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Robin Hood Series 1

 

Written by: Dominic Minghella et al
Directed by: Various
Produced by: Foz Allan
Aired: 7 October - 30 December 2006 on BBC One
Distributor: Tiger Aspect

Cast:

 

 

 

 

 

 

  • Robin Hood -
    JONAS ARMSTRONG

  • Sir Guy of Gisborne -
    RICHARD ARMITAGE

  • Vasey, Sheriff of Nottingham - KEITH ALLEN

  • Marian - LUCY GRIFFITHS

  • Allan-a-Dale -
    JOE ARMSTRONG

  • Much - SAM TROUGHTON

  • Little John -
    GORDON KENNEDY

  • Will Scarlet - HARRY LLOYD

  • Djaq - ANJALI JAY

 

Introduction

A brand new take on the Robin Hood legend which aired on BBC One in October 2006. Foz Allan, producer, described the series as being 'for the playstation generation'. Its anachronistic style reflected in the language, costumes and in the drama itself was discussed frequently in the media and was also the subject of one of the BBC's Points of View programmes before the release of series 2. You can watch the POV clip on the Robin Hood series 2 downloads page.


The costume designer, Frances Tempest, was interviewed in 2009 and a transcript is on the Bold Outlaw site. In the interview she discusses Gisborne's costume at length..."It was a cross between a regency cape and Sherlock Holmes and How the West Was Won. I was trying to roll all of those sorts of things into it. Of course, it was tempered - like things always are - by practical considerations. He had to be able to get on and off his horse in it. He had to be able to fight in it. There were stuntmen, but a lot of the actors did an awful lot of their own stuntwork. So all of those practical considerations had to be uppermost."

 

Episode Synopsis

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Episode One: Will you Tolerate This

Nottinghamshire, England: 1192
Robin and Much are nearing their home of Locksley when they encounter a young man being punished for his crimes. The loss of a hand or even a finger, being a far cry from the punishment associated with the crime of hunting a deer, Robin sees the act as a great injustice. With a little trickery, he and Much fool the Sheriff's men into believing they are surrounded and they release the man, only for Much to accidentally give them away.

Escaping, and with the promise of food, Robin and Much help a farmer dig a ditch, but the pair find themselves on the run once more after he catches Robin with his daughter.

Returning to Locksley, they are greeted with fear and mistrust, and discover that in Robin's absence, Sir Guy of Gisborne has governed his lands. Many villagers including the Scarlett family have suffered terribly.

When Sir Guy of Gisborne has three men taken away for stealing, including Will and Luke Scarlett, Robin seeks advice from the old Sheriff Sir Edward, and is glad to find that his childhood sweetheart Marian remains unmarried, though she is less than forthcoming, and her father refuses to help.

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Robin confronts the new Sheriff at a meeting, to which he invites himself, and slights him with disrespect before the gathering. He visits the captives in the dungeons, where Allan-A-Dale, the young man he helped outside of Locksley, tries to get himself saved with the others, only to wind up sharing their fate. Hanging.

Robin’s pleas for mercy fall on the Sheriff’s deaf ears. Frustrated and defiant, Robin launches a daring rescue, saving the prisoners and becoming an outlaw in the process. He survives with the discreet help of Marian. Robin, Much, Will and Allan flee to Sherwood Forest. While they are pondering what the future holds in store for them, another band of outlaws creeps up behind them…

Trivia:

The original ads aired to advertise this series featured music by 80's rockers Sisters of Mercy. The track name is Alice.

Watch the series 1 trailers on the Robin Hood IMDB page

 

Episode Two: Sheriff Got Your Tongue

The humiliated Sheriff storms into Locksley village offering a reward for Robin's whereabouts. But when no-one speaks up, he vows to rip out their tongues until somebody comes forward.

In Sherwood Forest, Robin, Much and Will have been captured by Little John's gang. Robin's outraged at these former criminals who have faked their own deaths and left their families. When news of the Sheriff's reward reaches them, Little John drags Robin to Locksley to claim it.

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Little John's wife Alice is next to face the Sheriff's wrath. Robin rescues her but is forced to surrender. As Robin is hauled off to Nottingham Castle, the gang believe him to be as good as dead.

Little John orders the gang to rescue Robin. Marian stages her own daring rescue attempt, and with the gang's help, Robin is freed.

Robin threatens to kill the Sheriff himself if he harms another person just to get to him. The gang escape, unharmed and exhilarated.

