The 1984 incarnation of Robin of Sherwood
had a crucial ingredient that the traditional tale previously lacked: magic. Creator Richard Carpenter combined his knowledge of Medieval England with a rich store of Arthurian-style folklore to create a world where wizards and witches rub shoulders with Norman knights and Anglo-Saxon peasants. Michael Praed's enthusiastic performance in the lead is matched by the sheer energy of all involved. There may be pauses for a spiritual tête á tête
with forest demi-god Herne the Hunter, but swordplay and archery are never far behind. Wrapped in the forest's gorgeous greens and pools of shadow the show maintained a perfectly believable look, supported by what should have been (but wasn't) glaringly anachronistic music from Clannad. Best of all, however, is the crackling dialogue that still makes for compelling (and magical) viewing, especially when it comes from guest actors such as John Rhys-Davies as King Richard.
On the DVD: Contained here are all six episodes of Season One. The two-part pilot is a terrific introduction to the familiar characters such as Ray Winstone's roughhouse Will Scarlet and unexpected new ones such as Mark Ryan as Nasir, "the Boba Fett of Sherwood". Camaraderie on-screen and off was legendary. It's rare to see a cast having so much fun.
This exceptional three-disc box set features one of the best extras packages any TV show has been given. The original 4:3 picture is enhanced for 16:9, but the new Dolby Surround track is the real delight (the show was broadcast in mono). Quickie fare includes key cast biographies, Clannad's promo video, 175 photos and eight minutes of genuinely hilarious outtakes. The real meat comes from the misty-eyed yet fact-filled commentaries from creator Richard Carpenter and director Ian Sharp on four of the episodes. They're only just eclipsed by a brand-new hour-long documentary interviewing everyone involved. Finally, the 1983 Electric Theatre Show 25-minute documentary on the making of the show explores the character's origins and previous screen incarnations. The third disc includes everything shot for that documentary, adding up to several hours of raw footage.--Paul Tonks
United Kingdom released, PAL/Region 0 DVD: LANGUAGES: English ( Dolby Digital 2.0 ), SPECIAL FEATURES: 2-DVD Set, Biographies, Commentary, Documentary, Interactive Menu, Photo Gallery, Scene Access, SYNOPSIS: Robin Hood and the Sorcerer
Young Robin watches his home village of Loxley being burned to the ground by Norman soldiers and his father Ailric, who openly has rebelled against the Norman rule in England, is soon after brutally murdered by the Sheriff of Nottingham. 15 years later, the adult Robin, after his father's death fostered by the local miller, is caught poaching in Sherwood Forest together with his young foster brother Much and brought to the dungeons of Nottingham Castle. After having miraculously escaped imprisonment together with his foster brother and three fellow prisoners, Robin is chosen by the forest god Herne the Hunter to help protect the weak and helpless against the Norman tyrants who have taken over rule in England.
The Witch of Elsdon:
The beautiful Jennet of Elsdon rejects the amorous advances of the Sheriff's steward, Sir Guy of Gisburne, and is as a consequence accused of witchcraft by Sir Guy and imprisoned in the Nottingham Castle dungeons together with her husband. The Sheriff, however, realises that Jennet has been set up by his very 'susceptible' steward and thus gives Jennet the opportunity to save her and her husband's lives in return for a 'small favour'. This is an offer that Jennet just cannot refuse...
Seven Poor Knights From Acre:
Crusaders returning from Palestine have their holy symbol stolen by a blind professional thief. Fiercely hunted by the enraged crusaders, the thief runs into the Sherwood Forest outlaws, making the cru...Robin of Sherwood - Series 1 - 2-DVD Set ( Robin Hood and the Sorcerer / Witch of Elsdon / Seven Poor Knights From Acre / Alan a Dale / King's Fool ) ( Robin of Sherwood - Entire Series One )