The Legend of Robin Hood BBC 1975

Anything with a vague historical bent

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Ellen Gethin
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The Legend of Robin Hood BBC 1975

Postby Ellen Gethin » Wed Oct 31, 2007 1:19 pm

This was the first attempt the BBC made at the Robin Hood legend, in six hour long episodes.
The script writers made a valiant effort to include every strand of the legend, and make it into a coherent whole, and mostly, I think they succeeded. So Robin is forester's son and Earl of Huntington, and in this version Maid Marion (Diane Keen) is betrothed to the brutish Guy de Gisbourne. The one thing you don't get, curiously, is the archery tournament.
It's very stagey, and the actors all have very posh accents, but Martin Potter was quite a passable Robin. The really odd thing, for me, was to see Avon from Blake's Seven plotting treason with Ford Prefect! Paul Darrow was the Sheriff (and very good he was too - obviously far brighter than Prince John, who he manipulated shamelessly). Ford Prefect was Prince John. The other odd bit of casting was Marion's uncle, who later played Herne the Hunter in Robin of Sherwood!

Some of the early scenes, before Richard goes off to the Crusades, were filmed outside Berkeley Castle.

They did their historical research, too - with John in charge of Nottingham, and Longchamps and Queen Eleanor as co-regents in King Richard's absence.

It was a shame that they only had six episodes, really, because the last two had to fit a huge amount of legend into them - and it meant that the tragic end of Robin's life came hot on the heels of his greatest triumph, when King Richard returned to pardon him and he could, at last, marry Marion.

The costumes, on the whole, were pretty good - though I'm not sure about a gorgeous black and silver brocade number John was wearing at one point. And at least Robin was using a longbow.

Worth watching, if only for Paul Darrow's performance.


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Mad Mab
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Postby Mad Mab » Wed Oct 31, 2007 2:03 pm

Ah, Paul Darrow. Saw him play Vimes in a production of 'Guards, Guards' He was brilliant. At one point he managed to get the whole audience hiding under their seats because of the dragon, including my mam which was impressive cause she had no idea what was going on and kept asking 'what are we doing down here?'
No-one does machie... machiev....really complicated scheming like the amn who gave us Kerr Avon!
Will have to look this series out.
mab


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Marcus Woodhouse
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Postby Marcus Woodhouse » Wed Nov 07, 2007 1:13 pm

I caught a episode of the old robin of sherwood on ITV3 the other day and all those people who have been complaining about how inaccurate and porr the latest version is compared to that one must be looking through 80's style rose tinted specs (as worn by Bros i suspect) it was utter crap! What has that got to do with this post, well, I'd ask you to try and find a copy of this and see what it's really all about.


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Vez
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Postby Vez » Mon Nov 19, 2007 1:02 pm

No need, Ive got them on DVD.
Michael Pread, one of my first crushes. Its true as accuracy goes its no better really than the new one, however I find the acting and writing to be better than the BBC one. Or is it just those memories of summer evenings, being called in to watch Robin of Sherwood and then going out to 'be' Robin in Sherwood. (Playing in the trees behind the house using sticks as swords) :D



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Sal
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Postby Sal » Mon Nov 19, 2007 3:43 pm

Vez wrote:Or is it just those memories of summer evenings, being called in to watch Robin of Sherwood and then going out to 'be' Robin in Sherwood. (Playing in the trees behind the house using sticks as swords)


Heh, not just me then. It's no wonder we became re-enactors.... :lol:


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Brendan C
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Postby Brendan C » Mon Nov 19, 2007 11:29 pm

Vez wrote:No need, Ive got them on DVD.
Michael Pread, one of my first crushes. Its true as accuracy goes its no better really than the new one, however I find the acting and writing to be better than the BBC one. Or is it just those memories of summer evenings, being called in to watch Robin of Sherwood and then going out to 'be' Robin in Sherwood. (Playing in the trees behind the house using sticks as swords) :D


To be honest, it's a LOT more accurate than the new one (mystic stuff aside) -some of the stuff being worn by Nicholas Grace as the Sheriff really does look quite good even today.

And it did show that some research was done, with references to Saladin Tithe, scutage, the Angevin empire amongst others.

Do agree that the writing and acting was infinitely better.

In regards to the 1975 version, I vaguely remember that one (I do remember Ford Prefect as Prince John), and I seem to remember a scene from the final episode where 2 of the 'merry men' were hung by villagers.

Am I correct with that?

Brendan C



Ellen Gethin
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Postby Ellen Gethin » Wed Nov 21, 2007 8:55 pm

Yep. They were framed for the murder of a saintly bishop who was going to vote against John at the Great Council.

I'm very fond of Robin of Sherwood, too - okay, Richard Carpenter added in Herne the Hunter and the pagan/mystical stuff, and Nazir (and thus paved the way for Morgan Freeman in Prince of Thieves), but he was right about things like Richard selling off offices like Sheriffs to raise money for the Crusade.
And I think the costumes were better than the present effort.

The costumes for the 1975 version were very good - John and Richard had some lovely frocks!


"Take wrong turns, talk to strangers, open unmarked doors. And if you see a group of people in a field, go find out what they're doing."

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