Thursday, January 9, 2014

"This, my friends, is an ambush"

    We have never done a review on our blog of a favorite TV series before, but watching BBC's Robin Hood with a bit of a writer's perspective, we really enjoyed the depth of the different characters, even the villains, and the very clever plot twists in this show.

    And, instead of simply telling you our favorite things about the show, we thought we'd mix it up a little by doing character profiles. (and we will try not to give away any spoilers)

  Starting off, we have Robin Hood, or Robin of Locksley, as he is called in the beginning, before becoming an outlaw. 

 Of course, he gets to go first, since the show is named for him.  :)

Yes, he's wearing a hoodie

Played by: Jonas Armstrong

Robin is, on first impression, quite the ladies man. But when he returns from the war in the Holy Lands, his desire to see justice returned to England is very strong.  He is willing to give up his lands and title as Lord of Locksley to help the poor and fight against the unfair taxes that are being forced on the people by the infamous Sheriff of Nottingham. 
Because of all the death and bloodshed in the Holy Lands, Robin values human life and avoids killing.
Robin is kind, a charismatic leader, loyal to King Richard, and his first thought is for others, but he occasionally gets distracted by a pretty face -

such as Maid Marian.

Played by: Lucy Griffiths

Marian's father was the old sheriff of Nottingham, and she shares Robin's concern for the poor. But her ways of fighting injustice differ greatly from Robin's, and bring her in closer contact with the Sheriff and his right hand man.
Marian is brave, devoted to her father, and quite independent. She isn't your typical damsel in distress. She has some of the cutest, and most awkward costumes (don't expect clothing to be period correct, the costume designers take some liberties in their job)
Marian and Robin have loved each other since they were children, but over the five years while Robin was off to war, Marian was left feeling rather abandoned and doesn't welcome Robin back home with the warmth he was hoping for. 
While Robin was gone, Marian had unwittingly gained the affections of a man of rather questionable reputation-

Enter: Sir Guy of Gisborne

Don't you like his biker outfit? Just wait until you
see the pirate costume in season 3!  :)

Played by: Richard Armitage

Guy is rather single minded in his life's quest; to have power and for Marian to be his wife.
Robin just happens to get in the way of both of those goals, and must be eliminated.
Guy has ruthlessly made his way into a place of position as the Sheriff's right hand man.
The only decent side of him is revealed in his true- if not mislead- love for Marian, and he strives to be a man she could love in return. 
His life is torn between the good man that Marin wants him to be and the wonderfully wicked power the Sheriff can give him - if he obeys all the Sheriff's commands of course.

Oh! Hello Vaisy, we where just talking about you…
all good things of course.
I don't think he's convinced...
Played by: Keith Allen

The Sheriff…how should we describe him?  He's the most insane villain you've ever seen,
But don't underestimate his intelligence or forget that he is completely heartless and only wants- "POWER OVER PEOPLE!" :)
Everything seems to be going well and everyone's been cooperating- well, maybe under some duress…
until Robin comes back;  he's the first to openly defy the Sheriff. 
 How dare he!?

Of course, Robin is not alone is his quest.
He has a band of faithful, if not quite so merry, men.

First off, we have Much.

Played by: Sam Troughton

Much began as Robin's manservant, fought beside him in the Holy Lands, and then was freed when they returned. Finally given the choice of what to do next in his life, he decides to stay with Robin.
Much may not be the cleverest, but he's very loyal, goodhearted, and hungry…mostly hungry.

Will Scarlet.

Played by: Harry Lloyd

Will has experienced the hardships of living under the Sheriff first hand, and is ready to fight back.
His family has suffered greatly, and he is passionate about fighting against the Sheriff and for the good of the people.
Will is quiet, brave, one of the youngest in the group, and a good friend of…

…Allan a Dale!

Nope, he's not a minstrel in this version
Played by: Joe Armstrong

Allan doesn't have a personal vendetta against the Sheriff, and no specific urge to avenge the poor, 
so... why is he here?
Well, after Robin saved his life, twice actually, he decided that this group of outlaws might be rather exciting to accompany for a while.
But if, or when the situation changes, is he really loyal to his friends? Or more concerned with his own welfare and making an extra bit of cash?
And "I'm not being funny, but..." Allan is a very likable, sarcastic, lying, cheat who just happens to be on the wrong side of the law, only this time for the right reason.

