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Olden Lore

The BBC Is Doing A New Robin Hood Show, And It Looks Effing Bonkers

Not Robin Hood: Men In Tights bonkers, but more bonkers than the Kevin Costner Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. To give you an idea of the level of bonk we can expect here, it’ll center on the Sheriff of Nottingham, evil sneering government lackey by day, crime fighter by night.

Yes, in the BeeB’s upcoming Nottingham, the Sheriff and Robin are indeed one and the same person. See, when the Sheriff’s wife is killed by King John’s men, he decides to go rogue. “By day, he remains the reviled Sheriff, loyal servant of the King,” writes Deadline, “but by night he puts on a hood and, using the intelligence he gains from his office, attacks the King where it hurts the most — his coffers.” Apparently the show is—and it causes me glee just to type these words, and even I don’t know whether I mean that genuinely or ironically—a “soapy class drama.”


To quote Susana: “So basically it’s Arrow.”

This sounds stupid. This sounds so, so stupid. But will it be normal stupid like the BBC’s earlier Robin Hood show with Richard Armitage (I made it through four episodes. I’m sorry, guys, I couldn’t), or good stupid like my beloved Sleepy Hollow, a show that fully embraces the ridiculousness of its premise and turns out some damn good characters and stories.

The show is being written by Cole Haddon, creator of the Jonathan Rhys Meyers-starring Dracula currently running on NBC, so those of you who watch that show might have a better idea of what to expect from Nottingham than I. I just know that if we don’t get wacky hijinks where Nottingham goes to torture a peasant and realizes he’s still wearing his green tights, so then he has to slip away into Ye Olde Phone Booth and put his skintight leather pants on over them, leaving him to shift uncomfortably through a meeting with Maid Marion, who thinks he has to pee… I will be so pissed.

(via: Deadline)

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  • Gordon Borland

    Oddly reminds me of the original idea behind that Ridley Scott Robin Hood film.

  • AnnaB

    I *did* like watching Robin Hood because there were so many pretty faces on it, but after Marian died and Will Scarlett and Djaq decided to stay in the Holy Land (aka Not Coming Back to the Show), I was a lot less interested. Then when I found out Allan-a-Dale was going to die, too, I just gave it up. The pretties were gone. I had no reason to enjoy the show even with Richard Armitage there.

  • Anonymous

    You guys, I actually… totally love “Robin Hood: Men In Tights.” Unironically. It’s in my top-five go-to movies for when I’m having a crap day.

  • Sabrina

    You are not alone!

  • Calum Syers

    There’s nothing better in life than the moment in the titular song, Men in Tights when all the guys start doing the can can.

  • Katy

    That’s exactly how I felt! I stopped after season 2. I did however really enjoy the mini reunion of Allan-a-Dale and Will Scarlett in The Hollow Crown Henry IV pt.1. Lady Mary from Downton was also there.

  • Katy

    I know, the English accent line makes me laugh no matter what my mood.

  • Anonymous

    I do appreciate the fact that Robin Hood S3 demonstrated to me just how much a show can catastrophically self destruct.

    For writers it’s a great idea to watch it and then do the exact opposite of everything it does.

  • Rebecca Pahle

    We roam around the forest looking for fights!

  • Craig Oxbrow

    Which then got dropped in favour of a “regular” Robin Hood story.

  • Matthew McLaughlin

    Definitely got through more of Robin Hood than Sleepy Hollow, but…

  • Calum Syers

    I actually performed that song in my local town’s am dram production of the Robin Hood pantomime. I don’t won’t to be smug, but I looked great in green tights.

  • Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    Yeah, I was just about to comment to say the exact same thing. Though this iteration of the idea appears to be layering in the camp.

  • Gordon Borland

    I’m torn on one hand I do love campiness but I also love gritty murder mysteries set in time periods outside the norm. Then again if the show was 60′s Batman in the 13th century I would be all over this show.

  • Angela Korra’ti (Highland)

    OH GOD that would be a thing of beauty. 60′s Batman already had a certain manic poetry in its dialogue, what with all the alliteration, and to imagine that sensibility tearing into Chaucer-esque lines… _wow_. :D

  • Gordon Borland


  • Lia Hansen

    I will never understand people who didn’t like the other BBC Robin Hood.

  • J Ritchey

    As painful as the Beeb’s Robin Hood was, Musketeers has been surprisingly good so far; so maybe, just maybe there’s a chance this could work out. I’m skeptical of it reaching the level of Men in Tights–which, parody or not, is one of my top five adaptions–but hopefully it’s at least not as bad as the last BBC effort or the Hercules/Xena knockoff version where they had to fight off the Mongols.

  • J Ritchey

    I “liked” the other one, but largely in that particularly-unusual-train-wreck way.

  • Marie

    *gasp* Are there people who don’t?

  • Marie

    “The show is being written by Cole Haddon, creator of the Jonathan Rhys Meyers-starringDracula currently running on NBC, so those of you who watch that show might have a better idea of what to expect from Nottingham than I.”.

    UGH. So you can expect some familiar character names that in no way represent their familiar character roles, acting in a ridiculous story.

  • Anonymous

    Wait, does anyone not like this movie? Cary Elwes is MAGICAL. Especially when you realize that he turned down the role Kevin Costner took.

