Doctor Who

Season 8 Episode 3

Robot of Sherwood

Aired Saturday 8:00 PM Sep 06, 2014 on BBC America
out of 10
User Rating
141 votes

By Users

Episode Summary


Clara asks the Doctor to take her to see the legendary Robin Hood, even though he insists that there is no such person. When they arrive in Nottingham, they discover that just such a man exists... and his enemy the Sheriff of Nottingham commands an army of robots that intend to conquer England.


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  • I'm just as real as you...

    It is absolutely ridiculous that Robin and his world would be almost identical to a 1930's Errol Flynn movie and I was having a lot of trouble getting past that. But when Robin says, "And remember, Doctor, I'm just as real as you are," the episode took a completely different turn for me. Now I see it as a wink and a nod from the writers -- of course this was ridiculous and impossible, but so is the entire concept of Doctor Who. The Doctor Who staff seemed to have a lot of fun with this episode and I think that line from Robin is reminding us that none of this is real -- it's a TV show and it's OK to let ourselves be entertained and not take it too seriously. At that point I had to laugh out loud because that was exactly what I was doing.moreless
  • "This cannot be real!"

    This was fun, with the Doctor grumbling that it was all too good to be true, somewhat in the manner of William Hartnell with a Scots accent. Clara was great to watch as she got a little too immersed in the medieval culture for comfort.
  • The Doctor and Robin Hood

    I'm probably going to be in the minority on this (no supprise) but I really liked this episode. This was just another one of the fun episodes of the show and I think it's a very good one.

    I'll admit it was a wild but at the same time cool idea having both the Doctor and Robin Hood together which I never thought would happen in a million years but thankfully someone finally had the guts to do this. Let alone it would be impossible since Robin Hood is considered a mythological character since it's never been proven that he really existed and the story was inspired by fact. There were findings of two different robin hood like figures that might have been the key figure/s to inspire the story but both are so radically different from each other and even the character because both werent' robbing entirely for a noble cause that even that cant' be confirmed.

    That fact alone is part of what gives the episode the mystery element. The guy that plays Robin I thought was great, he obviously channeled a bit of the Errol Flynn Robin Hood but was able to make his own interpretation. I really loved it when both the Doctor and Robin have a sword fight together which of course is an homage to the duel on the river bridge between both Little John and Robin. Well ok the Doctor wasn't using a sword he was using a big spoon which makes sense since the Doctor doesn't use or own any lethal weapons, let alone it was just fun seeing the Doctor use a non cleche weapon which supprisingly turned out to be useful and efficient as the Doctor used some of his fencing moves and tags Robin several times with the spoon till he then gets down to his finishing move were we see the Doctor purposefully leaves himself open and this of course baits Robin to make a thrust, and we see Robin just gave the Doctor an opportunity to make a swift move by dodge the sword and pushing Robin down the ditch. And that was cool seeing the Doctor best Robin, though Robin afterward pranked the Doctor by pushing him into the ditch.

    Even like the archery contest, it was funny when the Doctor intervined he shot an arrow by simply banking it in places and hitting the bulls eye, I wonder if the Doctor was a pool player. And then loses his patience and then somehow makes the whole target explode using his Sonic Screwdriver. Of course we then find out later in the last minutes that he actually rigged the arrow just to psych everyone out.

    I really like the back and forth between both Robin and the Doctor, which was really funny and a bit touching; in a way you can say both of them are like buddy cops like in most of those stories both characters are always on different ends of the fence and yet both are alike in some way. Both we see are just giving each other grief from that prison scene when both of coruse try to work together to get themselves out of the predicament their in, their ploy works but then unfortunately both of them wrestle with getting the keys and then they fall into a sewer. Then the Doctor says a funny line, "At least there's a bright side, Clara didn't see it; yeah that would be embarssing. Of course both of them do eventually find a way to work together which is great. The only disappointment is we don't see both of them in a battle scene together where both of them have to fight thought many guards and robots and we see both dispatching them their way like Robin using his sword and the Doctor using Aikido again which would be a nod to the third Doctor; it just seemed like a bit of a lost opportunity, but due to time constrants, oh well.

    And Clara as usual well does what she can do or whatever she has to do. She defenatantly look great in that dress, if there is ever another Robin Hood film, (a good one not that one from Ridley Scott which was a bore fest ) she could play Maid Marian. Though I do like the actress that plays the real Maid Marian in the episode she's cute, and even though it's not announced we already know (or at least some of us) that the peasant captured and focused on is her, it's no accident she's focused on, and like that little moment at the end with her when we see the Doctor has brought her back to Robin.