 

Episode Three: Who Shot the Sheriff

When a mysterious sniper murders innocent people, the finger's pointed at Robin. The Sheriff is nearly killed, and uses this as an opportunity to incriminate Robin. He enlists his Master of Arms, De Fourtnoy, to carry out more assassinations.

Desperate to stop the killings, Robin's forced to form an unholy alliance with the Sheriff: Robin will protect the Sheriff as he walks through Nettlestone to draw out the killer.

As more innocent people are slain, Marian investigates the chief suspects: De Fourtnoy who has benefited from the deaths, and Lacey, chief archer who bears a grudge against the Sheriff.

 

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The day of the Sheriff's walkabout arrives, and Robin spots the Nightwatchman acting strangely. Robin catches the Nightwatchman who reveals herself to be Marian. Marian announces that Lacey is the real killer. Robin and Marian corner Lacey who admits to murdering two people.

Troubled by Lacey's admission, Robin confronts the Sheriff over the other killings. The Sheriff remains enigmatic and declares the unholy alliance over.

Gisborne murders De Fourtnoy to destroy evidence of the Sheriff's crimes. Meanwhile, Robin's good name is restored and Nottingham is safe again.

 

Episode Four: Parenthood

Roy's kidnapped by the Sheriff's men and given an impossible dilemma: kill Robin or watch his mother hang at sunrise. Roy returns to the gang with the premise to kill Robin.

Marian is publicly humiliated by the Sheriff after feeding starving villagers. In the crowded castle courtyard, her hair is cut off.

Roy takes his first opportunity to strike when Robin is injured and isolated, but Marian has also tracked Robin down and inadvertently saves his life.

 

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As Marian tends to Robin's wounds, they talk more openly than ever about their past and hopes for the future. It's nightfall when Robin and his men shelter in a barn. In the early hours, Roy tries to kill Robin but he's disarmed. He reveals his mother's life is in peril.

At Nottingham Castle, the gang rescue Roy's mother. As the men run for their lives, Roy sacrifices himself to give them more time. The gang are devastated by Roy's death.

 

Episode Five: Turk Flu

The Nottingham Fair arrives, bringing with it the lure of the silver arrow competition. But Robin must deal with something more pressing: the Sheriff's scheme to buy Saracen slave labour for his lethal mine.

The slaves have been drafted in as a solution to striking miners. Amongst those on strike is young Rowan Dunne and his father. Gisborne arrives to quash the rebellion and kills Rowan's father as punishment. Rowan vows revenge on Gisborne.

 

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In the forest, Robin and the gang ambush a prison wagon containing the slaves. Amongst the prisoners is Djaq, a boy who speaks English. With Djaq's help, the outlaws blow up the mine.

Meanwhile, Rowan decides to exact his revenge on Gisborne - by killing the woman he loves, Marian. However, Marian shrewdly talks him out of it. On behalf of Rowan, a disguised Robin wins the silver arrow.

Back in Sherwood forest, Djaq's exposed as a woman. Nevertheless, the outlaws welcome her into their gang.

 

Episode Six: The Taxman Cometh

The outlaws stop what they believe to be a tax inspector called Flaxton. It seems he's on his way to count the mountain of tax silver currently housed in the castle.

Robin devises a plan to steal the money and give it back to the villagers. Meanwhile, a nun claiming to be the victim of Robin Hood collapses at the castle. She demands use of the chapel.

Sick of being told what to do by the men in her life, Marian requests the nun's help by allowing her into the nunnery. Gisborne's hugely disappointed but Marian's determined.

 

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As Flaxton as their cover, the gang gain entry to the castle. However, it's a trap and they are locked in the vault. Flaxton isn't a tax inspector and the Sheriff has moved the money to the chapel.

The gang manage to escape. Meanwhile, it becomes clear that the nun's an impostor working with Flaxton. While the Sheriff and his men are distracted, she steals all the money. The outlaws hijack Flaxton and the nun and distribute the money to the starving villagers.

 

Episode Seven: Brothers in Arms

Robin saves a gang of outlaws from a horsewhipping, one of which turns out to be Allan A Dale's long-lost brother, Tom. However, Tom's captured by the Sheriff's men and faces the gallows the next day.

Meanwhile, Gisborne claims a pretty necklace from a bride-to-be and presents it to Marian. But Robin recognizes it and persuades her to return it. Gisborne encounters the bride-to-be wearing the necklace. She reveals it was returned by Robin. Appalled, Gisborne discovers Marian is a traitor.

 

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Robin and the gang arrive at the castle to rescue Tom but they are too late - Tom has already been hung. Robin realises Marian is in grave danger and traces the necklace's whereabouts. Gisborne confronts Marian and when he isn't looking, Robin hands it to Marian.

