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October 4, 2015

Robin Hood Episode One: Will You Tolerate This?

by Martin Conaghan, posted Oct 8th 2006 4:19PM
Robin Hood(S01E01) Apparently, 8.2million people tuned in to watch the first episode of the new BBC series of Robin Hood, but I can only suspect it had something to do with a dull England Euro 2008 soccer qualifier airing immediately before it, because there was nothing extraordinary about this latest re-telling of a classic legend (reckoned to be around the 40th variation of the Robin Hood character in film and TV since 1908), which would persuade so many people to stay tuned for almost an hour.

Sure, it had everything you would come to expect from a quality BBC prime time drama; high production values, great locations, fine acting, a decent script and Dominic Minghela (brother of Anthony) at the helm.

However, I just couldn't help but feel that I had seen it all about 40 times before. And I had.

In fact, if people wanted to watch this new series, starring newcomer Jonas Armstrong in the title role and Keith Allan (Shallow Grave) as the Sheriff of Nottingham, then all the BBC had to do was wheel out a re-run of Kevin Costner's Prince of Thieves for the next 12 weeks -- or re-hash one of the original movies starring Douglas Fairbanks or Errol Flynn as the archetypal hero. It would have achieved the same result.

Arrows snapping a hangman's noose; Maid Marion at her feisty best; a camp and over-played adversary; a noble hero -- it was all in there.

Jump-cuts, fast zooms, Matrix-style stunts and elaborate action sequences didn't really help move the story along, but at least they set it apart from a bog-standard re-telling of a well-worn tale. The only thing missing was Friar Tuck (apparently, he hasn't been scripted into this incarnation of the story) -- but you know what? It was still okay.

I didn't exactly find myself groaning, but it didn't have me sitting on the edge of my seat in the way Doctor Who does in the same Saturday evening slot. I half-expected Bryan Adams to kick in as the cliffhanger trotted neatly into the end credits.

Still, 8 million people can't be too wrong.

But I'll be honest with you folks, if next week's episode has a challenge fight between Robin and Little John in Sherwood Forest, I might stick an arrowhead in my eye.

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Quite enjoyed the build up in the first two episodes. But since the introduction of the black guy in the 3rd I just couldn't take it seriously. I mean talk about pushing political correctness too far. This is ridiculous, even my homies think so. Even worse Robin hood continues to magically invade the castle by himself and make it into the Sheriff's bedroom. What a load of twaddle. At the end of Episode 3 he magically appears in the Sheriffs cart, WHILST ITS MOVING!! He then gets kicked out at exactly the spot where his not so merry men are waiting arrows at the ready. Sack the script writer quick, theres still time!!!

October 30 2006 at 7:38 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

I loved Robin Hood i thought it was fantastic seen as i dont normally go for things that this on t.v it was a very different aproach to the actual story but it was great and i will be watching every week without fail.

October 24 2006 at 8:49 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
j. reedman

Basically, the biggest flaw was that it was BORING! Audiences today want more than whizzing arrows and people bashing each other with staffs. There was no hook,no twist to keep the viewers. Part of the reason the 80's series ROBIN OF SHERWOOD was so successful, was that magic and folklore were added, plus a new saracen character with a PLAUSIBLE reason for being in England (unlike the black guy in the BBC RH ep 3 who just wandered about as if this would be any every day occurance in 12 c) England.)

October 21 2006 at 3:25 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

What happened? Robin Hood and his merry men have turned into Hobbits, I kept expecting to see some large hairy feet. The music is also cheesely Lord of the Rings'ish. The banter between the characters is terrible. I had such high hopes for this one but could have been done better.

October 09 2006 at 11:36 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Oh man, I was really looking forward to a new Robin Hood series, but this is just awful. Terrible dialogue, bad acting and cheesy humour. I mean, the old Robin of Sherwood series didn't really age that well, but it's still a thousand times better than this stuff, if just for the Clannad score.

October 09 2006 at 5:52 PM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Martin Conaghan

I just realised the unintentional pun in my title to this post - 'Will You Tolerate This?' was the title of the first episode.

Well, will you tolerate it?

October 09 2006 at 9:47 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Didn't really find it new or original either. But, there aren't many shows out there anymore that are fishing in this water, i mean, i got a Xena-feeling from the setup (fighting against warlords). Off course most episodes of Xena were much better (story-excitement wise), i'm just saying, that i think it's the same genre. But maybe, future episodes proof to have an more original concept!

October 09 2006 at 7:58 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply
Rob Solley

Badly acted bad script bad editing, Big disapointment when you look at some of the outstanding shows coming out of the states such as Battlestar Galactica and 24 you realise just how far the BBC has fallen in recent years with this poor offering for a saturday night. Shame on the beeb. Going to dig out my copy of Robin of Sherwood to remind myself how this tale should be told Rob

October 09 2006 at 7:55 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

The only thing it has going for it is the quality of the story. Sadly they've put loads of modern touches in and I found it irritating. None of the characters engaged me at all.

October 09 2006 at 6:23 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

Didn't like it. Too corny. A shame cause I would have liked to watch something set in this period.

October 09 2006 at 4:39 AM Report abuse rate up rate down Reply

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