Wednesday, January 2, 2008

Robin Hood 2.0 - No More Mr. Nice Guy

Given the ability to get brand new TV shows and audios off the net, I do wonder at the morality of it all. I mean, as far as I can make out, as long as I don't make any cash out of it, it's not really stealing, is it? No profit made (indeed, the costs of electricity, bandwidth, discs, etc mean I'm getting cheap rather than free). My main inclination is, quite simply, I can't bring myself to wait for the ABC to get its act together. It's now over a year since we were promised a new series of Double the Fists, in advertising and everything. Then there was the time the ABC forgot to screen the rest of a series of Coupling for a year and a half. Or, biggest chutzpah of them all, the SIX YEARS it took for them to screen Joanna Lumbley's Class Act after the "coming soon" add. And when they DID screen it, it was a graveyard slot at midnight on Saturdays and never repeated.

Your honor, my soul is bared free. Besides, I buy the official box sets when they come out. Really, what more can I do?

But, after seeing Season One of RH on Christmas Day, the realization that

a) they've done a second series
b) I could download said second series

Well, what do you expect? I am but only human.


(aka Sister Hood)

With the brand new title of Deep in the Forests Lives A Legend: Robin Hood, we sink into the title sequence clearly designed to put off anyone without either a freeze frame control or drugs to control mordant epilespy as a blizard of split-second flashes invovling the main cast swashbuckling, coupled with a completely and utterly baffling sight of Robin's eyes glowing Rutan green as his pupils contract. Er... what? Is he going to be revealed to be like Jekyll or something? Oh well, once we're past the credits that have been crucified to the Great God Focus Group, our tale begins.

Just like in the best tradition of Blake's 7, we discover our heroes have the magic ability to completely change their hairstyles and clothes despite the first episode occurring mere hours after the previous one. Little John's gone for a fetching Paul McGann curly number, and Djaq has decided she is no longer a girl but a woman and is thus not only let her hair grow but now sports a figure-hugging outfit to ensure everyone else knows it too, while Allan has combed his hair in a different way that makes him look like a smug schoolboy git.

Robin and his gang leap into the fray to tackle their latest toll fee for those using Sherwood Forest - a posh blonde bitch whose passport clearly states "does not suffer fools gladly" and her criminally blaize reactions to everything, plus a certain ring on her finger plus the title suggests... the Sherrif has had a sex change! No, wait, it's just his sister, amazingly enough a woman he both likes and respects without any kinky sex slave stuff.

Like her brother, Davina has no interest in even trying to pretend this is the middle ages, and her Cockney bodyguards show off their legendary krap karate skills - a lethal martial art involving waving your arms about, jumping up and down, making stupid noises and generally getting the enemy to break up in laughter while you stab them in the back.

Luckily, the Merry Men have also decided that rather than sitting in a forrest clearing they should have their own camouflagued secret base, which is just one of the scenes in this week's episode that seems wholesale lifted from Maid Marion. All that's missing is the wooden sign sticking out of the top saying "Hi, I've gone. Lots of love, Robin Hood".

Now, while watching the previous episode, the season finale A Clue: No, it struck me that while the episode ended at a drammatic peak, there were so many loose plot threads it resembled one of my failed attempts at sewing a kite. Quite simply, the Sheriff had gone too far - he'd lured all the nobles to the castle, tricked them into thinking some passing git was King Richard, and started murdering them. At the end, Marion and her dad were still at the castle along with the pissed off other nobles and generally an ill-disposed crowd.

Quite simply, how the hell was the Sherrif going to pick up the pieces after effectively telling absolutely everyone he was a corrupt arsehole who wanted to kill them all?

With a Douglas-Adams-style adaptability, this episode revealst the solution to the impossible problem: he doesn't. He doesn't even pretend he's working for King Richard or rationalizing his obscene behaviour. No More Mr. Nice Guy pretty much sums up his new PR campaign. The fact is he still has all the guards and murderous intent as yesterday, so basically the game can continue with the Sherrif casually continuing his little Nazi police state - as bad as before, but no longer even acting like they're anything else than thugs with swords and arrows.

