Robin Hood

Season 1 Episode 9

A Thing or Two About Loyalty

Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Dec 02, 2006 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
113 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

Lambert, a friend of Sir Guy of Gisborne and castle scientist, realises that lives could be at risk if his latest invention were to fall into the Sheriff's hands. When Lambert won't make more of the invention, an "explosive" black powder, he is put into the dungeons by the furious Sheriff. Much volunteers to get himself arrested so he can help Lambert from within, but will he get more than he has bargained for?moreless

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  • HAHA! Get it? Bottom of the Dynamite Barrel? Oh, I'm so funny. This episode was worthless! Nothing happened. It was a bad storyline, too. What was the point? There was no gripping Robin Hood action or really funny moments. Boring!moreless

    This episode was not only worthless but boring as well. The storyline wasn't even that good. Greek Fire? I can get that they have to protect it from the Sheriff, but after that? What's the point. And, it was boring. Other episodes have exciting plots and Robin and gang directly helping the peasants. So? Compared to others, this episode was horrible! In my opinion, it was the worst of the season!!! The only parts that I liked were the oh so cute moments between Robin and Marian. When she tells him of his death, oh that was great! Also, Much with the whole call my "my lord" thing at the end. That was classic. Besides that, I totally didn't understand the whole Much & Eve relationship. I feel like lately, the series has focused too much on the evil party than Robin and gang. Most of the episode was concentrating on Gisbourne and the Sheriff. I watch it cause of the good folks! I like seeing them. I think they should start trying to escalate more towards the Season Finale, and have long term problems and conflicts, not just a new one everyone every episode. Obviously, the already have the whole Marian marrying tid bit, but I feel as if they should add more to that. All and all, I still love this series, but the last two episodes in a row, mainly this one, have not been up to the show's high standards.moreless
  • The setup is weak, but Much's story is a delight.

    Following a demonstration of gunpowder, the Sherif is furious when the creator, Lambert, morally objects to its use as a weapon and refuses to give up the formula. Robin learns of the powder's destructive potential and Much volunteers to (hilariously) get himself arrested so as to infiltrate the dungeon and rescue the scientist. Unfortunately, he's recognized by Guy.

    Despite the uneaven opening (more on this below), this was a great episode focussing on the loyalties of both Much and Guy.

    In Much's story, he's dragged from the dungeon and is dumbfounded when the Sherif makes him an earl and gives him a seat on the council. Of course, the Sherif has a spy in the form of a beautiful servant girl named Eve. She repeatedly tries to seduce information from Much, but is seduced herself when, following Robin's example, he shows great compassion and respect for the people under his rule. It's a warm, sweet arc where Much shows the good that can come from simple kindness.

    In Guy's story, he's conflicted over what he should do with his old friend Lambert. We see him manipulated in two direction by Marian, who talks about the importance of friendship, and the Sherif, who plays on Lambert's seeming betrayal to Robin. It's nice to see doubt in Guy's character when he's usually played far too evil. And the scene where Marian lectures Guy about the ease with which one can manipulate friendships reveals some fascinating depths to how she thinks of him.

    As I mentioned before, while I like the story, there were some major problems in the beginning. Lambert voices his moral objections AFTER making a deal with the Sherif, when he should have known the obvious use for which his powder would be made. Then, there's Robin and the gang who laugh and taunt Much for volunteering, and then let him go solo on the mission anyway. And, finally, the Sherif tells Guy that he made Much an earl for two reasons: 1) to gain support from peasants when they see one of their own in power, and 2) that once Much sees things from a noble point of view, he'll sympathize with the Sherif's plight. All this is nonsense when he just wants to milk info from Much with a spy, so why didn't he just tell that to Guy in the first place.

    All in all, despite the problematic opening, this episode was a blast. And I hope we get to see more of Eve in the future.moreless
  • Greek Fire (spoilers)

    Mildly diverting, but hardly stellar, ‘A Thing Or Two About Loyalty’ never really seems to take off. When Lambert, a friend of Guy of Gisborne’s, refuses to let the Sheriff use his new ‘black powder’- a type of volatile explosive- as a weapon, he is sent to the dungeons by the furious Sheriff. Realising what could be at stake, the Outlaws concoct a plan and Much volunteers to get arrested so he can help save Lambert. But Much gets a lot more than he bargained for when he faces off against the Sheriff- he becomes the Earl of Bonchurch! But as some loyalties are tested and others divided, can Robin prevent the dangerous ‘Greek Fire’ from falling into the wrong hands? Some interesting points made, but ultimately it’s all a bit adequate.