    I like the alien robots and the designs of them which are both cool and a bit creepy. We then see the scheme as to why these robots need so much gold, because gold is their power and fuel supply. Which I feel is a slight nod to the unexplained phenomina category on ancient technology where there was a theory that the aliens somehow had a technological means of converting gold into some sort of fuel or source of power; I wouldn't say it too unusal as were able to use Uranium into a power.

    There is also a little hint of things to come as the Doctor and Robin find one of the computer concoles for the alien robots. We then see the destination the robots wanted to go to and it's a place called the Promise Land which of course is that whole revolving plot with that Heaven thing going on in the show. So we know for sure that the place we've been seeing as one character or two in the show dies isn't Heaven, and that lady who looks like actress Meg Foster with those really strange eyes that appears to run it isn't God. From the reaction from the Doctors face seeing this he look kinda scared, does he know something about this place and that batty woman? We'll just have to wait and see.

    I really like how the Doctors assumptions in the end get knocked off their feet, along with some of ours. Thoughout the episode the Doctor has been skeptical of the extance of Robin along with some of us, since Robin doesn't really exist in history. We then see a little twist, that Robin and any of the other characters weren't part of the Robot's plan at all, Robin is real. So this show really found a way around with that problem by stating the possibility that Robin and all the other character were actual real people but as time went on, certain facts probably became obscured and lost that it became legend. Which I don't think is that unusal, like with most lost ancient civilizations most have believed them to be myth until there have been certain findings to prove of their possible existence.

    The final moments with the Doctor and Robin are touching as Robin realizes he's became a figure in Legend than in History. But this doesn't discourge him as he states that were all pretty much stories in the end and that heroes really do exist and live on as long as people continue to believe in them. Robin from a little backstory he gives said how at first he was just an ordinary person that despite his actions never believed he was a hero , it was his significant other and her belief in him that helped make him the hero he is now. It's the same commonality with the Doctor despite all he's done over the years he still doesn't believe he's a hero, but his companions and the people he helped do. But it's ok they both don't believe their hero's, real hero never worry about titles and fame they just do their jobs which is why both of them are legendary but most importantly real.

  • just a really quick remark...

    ... to sum up my feelings about this episode. Since when does the sonic screwdriver work on wood and blow up wooden targets??? Really not a fan of this episode. I keep sensing a storyline underneath. Seriously, the second spaceship below Great Britain with robots on their way to the promised land? Does Missy just keep dumping those ships there so the doctor keeps running into them? What a way to ask for attention. The Robin Hood storyline really wasn't my favorite and this season is reminding me more and more of the 9th Doctors era. The trailer to the upcoming Listen looks promising so far let's see if Capaldi finally gets to be his own version of the doctor.moreless
  • "I am the Doctor, and THIS is my spoon !"

    Much like last week's "Into the dalek", I thought this episode made great use of the Doctor's new personality. I mean, you don't imagine Smith or Tennant driven mad by Robin Hood's constant laughing ... So, if you make a more cold-hearted, grumpy Doctor, boucing him off against the "merry men" is actually a wonderful idea, and reminds a bit of the dynamic between Ten, Eleven, and the grumpier War Doctor in "Day of the Doctor". And while the Doctor's portrayal as a reluctant hero was interesting ( and reminds a bit of Gatiss' portrayal of Sherlock, actually ), there were some funny scenes, like the ridiculous arrow contest, or the Doctor and Robin baffled that Clara is branded as the leader. Not to say everything is perfect : the plot is pretty standard fare for Doctor Who, and the climax is just silly ( I mean, the spaceship is about to blow up half of England, and the Doctor just ... runs away ? Didn't he once say "We never run away", back in "Akhaten" ? ). But it was enjoyable anyway. Nowhere near top 10 material, but not a failure either.moreless
Tom Riley

Tom Riley

Robin Hood

Guest Star

Ben Miller

Ben Miller

Sheriff of Nottingham

Guest Star

Roger Ashton Griffiths

Roger Ashton Griffiths


Guest Star

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (2)

    • Just after Clara leaves the TARDIS, you can see that the door is closed. During the fight, the door opens and closes.

    • Trivia: The Doctor suggesting that they might be in a Miniscope refers to the original series episode "Carnival of Monsters". The Miniscope is a device that gathers people and objects from a narrow period of time and stores them, allowing viewers to watch the sequence of events and repeats them as they wish.

  • QUOTES (14)

    • The Doctor: Old-fashioned heroes only exist in old-fashioned storybooks, Clara.
      Clara: What about you?
      The Doctor: Me?
      Clara: Yeah, you. You stop bad things happening every minute of every day. That sounds pretty heroic to me.
      The Doctor: Just passing the time.

