Robin Of Sherwood (1984 – 1986 Britain)

sheriff-and-baronThis unique television series has many excellent elements and ingredients to its credit. Indeed, more than 30 years after it was originally transmitted, it is still watched, and watched again, and has a huge global fan-following. This fact must indicate that the makers of this series undeniably got something right.

The root of the series’ brilliance and remarkable appeal has however got to be that it rests on wonderfully written dialogue and timeless characters – all of which are brought to life by marvellous actors. The characters are wonderful in particular because of their complexity. In contrast to many other Robin Hood adaptations, and indeed many other film and TV-productions in general, the good guys in this series often make mistakes and can be seen to have apparent flaws, while the baddies, although put forward as evil and ruthless, frequently can be understood and even on occasion seem quite sympathetic.

This very much makes Robin of Sherwood into a story about multifaceted, REAL people – rather than of good and bad people – something which very much adds to its uniqueness and remarkable appeal. Also, although very much being an action-packed series featuring numerous amazing stunts which are remarkable in themselves seeing as this was made long before today’s computer animation, green screens, and so forth. Thus, behind every one of those endless guys falling off castle walls, horses, and catching fire, there actually is a real person who at some point did fall off a castle wall or a horse or catch fire. There is always amazing dialogue going on between the different characters in each episode too.

Robin of sherwood and HerneIn the final analysis, however, it is generally the series’ baddies – Nickolas Grace as The Sheriff of Nottingham, Robert Addie as Sir Guy of Gisburne, and Philip Jackson as The Abbot Hugo de Rainault – who get the best lines and who usually steal the show with their arguments full of wit and cant: “It’s a wedding, not a celebration!” is just one of their many timeless “pearls of wisdom” which seems to follow one through life. Thirty years after the fact, it is indeed hard to believe that Robin of Sherwood was originally something made for television – and apparently not with a great deal of money – in order to provide fleeting Saturday afternoon amusement for small children in the UK.

Filmed in beautiful locations, with clever, amazing scripts and featuring remarkable stunts and fantastic actors – many of whom give the performance of their lives in this show – this in numerous ways seems to be more professionally made and have more production value than many a Hollywood film. This classic tv series gets top marks for introducing a powerful mysticism into the simple Robin Hood myth. It is basic and complicated and quite emotionally demanding. Throw in the musical group, Clannard, and their ghostly soundtrack, and you have 25 wonderful episodes to dip into via the dvd player.

robin

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