1 9 8 4 – 1 9 8 6 (UK)
22 x 50 minute episodes
This inspired longbow-and-magic version of the Sherwood legend came from the pen of Richard Carpenter (who had written Catweazle) and HTV’s golden age of adventure television.
Following the massacre of his family and the destruction of his home by Norman soldiers, a vengeful 12th century Robin of Loxley (Michael Praed) is endowed by an incarnation of Herne the Hunter (John Abineri) – the pagan spirit of the forest – with ‘Albion’, one of the seven mystical swords of Wayland.
Thus equipped, Robin dons a disguise to become ‘Robin in the hood’ and is joined in his heroic Saxon fray against the Norman oppressor by Maid Marion (Judi Trott) and the usual stalwarts, plus the Carpenter-created deadly Saracen assassin, Nasir (Mark Ryan).
Little John (Clive Mantle in his pre-Casualty days) was a thoughtful, gentle character, despite his imposing stature. Phil Rose brought an avuncular charm to the role of Friar Tuck – the ‘glue’ that helped cement the core group of outlaws together, while Peter Llewellyn Williams was cast as Robin’s foster-brother, Much, whose role was to act as the moral conscience of the group.
A far arrow-shot from the usual Merry Men fluffery, this series plunged through two seasons of pagan-drenched atmosphere, intriguing characters (none more so than Ray Winstone’s psychopathic Will Scarlet and Nickolas Grace’s delightfully politicking Sheriff of Nottingham) and clean-limbed action until Robin met a hero’s death in a hail of crossbow bolts on a lone hilltop in the final episode of the second series, ‘The Greatest Enemy’ (because Michael Praed wanted to leave the series and work in the US).
His rebel spirit, however, was resurrected in the body of Robert of Huntingdon (played by Jason Connery, son of 007 Sean) – the son of the Earl of Huntingdon – who was chosen by Herne to lead the outlaw band for a series of valedictory romping through the green-leaved beauty of Sherwood Forest.
Clannad supplied the BAFTA-winning soundtrack.
Robin of Loxley
Sheriff of Nottingham
Guy of Gisburne
Robert of Huntingdon
Lord Owen of Clun
Baron Simon de Belleme
Sir Richard of Leafad
Herne the Hunter
Robin Hood and the Sorcerer | The Witch of Elsdon | Seven Poor Knights from Acre | Alan a Dale | The King’s Fool | The Prophecy | The Children of Israel | Lord of the Trees | The Swords of Wayland | The Enchantment | The Greatest Enemy | Herne’s Son: Part 1 | Herne’s Son: Part 2 | The Power of Albion | The Inheritance | The Sheriff of Nottingham | The Cross of St. Ciricus | Cromm Cruac | The Betrayal | Adam Bell | The Pretender | Rutterkin | The Time of the Wolf: Part 1 | The Time of the Wolf: Part 2