And who better to help him carry on this reign of terror than poor Guy of Guisborne, still bruised from his awkward wedding day. Our dark-eyed tortured soul has reacted to being decked by his beloved by embracing true nihilism - nothing matters to him any more, bar killing Robin and getting out of this mess alive. And to start with he kicks down Marion's door, drags her and her father to the castle and burns the house to the ground. And why the hell not? No more chivalry or tortured good bad souls any more, and the casual destruction of a major setting in the series shows NOTHING IS SAFE!

This realization doesn't seem to strike the Merry Men bar Robin and Allan as, quite simply, the rest barely make a cameo appearance worth justifying themselves in the credits. Allan, as the previous episode demonstrated, is getting dispirated at the lack of cash and other comforts in what now appears to be a doomed and unhappy guerilla war, and as Robin heads off into Nottingham, our teller of tales pulls off the traditional Blackadder trick of inventing a part of modern culture all on his own: to wit, that one-ball three-cups spin-em-round-guess-which-one game. He manages to fleece the entire pub until he bumps into Guy of Guisborne, and ends up sent to the torture chamber. (For those who note such things, the bug-eyed frizzy-haired fingerman jailor from the first series is not seen, so either he's done a B7-style recast or, more likely, been downsized fatally). With Robin not even knowing his friend is captured, there's no rescue for Allan who's sole actions this week are to insult everyone and be selfish. Would new viewers really be fussed as Allan tries to do a deal with Guisborne, as per the old series, only to find his offers rebuffed and red hot pokers inserted into him?

In case you didn't notice, the kid gloves are off, as established in the scene were Kieth Allan replaces the tooth he lost (for real) in the last series from the skull of a former alchemist. As Marion lets rip with her haughty nobility, he tells her to shut the fuck up and get used to being guests of Nottinham castle. Exactly why the Sherrif doesn't have her and her dad killed on the spot is a bit hard to understand, though. I suppose that the Sherrif never really knew which way her dad would have voted, but has decided not to take the risk. Unsurprisingly, the Sherrif loves the fact he no longer has to be polite to anyone, and he also gets a kick out of forcing Guy and Marion to be in the same room.

Meanwhile, Robin has met a girl called Rose... no, not a certain Powell Estate fake blonde with a toothy grin, but a woman so much like the actress who played "Rotten" Rose in Maid Marion, I wonder for a moment if it's a crossover that only I could possibly get. Now, Rotten Rose was based on the legendary two-timing bitch who defeated Robin and managed to kill him, a woman often shown to be a witch and, in Robert Stewart-Bank's The Legend of Robin Hood, shown to be the spinsterish sister of Guy of Guisborne.

So when Robin finds this girl called Rose, tied to pole and being spat at by strangers ostensibly taking the punishment for her starving children, I'm just a touch suspicious. Especially when her "terrified" children meet the Sherrif and treated with such affection by Evil Bastard Vasey you wonder if maybe this is some kind of outtake and he's just reassuring the child actors on their lines.

Of course, Robin's sympathy levels are through the roof and when the Sherrif drags the two protesting kids out into the yard and shouts to all and sundry that while Rose has taken the punishment for them, he STILL wants to cut their hands off, you'd have to be dumber than an amateur archaeologist to be surprised when the furious Robin goes apeshit with bow and arrow. Alas! Rose and the children for some non-specific reason cannot escape, and Robin dives into the courtyard to rescue them... one problem. That adoring crowd are actually guards. Robin is, as they say, boned.

It is then Rose reveals she is really Davina in the silliest scene in Robin Hood so far. Her perfect shampooed hair and mascara, not to mention pristine kinky leather outfit I was prepared to accept - after all everyone in this show is far too healthy and good looking to bitch about realism - but this?! She starts to pull of bits of latex off her face, which is what has allowed her to be unrecognizable. But, well, this isn't like the last episode of Trial of a Time Lord where Mr Popplewick's face is peeled off to reveal the Valeyard underneath. It happens away from camera with her plucking off bit by bit with agonizing slowness. YES! IT WAS YOU ALL THE TIME! WE GET THAT!

