Friday, June 18, 2010

In the heart of England - lives a legend...

Robin Hood (BBC – 3 seasons)

My wife and I just finished watching the complete Robin Hood BBC series. The legend of Robin Hood has been around for a long long long time. There have been MANY adaptations, Errol Flynn’s Adventures of Robin Hood, Robin Hood Prince of Thieves, Disney’s Animated Robin Hood (Robin is a fox in that one) and the recent Russell Crowe movie, to name a few. But in 2006 we got what I consider to be the best Robin Hood adaptation of all time.

Starring Jonas Armstrong as Robin, he and his men, Much, Little Jon, Will Scarlett, Djaq, Allan A Dale, and Lady Marian fought against Sheriff of Nottingham and his right hand man, Guy of Gisborne in season 1. Season 2 continued with the same cast but had Allan (my personal fave character) turn heal, only to turn good again in the end to save his friends. Season 2 ended in tragedy with Marian, Djaq, and Will leaving the show, but we got Allan back and Brother Tuck joined the cast. Kate, and Isabella also joined here, and we got to see Prince John (who was a riot!). Towards the end Jonas Armstrong declared he would not return for a 4th season, so we were introduced to Archer, in the event the show continued, we had Archer to rely on in place of Robin, but I don’t think the show will be coming back.

With all these cast members leaving you’d think the show would suffer, but this compact 3 season series is more like a long Robin Hood movie. Characters die off as the series goes on, but we get a lot of dramatic punch from that!

The show balanced the serious aspects of Robin Hood, like no tights, and people actually dying, but kept the fun stuff too. Robin is charismatic and funny, Much is always nervous and bit clumsy, Allan is always looking for a scam, and Little John just wants to fight.

The characters for me were spot on to what I love about Robin Hood and I really loved this series. One character I must mention is Guy of Gisborne, never have a I seen a character whom I loved and hated at the same time. He is not a scoundrel, but he’s definitely not nice. But I felt every emotion of his and really felt bad for him. He truly loves Marian, but will never get her.

In the end he has the best and most developed character of the series. And his outcome is tragic and I truly felt sorrow for the man. This brings me to another point about the show. The characters and emotions.

Each character – good or bad, is given a reason and back story for why they are the way they are. Gisborne isn’t bad just cause the story needs him to be bad. He is a complex character and so are all the other characters, Robin, Marian and Allan all come to mind. When these characters make life changing decisions, it’s amazing. When Allan turned bad, it was totally justified and explained. And he never really turned bad, so we knew he would come back and when he did it was the most amazing part of the series for me! I have never been so pumped for a character to turn good. That feeling came again in season 3 when Gisborne finally took a stand against the Sheriff, who treated him like crap for 2 and half seasons!

Ever character has a moment like that in the series. With Tuck being a late edition you’d figure he wouldn’t have much to do, but right from his first appearance he is wicked! What a great cast for this amazing show. I will never look upon another Robin Hood in the same way again. These actors are the true representations of their characters, there will never be a better Robin Hood!

This series is one of the best TV shows I have ever seen in my life and I will cherish it always. Check it out.



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