Watching Robin Hood is a bit like going to the panto and finding everyone on stage taking it seriously. Last year’s season finale was a bit bonkers, and yesterday’s more of the same.
I missed the first half hour, but I think this was the basic plot: the Sheriff of Nottingham and Guy of Gisborne head off to the Holy Land to kill King Richard. As you do. They take Marian, recently exposed as an ally of Robin, with them for no particular reason. Robin and Men follow, determined to thwart said scheme.
So, machinations lead to Robin, King Richard (sans any kind of bodyguard), Marian and Men wandering about in the desert. Robin does a completely rubbish job of strategising a coherent plan, and they all end up running around a bizarrely deserted village, which culminates in the Sheriff of Nottingham firing an arrow into King Richard’s back1. Oh dear.
King Richard then loses consciousness and falls off his horse in the deserted town square. The Sheriff somehow isn’t around so Guy of Gisborne is the man on hand to finally finish off the King. Will he do it? He’s been having crises of conscience all series – which path will he choose? Up turns Marian, who stands between him and the King in Heroic Fashion. She knows Robin and the other superheroes are around somewhere, so all she needs to do is keep him talking for a few seconds.
Obviously, this is a stressful situation. If I’d been Marian, though, I think I’d have gone with ‘Guy, I love you and if you don’t kill the King I’ll marry you’ as opposed to ‘I’m in love with your sworn enemy and am going to marry him, you moron, yah boo sucks to you’. The former might help, since he clearly fancies you2, while the latter might, say, get you stabbed in the chest. I actually wasn’t expecting that.
Everyone else turns up half a second later. Guy and the Sheriff give up on trying to get at the still-unconscious-and-exposed King Richard – if only they had some kind of weapon that worked from a distance - and instead elect to escape on magic horses. All King Richard’s injuries are instantly cured by removing the arrow, so he’s back to full health, but Marian dies in Robin’s arms. It was actually a little bit sad, mainly because Marian’s one of the few you can bring yourself to care about. After that two more cast members announce they’re leaving, there’re some obligatory Koran references, King Richard doesn’t send word to have the Sheriff killed or anything, Robin looks even more depressed than usual, and they walk off into the desert. The end.
In the 1980s ITV ‘Robin of Sherwood’ the original Robin died heroically and was replaced. I think they should have stolen this plotline. Kill off Robin, ’cause he’s annoying, and have Guy, the most watchable character by a million miles, switch allegiances and become the new Robin Hood. His first act would be to fire Little John for being overexcitable, and Much for being a waste of space. Sorted.
Apparently Series 3 is in production. Yikes.