|Main title caption|
|Robin Of Sherwood|
|Created by||Richard Carpenter|
|Starring|| Michael Praed|
Peter Llewellyn Williams
|Country of origin||UK|
|No. of episodes||26|
|Running time||One hour|
Robin of Sherwood, retitled Robin Hood in the US, was an acclaimed 1980s British television series, based on the legend of Robin Hood. It was made by HTV in association with Goldcrest, and ran from 1984 to 1986 on the ITV network. The show starred first Michael Praed then Jason Connery as two different incarnations of the title character, and was created by Richard Carpenter. 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.
There were three series seasons, comprising a two-hour opening episode and 24 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 northeast 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 Hood (or Robin of Loxley) in the first two seasons. His "Merry Men" consisted of Will Scarlet (played by Ray Winstone), who changes his name from Will Scathlock after his wife, Elena, is beaten and trampled to death with horses by Brabancon mercenaries; Little John (played by Clive Mantle); Friar Tuck (played by Phil Rose); Robin's adopted brother Much (played by Peter Llewellyn Williams); the Saracen Nasir (played by Mark Ryan); and Lady Marian (played by Judi Trott). As in the legend, Robin is opposed by the Sheriff of Nottingham (Nickolas Grace) and Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Robert Addie), as well as the Sheriff's brother Abbot Hugo (Philip Jackson) (representing all the greedy abbots in the legends). Robin is assisted by Herne The Hunter (John Abineri), who sometimes appears as a forest spirit representing the powers of light and goodness, and sometimes as a mortal man.
At the end of the second season, Robin of Loxley is killed and Robert of Huntingdon (played by Jason Connery, whose father Sean Connery had played Robin in Robin and Marian) 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 Gisburne (an idea suggested to Carpenter by the fact that both actors had blond hair). However, due to the show's cancellation at the end of the third season this particular story arc was never resolved.
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.
Given the time that has elapsed since cancellation, there seems little likelihood of the series returning, with Richard Carpenter having said he has no interest in writing further episodes.
Cast and charactersEdit
- Robin of Loxley - Michael Praed
- Robert of Huntingdon - Jason Connery
- Marion of Leaford - Judi Trott
- Much - Peter Llewellyn Williams
- Will Scarlet - Ray Winstone
- Little John - Clive Mantle
- Friar Tuck - Phil Rose
- Nasir - Mark Ryan
- Guy of Gisburne - Robert Addie
- The Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert de Rainault) - Nickolas Grace
- Abbot Hugo de Rainault - Philip Jackson
- Baron Simon de Belleme - Anthony Valentine
- Prince/King John - Phil Davis
- Gulnar - Richard O'Brien
- King Richard the Lionheart - John Rhys-Davies
- Herne the Hunter - John Abineri
- The Old Prisoner - Stuart Linden
- Arthur the Rat - himself
- Martin - Martin West
- James - Steven Osbourne
- Edward of Wickham - Jeremy Bulloch
- Matthew - Robbie Bulloch
- Richard of Leaford - George Baker
- Meg - Claire Toeman
- The Earl of Huntingdon - Michael Craig
- Jennet - Angharad Rees
- Reynald de Villaret - Yves Beneyton
- Alan a Dale - Peter Hutchinson
- Mildred de Bracy - Stephanie Tague
- Joshua de Talmont - David de Keyser
- Sarah de Talmont - Katherine Levy
- Esther de Talmont - Amy Rosenthal
- Samuel de Talmont - Adam Rosenthal
- Bertrand de Nivelles - Oliver Tobias
- Morgwyn of Ravenscar - Rula Lenska
- Isadora - Cathryn Harrison
- Lord Agrivaine - Cyril Cusak
- King Arthur (voice) - Hywel Bennett
- Margareth of Gisburne - Dorothy Tutin
- Philip Mark - Lewis Collins
- Sarak - Valentine Pelka
- Roger de Carnac - Matt Frewer
- Hadwisa - Patricia Hodge
- Adam Bell - Bryan Marshall
- Edgar of Huntingdon - Ian Ogilvy
- Mad Mab - Annabelle Lee
- Owen of Clun - Oliver Cotton
- Grendel - James Coombes
- Lilith - Gemma Craven
- Ralph - Trevor Clarke
- Directed by:
- Ian Sharp (Series I – complete)
- Robert Young (The Prophecy, The Swords Of Wayland I, II, The Greatest Enemy, Herne’s Son I, II, The Pretender)
- Alex Kirby (The Children of Israel)
- James Allen (The Lord Of the Trees, The Enchantment, The Betrayal) **Gerry Mill (The Power of Albion, Cromm Cruac, Adam Bell, Rutterkin)
- Ben Bolt (The Inheritance)
- Christopher King (The Sheriff Of Nottingham)
- Dennis Abey (The Cross Of St.Ciricus) (The Sheriff Of Nottingham)
- Sid Roberson (The Time Of The Wolf I, II).
- Written by:
- Series created by: Richard Carpenter
- Music composed by: Clannad
- Costume design by: Lynette Cummin
- Casting by: Esta Charkham and Beth Charkham
- Special effects by: Ken Lailey
- Stunt co-ordination by: Terry Walsh
- Horse Master: Steve Dent
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.
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."
In repeats, episodes have frequently been broadcast out of order, and alternative orders have been suggested. Those which can be placed in a definite order are: Robin Hood and the Sorcerer - the story begins and the gang is formed. The Witch of Elsdon - James and Martin join the gang. Seven Poor Knights from Acre - James is killed. The King's Fool - King Richard returns. The Prophecy - the Sheriff is absent; King Richard dies. The Children of Israel - the Sheriff returns. The Greatest Enemy - the first Robin is killed. Herne's Son - the gang is re-formed. The Power of Albion - Gisburne and the Sheriff discover the second Robin's identity. The Time of the Wolf.
