Robin Hood

Season 1 Episode 6

The Taxman Cometh

Aired Saturday 7:30 PM Nov 11, 2006 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
116 votes

By Users

Episode Summary

When Robin and his gang encounter Flaxton, a farmer, and his son while on their way to Nottingham it doesn't take them long to discover all is not as it seems. When they discover that Flaxton is actually a tax inspector, on his way to count the mountain of tax silver in Nottingham Castle a plan is hatched to allow Robin access to the castle vault.moreless

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  • A cleverly written plot but still not the oomph I was expecting.

    An interesting episode which makes the Sheriff look stupid but hey, doesn\'t that happen every episode?

    A miraculous circus trick from the so called taxmans son even if it does make the plot a little far fetched. I mean really, who would ever try to escape by popping their shoulders out of their sockets.

    The relationship between Marian and Robin is tested when she says that she is leaving home to live in a convent. Surely she can;t like Robin that much if she is going to become a nun, but still he hangs around her.

    Perhaps the best scting in this series come from Guy of Gisbourne who portrays the caring baddie with passion. But we are yet to see the best of him.moreless
  • In the world of taxmen and nuns...

    When Robin and the gang encounter a tax collector, Flaxton, they think that Christmas has come early. Meanwhile, Gisborne meets a nun who has just collapsed after being attacked by “outlaws in the forest”. Oh yeah?

    While Robin devises a plan to steal the money from the vault in the chapel, Gisborne and the Sheriff nurse the nun. Elsewhere, when Marian is told what to do by her father (dont go out as the night watchman she finally snaps and is sick of what men tell her to do in her life. She decides to join a nunnery, much to Gisbornes disappointment.

    The gang gain access to the vault but they find out its all a trap when they find themselves locked in. Will Scarlett uses his skills to get his way out and when the gang escape, they find out that the nun and Flaxton are impostors. The outlaws, in the end, hijack Flaxtons cart and steal the money from them.

    Overall, it was a good episode - a few niggles, such as Marian doing weird tai-chi like moves (what on earth?) but it was good. Marian had touching scenes with her father though, which made up for the weird tai-chi scenes.

    But in general, Keith Allens Sheriff of Nottingham and Lucy Griffiths’ Lady Marian were the most impressive of the episode.

    Lets start with the Sheriff - hes never been funnier. Classic lines “underneath the haughty theres a little bit of naughty” and skipping down the corridor to Thomas A Becket. Classic Keith Allen and classic Sheriff. Amazing - keep the entertainment level up!

    Secondly theres Marian - Lucy Griffiths, a relative newcomer, has definitely made her impact on the role. She impresses me and the scenes between her father and her were very touching. Impressive work and she should keep this up!

    Funny episode really - a bit of Robin and Marian tension and the nice snog between the abbess and Robin. Good episode - build it up from here!moreless
  • Outtricking the Sheriff and Robin, with clever twists, and good characters

    I found this episode to be hugely enjoyable - the clever conmen (and one particularly clever conwoman) featured are well written and well played characters which add great fun to the episode. The fact that they manage to fool the Sheriff after fooling Robin for him caused me huge amusment, and their plan was certainly a clever one that I did not see coming which is always much more enjoyable. Marian\'s striving for independance was well developed here and I hoped that maybe she might leave her father and join the outlaws though for some reason she decided that becoming a nun would be better. I was hugely disappointed that she chose to stay with her father, though it is understandable within the show and characters. Her friendship with Robin has redeveloped well, showing the similarities between them - both want to stop the injustice and unfairness they see around them but they choose to go about in opposite ways.

    Certainly this is one of my favourites of the series so far, highly recommended.moreless
  • Nuns, Taxmen and Treachery *spoilers*

    Another week, another pleasant and uncomplicated episode of ‘Robin Hood’. It really isn’t taxing TV and that is always welcome. This week sees cross and double-cross and that most odious of things; the taxman. Robin and the Outlaws come across Flaxton and his boy, who pretend they are farmers. However, it is revealed that Flaxton is in fact a tax-inspector coming to count the taxes for the North of England, which are being held at Nottingham Castle. Robin hatches a plan to get the money back, but it doesn’t go smoothly… Meanwhile, Marian is having problems with her father and an injured Abbess seeks sanctuary at Nottingham Castle. But even there, all is not what it seems. Passed the time well enough and, something new this week, it was also funny!

    There are two good guest performances, from Tom Beard as Flaxton and Nikki Amuka-Bird as the Abbess. Of course, it doesn’t take too long to figure out that the Abbess isn’t really an Abbess at all and that they’re in cahoots to stitch the Sheriff up too and steal all the silver for themselves. Both performances are strong, and the vicious banter that goes between the Abbess and the Sheriff is actually very amusing- played well by Keith Allen too, especially his wonderfully dry line when accused of godlessness, ‘I know. I should have been struck down by now’. The more panto qualities shown so far were tempered in this episode and it works. There should be more like this than that histrionic boo-hiss stuff he seems to do.