The Sherrif now decides it is time for him to do what all good villains must... and explain their entire evil plan to their captive enemy. The way you do. At least, this finally justifies the Sherrif's determination to get rich all through taxing the peasants to death. While watching the first series, I was left wondering about how the Sherrif was planning to keep up supply - he's not dumb enough to realize that sooner or later, probably sooner, no one will have any cash to give up, nor the ability to earn more.

What was the rationale in The Legend of Robin Hood? Well there, Avon, well, the other Sherrif was one hell of a cunning bastard. He was using Prince John as a puppet king to rule England while Richard was away, and the taxes were all to pay for a complex plot to keep Richard away from England. Ergo...

The Sherrif reveals he is merely a part of a big organization (though for all intents and purposes, the leader) of an organization called the Black Knights. Right. Yeah. Well, it was either that or the Knights Who Say Ni. They are the ones ruling England now thanks to Prince John (still unseen and his exact role still unstated), and they are concerned with an operation called Shah-Mat.

"Shah-Mat?" say I, my rancid excuse for a brain remembering why that odd name is so familiar...


TEGANA: I find it a fascinating game of strategy of war. Two equally balanced armies deployed upon a field of battle, and each commander determined to be the one who cries 'shah mat'.

IAN: Shah mat? Check mate?

TEGANA: It means the king is dead.

Yes, once again, thanks to John Larracutti, I can pretend to understand history, instantly realizing that this chess metaphor is a euphemistic description of the Sherrif's plan to assassinate Richard upon his return and use the tax money to hire an army of mercenaries to control the country during the following upheaval.

Unfortunately, before I can be smug, Robin reveals he also saw that episode of Doctor Who and explains it all for the benefit of the viewers. The Sherrif one ups him and misquotes from The Lazarus Experiment, "So the outlaw knows his Persian?"

Now that the revelation that pretty much most of the last thirteen episodes were just, like, a smokescreen, the Sherrif and his sister decide to share some quality time by tying Robin to a crane that slowly descends him into a pit of poisonous vipers. Thankfully, they're not stupid enough to wander out at this point, leaving Robin alone and generally hoping that everything goes well.

And then Marion decides to intervene with her Night Watchman routine. Sir Guy, still utterly clueless at who the lithe breasted figure in the mask that clearly shows a familiar pair of eyes is, determines to destroy her, while the Sherrif shows a curious lack of attention, and assumes that they're after a man. Not as smart as him realizing Djaq's secret in Tatoo? What Tatoo? but then, he is a bit distracted at the time.


Which is the point, since Robin is able to effortlessly... well, not effortlessly... escape from said pit of vipers. It would be a perfect escape except Davina has been watching the whole time and decides to throw him back in, all the while mocking Robin and his ridiculous idea that the few can beat the many. She's so damn irritating, when Robin shoves HER into the pit, you can have no sympathy. Similar when the Sherrif arrives and, in shock, watches his sister die, stunned as she revealed she assumed her brother hated her, what his all his homoerotic mysogeny. He then decides that Robin will be killed, no matter what, despite the fact he kinda liked the guy as he was seemingly the only other person in the country he could have an intelligent conversation with.

However, Robin, once again detecting the "friendly rivalry" business is so last year, prepares to shoot the Sherrif with an arrow dead, his only concession to mercy offering the Sherrif to give one good reason to stay alive. Unfortunately, he has one, which is why this show can crank everything up to eleven and STILL not have the main cast slaughter each other in about three seconds flat.

It turns out that Prince John has given orders that all of Nottingham (so civilization as we know it) be nuked, scorched, burned, raped and pillaged if Vasey dies of anything other than old age. Which of course begs the question of why the Sherrif hasn't told absolutely everyone about this - it would have been a damned sight helpful to know in, say, Who Shot the Sherrif? for example. And when did this policy come into effect? Are we to think, for example, that if Little John had let loose the Scorched Earth thing would happen? A nasty taint over the entire series.

