Robin of Sherwood

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Robin Of Sherwood
Robinofsherwood.jpg
Opening title
FormatDrama, Adventure
Created byRichard Carpenter
StarringMichael Praed
Judi Trott
Nickolas Grace
Robert Addie
Jason Connery
Opening theme"The Hooded Man" by Clannad
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Paul Knight
Esta Charkham
Patrick Dromgoole
Running time1 hour
Broadcast
Original channelITV
Original run28 April 198428 June 1986
 
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Robin Of Sherwood
Robinofsherwood.jpg
Opening title
FormatDrama, Adventure
Created byRichard Carpenter
StarringMichael Praed
Judi Trott
Nickolas Grace
Robert Addie
Jason Connery
Opening theme"The Hooded Man" by Clannad
Country of originUnited Kingdom
No. of seasons3
No. of episodes26 (List of episodes)
Production
Executive producer(s)Paul Knight
Esta Charkham
Patrick Dromgoole
Running time1 hour
Broadcast
Original channelITV
Original run28 April 198428 June 1986

Robin of Sherwood (retitled Robin Hood in the United States[1]), was a British television series, based on the legend of Robin Hood. Created by Richard Carpenter, it was produced by HTV in association with Goldcrest, and ran from 1984 to 1986 on the ITV network. In America it was retitled Robin Hood and shown on the premium cable TV channel Showtime and on PBS. The show starred Michael Praed and Jason Connery as two different incarnations of the title character. Unlike previous adaptations of the Robin Hood legend, Robin of Sherwood combined a gritty, authentic production design with elements of real-life history and pagan myth.

Contents

Overview

There were three series, composed of a two-hour opening episode and 24 one hour long episodes, although the pilot is sometimes screened as two one-hour episodes, and the episodes comprising "The Swords of Wayland" were transmitted as one episode in the UK on their original screening on a Bank Holiday weekend in 1985. It was shot on film, and almost entirely on location, mostly in the north east and south west of England; HTV West in Bristol was the base of operations and most of the filming was done in and around Bristol and its surrounding counties.

Together with Richard Lester's offbeat 1976 film Robin and Marian, Robin of Sherwood is one of the most influential treatments of the core Robin Hood legend since The Adventures of Robin Hood, featuring a realistic period setting and introducing the character of a Saracen outlaw.

Michael Praed played Robin of Loxley in the first two seasons. His 'Merry Men' consisted of Will Scarlet (Ray Winstone), Little John (Clive Mantle), Friar Tuck (Phil Rose), Much (Peter Llewellyn Williams), the Saracen Nasir (played by Mark Ryan) and Lady Marian (played by Judi Trott). He is also assisted by Herne the Hunter (John Abineri). As in the legend, Robin is opposed by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Nickolas Grace) and Guy of Gisbourne (Robert Addie), as well as the Sheriff's brother Abbot Hugo (Philip Jackson) (representing all the greedy abbots in the legends).

At the end of the second season, Robin of Loxley is killed and Robert of Huntingdon (played by Jason Connery) replaces him as Robin Hood. During the course of the third season, the new Robin discovers that he is the half-brother of his nemesis Guy of Gisbourne (an idea suggested to Carpenter by the fact that both actors had blonde hair). This particular story arc was never resolved due to the show's cancellation at the end of the third season.

The series came to an end when Goldcrest was forced to pull out of the venture due to a downturn in the fortunes of their film arm. Goldcrest had been responsible for critical and commercial hits such as Chariots of Fire (1981) and Gandhi (1982) earlier in the eighties, but had hit a lean spell with such films as Revolution (1985) and Absolute Beginners (1986). As the series was expensive to make, HTV could not afford to produce it alone and no more episodes were made.

