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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Ok, some facts to get a few potential misunderstandings out of the way: This is an early 80's British production. So, everybody expecting the highest US production standards and a gloss factor 10 should back off NOW! Everybody else will have an HONEST ball of a time rediscovering one of the most underrated, and at the same time most precious gems in Fantasy TV as well as movies. This isn't only the definitive blueprint of the 'modern' conception of the Robin Hood tale, as well as 'modern' fantasy, it's also a 25-part journey through high quality Fantasy story-telling as we've ever encountered it before or after. Too bold? I don't think so. Re-watch the excellent DVD collection (the last part will appear in November) and marvel at the originality laying foundations to almost every similar project going.
Be aware! It's old-fashioned and VERY simple! It's demanding and VERY clever! Contradiction? Not really. It's a child of its time as well as a prototype of what's to come. But everyone who's still kept a sense for the simple, as well as most precious prospects in story-telling, will be delighted. This is a unique gem that can only be surpassed by a greater budget coupled with at least a similarly good script. Let me tell you: That hasn't happened yet.
Re-educate yourself in the unique virtues of early 80's UK television. You won't be disappointed.
Having heard so much about this show online, I decided to see it for myself. I was not disappointed. This truly is a special show. It maintains a greatly authentic feel throughout, everything looking suitably grubby and ground down for the setting. You truly believe that this could have happened. The characters are wonderfully drawn and expertly played, all the actors deserve high praise for their portrayals - Michael Praed leads the show wonderfully as the rebellious and youthful Robin of Loxley and is well paired with the beautiful Judi Trott as the feisty lady Marian. The outlaws are a suitably ragtag motley crew, all with stories and strong personalities and everyone has their favourite. A great achievement of the show was to the first media adaption of Robin Hood to include a Saracen outlaw and it does so believably with the silent and deadly Nasir. The villains too are brilliantly greedy and deranged from a mad and explosive Sheriff of Nottingham and a put-upon and petulant Guy of Gisborne to the truly evil Simon De Belleme.
My favourite aspect of the show is the use of the old religion and Herne the Hunter, superbly portrayed here as a shaman and the inspiration and guidance for Robin and his outlaws. Whilst some may scoff at the man with a stag's head complete with antlers, I find it quite spooky and a powerful presence. This truly makes the show stand out from the rest.
Richard Carpenter has written something special here and it deserves to be continually remembered. I hope it always will be, it is something magical and certainly one of my favourite ever television shows.
I first saw this show as a kid, and I wasn't too bothered about it then, except the great music (Clannad, no less) - And how we all used to sing "Robin... The Hooligan" because it seemed funnier than the correct "Robin... The hooded man"
Watching now, at an age where I can appreciate so much more about a show, I think this is one of the best shows seen. It does of course, feel dated, a little slow paced at times, but everyone knows nostalgia isn't what it used to be.
Everything goes together well, from the music, to the authentic 11th century saxon/norman outfits (none of this modern garbage seen on the new BBC Robin Hood). Sadly eering on the side of obsudity at times, the plot can seem lacking, as if the writers had to find anything as filler, but retelling a legend is often limited by such things. You can't realy assign a plot to many mths and legends, as they are generally just "events", albiet magnificent ones. My pet hate for the show is Jason Connory, who in my opinion couldn't quite fill Michael Praeds boots in the 3rd season. He seemed a little uptight or self-important. But that's just my opinion.
I always thought MP did a fantastic job in the first two seasons.
Its interesting to see the odd familiar face in these old shows, most of the cast have done occaisonal cameos, but The fantastic Richard O'Brian pops up here and there (as nutty as ever). Ray winstone as the angry Will Scarlet Comes across as believable, but sometimes repetative, and I don't know who plays the crazy old sod in the dungeon, but he's fantastic!
This was a pretty good British television series about Robin Hood. As is normal with good television shows, this one did not last long enough. This is a show that I would suggest watching if you get the chance. Check the bargain bins at Wal-Mart, the online movies sites (Amazon.com and such) and all of the cable channels that run old shows. Nick at Nite and TV Land are great for theses kind of shows. They will even do a week long spot for shows that only had 6 or so episodes. Then you have your super stations. They run a bunch of old shows too. All in all a pretty good show that did not get a good enough chance. Sometimes it is a simple as the show it is up against. Look at Law & Order. It is one of the longest running shows on TV. They moved it to go up against Lost. After about 2 weeks of getting pounded in the ratings it was moved back to it's original time slot. Shows like this should be given more of an opportunity.