Robin flees, only to be bushwacked by Guy of Guisborne and all those guards, who immediately recreate the other great moment of B7 as Robin slowly turns in a circle, surrounded by armed guards. And, as established, Guy is quite happy for a backstreet execution with no pomp or ceremony, and so is the Sherrif. Luckily, the rest of the Merry Men - remember them? - are on hand and they escape, bumping into Marion who insists she's not going to head into the forrest. Plus, you know, her excuse, sorry, Dad needs her.

Guy takes this crushing defeat as well as a guy who seems to have given up on everything, and turns to the forgotten and bloody Allan in the cell and offers him a deal: Allan will be allowed to live, go free, and in return will betray Robin every chance he gets. Allan, to his credit (and probably remembering a guy called Roy) refuses point blank to murder anyone, but the chance to make a mint PLUS avoid bloodshed (since he can prevent Robin's attacks from being carried out) is mighty tempting.

As the episode ends, there's one last B7 sequence, a remake of the penultimate scene of the show as Much points out they will have to avoid Nottingham now everything so hardcore, because if Robin gets killed then they are all screwed. Robin points out that they have a base, the beginnings of an army, and that no one is indispensible as a traitor walks in the room...

And now Robin Hood has next time sequences. Very distracting, and filmed in the "so fast as to be subliminal advertising" manner, giving a baffled impression that the entire cast are heading to Las Vegas next week, and that Robin is the Incredible Hulk (green eye business). Couldn't this be at the end of the credits or something?

So, the episode comes to an end, effectively explaining everything left hanging at the end of the previous series. If this were Doctor Who, this would be the Christmas Special between season. OK, not much Christmas in it, but very entertaining and as good a benchmark for the show as you could ask.

The outlaws demanding 10% of the goods of those passing through the forrest. 10%? Can they all count that high? Can their victims?!

Davina's Anthony Ainley latex disguise and wig.

Little John's "So it's goodnight from me and goodnight from him". I mean, seriously, out of line. It's LITTLE JOHN! He doesn't talk like that! He doesn't talk much at all! And it's a shit joke...

(aka The Booby & The Beast)

I'm honestly torn over whether this episode is very good or very bad. What cuts it is, well, it's the sort of episode I would have written, given the cast list. Coz Dexter Fletcher is in it. And he's the man. As James "Spike" Thompson in Press Gang, he portrayed what without doubt was the coolest character ever. Even when he wasn't wearing sunglasses. He's a guy who could out-cool Danny John-Jules, for crying out loud, and anyone who can announce they take ballet lessons and NOT sound camp or defensive when they say it something else. When Steven Moffat wrote The Empty Child, he admits he just changed Spike's name to Jack Harkness and let RTD add all the time about time travel and mind wipes to the already established wise-cracking American lethario.

So, if I were to write an episode of Robin Hood with my childhood hero in it... what would I do?

Well, since he's a guest star rather than a regular, he can't be a rebel or a merry man. A visiting noble, perhaps? A dignitary the Sherrif is trying to swindle? Except, of course, this is DF! He's too cool to be some idiot... but he might ACT like an idiot, and trick the Sherrif in one massive con! Needless to say, he's immediately try to seduce Marion and quite possibly succeed. And since this plot thread was so cool, I'd probably completely sideline the main characters.

Yep, it'd be the "Robin-lite" episode.

Is it good or bad? Hard to say, but it seems so aimed at only my demographic it gets worrying.

The plot! Robin and his gang have embraced the new atmos of 'take no prisoners' and with their new weapon (Djaq is a very pretty lady) ensure that not a single coin the authorities tax ever make it to Nottingham Castle. They have effectively cut off the Sherrif's cash supply, and all that he already has (built up since the last dignified conmen ransacked his castle) is in his vault under the castle. Some time seems to have passed since Sister Hood, as Vasey seems to have lost his psychotic hatred of Robin and is even willing to cut Guy some slack on the sudden lack of incoming cash - until Robin tries to break into the vault.