    Much has never been a character I’ve really liked and to have him play a major role is somewhat irritating to me. That said, his initial suspicion that he was being set up was quite well done. He even gets a love interest, in the shape of his lovely serving-woman Eve (Kelly Adams) who is working for the Sheriff yet still helps Much and Robin’s plans. Yet at the end of things, he decides to return to the Forest to be with his friends. Gisborne and Marian’s relationship also falters as Gisborne is torn between trying to help his friend and the frankly unhinged plans of the Sheriff. When Lambert is ultimately killed, Marian and Gisborne have a real set-to, which is excellently played by Lucy Griffiths and Richard Armitage, two of the most consistently good actors in the series. Keith Allen is also impressing more as the Sheriff as he moves away from boo-hiss theatrics and shows the more sinister, seductive, manipulative side of the character- always good. As for everyone else, they do well enough. There is a nice little argument between Will and Djaq regarding burning Lambert’s ledger with the gunpowder formula in it. Yet at the end, Djaq rescues the ledger from the flames. Will this be important later? Who knows? The pieces are in place for this to be a great episode but the spark isn’t there. Some of Paul Cornell’s writing is dreadfully uneven and anachronistic- who in 1192 would say ‘you’re off the project’? Awful. The final scene at the caves- when Robin blows up the gunpowder- also looks like something out of a cheesy Hollywood action movie. All in all, perfectly adequate but there have certainly been better episodes.moreless
  • It was very average. I didn't like it. There was really no point..

    Filler episode, in my opinion. Nothing much happened. Some good quotes (I must say it is very plesant, as far as traps go) but I found it a waste of time. It just jumped from the last episode, with no mention of the whole treacherous-Guy thing. Oh, apart from the "Lepers, Gisbourne, lepers," but for all the emotion and anger last time, it all seemed to have disappeared in what, a few days? I find that unlikely..

    Plus that both those guys (don't know their names, is it Allan-a-Dale and Will?) love Djaq, but there was no evidence at all of it.. Just seems weird.

    Although, dissing aside, I did like the bit at the end where Djaq took the ledger out of the fire, and Robin just *looked*.

    So yeah, all in all, not worth watching in my opinion. As a series it's good, but this episode was awful.moreless
  • Not the best, but not bad.

    This was quite a good episode. There wasn\'t as much of the gang as I would have liked, and I didn\'t like the plot so much but the character development of Much was great, as we get to see him as more than a comic relief character. His scenes with Eve were great! I also liked Guy\'s character in this; amazing that he actually *has* a friend, albiet a dead one now. The fact that he lets the Sherriff manipulate him so much is worrying; I reckon they should have at least one episode where he strikes back at him.

    Speaking of the Sherriff, he was amazingly funny in this episode. Brilliant one-liners at all times.

    All in all, not the best of episodes, but not the worst either. Can\'t wait for the next!moreless
Anjali Jay

Anjali Jay

Djaq (Episodes 5+)

Gordon Kennedy

Gordon Kennedy

Little John

Harry Lloyd

Harry Lloyd

Will Scarlett

Joe Armstrong

Joe Armstrong


Jonas Armstrong

Jonas Armstrong

Robin Hood

Keith Allen

Keith Allen

Vasney, Sheriff of Nottingham

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (3)

    • What is here called 'Greek fire' bears similarities to dynamite (eg a small charge concentrated to produce greater explosive power), whilst appearing more like black powder - in both cases it is an anachronism. This impression is compounded by similarities between Lambert and dynamite's inventor, Alfred Nobel - they both tried and failed to ensure their invention was only ever used for peaceful purposes and never as a weapon. The term Greek fire was used in the medieval era, but to denote an anti-ship weapon akin to the modern flamethrower.

    • When the Sheriff sees Marian and Gisborne talking, he says 'lepers, Gisborne, lepers'. This is a recurring line of the Sheriff's, first heard in the episode Turk Flu.

    • In the first few minutes of the episode, Sir Guy tells the sheriff to dismount because the blast will cause the horse to whinny and throw the Sheriff on the ground from it's back. But, during the last few minutes when Robin shot an arrow at the cave to explode the remaining barrels. The Sheriff overlooking from afar turned away as to cover himself from the great force of the explosion. Yet, the horse did not even wince.

  • QUOTES (28)

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: (Throwing a wooden figure at Guy of Gisborne) YOU FOOL!

    • Will Scarlett: It's good to have you back, Much.
      Much: Good to have you back, my lord Much.
      Allan A Dale: That is going to get really annoying.
      Much: That's going to get really annoying, my lord. It is really annoying, but I'm sorry. I like it.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: (after Robin has blown up the black powder) Life is a cruel mistress, Gisborne. (pause) Clean up your mess.