Robin of Sherwood was one of my favorite shows when I was younger. I had most on tape, and could rewatch them endlessly. Unfortunately, that was on BETA, not VHS, so I can't watch them all like I once did.
The acting here was great. Michael Praed played Robin of Loxley, AKA Robin Hood in the first two seasons, and then left. At that point, Jason Connery took over, though he was Robert of Huntington before becoming Robin Hood. This allowed the series to show the two common legends - Robin as the son of of lowborn earl and as a commoner.
The "band of merry men" are all excellent as well. My favorite is probably Nasir, a Saracen. This was the first time a Saracen was included in Robin's men, and his character was supposed to die in the pilot. Fortunately, the writers realized how good he was and kept him on throughout the entire series.
Hopefully this will come out on DVD soon. It's currently available in the UK, though the show was made there. I have managed to find a few episodes on VHS online, but would love to have the entire series.
I don't say this easily, and not like those people who say they 'luv' it. Truthfully, it is a nearly flawless series. Similarly to certain music albums that are just wonderful from start to finish, you will hear the same remarks from the makers of that classic music as this classic series: it just felt right, and everything fit together so perfectly.
In truth though, there must be (and are) more tangible reasons than that for its success. First off, the cast is all very young, and as a result bring youthful exuberance to their roles, such as jumping from high castle windows into hay-filled carts, or not being afraid to slip and fall time and time again as they film in the wet forests. Their ability to immerse themselves in the roles, and their off-screen friendship, really comes through on-screen, making the characters three dimensional, and the show much more than an action/adventure series, bring to the forefront many moments of varying emotions.
Yet, perhaps the most influential part of the series, and why it is a trendsetter is the revolution the myths took on by Richard Carpenter's hand. He infused a mystical and spiritual, if not religious, aspect that again transforms the series from action/adventure to much more. Watching the show, you find stealing from the rich and giving to the poor is only the surface, and the eternal struggle between light and darkness, good and evil, is really at the heart of Robin's existance. This depth allows the series to blossom. There are many playful episodes such as Alan-a-Dale, where stealing and saving the day for a young couple are enough, and there are serious episodes such as The Swords of Wayland, which are anything but playful. This diversity is really what drives the series forward. As a result, many Robin Hood adaptations have stolen these aspects, and others (read Nasir).
Michael Praed said that if you get the look right, you're 80% of the way there. If that's true there is no wonder why this is so successful and timeless. Although this is made as the Robin of the '80's, complete with feathered hair and hairy chests behind open shirts, there is a timeless quality. The mixture of Clannad's music with the slew of distinct imagery, looks and feels like our concept of what it may have looked like at the time. You never get the feeling that on the other side of the camera is 1980s England. The end result is such a complete package of sights and sounds, that it stands ahead of its time.
A classic 80's adventure that captures and explores the relationship between Robin and his merry men. Add the Sheriff of Nottingham, and his partner in crime, Guy of Gisbourne into the plot with a twist of the super-natural, and you have a must see show.
A great show to watch on a lazy Sunday afternoon, the show combined great characters that were well depicted by the actors, interesting and diverse storylines and a mythological element that keeps you glued to the screen. Even the background music was always interesting and added an extra element to the whole show.
The aspect of the show that I enjoyed most, was that it did not try to be an all out action show with lots of blood and guts, but a show that put more emphises on the relationship between it's main characters (both good and evil) with well scripted dialog.
A special mention must go to the fantastic Robert Addie who played Guy of Gisbourne, my personal favourite character in the series. Guy always seemed to loose out in each episode, either failing to catch the outlaws, or loosing the respect of the Sheriff of Nottingham (sometimes both!)- either way, his performances where always entertaining, and the mood that he created always seemed so accurate for the depicted scene.
In all, one of the great shows of the 80's that successfully recaptured the essence of the Robin Hood story, and adding its own twist to keeps the legend up to date.
i have all the R O S eps on dvd an i luv them
the one i\'m writing about is the second series with jason connery playing robert of huntington robin hoods(aka robin of loxley)replacement(robin dies at the end of the first series)these eps are SEREIOSLY cool!!!
great casting includes:
JASON CONNERY-ROBERT OF HUNTINGTON
RAY WINSTONE!!-WILL SCARLET
PHIL ROSE-BROTHER TUCK
CLIVE MANTLE-LITTLE JOHN
NICHOLAS GRACE-ROBERT DE-RANOE(SHERRIF OF NOTTINGHAM)
REALLY GREAT WATCH RECOMMENDED
i think dey shud bring it bac so evre1 can see it!!!
mail me wot u fink luv ya rozi-pagan
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