However, in a further suggestion that I might have written this, the vault... the vault is ridiculous. It makes the rest of the series look like documentary footage. If RTD tried something like this without some caveat like time technology interfering or virtual reality, you'd find him strung up from a lamppost the next day.

OK. The vault has a concealed door covered with pressure plates and trip wires. Try to open them you unleash a hail of poison arrows, a pack of wild dogs and the door itself is shut with a porticulus. Assuming you get past THAT, we are confronted with a Game of Rassilon-style chess board with squares that trigger more poison arrows. And the chess board is on a huge record player turntable, so the safe path across is constantly changing. Now, assuming you get to the other side where the chest is, we discover that once the door is opened, a one-way device kicks in that, after 180 seconds, floods the vault with molten metal.

As the merry men point out, this is just plain fucked up... and then Will reveals that he knows the guy who designs it, a blind Chinese sensei guy who does the Stevie Wonder trick of being able to see everyone without eyes. Thus, the merry men must practice in the woods under his guidance to get to the chest before they do it for real, and thus vanish from the story until the end.

Meantime, the Sherrif takes his bath six months early and invites DF to his castle. DF is an infamously stupid but endearingly rich German aristocrat, and thus the Sherrif has turned Nottingham Castle into Crown Casino. The plan is DF will lose all his cash at the casino, said cash being added to the money in the vault and thus being the right amount for when the Knights Who Say Ni arrive at Nottingham for their annual budgets. To aide in this cunning plan, the Sherrif decides to employ Marion to keep DF happy and distracted - and if she doesn't, her unseen father gets it.

This seems to be the main reason Marion is kept around, to allow him and Guy to slag her off for ditching him at the altar, and Guy takes every opportunity he can to call her a cruel slut. It's really pathetic, but I think that's the idea. However, Marion smacks Guy down by acting like a bitch on heat around DF (happens to him all the time), which makes Guy feel rather inadequate - even if she is a fickle whore, HE never got that far with her. Even the Sherrif is impressed by such nastiness and compliments her openly!


However, DF is, as established, the coolest guy ever and deliberately acts stupid so people (especially other gamblers) underestimate him. Worse, dark tales of Keith Allan's hammy acting have even reached DF's home town of Bovaria, and thus our hero is already on his guard. When he and Marion overhear the Sherrif and Guy discussing their evil plans, they come up with their own.

Telling the Sherrif he's taking Marion to the forrest for a non-stop sex session, DF makes contact with Robin and his merry men. Robin, of course, treats DF as he treats any man Marion isn't openly despising, but nevertheless agrees to the plan. DF will distract everyone by losing his money at the casino, the money goes to the vault, the gang steels the money from the vault and escape.

However, one snag. In order, it appears, to try to be interesting, Allan decides to take up Guy's offer of double agent. The thing is, he doesn't have any information to give (Guy kinda figured Robin would be after the one remaining source of cash in Nottingham) and he's not smart or quick enough to trick Guy into revealing any information. In any case, all the traps in the vault have been re-adjusted - arrows come from different direction, the chest of cash is a hologram, and on top that there are pendulums, a giant motorized pizza cutter and a trap door that leads directly to the fires of hell.

Me: What... the... fuck?!?

Meanwhile, DF has lots of fun ensuring that everyone, even the Sherrif, has an enjoyable evening at the casino, deliberately waiting until he gets the loaded dice before staking all his cash on it. He loses and, in a mock rage, storms off. The Sherrif, since he has the money, is happy to let him go and Guy is rendered even more impotent, since Marion is now more popular with his boss than he is. And his reputation does not increase when it becomes clear that Robin has managed to nick all the cash, leaving Nottingham completely empty of cash and with Vasey nothing left but incredibly camp slapstick as he bitch-slaps all the guards...

Meanwhile, proving once and for all he's the main character in this, DF allows Robin to keep his gambling account to give to the poor, since he (like everyone except Sir Guy) realized that Marion will put out for nobody but him. Thus, our hero leaves promising the gang that they can live in Bovaria with him if they choose to quit England, and heads on his way - the nicest, coolest and best-tempered German ever. I think he singlehandedly undid any bad rep about the two world wars in those fifty minutes. What a guy.