Cast and characters

The Merry Men

Main antagonists

Other notable characters

Episodes

#TitleDirectorWriterOriginal Air Date
Guest cast

Series 1

1.1Robin Hood and the Sorcerer (Part 1)Ian SharpRichard Carpenter28 April 1984
Anthony Valentine as Baron Simon de Belleme, Mark Audley as Dickon, Paul Duggan as Tom
1.2Robin Hood and the Sorcerer (Part 2)Ian SharpRichard Carpenter28 April 1984
Anthony Valentine as Baron Simon de Belleme, Mark Audley as Dickon, Paul Duggan as Tom
1.3The Witch of ElsdonIan SharpRichard Carpenter5 May 1984
Angharad Rees as Jennet of Elsdon, Cornelius Garrett as Thomas of Elsdon
1.4Seven Poor Knights From AcreIan SharpRichard Carpenter12 May 1984
Yves Beneyton as Reynald de Villaret, Duncan Preston as Heinrich von Erlichshausen, Simon Rouse as Siward
1.5Alan A DaleIan SharpRichard Carpenter19 May 1984
Peter Hutchinson as Alan a Dale, Stephanie Tague as Mildred
1.6The King's FoolIan SharpRichard Carpenter26 May 1984
John Rhys-Davies as King Richard the Lionheart, Gary Waldhorn as Hubert Walter

Series 2

2.1The ProphecyRobert YoungRichard Carpenter9 March 1985
John Nettles as Peter de Leon, Phil Davis as Prince John, George Baker as Richard of Leaford, Simon Dutton as Mark
2.2The Children of IsraelAlex KirbyRichard Carpenter16 March 1985
David de Keyser as Joshua de Talmont, Katharine Levy as Sarah de Talmont, Amy Rosenthal as Esther de Talmont, Adam Rosenthal as Samuel de Talmont
2.3Lord of the TreesJames AllenRichard Carpenter23 March 1985
Oliver Tobias as Bertrand de Nivelle
2.4The EnchantmentJames AllenRichard Carpenter30 March 1985
Gemma Craven as Lilith, Jeremy Bulloch as Edward of Wickham
2.5The Swords of Wayland (Part 1)Robert YoungRichard Carpenter6 April 1985
Rula Lenska as Morgwyn of Ravenscar, Dallas Adams as Peter Verdelet, Norman Bowler as Adam the Miller, Anthony Steel as Earl Godwin, Nick Brimble as Earl Godwin's captain, Marcus Gilbert as Lucifer, Glen Murphy as Sir William Marshall
2.6The Swords of Wayland (Part 2)Robert YoungRichard Carpenter6 April 1985
Rula Lenska as Morgwyn of Ravenscar, Dallas Adams as Peter Verdelet, Norman Bowler as Adam the Miller, Anthony Steel as Earl Godwin
2.7The Greatest EnemyRobert YoungRichard Carpenter13 April 1985
Robert Daws as Hubert de Giscard, Jeremy Bulloch as Edward of Wickham, Robbie Bulloch as Matthew, Steve Dent and Mark Lewis as Arabs