    • Eve: Will I see you again?
      Much: When there is justice again, I will come and find you. (they kiss) Perhaps before. Robin will thank you from his heart for what you have done.
      Eve: I did not do this for Robin Hood. I did it for you.

    • Guy of Gisborne: Where is your betrothal ring?
      Marian: I felt dishonest wearing it. I'm afraid we have misunderstood each other lately. I assumed you would be true to your word. You perhaps thought I would not mind if you let me down.
      Guy of Gisborne: I sincerely did not intend that.
      Marian: I don't care. I thought you were a better man. Now I realise I must content myself with disappointment.
      Guy of Gisborne: I had to make a choice. You know that I am all that stands between you and the Sheriff, and I would not see you harmed. I have to protect you. Will you wear the ring again?
      Marian: (after a long pause) Of course. But we will never find ourselves in this situation again. Everything is back in its box.

    • Eve: You could stay here… with me.
      Much: I belong with Robin.
      Eve: If I were Robin Hood, I would never leave your side.
      Much: I saw him. Robin. He visited me here.
      Eve: Really?
      Much: There's something I should tell you. Robin… This is top secret… Robin has found…
      Eve: Yes?
      Much: Nothing.
      Eve: Thank you.
      Much: Why?
      Eve: For not telling me what Lady Marian asked you to tell me.
      Much: I knew she was wrong about you.
      Eve: Oh, Much. She was right. Of course I'm working for the Sheriff.
      Much: Oh.
      Eve: But tell me whatever it is you want him to hear.

    • Will Scarlett: (ready to put the ledger in the fire) I'm burning this.
      Djaq: Will, no!
      (Little John stops him from doing it)
      Little John: Steady.
      Will Scarlett: This is not science, this is murder.
      Djaq:Think of this as progress. Other scientists could do much better things with Greek Fire.
      Allan A Dale: Yeah, we could blow up the entire castle with that stuff!
      Robin: Lambert's dead. He died believing I'd protect his work.
      Djaq: Then let me study this ledger, make black powder. With this, we could be unstoppable
      Will Scarlett: This is not about one man's wish.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: (to Gisborne) You're probably wondering where your loyalties lie. Well, let me tell you where they do lie. Your friend Lambert, he has slighted your loyalty. You do know that he told Robin Hood where the ledgers were. The information he kept from you, he gave to your enemy. Hm? Now what friend would act so callously when your every effort has been to protect him? Take heart. Look at the bigger picture. Your black powder will open so many doors for us, Gisborne, it is power beyond imagination. Take heed, this sorry state of affairs has in no way affected my judgement of you. Trust, when others around us falter, that is the thing. We make a fine team, my friend, a fine team. Let's build on it, shall we? (pause) So, I'll go and pay our friend a visit. Shall I teach him a thing or two about loyalty? Yes, it's play… or pay.

    • Marian: For heavens' sake, find that ledger and burn it.
      Robin: I already have the ledger and I am not going to burn it. I am keeping it safe for Lambert.
      Marian: At the risk of the Sheriff getting hold of it? And what then? It is too dangerous.
      Robin: How is it our calling to judge what should or shouldn't exist as knowledge?
      Marian: It is our calling to protect others! If it is glory you seek by keeping the ledger, then God help you.

    • Robin: You are the only one who knows how to make Greek Fire.
      Lambert: Well, that is the joke. There have been so many variations in ingredients, amounts… I can't remember everything, so I record it all in my ledger
      Robin: Where is it?
      Lambert: And I should tell you? You're an Outlaw.
      Robin: But it would be catastrophic in the hands of the Sheriff. Now how much did you make for him?
      Lambert: There were three barrels of the mixture and the Sheriff has confiscated them.
      Robin: In the castle?
      Lambert: I don't know.
      Robin: The Sheriff will torture you again.
      Lambert: Yes.
      Robin: And you'll break. Everybody breaks. And then the Sheriff will have the ledger and the Greek Fire. Now, I can hide it for you in another place, and you can honestly tell the Sheriff you do not know where it is, and I will gather my men and I will come back and rescue you.
      Lambert: And what's to stop you using the Greek Fire for your own ends?
      Robin: Nothing. Other than I am Robin Hood, and I offer you my word.

