Robin of Sherwood

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ITV (ended 1986)

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grailwolf

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8.3
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SHOW REVIEWS
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Robin of Sherwood

Show Summary

Robin of Loxley is charged by Herne the Hunter, horned god of the forests, to become his son and champion. As "The Hooded Man," Robin must forge a band of outlaws and renegades into a force which will defy the Norman rulers who oppress the population of the region, especially Prince John and the Sheriff of Nottingham.

This adaptation of the Robin Hood legend leans heavily on mysticism and magic. This mood was reinforced by the soundtrack by the Irish band Clannad.
Michael Praed

Michael Praed

Robin Hood

Jason Connery

Jason Connery

Robert of Huntingdon

Judi Trott

Judi Trott

Marion

Clive Mantle

Clive Mantle

Little John

Mark Ryan

Mark Ryan

Nasir

Nickolas Grace

Nickolas Grace

Robert de Rainault - Sheriff of Nottingham

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SUBMIT REVIEW
  • Beautifully shot series

    10
    I really like the slowness or spaciousness of the visual narration which permits a greater freedom of contemplation than more action-packed adventures. There are so many good things to say about RoS but this is the one which is always topmost on my mind.
  • RoS was able to retell and expand upon the legend of Robin Hood, while representing the 80's. This show had many unique elements including a soundtrack by Clannad, an influx of guest appearances and mysticism.moreless

    10
    Robin of Sherwood is without doubt one of the best gems in the history of television. There were many good shows on British TV from the mid seventies through to the mid eighties including: The Fall of eagles (1974), I, Claudius (1976), and Dick Turpine (1978-80). RoS was a show that had a huge budget (at the time) and was able to retell and expand upon the legend of Robin Hood, while representing the 80's. This show had many unique elements including a soundtrack by Clannad, an influx of guest appearances and mysticism. The show was originally aired in Britain as a children's morning program but gained popularity with older audiences. Richard Carpenter series was different in that he wanted a young cast (because rebels are young), he added mysticism through a forest Shaman (spirit) called Herne the Hunter who guided the outlaws – linking the group with the village through agriculture, he killed off good characters (I won't say who) – regular cast members, not just those who showed up for an episode. I liked that the politics was more complicated than the usual Normans versus the Saxons and good King Richard; bad King John. There was even an episode called Adam Bell – Adam Bell was a real outlaw whose exploits Robin Hood inherited during the later medieval period. The fighting was good, the special effects are not what they are today but that is good in the sense that they aren't digitally adding armies full or people and having Matrix like BS action scenes – there is consequence in the violence so it remains suitable for children. The scenery and sets are still great. The series is sequential; it was cut short so there are many loose ends.moreless
  • This really IS the best version of Robin Hood ever made.

    10
    It goes without saying that it's easily one of the very best television series of the eighties, positively destroying most of the competition and coming through as easily the most definitive version of the Robin Hood legend there's ever been.



    Starring as Robin is Michael Praed, a man whose elfin good looks and long, flowing dark hair helped to give Robin a more ethereal feel - you could believe that his Robin was almost messianic, subject to visions and in touch with divine forces thanks to the Kosh-like interventions of the mystical forest god Herne the Hunter. He's the archetypal leader: a man of action but also a dreamer, imbuing the character with intensity and passion. This is juxtaposed nicely by none other than Ray Winstone as a spitting mad Will Scarlet, seething with barely contained rage and hate; Mark Ryan's amazingly cool, near-silent Saracen assassin Nasir (subsequently copied by numerous other versions after) and Clive Mantle's soft-hearted gentle giant Little John. Judi Trott is a stunningly beautiful, soulful and innocent pre-Raphaelite Marion that more than holds her own with the predominately male outlaws (she's a better shot with a bow than all of them, save Robin). Nickolas Grace and the sadly late Robert Addie as the snakelike Sheriff of Nottingham and the boyish, bullying Sir Guy of Gisburne are a ridiculously entertaining but deadly double act. While much of the humour comes from the Sheriff, who seems to get most of the best lines (as the Sheriff in nearly every version tends to do), they're a genuinely credible threat. Most of the time, anyway.



