Science Fair Project Encyclopedia
Robin of Sherwood
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. The series, created by Richard Carpenter, had a new age feel. There were three series comprising a 2-hour pilot and 24 hour-long episodes. The pilot is sometimes screened as two 1-hour episodes. It was shot almost entirely on location, mostly in the north and west of England.
The series is probably the most influential treatment of the Robin Hood legend since The Adventures of Robin Hood, being the first to introduce 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), Little John (played by Clive Mantle ), Friar Tuck (played by Phil Rose ) his 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 Gisburne (Robert Addie). Robin is assisted by Herne the Hunter, 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) replaces him as Robin Hood. During the course of the 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).
The series came to an end when Goldcrest were forced to pull out of the venture due to a downturn in the fortunes of their film arm, which had been responsible for films such as Chariots of Fire and Gandhi earlier in the 1980s. As the series was an expensive one to make, HTV could not afford to produce it alone and no more episodes were made.
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