  • Anonymous

    I feel like this show would work if they brought back Richard Armitage. Although now that he’s a *movie star* he’s probably moved beyond gloriously cheesy BBC shows.

  • SCP3

    This doesn’t sound like Arrow, but it does sound weirdly familiar, and not just in terms of the whole secret identity thing, but specifically the “working for the Man by day and working against him by night” thing.

  • glyssix

    I want an antihero Robin Hood show that tells things from the Sheriff’s side. Sorta like how you always feel bad for Wile E Coyote when the roadrunner thwarts him.

  • J Ritchey

    I…I never knew this. That could have fixed so much of what was wrong with PoT. But then, Men in Tights without Elwes could be tragic…

  • Anonymous

    The BBC Did a series of Robin Hood a few years back that was pretty good.

  • Anonymous

    I don’t care for the millions of Robin Hood shows and movies out there. For me there’s only one Richard Carpenter’s “Robin of Sherwood” – one of the best TV shows of the 80s!

  • Nuuni Nuunani

    Aww….I came into this article hoping to see a show of men in tights level sillyness and my hopes are dashed in the first sentence. T_T

  • currentlyinto

    Isn’t this premise Batman: The Medieval Years?

    One of my favourite Robin Hood adaptations was a BBC kid’s show called “Maid Marian and her Merry Men” (early ’90′s) where Marian was the driving force behind the rebellion and Robin was an idiot that got all the acclaim and popularity(similar to the character John Cleese played in Time Bandits).
    Would love to see something like that done again. *sigh*

  • AStirling

    Season 3 is just a shared hallucination that does not really exist. You can’t convince me otherwise.

  • Mark Brown

    Hm. could be interesting, though my favourite Sheriff characterization comes from a Gargoyles fanfic I read ages ago.

    The Sheriff isn’t Robin Hood, but he is in league with him –the Sheriff is loyal-by-oath to Prince John, but knows that John is readying to claim the throne, so the Sheriff is ~using~ Robin to keep John on the defensive until King Richard (the Sheriff’s ~true~ master) can return.

    (Also one of the Merry Men was a time-traveling gargoyle, but that’s actually the less interesting part.)

  • Erin Treat

    Although what a lot of people don’t realize is that (probably accidentally) Costner’s accent in the movie was more accurate for the time period than the English actors were. British English has changed A LOT since the middle ages but American English less so. It’s quite ironic.

  • Katy

    Oh, I know, in reality Robin Hood would probably speak with a French accent, if not just speak French, but the joke is still funny.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Y’know, that sounds so like something that would actually show up in a Gargoyles plot that I’m a little sad that it isn’t part of the extended canon. But seriously, twisty-turns and mind/chess-games of power with character from English legend and literature? Yup, that’s Gargoyles.

  • Laura Truxillo

    I had a professor who once said you could figure out someone’s generation by what they considered the last great Mel Brooks movie. So, yeah, anyone who likes Men in Tights…probably about my age.

  • Laura Truxillo

    Yeah, I kind of just gave up after Season 2. I mean, they squashed any chance of Guy having redemption, which just seemed stupid, what with all the set up of him being So Very Manpain Tortured But Maybe There’s Good In Him, they ditched Will and Djaq, and then I heard they were just going to add new Love Interest which, like…seriously? How much queerbaiting are you going to do with Much, y’know? I mean, he pretty much confesses his love to Robin, only to be interrupted by Marian’s appearance, and just…ugh, so very much whatever.

  • Liz

    I loved that show too! Tony Robinson and Danny John-Jules!
    So gross though

  • Hannah


  • Tallulah Alice Mae

    I watched an ENTIRE.SEASON of that shocker of a show because Ricky A in black leather and eyeliner was soooo good.

  • Guest

    So this is basically a rehash of “Maid Marian and her Merry Men” with a small twist

  • Anonymous

    Search for the book, The Sheriff of Nottingham, by Richard Kluger. It has what you seek.

  • Anonymous

    Like Dexter, for example.

  • myverysarcasm

    How about for once having Robin Hood be a yeoman instead of a noble? You know, like in the oldest stories. Or ffs just make an adaption of Robin McKinley’s “The Outlaws of Sherwood”.

  • Becky Cunningham

    Man, if Robin McKinley books were adapted into shows, we’d have so many more quality female characters on TV…

  • imelda

    Ha, I totally thought the show ended there. I never realized there was more to see. Without Marian, what is the point?

  • AnnaB

    Yes, I was really *waiting* for that redemption. He kept failing at it and failing at it and I was absolutely expecting he would turn any day now. And then he went and killed the only person who could possibly make him a better man. It seemed absolutely pointless, but I did give season 3 a chance. It was terrible. I wish I could’ve just let it be and imagined something better for the show.

  • Anonymous

    I expect it’s a trope.

  • Diane Taurins

    I watched all three seasons of BBC’s Robin Hood for Richard Armitage alone. Poor Guy finally got to change his clothes in season 3! And longer hair. It was worth the wait. But that’s just me. :)

  • Amanda

    Dracula is pretty damn terrible. The other Robin Hood on the BBC was also pretty awful. Arrow is great. But do I need another vigilante show? Even though Robin Hood is the ORIGINAL Arrow? My brain is melting.

  • Amanda

    It hurt me not to watch Robin Hood because I fancy the TIGHTS off of Richard Armitage. Check out North and South on Netflix. SWOON.