    Lucy Griffiths is again marvellous as Marian, fending off Gisborne’s advances whilst trying to make her father see that she wants to help without him forbidding it. Michael Elwyn is good, finally being given something more to do than look disapprovingly at Marian or try to stop her talking. As for the rest, performances are pretty solid, neither good nor bad. Good moments: the Abbess’ slap for the Sheriff when he suggests something a little bawdy for a nun; Will’s quiet determination to get the silver back and his brains getting them out of the vault. Enjoyable, not great, but good enough.moreless
Matt Devere

Matt Devere


Guest Star

Alan Stocks

Alan Stocks


Guest Star

Tom Beard

Tom Beard


Guest Star

Michael Elwyn

Michael Elwyn

Sir Edward

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (0)

  • QUOTES (34)

    • Cedric: Get over it!
      (Will turns around, his eyes flashing and back slaps Cedric)
      Will: You get over it...

    • Much: (As Robin and Much go from town to town giving the villagers money) What are you trying to do, feed the world?
      Robin: Don't give me any ideas.

    • Robin: Do you know who I am? I am Robin Hood.

    • Sir Edward: Gisborne came to see you, just now.
      Marian: He will be back.
      Sir Edward: We will be strong.

    • Robin: Anybody as good as our friend the tax inspector wouldn't settle for a few pounds for catching some outlaws. Not when the tax money of the north is on offer.
      Alan-A-Dale: So?
      Robin: So Djaq you go back untie him, let him over power you. Now we will follow him and if I am right he will lead us to some very wealthy crooks.

    • Robin: Taxmen that are not Taxmen, Pilgrims that are not Pilgrims. I think we have both been had.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Get after them. (Sheriff realises he has just been conned)

    • Robin: (As Robin holds the Sheriff hostage in order to get away) No one has to die here today, I think you know how this goes. How much did you pay him?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: He was surprisingly cheap, did you really think he was a tax inspector?
      Robin: Was it enough to sacrifice his boy's life?
      Sheriff: You can kill him if you like. No one will miss him, least of all me.
      Much: You are revolting.
      Sheriff: Yes I am godless aren't I?

    • Robin: (After Robin and the boys are trapped in a room in the castle) Clever.
      Will Scarlett : But it's true the taxes from the north do come through Nottingham every year at this time. I helped make these chests.
      Robin: That's why it is clever. An inch of truth makes the lie hard to spot.

    • Guy of Gisborne: I thought we were friends, I though in time you would consider...
      Marian: What?
      Guy of Gisborne: Marriage.

    • Guy of Gisborne: So did she agree?
      Marian: Yes.
      Guy of Gisborne: I am surprised you have not mentioned this to me before.
      Marian: Should i have?
      Guy of Gisborne: Yes.
      Marian: It is done now.

    • Will Scarlett: We give that money back to the people it was stolen from.
      Robin: Where in the castle?
      Flaxton In the vault, maximum security you'd never get in.
      Robin: Your right, we wouldn't.
      Much: Well my I say I am relieved, I mean as much as I want to see that money return to the people I just think that...
      Robin: We wouldn't get in - but you, you would.

    • Much: (As Robin decides that he will steal the Sheriff's tax money) Master no, surely.
      Alan-A-Dale: Robin the castle's as tight as leeches lips.
      Djaq: You're scared.
      Alan-A-Dale: Well yeah.

    • Much: Oh lovely, I'm like a pig in slops.
      Robin: Well then you should be happy.
      Much: What?
      Robin: That's what it means. A pig in slops means you're happy.
      Much: I've never understood that, why would anyone be happy in slops.

    • Marian: He told me.
      Sir Edward: It makes no difference.
      Marian: Yes, it does. I had nowhere to run. You did not need to agree to my terms.
      Sir Edward: I realised that the daughter I had was the daughter I wanted.

    • Much: (as the others watch Robin kissing the fake Abbess) Now you see what I have to put up with?

    • Will Scarlett: (confronting Flaxton, Cedric and the fake Abbess) You might as well have been tax collectors. You do exactly the same thing.
      Abbess: You can talk. You live on the wrong side of the law, just like us.
      Robin: That is because the law has itself become criminal. England is rotting from the top down.
      Abbess: Then why stay? We were going to Holland to set ourselves up as nobles. Why not join us? We'd make a wonderful combination. There are many more fools like the Sheriff of Nottingham in this world. It is our duty to cheat them.

    • Flaxton: You should be dead!
      Robin: Many times over.

