The Adventures Of Robin Hood - The Complete Series 4 [DVD]
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All twenty-six episodes from the fourth series of the British television drama, about the famed outlaw who stole from the rich and gave to the poor. Richard Greene stars as Robin Hood, with John Arnatt as his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. Episodes are: 'Sybella'; 'The Flying Sorcerer'; 'The Lady-Killer'; 'A Touch of Fever'; 'The Devil You Don't Know'; 'The Loaf'; 'Six Strings to his Bow'; 'Tuck's Love Day'; 'A Bushell of Apples'; 'The Truce'; 'The Debt'; 'The Oath'; 'The Charm Pedlar'; 'Goodbye Little John'; 'The Reluctant Rebel'; 'The Bagpiper'; 'The Parting Guest'; 'Hostage for a Hangman'; 'Hue and Cry'; 'The Champion'; 'The Edge and the Point'; 'A Race Against Time'; 'The Pharoah Stones'; 'Bride for an Outlaw'; 'Double Trouble' and 'Trapped'.
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Richard Greene was my first hero as a child and I have enjoyed every minute of it, but I don't believe this boxed 'complete last series' is actually complete. If my memory serves me correctly, didn't King Richard return from the crusades and Robin actually marry Marian? And didn't Alan Wheatley return to his role of the Sherrif of Nottingham?
Also in my boxed set, two episodes are titled in French. both with incomplete end titles.
I enjoyed watching again Richard Greene, Pat Driscoll, Alan Wheatley, John Arnatt, Archie Duncan, Alexander Gauge, Victor Woolf, Paul Eddington et al. Yes, I know one can hear the echo of the 'floor' of the outlaw camp in Sherwood Forest and everyone spoke improbably well for the actual place and time, but they were very well written childrens' entertainment that still stand up extremely well today - and I just love the theme tune.
This final series is very good. It is a bit dated now. The actors and actresses all have precise english accents and the make up and hairstyles of Marian and a few other characters reflect 1950s fashion. The whole thing is in black and white with mono sound and although the picture is very good for a TV show of the 1950s it is not as good as those shows made in the 1960s. And the sets are obviously studio based with the actors voices echoing like it would inside a studio instead of the natural sound of the outdoors. Only a few brief scenes are location shots. However the series is still very entertaining. There are some clever stories that all are perfectly done within a 25 minute duration. The choice of actors is very good and everyone fits well into their roles. Particularly good are Richard Greene as Robin, Patricia Driscoll as Marian and Paul Eddington as Will Scarlet. For some people who remember this series it will be very nostalgic as well as entertaining. This was an early show for ITC based products for ITV and there is strong production and direction.
This series dates from 1959 but was transmitted at various periods throughout the ITV regions in the UK and America. The show continued the adventures of Robin Hood and his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest that had started in series one to three that had dated from 1955. The series dramatised the traditional tales but most stories are original dramas by the shows writers. The series was produced by Sapphire Films for ITC. It was the first big budget series commissioned by Lew Grade as he set up ITC for the UK ITV developing network. Lew Grade also got Official Film Inc, OFI to sell and distribute the series to America. The series was shot on 35mm film to provide the best possible picture quality, and had fade-outs where US commercials were intended to slot in.
Richard Green continued his role as Robin Hood, Archie Duncan continued as Little John, Alexander Gauge contined his role as Friar Tuck, Richard Coleman continued as Alan a Dale and Paul Eddington plays Will Scarlet taking over from Ronald Howard. Also Patricia Driscoll continues from series three with her role as Maid Marian.
Alan Wheatley continues as the Sheriff of Nottingham. But in later episodes drops out and then we get the introduction of Ralph, the Deputy Sheriff played by John Arnatt.
This show was aimed at the family and in particular children and therefore some dialog is not over complicated and those that would criticise this series for its script should remember that fact.
The Adventures of Robin Hood was very successful and inspired other "The Adventures of" and historical figure type of series by ITC before moving into shows like the Saint and Danger Man in the 1960s. It helped to change the face of British TV production style and helped to get Britain into a leading nation of TV production.
This is a good show that is still worth watching. It is still entertaining over fifty years after it was made.
Yes, it's dated, the sets are dodgy, the fight scenes are embarrassingly bad, and there is absolutely no attempt to give the characters either a social or historical context. It's all very fifties acting school and Paul Eddington's 'Will Scarlet' is basically 'Jerry Leadbetter' in tights.
Listened to this through a set of headphones and the sound is fine. You can't expect 21st century sound technology- it is over 50 years old.
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