Series 3

3.1Herne's Son (Part 1)Robert YoungRichard Carpenter5 April 1986
George Baker as Richard of Leaford, Michael Craig as Earl of Huntingdon, Oliver Cotton as Lord Owen of Clun, Richard O'Brien as Gulnar, Daniel Peacock as Sergeant Sparrow, James Coombes as Grendel, Wayne Michaels as Man Guarding Signal Fire
3.2Herne's Son (Part 2)Robert YoungRichard Carpenter12 April 1986
George Baker as Richard of Leaford, Michael Craig as Earl of Huntingdon, Oliver Cotton as Lord Owen of Clun, Richard O'Brien as Gulnar, Daniel Peacock as Sergeant Sparrow, Wayne Michaels as Man Guarding Signal Fire
3.3The Power of AlbionGerry MillRichard Carpenter19 April 1986
George Baker as Richard of Leaford, Max Faulkner as Oliver
3.4The InheritanceBen BoltAnthony Horowitz26 April 1986
Cathryn Harrison as Isadora, Cyril Cusack as Agrivaine, Jeremy Sinden as Mortimer, Derrick O'Connor as Raven, James Woodard as King Arthur, Hywel Bennett as voice of King Arthur
3.5The Cross of St. CiricusDennis AbbeyRichard Carpenter3 May 1986
Dorothy Tutin as Lady Margaret, Brendan Price as Abbot Martin
3.6The Sheriff of NottinghamChristopher KingAnthony Horowitz10 May 1986
Lewis Collins as Philip Mark, Valentine Pelka as Sarak, Robert Daws as Hubert de Giscard, Maureen Bennett as Alison
3.7Cromm CruacGerry MillAnthony Horowitz17 May 1986
John Horsley as Abbot, Richard O'Brien as Gulnar, Claire Parker as Elena, Ian Redford as Tom the Miller, Graham Weston as William the Blacksmith, Caroline Holdaway as Mary the Miller's wife
3.8The BetrayalJames AllenAndrew McCulloch & John Flanagan24 May 1986
Matt Frewer as Roger de Carnac, Ian Redford as Tom the Villager
3.9Adam BellGerry MillAnthony Horowitz31 May 1986
Bryan Marshall as Adam Bell, Patrick Travis as Matthew, Amanda Hillwood as Lady Isabel, Charlie Condou as Martin, Leo Dolan as Moth, Alan Roberts and Chris Chivers as Outlaws
3.10The PretenderRobert YoungAnthony Horowitz7 June 1986
Reece Dinsdale as Arthur, Patricia Hodge as Queen Hadwisa, William Russell as The Duke of Gloucester, Cory Pulman as Queen Isabella
3.11RutterkinGerry MillRichard Carpenter14 June 1986
Michael Craig as Earl of Huntingdon, Ian Ogilvy as Lord Edgar, Annabel Lee as Mad Mab
3.12The Time of the Wolf (Part 1)Sid RobersonRichard Carpenter21 June 1986
Richard O'Brien as Gulnar, John Harding as William Brewer, James Coombes as Grendel, Maureen Bennett as Alison, Iain Armstrong as Villager
3.13The Time of the Wolf (Part 2)Sid RobersonRichard Carpenter28 June 1986
Richard O'Brien as Gulnar, John Harding as William Brewer, Maureen Bennett as Alison, Iain Armstrong as Villager

In repeats, episodes have frequently been broadcast out of order, and alternative orders have been suggested.

Places of action

Villages

Castles and cities

Abbeys

Music

The award-winning music for Robin of Sherwood was composed and performed by Clannad, the Irish folk group. The show's original soundtrack, Legend, was released in 1984 and won the BAFTA award for Best Original Television Music.[2]

Three singles and one EP were released from the album: the theme-tune Robin (The Hooded Man); Now is Here; Scarlet Inside; and the remix of Robin (The Hooded Man) as featured in the third series.

While not all of the show's music is found on the Legend album, some additional pieces can be found on Clannad's albums Macalla (released 1986) and Clannad: Live in Concert, 1996 (released 2005). In November 2003, Clannad revealed on their official web site that "there were several other pieces of music recorded for the 3rd series of Robin of Sherwood that were not included on the Legend album. Unfortunately no-one has been able to locate the master tapes of this music. The search is continuing and hopefully one day these recordings will be able to be released."[3]

Such is the longevity of the series that in 2011 the Pagan Metal band Herne released an album called 'Face of the Hunter' inspired by the series,[4] with the album intro describing the famous falling whole tone motif that occurs in each episode.

