Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood Review

Posted on September 7, 2014

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Doctor Who - Robot of Sherwood

Picture courtesy of primetime.unrealitytv.co.uk


Penned by the league of Gentlemen’s Mark Gatiss, this third episode of series eight sees the Doctor take Clara to 12th century England and Sherwood Forest in search of legendary hero Robin Hood.

The Doctor is reluctant to go telling Clara that there’s no such person as Robin Hood, but he gave her a choice of anywhere in space and time and she chose the infamous outlaw and his merry men.

Upon arriving, an arrow hits the Tardis and the Doctor is dumbfounded at who fired the arrow and who it is standing before him. Clara is delighted whilst the Doctor is suspicious, suspecting something else at play. Clara steps out of the Tardis looking as beautiful as ever and catching Robin’s eye.

What follows is a funny and light-hearted episode with two heroes; one mythical, the other fictional, fighting and bickering like two children, jealous of one another and the attention’s of Clara as they try to foil the enemies plans of destruction and domination.

There is a funny scene with the splitting of the arrow that gets out of hand. It’s obviously a manhood joke; ‘my one’s bigger than yours’ type of thing.

Ben Miller plays the Sheriff of Nottingham perfectly and at first I didn’t recognise him with the beard and long hair. There was something very early Master/Anthony Ainley about him that made me think of a missed opportunity here.

Tom Riley as Robin was played like Rik Mayall‘s Lord Flashheart from Blackadder II or Robin Hood from Blackadder: Back and Forth which brought a smile to my face.

The whole episode could have been played straight and dark but I guess it was decided that they needed the odd light comedic and mad episode to compliment the darker ones.

There are a couple of nice touches in Robot of Sherwood that play to the relationship between the Doctor and Clara, especially at the end. The end chat between Robin and the Doctor is brilliantly done and was quite touching.

I also liked the nod to Patrick Troughton who played the second Doctor. Blink though and you’ll miss it/him.

There was a beheading scene removed in light of recent events in London and the Middle East which is understandable, and yet it still showed a separate beheading scene.

The ‘Heaven’ storyline was very briefly touched upon again just enough to tantalize us until the next episode.

Doctor Who - Robot of Sherwood poster by Stuart Manning

Picture courtesy of Stuart Manning
https://www.flickr.com/photos/stuart-m
Twitter @stuart_manning


Next week’s episode, Listen, looks set to be creepy with a ‘monsters under the bed’ story. Kids are already scared to watch it. This is how Doctor Who should be. It needs to scare without causing psychological damage of course! Fear can be healthy. It didn’t do me harm as a kid and I doubt very much it will modern children too, even if they are wrapped up in cotton wool these days.

This series is getting better and better as is Peter Capaldi. Jenna-Louise Coleman is by far his best assistant yet in the modern era and is his conscience and guide in a new body with an uncertain future.

If it carries on like this, I can see it winning many awards and becoming even more iconic than it is.

I still think it would be good for an unpublished writer to be given a chance to write a story or put forwards an idea for use once per season. I’m available if so. I have many written down waiting to live and breath.

I’ll be tuning in as always next week.

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