In Series 1, Alan A Dale does fit where it is placed, but could possibly fit after The King's Fool (this seems unlikely, however, since Gisburne is apparently killed in The King's Fool and his survival is mentioned in The Prophecy). In Series 2, The Lord of the Trees appears to take place before The Children of Israel (the Sheriff is still absent), and The Swords of Wayland before The Prophecy (Marion still thinks her father is dead); The Enchantment probably belongs immediately before The Greatest Enemy (Herne prophesies that the events of that episode will happen "soon"). In Series 3, the order of the episodes between The Power of Albion and The Time of the Wolf is a little less certain. See the articles on individual episodes for details; but the only change suggested in the chronology at www.robinofsherwood.org is to move The Sheriff of Nottingham to after Rutterkin (since it includes references to that episode and Adam Bell).
The Spirit of Sherwood website places the episodes in the following order, with proposed dates:
1-2: Robin Hood and the Sorcerer (1 & 2). April - 1 May 1193.
3: The Witch of Elsdon (3). May 1993.
4: Seven Poor Knights from Acre (4). 1193.
5: Alan a Dale (5). 1193?
6: The King's Fool (6). March 1194.
7-8: The Swords of Wayland (11 & 12). Early Summer - 1195?
9: Lord of the Trees (9). 1196?
10: The Children of Israel (8). 1198?
11: The Prophecy (7). After 6 April 1199, before 27 May 1199.
12: The Enchantment (10). Spring 1202.
13: The Greatest Enemy (13). c. May 1202.
1-2: Herne's Son (1&2). c. March/April 1203.
3: The Power of Albion (3). c. April/May 1203.
4: Adam Bell (9). Winter 1203-Spring 1204.
5: The Betrayal (8). Winter 1204-05.
6: The Pretender (10). Early 1205?
7: The Cross of St Ciricus (6). mid-Summer 1205.
8: The Sheriff of Nottingham (5). late-Summer 1205.
9: Cromm Cruac (7). End-October. c.1206?
10: The Inheritance (4). Midsummer. 1209?
11: Rutterkin (11). c.1211 or 1212.
12-13: The Time of the Wolf (12 & 13). 1211 (or 1212).
Places of actionEdit
- Loxley - burned village, childhood home of the first Robin.
- Wickham - village where Meg, lover of Little John lived. An important setting in the series.
- Cromm Cruac - village-phantom, created by Gulnar (Seen only in the episode Cromm Cruac).
- Elsdon - (Mentioned in the episode Witch of Elsdon).
- Hathersage - Home of Little John (never seen, only mentioned).
- Uffcombe - village attacked by Hounds of Lucifer.
Castles and citiesEdit
- Castle Belleme
- Clun Castle
- Castle of Gwydion
- Castle of Huntingdon, childhood home of the second Robin.
- "Series 1 - Part 1 - Episodes 1 To 3 DVD."
- "Series 1 - Part 2 - Episodes 4 To 6 DVD."
- "Series 2 - Part 1 - Episodes 1 To 4 DVD."
- "Series 2 - Part 2 - Episodes 5 To 7 DVD."
- "The Complete Series 1 DVD." ASIN B00005Q3VG, ASIN B000L21290
- "The Complete Series 2 DVD." ASIN B000066NSI
- "Series 3 - Part 1 - Episodes 1 To 6 DVD." ASIN B00006L9YS
- "Series 3 - Part 2 - Episodes 7 To 13 DVD." ASIN B00006SKVF
- "Complete DVD."
- "The Complete Series. (NTSC)"
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 9th, 2007
- Robin of Sherwood. HTV and Goldcrest Films, 1984-1986.
- Carpenter, Richard. Robin of Sherwood. London: Puffin Books, 1984. ISBN 0-14-031690-6. Novelization of the first series by series creator Richard Carpenter.
- -----. Robin of Sherwood: The Time of the Wolf. London: Puffin Books, 1988. ISBN 0-14-032660-X. The final episodes of Series Three ("The Cross of Saint Ciricus", "Rutterkin", and "The Time of the Wolf" Parts 1 & 2.
- Carpenter, Richard, and Anthony Horowitz. Robin of Sherwood: The Hooded Man. London: Puffin Books, 1986. ISBN 0-14-032058-X. Novelizes "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, and Robin May. Robin of Sherwood: The Hounds of Lucifer. London: Puffin Books, 1985. ISBN 0-14-031869-0. Novelizes 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.
- Carpenter, Richard, Anthony Horowitz, and Robin May. The Complete Adventures of Robin of Sherwood. London: Puffin Books, 1990. ISBN 0-14-034450-0. Novelizations of Series One, Two, plus the beginning and end of Series Three.
- Mason, Paul. The Sword of the Templar. London: Puffin Books, 1987. ISBN 0-14-032295-7. This is the second of two Robin of Sherwood "game books."
- Robin of Sherwood Games Book. Multiple Sound Distributors, 1984.
- Staplehurst, Graham. The King's Demon. London: Puffin Books, 1987. ISBN 0-14-032294-9. The first of the Robin of Sherwood "game books."
- Wright, Allen W. "Richard Carpenter". Interviews in Sherwood. February, 1998.
- BBC Wiltshire's RoS Retrospectiveand audio interviews from 2004 with Nickolas Grace, Phil Rose and Richard Carpenter.