Robin Hood: Season One (2006/BBC Television series)
B-†††† Sound: B-†††† Extras: B†††† Film: B
heels of the DVD release of the 1983 BBC series Robin of Sherwood (which I have reviewed elsewhere on this site) comes
Robin Hood: Season One, a new
version of the classic tale that originally aired in 2006.† Having recently watched both series itís
difficult not to draw comparisons. †Robin of Sherwood drew heavily on
Celtic mythology, giving it a deeper resonance, and while this was incredibly well
done you couldnít help but think it took itself a little too seriously.
Robin Hood: Season One is a little more light-hearted. †Robin is a rogue, in the best sense of the
word.† Heís arrogant, and funny, and
sexy, and though he does believe strongly in helping the downtrodden, itís
obvious that a lot of what he does is a game to him. †Itís more of a romp.
when itís not.† It seems, at times, as if
the producers of the show arenít sure what tone they want to take.† Some of the humor is over the top, resorting
to anachronistic puns and nearly camp performances.† One episode is entitled ďWho shot the Sheriff?Ē and sure enough, by the end of the episode
one of the characters remarks, ďyou
didnít shoot the sheriff. You shot the deputy.Ē† Itís funny, and the Sheriff of Nottingham
(Keith Allen), is consistently outrageous.†
Yet in the very same episode we several people killed by a sniper,
including a twelve year old boy.† It isnít
played for laughs and the anguish of the boyís mother is taken very seriously.† The juxtaposition of the two extremes can be
expected cast of Merry Men is present, with the conspicuous absence of Friar
Tuck.† Other than Robinís squire Much,
played here as not real bright but brave and faithful, they are a little thin
on character development. †Little John is
older and stoic and bashes people with his stick.† Will Scarlett is young and stoic and a gifted
woodworker.† Maid Marion is a modern,
strong-willed woman with a secret that adds to the mythology.
is also overtly political.† Played
against the backdrop of the Crusades there are many obvious references to our
current Middle East imbroglio.† In the
first episode Robin comments that he doesnít understand why he spent five years
fighting in the Holy Land when there was so much evil at home.† The addition of a new character, a Persian
woman named Djaq (pronounced Jack), allows foe even more commentary.
be a nod to Morgan Freemanís character in the Kevin Reynolds/Kevin Costner Robin Hood ≠- Price of Thieves, and
seems to be becoming a thoroughly modern reinterpretation of the story.† The beauty of any myth that survives is its
ability to continue to speak to an audience, whether a thousand years ago or
now, the holy war that comes from the clash of Western culture with that of the
Middle East is a worthy topic for exploration.†
And on a more personal level, as long as the common man feels abused by
and oppressed by a government that cares nothing for them, there will be a need
for stories of those who resist that system.†
Apparently, we still need Robin Hood.
anamorphically enhanced 1.78 X 1 image was shot in digital High Definition and
has some toned-down colors, but is not bad, consistent and only slightly hazy
here and there in this DVD tradedown.†
Still, it looks good for this kind of shoot.† The Dolby Digital 5.1 is lively throughout
and a bit better than the 2.0 Dolby with its Pro Logic surrounds.† Wonder if the BBC will make this one of their
first dramatic series in HD-DVD and Blu-ray?
include episode-length audio commentary by actors Gordon Kennedy and Lucy
Griffiths, executive producers and co-creators Fozz Allan and Dominic Minghella
& composer Andy Price on Sheriff Got
Your Tongue?, actors Gordon Kennedy, Lucy Griffiths, and Richard Armitage,
and executive producers and co-creators Fozz Allan & Dominic Minghella on Parent Hood, actors Richard Armitage,
Jonas Armstrong, Sam Troughton, and Anjali Jay & composer Andy Price on Tattoo? What Tattoo? and actors Jonas
Armstrong, Sam Troughton, and Anjali Jay, executive producer and co-creator
Fozz Allan & composer Andy Price on A
Clue: No?.† We also get featurettes Hood Academy, Dressing Hood, Designing the
Hood, a making of featurette and character profiles.
-†† Wayne Wise
is torn between his love of the Robin Hood myth, which represents resistance to
the abuses of big government, and his love of the King Arthur myth, which
represents a truly just ruling body.† If
we had the latter we wouldnít need the former.