith, the new Doctor, is going to be amazing. The series needed a fresh image, even though Tennent was incredible. (Especially with "Rose").

Regarding the Russell Crowe movie: Singing Outlaws???? Oh no!!! Now that IS old:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gOSraoCVwP8

4 July 2009 at 20:49  
Blogger Jaybadger said...

robin hood:
I don't have anything against 'old' TV! The Baker guy was really good! (but why did old WHO have something like 6 parts to just 1 story?)

I think the whole 'singing outlaws' thing will be go down well. Unless it becomes Monty Python-like.

5 July 2009 at 09:54  
Anonymous kitty said...

My understanding is there is a total reduction in commissioning in relation to pre-watershed programmes .But post watershed is commissioning.

5 July 2009 at 20:59  
Blogger robin hood said...

Hi Kitty,

At least post watershed I get the delights of "Spooks" (I'm hoping RA gets the award), and Torchwood.

5 July 2009 at 21:14  
Anonymous Laura said...

I've never watched Dr. Who before (damn North American television), but after watching Robin Hood, I sure did download Spooks ;)

I saw that picture of Russel Crowe on his white horse too, and he didn't particularly look like Robin Hood at all (to me anyways). More like a pudgy Maximus (from Gladiator) on a horse.

6 July 2009 at 03:17  
Anonymous Laura said...

P.S. Can anyone recommend anything good with either Lara Pulver or Keith Allen in it? I'd be interested in seeing either of them in another series since they were so good in this one.

6 July 2009 at 03:19  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

i am not suprissed at all about the fact that there is not a series 4 of robin hood. i grew up in sherwood forest, completly surounded by the real robin hood myth, and part of what i have loved about the show is that it wasnt afraid to play with the established legend.

however i really was disapointed that this season they seemed to completley throw out the rule book and start writing there own. and the idea of doing a robin hood series without robin hood. i dont think so somhow!!!

9 July 2009 at 06:45  
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Thank god this abomination is over, cheap wooden acting, attrocious action scenes, no budget to speak of and ludicrous ideas...

I can take a black friar tuck, I can even live with a 'temporary' female sheriff... just barely...

But killing off Marian? Sorry, there are basic elements that have to be kept if you want to call your series Robin Hood... LOL, they were even thinking about replacing Robin Hood?

Utter lunacy, perhaps this will be a lesson to the idiot producers and writers. If you want to make a series where a load of drama school actors run about in the woods, then go ahead, and put it on Cbeebies or something. If you want to call it Robin hood, then we want to see Robin and Marian... alive and together... the end... LOL!

It will be some time before anyone tries Robin hood again... this was even worse that the US version a few years back ROFLMAO!

12 July 2009 at 01:36  
Anonymous Lily said...

I have to say, I was really sad when I saw them kill Alan A. Dale. That one broke my heart a bit more than seeing Robin die from a pithy posioned blade. [I actually wailed when Guy died, and lamented how Marian was always Robin's but he was forgiven now]. Robin's death. Eh. not so much

I am going to MISS Archer. [mainly because he was. so. yummy. I will admit the shallow]. But I have to say this show butchered itself up. Personally, I would have believed Archer to be anything BUT brothers to both Guy & Robin. He could have been ANYONE. Another Lockley follower, maybe from Nettlestone. someone, anything. A No-body. But he buys into the Robin Hood Ideal [told to us every episode by Tuck], and when Robin dies, he stands up and goes, I am Robin Hood [something heroic like that]. [I am also of the belief - that quite frankly, Robin should have been killed, presumed dead, or something 12 episodes earlier. Again. Tucks RHI spoutage would have made a HECK of a lot more sense].

Kate annoyed me to No. END. I was more captivated by Isabella. Her, I will Miss. Tuck not so much. He was the most melodramatic Friar Tuck in the history of Robin Hood - and I didn't think anyone could beat out Prince of Thieves Friar Tuck. Much and John will be missed too, but I will not lie, I tuned in for Alan A. Dale who always made me laugh and I think the most loyal [even when he turned against them]. and Guy. :( [even though they made him have greasy hair all series].

I am going to MISS this little show. and I hope someone re-vamps Robin Hood again one day because I think the world always needs a little bit of Sherwood Forest's favourite Hero :)

12 July 2009 at 06:50  
OpenID dcwash said...

Jonas Armstrong has a new interview out where he talks about the cancellation, and about filming the last episode.

Also, Joe Armstrong seems to have hit the ground running. Not only is "Breaking the Mould" coming up soon (rumor says it's going to air July 29th) but he's in a new play. He apparently plays Liam, the bloody brother mentioned in the synopsis.

14 July 2009 at 16:19  
Blogger evielyn said...

Having just read that interview with Jonas I can understand how fed up he must feel. As he said moving a show from one time to another is the kiss of death to any series and lets face it I don't think that it was on at the same time at all for 2 weeks running I recorded it every week and I had to pick it up on iplayer for the final episode.

According to the Radio Times the BBC did get a lot of complaints about the moving about especially on the final day and couldn't understand why people were complaining!!

