Third-episode verdict: Robin Hood

Robin Hood

So there was much debate about the first episode of Robin Hood. Just too silly and naff for words? All round, good fun, family entertainment? Bloodless tripe? The jury was out, but the third episode has aired and they’re now ready to pass verdict.

It’s definitely improved. I’ll give it that much. It’s certainly on a par now with the worse episodes of the Jason Connery season of Robin of Sherwood. The heavy-handed political references have died away now the show’s creators have handed writing chores over to people like Paul Cornell. Marian’s got herself something to do. The whole question of whether Robin is actually capable of killing anyone on primetime TV has been answered (he can, but not frequently). So definite improvements all round.

But it’s all very generic. Jonas Armstrong has the charisma of plankton. None of the other members of Robin Hood’s gang has had a second of characterisation or good dialogue between them. And Robin and co have not yet experienced any real dangers: breaking into Sherwood Castle is seemingly about as tricky as turning up at reception and signing in for a visitor’s badge; being hunted by dogs, something that put paid to Robin of Sherwood number one, only resulted in the loss of the gang’s larder.

So for adults, by this third episode, ‘Bobbins Hood’ is probably about right. I think if you’re a kid, this might be relatively enjoyable stuff. But 20 years from now, no one’s going to be fondly remembering it as classic television, I don’t think.