What a guy.

But next week we get the people in the credits actually doing stuff for the plot.


The vault. Everything to do with it. Even the blind Chinese guy called Steven.

The Sherrif's peacock feather decorations and other casino stuff.

DF's Victorian frock goat.

(aka Child Hood)

I watch too much TV. As the scene opens with four small boys running around in the forest and firing arrows at animals, my first reaction was not "Oh, look, kids playing at Robin Hood" but "Shit, some time travel stuff has turned Robin, Much, John and Will into kids!"

Thus we meet Robin Hood, the next generation - and typically, of the four of them, only one gets decent screentime and two others get no dialogue whatsoever.

A kind of sequel to (or maybe a rewrite of) A Thing Or Two About Loyalty, we find an old pal of Guisborne has developed 21st century warfare which will give the baddies a weapon western civilization cannot beat. The Sherrif falls in love with this idea, but Robin manages to steal the vital element to let it work, but is forced to hand it back in return for innocent lives, thus facing an impossible dilemma.

But this time, apart from explaining what the hell is going on, Djaq doesn't do much bar doing wacky "woman stuff" like suggesting the other Merry Men eat salads and, when Little John's "giant status" is question, dryly points out "Most men lie about their size". There's also the kiddie angle as Robin has to rescue the little merry men from being slaughtered by the Sherrif when they discover his plan to create lightweight indestructible armor for his army.

I'm not 100% sure WHY the Sherrif is so terrified of anyone else discovering about the new armor, but then I'm also at a loss as to how the penniless Sherrif can hire the expensive Blacksmith and pay for all the raw materials for the armor. Even if he was taxing everyone AGAIN, he wouldn't manage to get all that cash AND pay off the Black Knights... methinks someone wasn't paying attention at the script read through.

As for Guy, well, that's something else. It's clear that this episode's Guy is the one that occured between the last episode of the first series and the first episode of this one: rather than the cold emotional shut down Guy of the last two eps, this one is clearly still recovering from his near wedding by burrying himself in his work. He can't bring himself to murder young children (unlike when he left his newborn son to certain death), and is clearly trying to convince himself Marion is a manipulative bitch who doesn't love anyone (thus he could never have won her, and therefore niether could Robin) and also failing. Marion for her part actually IS coldly using him this week, but accidentally stumbling in on him half naked leaves her gobsmacked. It's half-funny half-awkward to see her screaming hormones fight with her dismissive words, and for once she doesn't have any retort when Robin is pissed off at her oggling another guy.

Another interesting bit is when she needs to leave the castle and tells the Sherrif she's basically trying to seduce Guy, and he lets her - but calls her a hypocritical bitch. Does he really dissaprove or is he just being rude for his own ends? It's hard to tell, and adds to the whole 'the wedding was just yesterday vibe'.

However, everything else in the episode clearly screams here and now. The Sherrif is openly ruthless, the Black Knights are common knowledge, Marion's dad is a dying prisoner, and Allan is, get this, a traitor. It's like the scenes with Guy were so well written they couldn't bear to alter them, and rather lamely there's a line from Vasey that Guy's emotional journey has gone backwards.

As for Allan, he seems to betray Robin this week simply to eat something that isn't squirrel (as Much points out, they unfairly expect him to provide them with endless food AND do all the outlaw stuff as well) and seems as confused as I am by his paymaster's emotional state, and I'm not being funny, but he was ASKING for that decking he got. I can see now WHY they've added a traitor to the ranks: it means the stories can't end simply with Plan A but have to be more inventine. But the idea that the Sherrif guesses Robin's plan works fine for me, so maybe the traitor thing was added late (another hint this a 'missing adventure').

The straightforward plot of rescuing different kids and trying to keep the 'black diamonds' out of the Sherrif's hands leads to one of the best... and wierdest... fight scenes ever. At the start of the episode, Robin and Guy get into a fight and Robin, not to be too technical, wipes the floor with his enemy and reminds us that deep down, Guy isn't happy running Locksley since the entire town hates his guts and only obey him under pain of death. Guy's defense is that he doesn't care if no one likes him. Aww.