    • Sir Edward: What would I have to do to persuade you to stay?
      Marian: It's too late. I meet the Abbess in the castle in an hour. She expects her retinue tonight.
      Sir Edward: Surely it is never too late between a father and a daughter. What can I do?
      Marian: Support me, as the Night Watchman. I want to do more, not less. Protect me from the Gisbornes of this world. Accept me. The daughter you have, not the daughter you wanted.
      Sir Edward: And if I cannot?
      Marian: Then I go to meet the Abbess.
      Sir Edward: Those are your terms?
      Marian: Those are my terms. I'm sorry.
      Sir Edward: The Night Watchman may as well put a noose around both our necks.
      Marian: Goodbye.
      Sir Edward: Wait! If you feel that strongly…
      Marian: You will support me.
      Sir Edward: I have no choice.
      Marian: Then I will stay.

    • (Djaq is guarding Flaxton's boy Cedric, who is tied to a tree)
      Cedric: You look like a boy.
      Djaq: You look like a girl.
      Cedric: If my father is hurt…
      Djaq: What will you do? Cry?
      Cedric: Maybe. Wouldn't you, if it was your father?
      Djaq: My father was killed by you English. Crusaders.
      Cedric: Then you know how I feel.
      Djaq: I was brought to this country as a slave, tied up like an animal
      Cedric: Have sympathy with me.
      Djaq: And on that journey, I learned every way there is to try and talk my way out of bondage. So save your breath.

    • Guy of Gisborne: Let's finish this here, Hood. Forget the Sheriff, forget the soldiers, just you and me.
      Robin: Sorry, Gisborne. Trial by combat's not big and it's not clever.
      Guy of Gisborne: So you are a coward.
      Robin: I am no coward I just do not trust you.

    • Allan-A-Dale: Were going to hang.
      Robin: We are not going to hang.
      Much: Master what do we do?
      Robin: I have a plan.
      Allan A Dale: No, you don't.
      Robin: You're right. I don't.

    • (Robin and the Outlaws are tricked by Flaxton into the vaults of Nottingham Castle, thinking a horde of tax silver is in there)
      Robin: Clever.
      Will Scarlett: But it's true! The taxes of the North do come through Nottingham every year at this time. I helped make these chests!
      Robin: That's why it was clever. An inch of truth, makes the lie hard to spot.

    • Marian: I should like to be a novice in your order.
      Abbess: Come to my abbey in a month. I will consider you then.
      Marian: With respect, you are here today. Consider me now.
      Abbess: You are bold! Do you know who I am?
      Marian: I… Forgive me. I am bold. That is why I do not belong here. It is stifling.
      Abbess: You think an abbey is the place to be bold?
      Marian: I think it is a place to breathe. I should like to be clear, I would stay for a year at the most and I can fund my keep.
      Abbess: Forgive me. Something about you. You are an unlikely novice.
      Marian: You are an unlikely Abbess.
      Abbess: You are spirited! I could use someone like you.
      Marian: I have no intention of being used.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: Marian wants to petition our visiting Mother Superior.
      Guy of Gisborne: What for?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: To borrow a pound. What do you think? To become a nun.

    • Robin: Do you have a problem?
      Marian: More than I can say in one minute. This life, this pretence, is driving me mad. Gisborne sniffs around me like a little spaniel. My father would have me marry him for fear of anyone guessing we are not wholly in league with the Sheriff. As for the Night Watchman, it is not enough for me and it is too much for my father. What I want, who I am, does not count. I am sick of it all. I am leaving home.
      Robin: To go where?
      Marian: I do not know.
      Robin: That is unwise.
      Marian: I am sick of people- and it always men- telling me what is wise and what is not.
      Robin: Then tell me what it you want!
      Marian: Help! I want somebody, for once, to think about how they can help me. Help me to do what I want to do; what I think is wise.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: Forgive me if I don't join you.
      Abbess: You want forgiveness now?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Turn of phrase.
      Abbess: Or was it your conscience talking?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: I don't know. Have I got a conscience?
      Abbess: You like to spar with words.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: I like to spar with actions too.
      Abbess: Can you forgive me?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: What for?
      Abbess: For not praying for your soul.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: (laughs) I can see you.
      Abbess: What?
      Sheriff of Nottingham: I can see you. Underneath all that Mother Superior performance, there's a naughty little girl, isn't there? Hm? Am I right? Underneath all the haughty, there's quite a bit of naughty.
      Abbess: How dare you!
      Sheriff of Nottingham: I think you'd probably like to spar with words. I think you'd probably like to spar with actions too.
      (the Abbess slaps the Sheriff hard across the face)

    • Abbess: Sir, you may be comfortable with godlessness. I am not.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: I am comfortable with godlessness. In fact, I would hate to be godlessness… less.
      Abbess: I am denied access to your chapel and so I am denied to my God. Whether you accept it or not, He is your God too.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Currently, my God has another use for the chapel.
      Abbess: There can be only one use for a chapel.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Well, today there are two.