    Like any adaptation of Robin Hood, it brings something from the time it was made in. In this case it's the eighties romanticism and a more fantasy orientated world for Robin and his gang to inhabit, on the back of the sword and sorcery genre which was then hugely popular. Combined with the dated, but highly effective musical score by folk band Clannad, Robin of Sherwood boasts a gritty, realistic medieval England also dripping in pagan mysticism. It's almost like the Robin Hood legend as seen through your mind's eye; a fantastical realm of witches and wizards mingling with the solid crossbows and chainmail of Norman Soldiers. Dirty fingernails and muddy boots existing in the same universe as sorcerers and monsters



    And it's just for these reasons why I consider it so definitive, so different, so good. It manages to capture all the aspects of the legend: The socio-political aspect of Norman/Saxon conflict; the original medieval interpretation of Robin's background as a serf and the Tudor reinterpretation of him as a disaffected noble when Jason Connery's Robert of Huntingdon takes up the mantle in series three; and perhaps most importantly for me, the pre-Christian mythical roots, both with regard to portraying Robin as an archetype as much as a man and the overtly pagan nature of some of the stories. Even if much of the magical aspect was made up by Carpenter (The Swords of Wayland, for instance), he still captures the character of such stories perfectly. And crucially, it is all abetted by some sublime photography, which makes the green wood seem every bit, the primal, mysterious and poetic place the legend requires.



    Perhaps most satisfying of all is its refreshing depth and level of emotion, which is precisely why it's still so good and why it's grabbing the attention of people who weren't even alive at the time (myself included). There's proper drama on display, spine tingling romance, characters that really do develop as the series goes on and endearing camaraderie between the Outlaws. But there's also terrific, realistic action sequences and stunts, fantastic swordplay and very high production values that reproduce the time period in suitably grimy detail. Each episode cost about £350,000, which was massive for the time and it shows.



    Certainly its Harmony Hairspray stylings, unhurried pace and lack of modern flashiness won't be for everyone, but really, that's your loss. Remember this was made in the 80's and it's (mostly) fantasy, and as such expectations should be adjusted accordingly. In a strange way, Robin of Sherwood is oddly comforting. At a time when the world is drowning in financial disaster, terrorism and endless bloody television talent contests, there's no TV series better than this to while away the cold, winter nights. Treat yourself.moreless
  • Robin of Sherwood was a new spin on an old story. Robin was not of royal blood, but an average man who is thrown into the role as hero of the people. He takes his place in the mystical world of Sherwood as the son of the horned god Herne.moreless

    10
    The first episode I saw of Robin of Sherwood was the Swords of Wayland, only two episodes later Michael Praed left the cast as Robin. Though in that episode I fell in love with the show and never missed another episode. It was a wonderful spin on the old story presenting new aspects to the legend such as the character of Nasir and the mystical Herne the Hunter. Robin is not a royal who gives up everything, he is a nobody who in following in his father's footsteps becomes a hero of England's poor. He fights with his band of men, Little John, an extremely dark Will Scarlet played by Ray Winstone who has proven to be a marvelous actor, Friar Tuck, Much his adopted brother and Marion. The show took a turn when Jason Connery joined the cast as Robert of Huntington, though it still had its moments as a wonderful program. I know that now, so many years after Robin of Sherwood left the air that there are still loyal fans who long for a return of the hooded man and who will still quote sadly: Nothing's forgotten, nothing is ever forgotten, including really good T.V. shows.moreless
  • By far, my favorite tv series treatment of the Robin Hood stories.

    9.6
    This show makes a number of changes to the main plot lines, it blends quite a bit of mysticism with the show, but on the whole, I like this treatment quite a bit.



    I like it so much I bought the region 1 discs from the single retailer that seems to have them out of the UK, it was extremely costly, if I remember correctly it was well over $200 USD delivered, but as it is one of my favorite shows in this genre it was worth it.



    The actors are good and the changes from the 'normal' plot lines makes it quite fresh. The show is from a while back but it has held up well.



    I can recommend this series highly.moreless
  • THIS WEEK YOU CAN WATCH AANG AND GANG TRY TO SET RIGHT ALL THE WRONGS DONE BY THE FIRE NATION IN AVATAR: THE LAST AIRBENDER, BOOK THREE: FIRE, VOLUME FOUR. ALSO OUT THIS WEEK, THOSE WACKY RUSSO WIZARDS COOK UP MORE MISCHIEF IN WIZARDS OF WAVERLY PLACE: WIZARD SCHOOL. FOLLOW THE DRAMA OF LAGUNA BEACH IN THE HILLS' COMPLETE THIRD SEASON AS IT HITS THE SHELVES THIS WEEK.

    July 29, 2008 DVD Releases

  • THIS WEEKS DVD RELEASES BOASTS SOME VERY POPULAR TITLES SUCH AS CSI: NY AND MEERKAT MANOR. WEATHER YOU'RE IN THE MOOD FOR SOLVING CRIMES WITH THE CSI NY TEAM OR WATCHING THE MEERKATS CAUSE MISCHIEF, THIS IS A GREAT WEEK FOR DVDS.

    October 9, 2007 DVD Releases

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    Fairy Tales & Fables, Independent, Swashbucklers, Classics