Djaq (pronounced, Jack).

Played by:  Anjali Jay

Djaq is the only girl in the band, but she plays a very big part. Her father was a doctor, and taught her many skills that become indispensable for Robin's group.
She is a very likable character, and becomes a member of the family quite fast. Despite being a "rubbish cook", her skills with medicine and fighting are a wonderful addition to the group, and she adds a feminine touch.

Little John... correction, John Little.

Played by: Gordon Kennedy

John has been an outlaw even before Robin. Separated from his wife and son because of the choices he had made, he is glad at the chance to join Robin, and do something to help.

So, would we recommend this show? Yes. with a few warnings.

It has a PG rating, mainly for violence. The fight scenes are intense, swords clash and arrows fly, but not bloody in anyway.
Language is fairly mild, the Sheriff's favorite exclamation being "La di da di da!"
Some of the female characters have rather tight and low cut costumes at times, and there is some kissing. And there's Archer (3rd season)…watch out for him…
There is also a few "shirtless guy moments"*, mainly during torture scenes, or when being robbed or when trying on amour….why?
As in any secular portrayal of Christianity, the viewpoint of God is skewed, and Islam and Christianity are both shown as being equally right.   

*Quote from Natasha's review of the show here. We first heard of the show on her blog, and are very glad we gave it a try.

Note to Whovians: Does Will Scarlet look familiar? No? Alright, picture him clean shaven, with a neat hair cut, a 1900's school boy uniform, and then him tilting his head to the side, widening his eyes, and inhaling deeply through the nose ...

Yup, that's Harry Lloyd too... But don't let that distract you too much while watching Robin Hood. It kind of disturbed Becca.    :)


  1. Aww, I love it when someone decides to watch a show because I recommended it and they end up loving it!! :D
    Excellent review! Much better than mine...mine was a bit slanted towards the Robin/Marian/Guy triangle feels. ;)
    Of the Merry Men, I like Allan the best...and Will. But Allan is just so adorably sarcastic! And yes, Harry Lloyd...that was a bit creepy at first. ;D
    Anyway, thanks for the great review and for pointing out the skewed point of view on Christianity and Islam. I neglected to point that out in my review, so thank you! :)

    1. Allan is my favorite too. :)

      It's hard to write a review without revealing too much about the plot! While Becca and I were writing it, we were like, "Oh no, you can't say that, because it gives away (insert spoiler here)!". But I'm glad you liked it.

  2. This is so funny that you have done a review on this! Rebekah and I have been enjoying this series like crazy! :) This was perfectly done! thanks! Cassie

    1. That's fun! Do you have a favorite character?

    2. Hhhmm I really like John! And Guy for some reason.I always thought that he would end up joining Robin. :)


    3. Haha, I like Guy too, and in season 3...well, you'll just have to see for yourself. :)

  3. I've heard many whisperings about this show and was actually just thinking about it the other day (after watching Disney's animal Robin Hood). Maybe I'll try it out! It sounds like something up my alley... plus it's Robin Hood. Who doesn't like Robin Hood? (Though shouldn't he technically be called Robbing Hood? xD Kidding).
    Oh my goodness... Harry Lloyd will forever creep me out. Which is too bad, since I like Will Scarlet. And Allan a Dale. And that Little John looks adorable.
    Yup, gonna check this show out.

    1. We love Disney's Robin Hood! That's a cute one.

      Haha, Harry Lloyd actually seems really nice. Becca and I watched an interview with him about Robin Hood on YouTube, and it was fun. (He thinks jigsaw puzzles are fiendish) :)

      When you see it, we'd love to know what you think!

    2. It is. And the songs are great. Robin Hood and Little John, walkin' through the forest... lalala...

      Well, I'm halfway through episode two and so far I love it!

    3. Hiya Abbey! About your comment on "Robbing Hood" :)
      You could think of it this way, Robin' Hood;
      I'm goin' robbin' with Robin' Hood! :)

  4. Didn't get the harry Lloyd picture thing so looked it up and still didn't find anything out except that he is a distant relative of Charles Dickens

    1. The picture is of a character Harry Lloyd played in a Doctor Who episode, and since we saw him in that before we watched Robin Hood, and the two characters are so different, we kept thinking of the guy he was in Doctor Who (who was kind of creepy).


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