News of Marian's treachery has already reached the Sheriff. Marian is forced to make the ultimate sacrifice to prove her loyalty: by accepting Gisborne's hand in marriage, while Robin listens in from outside the window.Marian adds the caveat that she will only marry Gisborne when the King returns to England.

 

Episode Eight: Tattoo what Tattoo?

The outlaws raid Gisborne's feast and witness him boastfully announcing his engagement to Marian. Robin humiliates Gisborne and steals Marian's betrothal ring.

Robin unwittingly tears off Gisborne's sleeve mid-fight and uncovers a distinctive tattoo marking him as the King's assassin in Acre. As the gang drag Robin away, Djaq is captured.

Gisborne chases after Robin and a fight ensues. However, the gang manage to bring both men under control.

 

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In the Castle, Djaq fails to escape. Worse still, the Sheriff realises just how useful she is and sets her to work on creating more acid in the abandoned alchemist's chamber. Meanwhile, the gang's attempt to rescue Djaq is thwarted.

Back in the forest, Robin launches a bitter fight to the death with Gisborne. Much rushes off to summon Marian. She is furious that Robin should pursue punishment without due trial, and cannot believe Gisborne guilty of Regicide.

The gang return without Djaq, desperate for Robin to lead them again. Eventually Robin comes round, and with the gang's help, rescues Djaq.

 

Episode Nine: A Thing or Two about Loyalty

A scientist, Lambert, has invented explosive black powder. Realising that it could become a lethal weapon in the wrong hands, he hides his ledger detailing the secret formula. Not even Lambert's friendship with Gisborne can save him from the wrath of the Sheriff who tortures him until he speaks.

In order to discover the ledger's whereabouts, Much gets himself arrested. But the Sheriff throws a spanner in the works by appointing Much Earl of Bonchurch as a ploy to spy on him. As Much is shipped off to his new estate, Lambert reveals the ledger's whereabouts to Robin.

 

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At Bonchurch, Much falls heads over heels for servant girl Eve, unaware she's the Sheriff's spy. However, Eve betrays the Sheriff by giving him false information about the ledger's location.

Discovering Robin has salvaged the ledger and knows the location of the black powder, the Sheriff and Gisborne endeavour to move it. However their, attempts are thwarted when Robin blows the entire lot up.

Against Djaq's wishes, Robin throws the ledger into the fire. But when the gang aren't looking, she salvages it from the flames. Unknown to Djaq, Robin has seen her...

 

Episode Ten: Peace? Off!

Robin saves an arsonist from burning Locksley Church and brings him back to the forest. They discover he is a Crusader and his attack a symptom of Crusader's Sickness.

Meanwhile, the gang stumble upon a mysterious Saracen carriage and uncover a sinister rusty mask. They fear witchcraft at play.

At the castle, Saladin's cousin Prince Malik wants to broker a peace deal with Prince John. However, Malik's unaware that the Sheriff's demanding a ransom for him from Saladin.

 

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When retrieving his Saracen carriage, Malik is pounced on by Robin. Desperate to return to his peace deal, Malik is freed.

Marian's latest report gives Robin an idea - if the Sheriff has ransomed the Prince, then there's a fair bit of money on its way.

Waiting for the deliverance of the ransom, the gang encounter a mysterious group of women guarding what appears to be the ransom chest. On closer inspection, a terrified Djaq identifies the group as a crack team of ruthless assassins - not guards at all.
The assassins pounce on the castle in their quest to kill Malik. However, Harold's martial arts skills prove too much for them and they are defeated.

 

Episode Eleven: Dead Man Walking

A routine trip to Locksley to collect new weaponry descends into chaos when Robin and Little John witness a brutal tax collection, the capture of their bow maker Luke and worse - the arrest of Little John's son.

Little John tries to save his boy but it is a futile gesture, and within seconds he too is carted off to the castle dungeons.
Little John meets his son and Luke. But time has moved on for the Littles and it's clear that Luke has been looking out for Alice and her lad.

Fate plays its hand and Alice is thrown in the dungeons and estranged husband and wife are temporarily reunited. 

 

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Elsewhere, Will, Robin, Djaq and Allan disguise themselves as guards to infiltrate the castle.

Gisborne attempts to get his wicked way with Marian but fails. Meanwhile, Marian tips off Robin about a wagon of silver Gisborne is overseeing. Much to Gisborne's dismay, Robin hijacks his riches.

The Sheriff hosts a Festival of Pain - and the Littles are the star act. However, Little John saves his family, while giving the Sheriff a taste of his own medicine.

