Robin Hood

What did you think of the new Robin Hood on Saturday? It didn’t do much for me, to be honest. That’s not to say I thought it bad, just nothingy. I didn’t find it at all dramatic, the dialogue seemed dull and I’m not convinced the plot made much sense. 1900 on a Saturday night is a family slot, though, and it’s entirely possible it’s designed more for young children. There’s plenty of time for it to improve, too.

I’ve always liked the Robin Hood tales, and used to collect anything related. I’ve never actually seen the rather mystical 80s tv show, although I did read Richard Carpenter’s book adaptations. I had all sorts of different versions of the stories, from beautifully illustrated hardback tomes to Enid Blyton’s take (she had Robin beat Little John in their first quarterstaff encounter, so clearly missed the point). A problem with many versions is that they lose focus after King Richard returns. How can he stay an outlaw? They generally have the King be just as evil, which feels false. Richard Carpenter’s take was pretty good, as I recall – the King was a good guy, but hungry for glory and generally misguided.

Despite the derision it seems to generally receive, Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves is still one of my favourite films, and not just because Alan Rickman kicked ass as the Sheriff of Nottingham. I have the original cheapo DVD version, but there’s a fancier director’s-cut widescreen copy available now. I’m waiting until I see it for under a tenner.

That was something else about the new show – Robin was just too good a shot. Kevin Costner’s Robin did at least take two shots to snap the rope across the courtyard, and even then it was only once. Saturday night’s split two ropes in quick succession, then took out the final pair with two arrows fired simultaneously. What is ever going to challenge him? And don’t even mention that sword throw…Yeah, ok, I’m not going to think about it any more.