But as Jonas said so much had gone into the filming of the final all of the gang knew that it was the last time they would all be together he felt that it deserved better it was understandable why he felt like he did.
It does happen though I notice with lots of serials being moved even to different days unfair on the cast and the paying public as an awful lot of people just get bored with the whole affair and just give up watching Which is what I think happened to RH

14 July 2009 at 16:55  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks dcwash

Much appreciated by all here.

15 July 2009 at 09:33  
Anonymous Laura said...

Wow, I'm so glad I live in North America where I had to rely on downloads to see the show. I would have been furious if they'd moved it around from week to week. I mean, networks must know that's going to kill the show, so why do it?

18 July 2009 at 00:20  
Anonymous Homeschool Helper said...

We cannot believe that they cut this show off. It was one of the best shows the BBC has put out (in my opinion).

Hopefully another show with a lot of humor and character will rise up to take it's place.

18 July 2009 at 07:23  
Anonymous Margaret I - via email said...

After the dreadful ending of series 2, I watched Series 3 without much
heart but kept going with it. It had high and low points and there were
times when I thought "this is great" and occasions when I just wanted to
put my hands over my eyes. I think, as someone else said, it was like
watching a train crash; but every now and then they pulled a really good
episode out the the bag. The scriptwriters didn't seem to know what had
gone on previously and their continuity people didn't appear to be keeping
notes; this is presuming they had a continuity team.

However, the cast did a sterling job, (at times in the face of weak
storylines and plots) and they should be commended on the performances they
brought to the screen. Richard Armitage, as ever, was excellent and
really should have had a better ending. Keith Allen was, again, very good
as the Sheriff (although he seemed a bit tired of it all at times). The
usual plaudits should go to Joe Armstrong, Gordon Kennedy and Sam Troughton
for their performances but they were often underused this time around.
Toby Stephens as Prince John was an absolutely brilliant piece of casting
and I was sorry when he finally left.

Without a doubt though, congratulations should go to Jonas Armstrong, who
came on in leaps and bounds (if you'll pardon the pun) since 2006. It was
lovely to see him grow into the role from that slightly nervous young actor
in series 1; he certainly deserves to do well. There were times I wondered
how he kept a straight face with the material he had to work with and let's
not get started on the lily in the final scene!

The finale was action packed and at times seemed almost frantic. I know
that the scene with Robin and Marian in Sherwood was rather 'cheesy' but I
absolutely loved it and it even brought a little tear to my eye (and that
happens very rarely as I'm a REAL old cynic)! It goes without saying that
the presence of Lucy Griffiths had left a gaping hole in this series and
Marian's return was always hovering in the background. The on-screen
chemistry between the two actors was quite apparent. I was relieved they
didn't try to pair Robin off with Kate at the end. This would have been one
step too far from the original tale. The introduction of Kate was a poor
substitute for Marian. This is no way a criticism of Joanne Froggat's
acting skills. It would have been nice if we had seen the 'final arrow'
being fired but I suppose we should be satisfied with what we were given.

It was reported the radio last Friday that there were no plans for another
series. Maybe this is due to the downturn in the viewing figures, which
had dropped to 2 million apparently. I believe the initial figures were in
the region of 7 million. I think the BBC realised too late that they had
taken too many liberties with the original legend and the death of Marian
sealed the series' fate. I'm very relieved that there won't be a series 4
- that would have been just too much.

Thank for reading my comments and for facilitating this site - it's
excellent and has been really interesting to see what other people are
saying. I'll look forward to dropping in from time to time.

With best wishes,

Margaret

16 August 2009 at 17:15  
Blogger Lisa Barry said...

Hey guys,
Did you love this series as much as I did.?
Yes, there was a little chaos near the end...
And I wish I could've seen the return of the king...
..But all in all, I thought the episodes were done excellently
and very exciting..
Congrats to ALL of you on your wonderful performance...
...And yes, I thought Kate did her part very well ;) ...
Sorry for the disappointments. :(
Just be grateful for the time you had together ,and the tears and smiles you brought to so many faithful watchers of 'Robin Hood' :)......
So much better than traditional TV, which I've never really watched anyway..with all it's filth and immorality, etc.
Thank you for being part of something good and wholesome,besides the violence, that leaves people with a good feeling and a clear conscience.
Excellent job, and I hope that when you do different shows, you will accept those roles that follow the same pattern...
as it is who you are and those who watch our shows...
Thank s again; and good luck in everything you do :)

Ye Ol' Faithful "Night-Watcher" of Robin Hood....

2 September 2012 at 10:11  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks Lisa.

This particuar blog is more popular even than my several other Robin Hood blogs. It continues to get about 3,500 hits per month. Not bad for a show that ended about 3 years ago.

So yes, a great cast did a great job.

2 September 2012 at 11:13  
Blogger Aaron.S said...

Wow mann, this Robin Hood is like the best one I had seen. Althogh I do agree with the death of Marion because Robin and Marion were future lovers to be. That was quite a disapointment!!!

13 April 2013 at 23:42  

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