    • Robin Hood: Well, don't you know all property is theft to Robin Hood?
      The Doctor: You're not serious.
      Robin Hood: I am many things but never that. Robin Hood laughs in the face of all. (laughs merrily and loudly)
      The Doctor: And do people ever punch you in the face when you do that?
      Robin Hood: Not as yet.
      The Doctor: Lucky I'm here then, isn't it?

    • The Doctor: That is not Robin Hood.
      Robin: Well, then, who, sir, is about to relieve you of your magic box?
      The Doctor: Nobody, sir. Not in this universe or the next.
      Robin: Well, then, draw your sword and prove your words.
      The Doctor: I have no sword. I don't need a sword. Because I am the Doctor. This is my spoon. En garde!

    • Friar Tuck: Whoa! What are you doing?
      The Doctor: This isn't a real sandal.
      Friar Tuck: Yes it is.
      The Doctor: (sniffs) Oh, yes it is.

    • Clara: How can you be so sure he's not the real thing?
      The Doctor: Because he can't be.
      Clara: When did you stop believing in everything?
      The Doctor: When did you start believing in impossible heroes?
      Clara: Don't you know?

    • Clara: What are you up to?
      The Doctor: Quickest way to find out anybody's plan. Get yourself captured,.

    • Robin: Splendid. In chains.
      Clara: Yep.
      Robin: Trussed up like oxen. Thanks to your friend.
      The Doctor: Shut it, hoodie. I saved your life.
      Robin: I had the situation well in hand.
      The Doctor: Long-haired ninny versus robot killer knights. I know where I'd put my money.
      Robin: If you had not betrayed me, I would have been triumphant.
      The Doctor: You would have been a little puff of smoke and ashes.
      Robin: Ha!
      The Doctor: You would have been floating around in tiny little laughing bits, in people's goblets.

    • The Doctor: Guards! He's laughing again. You can't keep me locked up with a laughing person.
      Robin: I find that quite funny. Do you know, I feel another laugh coming on. A-ha-ha-ha!
      The Doctor: Guards, I cannot remain in this cell! Execute me now!

    • Robin: I'll tell you one thing. I'd last a lot longer than this dessicated man-crow.
      The Doctor: Really?
      Robin: Really.
      The Doctor: Well, you know what? I think you'll find I have a certain genetic advantage.
      Clara: It is not a competition about who can die slower.
      The Doctor: But it definitely would be me, though, wouldn't it?

    • Clara: Your plan.
      Robin Hood: I am... biding my time.
      Clara: Thank you, Prince of Thieves. Last of the Time Lords?
      The Doctor: Yes, I have a plan.
      Clara: Can you explain your plan without using the word "sonic screwdriver"? Because you might have forgotten the Sheriff of Nottingham has taken your screwdriver. Just saying. It's always the screwdriver.

    • Robin: Now what?
      The Doctor: First the blacksmith's forge.
      Robin: So as to remove our chains?
      The Doctor: No. So I can knock up an ornamental plant stand. Of course it's so we can get rid of our chains! I don't want to be manacled to you all night. (Robin laughs) Oh, please, please don't do that.
      Robin: "Ornamental plant stand."
      The Doctor: It's not even that funny.
      Robin: You're an amusing jokester.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: You are indeed an ingenious fellow, Doctor. But do you really think your peasant's revolt can stop me?
      The Doctor: I rather think you're the revolting one around here.

    • The Doctor: He's a legend!
      Robin: Too kind. And this legend has not come alone.
      Clara: Hi-ya!

    • Robin: So, is it true?
      The Doctor: Is what true?
      Robin: That in the future I'm forgotten as a real man, only as a legend.
      The Doctor: I'm afraid it is.
      Robin: Good. History is a burden. Stories can make us fly.
      The Doctor: I'm still having a little trouble believing yours.
      Robin: Why? Is it difficult to credit that a man born into wealth and privilege should find the plight of the oppressed and weak too much to bear?
      The Doctor: No...
      Robin: Until one night he is moved to steal a TARDIS and fly among the stars fighting the good fight.

  • NOTES (3)

    • Injoke: Among the images of the "legendary" Robin Hood is one of Patrick Troughton, who played the first TV Robin Hood in the British series Robin Hood in 1953. Troughton played the Second Doctor in Doctor Who as well.

    • The scene at the end of one character decapitating another was removed at the last minute by the BBC due to two American journalists being decapitated in the Middle East just prior to the episode airing.

    • International Airdates:
      UK: September 6, 2014 on BBC1
      Canada: September 6, 2014 on Space
      Australia: September 7, 2014 on ABC


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