But bookending the episode is another fight where we discover Guy has been upgraded into a CYBERMAN!!


OK, bit of hyperbole there. But he's wearing a silver suit that completely covers his face, and the sequence where this indestructible foe chases Robin around Locksley village is right out of The Day The Earth Stood Still, or maybe the creepy Tin Man stalker scenes from Big Train. He even walks like a Cybus-version, marching around the place, needing only Nick Briggs on hand screaming "Delete delete!". Frankly, after the Two Ronnies gag, I'm amazed Robin didn't shout "Klatu Baradu Nikto!" as Cyber-Guy throws him through walls, windows and pretty much smashes the village.


It's even more disturbing that Robin and Guy have to fight AROUND the merry men and the soldiers (who are too busy covering each others with arrows to intervene) while the Sherrif bounces up and down in his throne, clearly having as much fun watching as I am. Certainly, his title as "Dangerously Clever Villain" are clearly established, as he works out Robin's last-ditch plan, realizes it will work, and sulks all depressed before anyone else knows what the hell is going on.

Robin "No More Mr Nice Guy" Hood, officially sick of this shit (and no doubt a bit pissed off that the girl of his dreams was salivating over Guy's smoothe chest), starts to dunk Guy under water, threatening him with drowning unless the Sherrif surrenders the new metal. However, Sherrif "Never Really Was Nice To Start With" Vasey is happy to see Guisborne die, and Guisborne knows it - since drowning men don't normally waste their breathe begging "My lord, PLEASE!"

Robin is, of course, lost since he has beaten Guy so thoroughly it is clear to the entire village (who charmingly act like downtown LA when the bows and arrows arrive, and deliberately fail to mention the alarm when noted outlaws stroll past them) that their new boss is nothing. So either he has to kill Guy (which ruins the whole goodguy image, and deprives him the pleasure of Guy living with the fact he lost) or run for it, and either way, the Sherrif has the armor.

Ahhah! Guy's glorius manboobs have saved his life, since Marion cannot bear to let him die, she threatens to kill the all-important blacksmith unless the Sherrif surrenders the black diamonds necessary for new armor! That cunning girl! The rebels destroy the precious stones and leg it - and when the blacksmith storms off to France in protest at the poor working conditions, the Sherrif is left with nothing.


It seems getting a genuine traitor in the merry men has lead to the Sherrif's ass being kicked even worse than in the first series - ain't irony a bitch! But at least he can take revenge against Marion for her interference, and when she tells him to bring it on, we again remember the Sherrif is not stupid and that Marion's weakness is not herself, but her father. Guy, presumably having relived his entire life by drowning, finally twigs that Marion kind of prefers Robin to him, and that while she saved his life, it wasn't for love. Lust, maybe. Pity, certainly, but not love. Exhausted and emotionally wrecked, Guy doesn't even hang around to enjoy Marion's resolve breaking as she realizes her dad is dead meat.


Peasant boys can read and write.

Marion's kinky leather gloves.

The Blacksmith's insistence for an AWA.

Next time: stuff happens. I have no idea what but it seems that Locksley is a plague town. Except it isn't. It's being poisoned. And Marion's evil twin sister is somehow involved. And Wil finally gets an episode to himself when he poisons the Sheriff in retaliation for the death of his father (who's had a hair cut), meaning Nottingham is doomed to be Scorched Earth...

Or I could be completely wrong.

Those trailers suck, seriously.


Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Wow. Great reviews - fills in all the gaps for me. Episode 2 sounds like the most unbelievably retarded thing ever, though...

I have to say that I'm very impressed with their plots from the episodes I've seen, so I think they might have put all the dodgy ones right at the start of the season. And they've used Guy brilliantly in the stories.

