So a while back (if you can call five years ago ‘a while’), I waxed lyrical about the marvellous Robin of Sherwood, one of my favourite TV shows of the 1980s. I even invented a new blog category for it, ‘Old Gems’, which eventually became Nostalgia Corner.
The show ran for three series before being cancelled because it ran out of US co-production funding. However, creator and principal writer Richard Carpenter did write one script for the fourth series before the bad news came: The Knights of the Apocalypse.
Now, I’ve mentioned Bafflegab Productions before, as they’ve been responsible for Vince Cosmos, Hammer Chillers, and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries. Basically, they’re Big Finish but better and without the licences. Or at least they have been until now.
Because Bafflegab are going to make The Knights of The Apocalypse as an audio play, and they’ve somehow managed to get Robin Hood, Marion, the Sheriff of Nottingham and the Merry Men back together again for it. Yes, even Ray Winstone.
They’re going to need some cash, though, apparently, despite the proceeds going to charity.
The 1980s television classic Robin of Sherwood is making a comeback to audio. The original cast – including Ray Winstone, Jason Connery, Clive Mantle, Judi Trott and Nikolas Grace – will reunite for a one-off audio adventure, The Knights of the Apocalypse. It will be released in early 2016.
The Knights of the Apocalypse was penned after the end of the television series by the creator of Robin of Sherwood, Richard Carpenter, but never filmed. In tribute to Carpenter, who died in 2012, all profits will go to his favourite charities. Robin of Sherwood fans can help bring the story to life, and receive exclusive rewards, by donating towards production costs through crowdfunding platform Indiegogo during September 2015.
The feature-length story will be produced by Bafflegab Productions, producers of audio series The Scarifyers (as heard on BBC Radio 4 Extra), Hammer Films audio anthology Hammer Chillers, and The Brenda and Effie Mysteries, starring Anne Reid (winner of the Gold New York Radio Award for Best Audiobook 2015)
Full details of Knights of the Apocalypse and the Indiegogo campaign can be found at www.robin-of-sherwood.co.uk in the next few days.
Jason Connery said: “My time in Sherwood was spent working with wonderful actors who became lifelong friends, and behind it all was Richard 'Kip' Carpenter's brilliant writing, whose scripts we brought to life. After many false dawns, I can finally say that Robin of Sherwood is coming back. And so am I! The Hooded Man is ready to face the evil machinations of the Sheriff of Nottingham again, surrounded by my wonderful band of Merries, in a brand-new audio adventure written by Kip himself. We may be a little older and wiser in real life but, on audio, we're forever young and golden-haired."
Harriet Carpenter, daughter of Richard Carpenter, commented: "I’m thrilled to learn of the return of Robin of Sherwood as an audio production, especially as it is based on a script my father wrote many years ago. I think it says something about my dad that so many members of the original cast have agreed to be a part of it, so I sincerely thank them all for their support. Dad loved his work and spent hours sitting in his study mulling over a word or sentence. We often said he lived in his own little world, and it was true. His world consisted of history and music, legends and magic. And this is what he wrote into the stories of Robin of Sherwood. The fact this audio will benefit two such worthy causes as the Red Cross and the Sherwood Forest Trust simply makes it all the more worthwhile. Nothing is ever forgotten."
Producers Simon Barnard and Barnaby Eaton-Jones added: "We can’t begin to say how excited we are to be producing this audio revival of Robin of Sherwood, the best retelling of the Robin Hood legend ever made. We’ll do our very best to hold the bow steady, and to do justice to Richard Carpenter’s wonderful script.”
More news as it comes, I guess. I did ask Simon Barnard if he was going to get Clannad to do the music, but he said he hadn’t approached them yet, as the news was coming out a bit sooner than expected, and they’re still recasting Guy of Gisburne and Herne the Hunter.