    • Abbess: I've given instructions for funds to be brought. You will be paid for your… hospitality.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Monies raised here go directly to support the King and his army.
      Abbess: Funds raised by the Church go to the glorification of God, not war.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Ah! Just as I thought. It's meant to be a Holy War, but it's paid for out of my taxes, not yours, Mother.
      Abbess: I had heard Nottingham under your stewardship was a godless place. I had no idea how godless.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Yes, I know. I should have been struck down by now.

    • Sheriff of Nottingham: (to Gisborne, about the Abbess) They call themselves Father Abbot and Mother Superior, they call themselves by parents' names so that we don't notice them getting fat at our expense. They are parasites dressed as pious.
      (he and Gisborne enter the Abbess' chamber)
      Abbess: There are worse things to dress up as than pious, my lord.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Ah, that remark was not meant for you.
      Abbess: I think it was.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Yes, yes it was. For people like you. What can I say? I'm not sorry.
      Abbess: Then I cannot grant you forgiveness.
      Sheriff of Nottingham: Where you come from, that must be a devastating thing to withhold.

    • Will Scarlett: I want that money. I want that money before it gets to London. You think taxes pay for themselves? People sweat for them. Give their lives for them. When they save up enough, they can't even afford a decent piece of meat.
      Robin: My friend here lost his mother.
      Flaxton: It's not my fault.
      Allan A Dale: You're part of the system.
      Little John: Taxes, we do not like.

    • Flaxton: If I tell you, how do I know you're not going to kill us anyway.
      Robin: You don't.
      Flaxton: That's not much of a deal.
      Robin: Well, in the real world, things don't always add up.

    • Sir Edward: Gisborne seemed angry. What did you say to him?
      Marian: I said I would marry him and have his children.
      Sir Edward: You could do worse.
      Marian: Yes, if I married the Sheriff. I would sooner be a nun than Gisborne's wife.
      Sir Edward: When is this willfulness going to stop? Not to mention the other nonsense.
      Marian: What other nonsense?
      Sir Edward: The Night Rider, or whatever you call yourself.
      Marian: I do not call myself anything. They say Night Watchman.
      Sir Edward: It is dangerous, it is foolish and I have forbidden it.
      Marian: Father, I must do what I can. The poor cannot feed themselves. Their children…
      Sir Edward: I forbid it. Your hair was a warning. Next time you will hang.
      Marian: That is my problem.
      Sir Edward: How can you be so selfish?
      Marian: It is my neck
      Sir Edward: I am your father. This is my house and you…
      Marian: You fear for your own neck, that is the truth.
      Sir Edward: If you cannot obey me, if you…
      Marian: I cannot obey you.
      Sir Edward: Then you leave this house.

    • Robin: What have we got?
      Little John: Tax collector.
      Robin: Oh-hoh! (Djaq passes him the ledger) Very good.
      Flaxton: Please get the facts straight. I am a tax inspector. It's two grades higher than a tax collector. I do the bookwork; I don't dirty my hands with the money.
      Much: How can you be so proud?
      Robin: This is not taxation, this is extortion.
      Flaxton: I count the wealth of the world, I don't judge it.
      Robin: No, we judge it.
      Flaxton: This is 1192, my friend. The time for heroes is gone; this is the age of the bookkeeper now.

    • Guy of Gisborne: I have a gift for you
      Marian: Sir Guy, you bring too many gifts.
      Guy of Gisborne: My mother used to say 'if you have wronged somebody or if they're upset, do not be proud, offer them friendship. If they reject you, offer a second time and a third until they accept', and that is what I intend to do with you.
      Marian: Please. I do not need gifts.
      Guy of Gisborne: You need a husband. This world is not safe for a woman alone. Outlaws.
      Marian: I can protect myself.

  • NOTES (1)


    • Gisborne tells the Sheriff that the Abbess was leading a party of pilgrims to Canterbury and the Sheriff mentions Thomas a Becket.

      Becket was Archbishop of Canterbury from 1162-1170. He argued with King Edward II about the privileges of the church. Such was the enmity between the men that Edward was reputedly heard to remark 'Will no-one rid me of this turbulent priest?' and on December 29 1170, four of Edward's knights- believing the King's words to be a royal command- murdered Becket within Canterbury Cathedral itself. Shortly after, Becket was venerated as a martyr and canonized by Pope Alexander III in 1173. It was a very popular pilgrimage site. Chaucer's famous work The Canterbury Tales takes the premise of a pilgrimage to Becket's shrine as a framework for the individual tales.

    • The title of the episode The Taxman Cometh could be a take on The Iceman Cometh, a play by American playwright Eugene O'Neill.