I'll be sending you the disc with my episodes on Friday at the latest - though I'm missing episode 7 for some reason. You should download that (Not too fussed about it personally, though, because episode 8 is so full of references I basically know everything that happens)

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Oh, and nothing to do with Robin Hood but while I'm here and since I'm about to go to sleep... WHY do all the reviewers seem to love Invaders From Mars? It is TERRIBLE!

Youth of Australia said...

I've been completely satisfied with the shows I've seen. Like I say, the dialogue covers why Guy acts oddly in ep 3, and it's never anything but convincing. The final scene, where halfway through thanking Marion for saving his neck he FINALLY realizes what's been going on... the actor can act.

Episode 2 is kinda like Sarcophagus. You just go with it, but I can see the creators putting in a box marked "OTT".

I've got the links to every episode now, including the final two parter and am downloading them one by one.

As for IOM... I hated it when I got it. It's so... empty. I mean, the blurb on the back cover says "the Doctor indulges in his gumshoe fantasies" and Charley says the exact same line. There's no depth. They just blurt out dialogue. Plus the plot makes no sense and the villain for the first three episodes becomes the wacky sidekick for the rest. Er, he murders people professionally, did you all forget that. Like the fact that the gay guys who actually are a crucial part of the plot are both shot by Devine and never mentioned again?

"Bix Biro? Is that a pen name, Miss Glory Bee?"


Episode four's kinda OK when the aliens reveal how damn pathetic they are and the Doctor rips the shit out of them, but...

No. All the smugness and unfunny self-congratulation I hate in Mark Gattiss' stuff. Oh, and the 1930s music made me want to pierce my own eardrums...

Skip it and go to Chimes of Midnight.

Jared "No Nickname" Hansen said...

Skip it and go to Chimes of Midnight.

Due to my completist nature I listened to the whole thing - I've started Chimes of Midnight, though. W-o-w! Incredibly gripping first episode. Like going from Twin to Androzani...

More on my hatred of IoM when I put my new BF reviews on my blog.

Youth of Australia said...


Yup, IOM was the worst of McGann's second season. Quality aside, it stuck out like a sore thumb compared to all the others.

Cameron Mason said...

So does Will Scarlett continue to get only two lines per episode in which he reveals he's the cleverest of them all like in the first series?

Can Jonas Armstrong now act?

Have the writers toned down their real world references so that the metaphor remains subtext and doesn't over take the story?

Have the directors ceased stopping the plot for five minutes so that they can show off their directorial flourishes?

Is there any sense of continuity yet?


Youth of Australia said...

Someone clearly didn't read the whole thing, so...

So does Will Scarlett continue to get only two lines per episode in which he reveals he's the cleverest of them all like in the first series?
Out of these three episodes? Yes, but pretty much everyone bar Robin and Allan get decent screentime. Will gets his own episode in 2.4.

Can Jonas Armstrong now act?
I always thought he could, and he plays the same character he did last time.

Just because Spara drools over him doesn't automatically make him as shithouse as Adam Rickitt (though I admit Spara being a fan can put us off things - like Bowie...)

Have the writers toned down their real world references so that the metaphor remains subtext and doesn't over take the story?
Part from the Ridiculous Anachronisms, yeah. Subtext certainly no longer takes over the story.

Have the directors ceased stopping the plot for five minutes so that they can show off their directorial flourishes?
Yep. There's still the spinning bullseye for the final scene, but basically they seem to concentrate all their "cool direction" on the Next Time sequences. Which might make your eyes bleed.

Is there any sense of continuity yet?
... sigh. Yes. Yes there is. As the whole point of reviewing makes clear.

Every ep is self contained but builds on the plot of the previous one. Kinda like Angel # 3.

Cameron Mason said...

I always thought he could, and he plays the same character he did last time.


So he's still a bit of a weak link then.

Subtext certainly no longer takes over the story.

Thank goodness for that. It made the series almost unwatchable at times last year, with the writers on their soap boxes overshadowing the actual story...

Every ep is self contained but builds on the plot of the previous one. Kinda like Angel # 3.


Being the spoilerwhore that I am, I've read what happens at the end.

No cheesy and awkward final scene this year...