Crew

Reception

A review at rpg.net, written in 2003, opines:

Robin of Sherwood is, for many people, the definitive modern version of the Robin Hood legend. Moody, atmospheric, superbly written and acted, with a haunting soundtrack by Clannad (later released as the album Legend), it was the inspiration for a generation of British fantasy role-players... That Robin of Sherwood succeeded is a tribute to the skill of writer, cast and crew. Somehow, despite its fantasy elements, it produced something earthy and captivating. Not history, nor fantasy, but a kind of "mystic history".[5]

Richard Marcus, writing on blogcritics.org, writes in 2008:

While the series is noteworthy for its historical accuracy and for the fact that it associates Robin with pre-Christian English mythology, it was also one of the few series where they managed to kill off the main character one season and successfully continue for another year with a new actor and a new Robin Hood. ...[6]
...There's also a noticeable drop-off in the quality of the scripts from the first two seasons to the third. Part of the problem is just how many variations on the theme of keeping out of the clutches of the Sheriff of Nottingham, embarrassing his lackey Sir Guy of Gisbourne, and robbing from the rich to feed the poor can there be?[7]

DVD and Blu-ray Disc releases

In the US and Canada, the first and second series have been released by Acorn Media in a five DVD set. A second set, containing the complete third season was released on October 9, 2007

In October 2010 Network DVD announced the forthcoming release of Series 1 and 2 in a single Region B Blu-ray set, entitled Robin of Sherwood: Michael Praed (the 3-Disc Blu-ray and DVD bonus disc). This was released on November 15, 2010. In the US and Canada, the first and second series were released on June 7, 2011 by Acorn Media as Robin of Sherwood: Set 1.

Network DVD will release Blu-ray set, entitled Robin of Sherwood: Jason Connery, on October 31, 2011.

Bonus features

On The Complete Collection DVD set, there are "seventeen hours of special features", including: fourteen commentary tracks, a documentary on the folk group Clannad creating the score for the series, outtakes, bonus footage, a behind the scenes documentary, four documentaries that look back on the making of the show with former cast and crew, and other behind the scenes footage too.[8]

Bibliography

  • Carpenter, Richard (1984). Robin of Sherwood. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-031690-6.  Novelisation of the first series by series creator Richard Carpenter.
  • May, Robin (1985). Robin of Sherwood: The Hounds of Lucifer. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-031869-0.  Novelises the second series, but begins with The Swords of Wayland two-parter which actually came towards the end of the second series, not the beginning; it was intended to be shown first, but deferred to show its feature-length episode on the British Bank Holiday weekend).
  • Horowitz, Anthony; Carpenter, Richard (1986). Robin of Sherwood: The Hooded Man. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-032058-X.  Novelises Herne's Son Parts 1 and 2 and The Power of Albion from the beginning of Series Three, showing how Robert of Huntingdon became 'Robin'.
  • Carpenter, Richard (1988). Robin of Sherwood: The Time of the Wolf. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-032660-X.  The final episodes of Series Three (The Cross of St Ciricus, Rutterkin, and The Time of the Wolf Parts 1 & 2).
  • Carpenter, Richard (1990). The Complete Adventures of Robin of Sherwood. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-034450-0.  Novelisations of Series One, Two, plus the beginning and end of Series Three.
  • Robin of Sherwood Annual 1. Egmont Books Ltd. 1986. ISBN 0-7235-6758-1. 
  • Nicholson, Russ; Staplehurst, Graham (1987). Robin of Sherwood Game Books: The King's Demon No. 1. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-032294-9. 
  • Nicholson, Russ; Mason, Paul (1987). Robin of Sherwood Game Books: Sword of the Templar No. 2. Puffin Books. ISBN 0-14-032295-7. 

References

  1. ^ IMDB
  2. ^ Clannad.ie
  3. ^ Clannad.ie
  4. ^ http://www.kingpenda.com/herne
  5. ^ Review of Robin of Sherwood RPG.net, Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  6. ^ DVD Review: Robin Of Sherwood - The Complete Collection, BlogCritics.org Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  7. ^ DVD Review: Robin Of Sherwood - The Complete Collection, BlogCritics.org, Retrieved 2009-09-21.
  8. ^ DVD Review: Robin Of Sherwood - The Complete Collection - Page 4, BlogCritics.org Retrieved 2009-09-21.

External links

See also