Sunday, October 15, 2006

Robin Wood?

Terrible. Just terrible.

An insipid, bloodless, humourless pantomime. Where was all the money spent? Certainly not on extras. And the editing, my god! He’s standing by the door, now he’s near the window, no, he’s behind you! Nor let us not speak of the quality of the dialogue, for speech it resembled not at all.

I don’t know what this wants to be. In tone and execution it’s far closer to Maid Marion and Her Merry Men than any previous Robin Hood telling, but shows not a trace of the imagination displayed by that fondly remembered children’s series.

Boo. And hiss.


  1. There's something institutionally wrong when no-expense-spared station idents, made with uncompromising attention to detail, lead into such a naive and inadequate show.

    Dominic Minghella is taking a lot of flak for this, and I'm not sure it's entirely justified. Not that I have any inside knowledge.

    But if you believe Jane Espenson, which I do, showrunner drama works when it serves the showrunner's central vision.

    I don't see the evidence that he was given that power; the show doesn't have the resulting personality. Good or bad, you know when a show is authored. And this one isn't. It's more like the vague product of too many meetings.

    A real showrunner is a UK broadcaster's worst nightmare -- a writer who calls the shots.

  2. There's no sign of authorship at all.

    Last night I felt like I was watching three shows all pulling in different directions:

    1 - the tiresome and predictable show where comedy sidekicks find handily placed ladders left lying around outside castle walls
    2 - the melancholy and potentially interesting show looking at duty, authority, obedience and responsibility
    3 - the utterly barking Keith Allen sheriff show.

    Stick with one of these and run with it and you may not have a show that I'd be likely to watch, but at least you'd have a show that people could, I don't know, categorise? Try and make something that pleases everyone, and all you get is an incoherant mess.

    I feel sorry for Minghella - he had the chance to do something spectacular, and someone came along and pissed all over his chips. Now he has to take it up the arse, and the next big series will be even more tightly producer-led.

  3. Missed the first episode. Caught five minutes of episode two after discovering most of the show had accidentally been taped.

    More than five minutes had been taped, but that was enough. Sequence where Robin arrives at the village just before surrendering to the Sheriff of Overacting.

    What the hell...? Aside from the lamentable script, it really looked like every department in the production was working on a different show.

    If those stumble-zoom camera moves are pretty much a constant throughout the entire programme, I can see them becoming really irritating, really soon.

    Costumes seemed to be from a Blakes 7 version of Robin Hood. (Which is kind or ironic).

    But what floored me was the casting. Let me see if I've got this right; Robin is supposed to have been off fighting in the Crusades for the better part of five year? Along with that slack-faced drongo who trails behind him like a puppy?

    ...right. What were they, Knights Caterers?

    A wasted opportunity and a waste of money all round. A real shame.

  4. I've seen it suggested in discussion elsewhere that if they were hoping to clone Dr Who's success, they should have let Paul Cornell handle the pilot.

    I'm sure he'd have done a decent job of it. But I'd question the whole idea of cloning success.

    There probably wouldn't have been a fraction of this fuss about the show if the BBC hadn't been so determined to shove all of our faces into it.

  5. Well, it's certainly been the victim of its own hype, but if a show's going out in that spot, the fanfare is part of the package. If the show can't support it, then someone's made a huge mistake.

    Trying to clone Who may be a part of that, but the factors behind a show's success are really too numerous, and nebulous, to clone anyway. If they started with that brief, then Robin Hood is a misguided folly.

    If it hadn't been pushed in our faces, and gone out in the more modest Sunday tea-time slot, then I agree, Stephen, there wouldn't have been half the fuss. It still wouldn't have been very good, and on Sundays it wouldn't have had the same ratings, or have sold overseas. But it also wouldn't have been so savagely excoriated, and potentially damaging to more than a few reputations.

  6. I think you've got to be wary of a show about Robin Hood that has a 'created by' credit. lol

    I can evisage the notes the writers got. ''Yeah we know he's like a medieval superhero, but what we're interested in is the inner child.''

    Pass the sick bucket.