    • Marian: Has the Sheriff angered you?
      Guy of Gisborne: No, the Sheriff undermines me whenever possible, that's not unusual.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: (to Gisborne, after making Much the Earl of Bonchurch) Don't take it so personally, Gisborne. Consider, if you will, the effect on the peasants. 'Oh, look, one of us has been made a noble. If we work hard, keep our heads bowed, be good little boys and girls, maybe we'll get rewarded too'. You see, our point of view is that of money and power. Give him money and power and he sees the world from our point of view. Oh, and just between you and me, I've a certain person in place who'll keep him on track. Loyal, trustworthy.

    • (Gisborne brings Much in front of the Sheriff)
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Lambert should be at the screaming stage by now, but all I hear is nothing.
      Guy of Gisborne: I'm determined to reason with him, my lord.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Oh, really? And is it working, reason? (pause) Going soft, Gisborne? Hm? Because he's your friend, is that it? Well, leave him with me. I'll reason with him.
      Guy of Gisborne: I can handle him.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: No, no. You've failed me. You're off the project. (points to Much) Now what is this creature doing here?
      Guy of Gisborne: This is one of Robin Hood's inner circle. This is his right hand man.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Oh, bravo!
      Guy of Gisborne: He can tell us all we need to know about the Outlaws.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Like what? Hm? That Robin Hood is against us? That he keeps moving his camp on? Hm? There's nothing to know!
      Guy of Gisborne: Alright, so hang him then, make an example!
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Brilliant!. A clue: no. Hang him and you have an instant martyr. Suddenly everybody loves Robin Hood!
      Guy of Gisborne: So what would you suggest we do with him then?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: I'll make a real example of this man. (laughs)

    • (The Outlaws are discussing the black powder)
      Little John: It punched me to the ground. What was that?
      Robin: Greek Fire. When we were in the Holy Land, we heard tales of boats being destroyed, sunken without a trace.
      Djaq: Typical. Our alchemists have been experimenting with it for years, and it's called Greek! Never Saracen, Greek!
      Allan A Dale: It's amazing.
      Will Scarlett: No, it's not. It's evil. It doesn't require any courage or strength or wit to use it.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: (to Gisborne) Your friend seems to enjoy the power he has over us. Very clever. (to Lambert) Congratulations, you've just made yourself the most important man in Nottingham, Lambert. So when we hurt you, we'll do it very carefully.

    • Guy of Gisborne: Please dismount, my lord, there may be quite a bang.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Really?
      Guy of Gisborne: Your horse is highly-strung.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: It won't be the only highly-strung creature if I'm made to hang around for much longer.

    • Much: When I was in the Holy Land, I would find myself craving something. I thought it was hunger - it was hunger most of the time, but now and then when I would feel it - it would not be in the stomach, but in the heart.
      Eve: Your song's a bit sad too, isn't it?

    • Eve: You have a terrible voice.
      Much: Well it hs been said by many, most of them fools.

    • Robin: So Gisbourne's going to help us?
      Marian: Yes
      Robin: And what on earth did you do to make him agree to that?
      Marian: Nothing. I played on his conscience.
      Robin: I would believe that if I thought he had one!

    • Robin: When you wake you, you tell the Sherrif that Lambert no longer knows where the ledger is. Robin Hood knows.
      Guard: I'm not asleep!
      Robin: (Knocks him out) You are now!

    • Much: I must say it is very far as traps go.

    • Sherrif: By the powers vested in me...blah-dey blah-dey blah...I dubb thee Earl of Bonchurch.

    • Much: I will not poison myself! You will have to kill me first!

    • Robin: Trust me, Much can do this!
      Allan: Are we talking about the same Much?

    • Much: (shouting in Nottingham Town, trying to get himself arrested) Prince John, in the absence of Good King Richard, has turned this country into a state of terror. His followers are thugs! Our taxes are too high! People are starving! (pauses; to himself) What does one have to do around here to get arrested? (walks up to a guard, kicks him the stomach) Arrest me! (gets beaten up by the guards, then arrested) Thank You!

    • Lambert: Stop - or there'll be trouble!
      Sherrif: I adore trouble!

    • Robin: The plan is...somebody needs to get arrested!

    • Lambert: Black powder is not a toy Guy, it is lethal and I will not let you abuse its power.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Eve: (to Much) You could stay here... with me.

      This quote is almost indentical to the one in the 1989 Bond movie "Licence To Kill" when Lupe tells Bond "You could stay here with me" (without the pause between words).

    • Sherrif: (After introducing Much as the Earl of Bonchurch) Did you know I heard there was a Roman Emperor who made his horse a Senator!

      The Sherrif is refering to the Roman Emperor Gaius Julius Caesar Augustus Germanicus or Calligula who appointed his favourite horse Incitatus to a seat on the Senate.