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The Hooden Man: TV Robins

1 August 06

We have a look at the past Robin's of Hoodtown

Jason Connery

(Robin of Sherwood, 1986)

In A Nottshell: The less brooding, less spiritual, more blonde Robin.

The Show: Instead of a Dr Who-style transmogrification, Robin of Loxley was killed off and Sean was drafted in as another servant to that horned Irish thing, Robin of Huntingdon. There was a bit of a plot about being the half brother of nemsis Guy of Gisburne, but it was business as usual.

How Nottingham Was It?
If you squinted your eyes, he looked like a younger Stuart Pearce

Martin Potter

(The Legend of Robin Hood, 1975)

In a Nottshell: The forgotten Robin, with a 70's basic-cut-and'tache look reminiscent of an English teacher. Which is a shame, as some people would tell you this is the best version of the story ever made.

The Show: A bit gritty and dry, but a cult classic only recently released on DVD. Quality cast with Diana Keen (before doing the mastubatory hand-gesture Nescafe adverts) did the Maid Marian thing. Paul Darrow played the Sheriff (before playing Avon in Blakes 7), but the real shocker is an early role for Ford Prefect himself, David Dixon, who was born in Derby but lived in Notts as a kid.

How Nottingham Was It?
Seeing as Potter was actually born in Nottingham, very.


Michael Praed

(Robin of Sherwood, 1984-1985)

In A Nottshell: Raaaaabin! The Hooded Man! The brooding, spiritual, sexy Robin, the only man in the mid-80s to be able to carry off a mullet with any dignity and panache whatsoever and the benchmark of modern-day Hoodiness.

The Show:A radical shake-up of the format saw the introduction of paganism, sympathetic Islamic characters and Clannad, which only served to make Robin Of Sherwood more realistic than its presecessors. Robin was the servant of Herne the Hunter, a Celtic horned God and it became one of the most sucessful ITV programmes of the decade.

How Nottingham Was It? 
Filmed in Bristol, with an Irish theme tune, a lead actor from Gloucestor and Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet? What do you think?


Rocket Robin Hood

(1966-1969, Canada)

In A Nottshell: The futuristic, psychadelic one, robbing the cyber-rich and giving to the astro-poor.

The Show: Moderately successful Canadian cartoon series, although it was never screened in the UK (as far as we know). Set in the year 3000, even though he had an electro-quarterstaff and zoomed about under jet propulsion, he still kept it real and dressed in green.

How Nottingham Was It?
Well, he lived on Sherwood Asteroid in the galaxy of N.O.T.T (National Outer-space Terrestrial Territories)...

 
Richard Greene

(Adventures of Robin Hood, 1955-1960)

In A Nottshell: The classic fatherly middle-class Robin, but not exempt from the traditional jumping-on-logs-and-laughing-for-no-particular-reason palaver. Film historial Jeffrey Richards called him "Everyone's favourite Uncle" and even compared him to a WW2 officer...

The Show: Probably the most populat TV Robin ever. One of the first shows to be screened on the brand-new ITV (and the first show commissioned by the mighty Lew Grade), it was a massive hit all over the world and rammed to the gills with future stars. Paul Eddington (The Good Life, Yes Prime Minister) played Will Scarlet, Donald Pleasence was Prince John to a tee, and there was even room for Macca's future girlfriend Jane Asher and 70s sitcom king Richard O'Sullivan. The theme tune (yeah, that one) was the one Forest ran out to for decades.

How Nottingham Was It?
Not very. Aimed directly at the American market (with a scriptwriting team who worked under pseudonyms, due to them being blacklisted by Hollywood for thei left-wing sympathies). It's your bog-standard English countryside and RP vocalisation here. 
 

Wayne Morris

(1989-1994)

In A Nottshell: The shit-thick, yuppified, cowardly Robin in the extremely right-on and too-good-for-kids programme Maid Marian and Her Merry Men.

The Show: Created by Tony Robinson (who also played the Sheriff), Marian was the brains behind the outfit and Robin was a right ponce. It even featured a Rasta Merry "Mon" in the form of Danny John-Jules, who also played Cat in Red Dwarf.

How Nottngham Was It? 
Not only was it set in Worksop (even though it was filmed in Somerset), but there was a character called Clough.
 

Jonas Armstrong

(Robin Hood, 2006 - ?)

In A Nottshell: The latest in the line.

The Show: Written by Dominic Minghella, starring Keith Allen as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Lucy griffiths as Maid Marrian. The master tapes got stolen, so much of it was filmed again over September in time for the October premiere.

How Nottingham Is It? It was filmed in Budapest, the launch was in Lincoln and Jonas Armstrong looks about as "Nottingham" as jellied eels.


Patrick Troughton

(Robin Hood, 1953)

In A Nottshell: Robin the obscure. Only one episode of this show still exists.

The Show: The first stab at Robin from the BBC, it went out live as filmed, meaning that all cock-ups stayed in. Including the backdrop of Sherwood Forest that was inserted the wrong way, meaning the trees stuck out horizontally.

How Nottingham Was It?
Probably not at all.


Robin Hood No Daiboken

(1990-1992, Japan)

In A Nottshell: The weird Anime one. Massive eyes, badly animated mouths, that sort of thing.

The Show: Never screened in the UK (to our knowledge), it was the usual Robin story... just you know, more Manga-y. The episode titles are skill; A Great Disguise For An Infiltration In Nottingham Castle, Sherwood On Fire, Thunderstorm In Nottingham, An Unexpected Arrival, Withcraft In Sherwood and our personal fave A Mad Run Towards Nottingham!

How Nottingham Was It?
Come on now.

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