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Customer Review

on 19 July 2002
Second outing for this hit HTV series that saw further development of the key characters.
Michael Praed's Robin emerges as a noble, yet utterly human hero, capable of swashbuckling deeds yet ultimately vulnerable to human vices such as loss of temper and faith, as depicted in the 'Children Of Israel' episode. He finally succumbs to man's greatest enemy in the finale, but exits with a bang rather than a whimper, probably doing lots for his ongoing fan following.
Judi Trott's Marion is now fully acknowledged as one of the boys (or should that be men?), but shows a tender side when she meets her father, once presumed dead in the Crusades. This aspect also comes through when Robin is savagely done in by the Sheriff in the season's finale, which is an all time great in television, being emotional, but not overly so, yet paving the way for a smooth transition into the third series, where a new Robin takes over.
The merry men are also seen to bicker amongst themselves, but are always rallying round to a common cause when the occasion warrants. It may sound cliched, but the continuing good chemistry among the players never leads to this feeling when the episodes are watched.
The Sheriff and Sir Guy emerge as villians, but we also get to see another side to them - Sir Guy actually feeling love for a Jewess ('Children Of Israel') and the Sheriff getting the shivers when the once dead Simon De Belleme is brought back to life ('The Prophecy').
Some will feel that this season went too much towards the black magic/pagan side of things, but this was the way of life back then, so the treatment emerges to reinforce the living conditions of the period. Robin & Co are as scruffy as ever, the villages gritty and even the castles come across as bleak, dank and damp places.
If there is any fault that may be laid at this season, it could be related to there being many different directors, unlike the first, where Ian Sharp held everything together to give the series a more consistent feel and outlook.
Still, all seven episodes emerge as highly watchable, even though I believe that by compressing them into two DVDs, the sequence is jumbled up - I seem to recall the season starting off with the two part 'Swords Of Weyland' episode rather than
this preceeding the finale, 'The Greatest Enemy'.
The bonus materials in this compilation are still good, even if there seemed to be more in the season one set. The rounding off of 'The Making Of' and the outtakes alone are compelling reasons to own this box set.
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