Robin of Sherwood is an imaginative version of the famous 12th Century legend Robin Hood. Here Robin is "Robin of Loxley". His adventures begin when his home at "Loxley Mill" is destroyed by Norman soldiers. Robin wants revenge and sets about getting it.
This series was produced in the 1980s and it was created by Richard Carpenter who earlier had worked on the series Dick Turpin.
Robin of Sherwood is a fabulous series. There are some great original stories and ideas here. And the DVD set brings together all of the episodes from all of the series as well as some good special features.
Robin of Sherwood weaves the legend of Robin Hood together with pagan beliefs that people of the 12th Century would no doubt be more familiar with. Seeking revenge, Robin encounters mystical "Herne the hunter" a sort of spirit protector of nature and the oppressed Saxon folk. A shamanic figure who is believed to be a forest spirit representing the powers of light and goodness, inspiring and protecting the Hooded Man. Herne appears as a man with a Stag's head.
Here Herne appears to Robin as a man wearing a stag's head. He tells him that he has chosen him to be the peoples champion and to be the son of .Herne. He endows Robin with the sword Albion. Robin then becomes "The Hooded Man" also known as Robin in the Hood, and better known as simply Robin Hood.
Lady Marion, Maid Marion of Leaford (Judi Trott), Little John, (Clive Mantle) Will Scarlet, (Ray Winstone) and Friar Tuck, (Phil Rose) are all familiar characters that join Robin. Also in this version we get the wonderful character of "Nasir" (Mark Ryan). A Saracen assassin, who had been captured in Palestine by Baron de Belleme, and brought back to England to work as his henchman. He is freed when Robin kills the Baron and, having found respect for Robin during a crucial sword fight, decides to join the Merry Men. Throughout the series, he speaks very little.
This additional character seems to have influenced further adaptations of Robin Hood through film and Television.
The Sheriff of Nottingham is played brilliantly by Nicholas Grace and Guy of Gisbourne is excellently played by Robert Addie.This great series also featured many familiar stars in guest appearances.
Michael Praed, (Robin) left the series after two seasons. He went on to Broadway and the TV series Dynasty in America.
The third series brings in the storyline that Robin of Loxley is killed in an ambush but his revolutionary spirit is assumed by a new "Hooded Man" Robert of Huntingdon. (Jason Connery) Robert is a lad of noble blood who, like his predecessor has been inspired by Herne the Hunter. Robert rescues the "merry men" and becomes Robin in the Hood.
The music is hauntingly beautiful and comes from Clannad. The whole series has unique camera work and lighting with soft focus and atmosphere. The stories are interesting and adventurous.
It is clever the way mysticism is presented in a believable way. It is not magic as such. But there is a "physical" presentation of spiritual pagan belief that is full of atmosphere.
The whole series is as enjoyable today as it was back in the 1980s when it was first made. The DVD set is well presented with great picture quality and picture restoration. Also the sound is fabulous with its new digital stereo mix. I enjoyed watching the whole series more this time round than when it was originally on TV.