Robin Hood

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Telly Nation

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2 episodes in, and we're still trying hard to like it...

Its not often nowadays that I genuinely anticipate the starting of a new series on TV. Robin Hood is different because I've been a fan of the legends of Robin Hood for as long as I can remember. Robin of Sherwood has always been my favourite interpretation of the legend, but I tried my hardest to keep an open mind regarding the new series.

Firstly there is a lot wrong with the series.  The first episode was incredibly badly written and the casting director needs to be publicly flogged - Jonas Armstrong does not really stand out as Robin.  He could, I am sure, quite competently play one of the "Merry Men", but he unfortunately does not possess the looks or charisma that a great Robin must have. The rest of the Merries are a sorry bunch who could be pretty much interchangeable.  The only one who stands out is Gordon Kennedy as Little John, although whether this is because he is a) the oldest b) the one with the biggest beard or c) already familiar to me from Absolutely back in the day (Stonybridge toon council!) I couldn't say. The first episode stood out in its poor casting by having a 40ish bloke turn up with a mid 30's looking daughter (complete with lashings of 80's style make up).  Things like this are very jarring and detract from the storyline.

Hungary looks nothing like England, unless we are in some king of weird Narnian-style England that is permanently stuck in Autumn. The costume department may well have been shipped wholesale from one of the American fantasy dramas like Hercules or indeed the New Adventures of Robin Hood, as it is fairly obvious that they wouldn't know a historical accurate detail if it bopped them on the nose.

I am trying to be quite lenient with the series, as I do want more family dramas being made, especially ones that don't revolve around the emergency services or murder in general.

The second episode was better than the first to give it its due, as I spent less time shouting at the television and hooting with laughter, but it still has a long long way to go, to be a fun, but quality, family drama.

The casting of Keith Allen as the Sheriff really seemed a good idea to me when I heard about it, but so far he has been far too restrained.  Please give him some great sarcastic dialogue and let him chew the scenery for a bit.

Alternatively I am aware that Robin of Sherwood's creator Kip Carpenter has been working on a script for that "25 years on".  Sinking some money into a one off recreation of the definitive imagining of Robin Hood on TV, would be money well spent, whereas the verdict is still out on this oddly out-of-time version.

Page Last Updated Sunday, May 20, 2007 at 11:28:44