Forced to start a new life some place else, Luke, Alice and her son say an emotional goodbye to Little John.

 

Episode Twelve: The Return of the King

The joyous news of King Richard's return reaches the gang. But for Robin and Marian it means her impending marriage to Gisborne.

Desperate to find evidence convicting Gisborne of his crimes, Robin visits Pitt, the physician who attended Gisborne during his 'sickness'. Robin manages to secure a confession.

Gisborne wastes no time in bringing forward his marriage to Marian to Saturday, and boastfully shows her his stately wealth.

 

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Marian and Robin argue about her marriage with Robin telling her that she has to stop using her father as an excuse. Her father comes out of the house and demands Robin leave for upsetting his daughter. When they are inside the house, her father expresses his fears that when the King visits Nottingham on Saturday the Sheriff will have him killed. He will travel to Nottingham and find out what he can. Marian and her Father have a heartfelt moment and Marian tells him how proud she is to have him as a father.

Marian sets out on her last mission as Nightwatchman. Skillfully she breaks into Gisborne's manor to steals his riches but finds herself cornered. Robin stops Gisborne from apprehending her but as they escape, Gisborne stabs Marian.

The gang split up- Robin and Marian, Djaq Much and little John, Will and Allan with the money all to meet together again at the cave. Robin and Marian walk through the woods and discuss the marriage, Marian is happy to learn the physician is going to speak out before the wedding. She thanks Robin then collapses.

Robin carries his beloved to a cave. Fearing the worst, Robin and Marian are able to share their feelings for one another at last. Djaq does her best to operate but reveals Marian needs a physician.

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Elsewhere, Allan and Will are sitting in the woods considering their options. Now that the King is returning, Robin will be a rich noble again and they will be poor, jobless and forgotten. Either they take the money back to cave and give it to the poor or they consider it "severance pay". They decide to go to Scarborough with the money to Will's family.

Returning with Pitts, Robin is unaware that he has left a trail of bandages for the guards to find. As the Sheriff surrounds the cave, Robin is devastated to learn that Marian's dead, finally confessing to her lifeless form that he loves her.

 

Episode Thirteen: A Clue: No

Robin is shattered following Marian's death. Enraged and grieving, he leads his gang into what could be their final battle. And their strength grows greater when Will and Allan return.

Following their victory in the battle, Robin and the gang return to the cave. While they mourn Marian, miraculously she awakens. The Hemlock, Djaq explains, had an anesthetic effect on her.

Robin is absolutely delighted, but remembers he no longer has the evidence to convict Gisborne following Pitts' death.


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Marian returns to Knighton where she prepares for her wedding. Meanwhile, her father and the lords who are loyal to the King are preparing to rise up against the Sheriff, with the King's imminent return.

Depressed about Marian's impending marriage, Robin takes his leave. As he heads for the hills above Locksley church, Much leads the gang into the Loyal Lord's hangout to join the official rebellion.

However, Much struggles to settle without Robin, and ever loyal, he sets out to follow him. On his way he encounters King Richard's procession and realizes that the King is an impostor.

In the Great Hall, King Richard tricks the lords into giving evidence against the Sheriff and they are murdered one by one by the Sheriff himself.

As Marian prepares to become Lady Gisborne, Much reveals news of the conspiracy. Knowing her father is in danger, Marian abandons Gisborne at the altar, giving him a punch to remember her by.

Marian rides with Robin back to Nottingham Castle where they save her father's life. Marian and Robin are blissfully reunited.

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Article by Dominic Minghella

In this article, lead writer of Robin Hood, Dominic Minghella shares his on-set diary with readers of The Telegraph.

01 Oct 2006 On set with the boys from 'the Hood' by Dominic Minghella

HoodAcademypic-Telegraph

"One of our great casting coups is Richard Armitage (who plays Sir Guy of Gisborne, the Sheriff's right-hand man), a modest man of sharp intellect and smouldering good looks. He has, shall we say, an impressive female following. Online discussion groups have been known to crash under the weight of his virtual fans' effusive admiration.

Today, he knocks on my door with a pencil and pad. Can he ask me some questions about his character? I tell him, truthfully, that I can't believe he is here – an actor of his talent, sitting on my sofa, talking to me about playing this part. I feel so lucky. Suddenly I stop myself – do I destroy what little (gamma-male) authority I have by being so candid? I glance at him. My concerns are unfounded. He is blushing. A man of his talent. I remind myself that the only folk more insecure than writers are actors."

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Useful Links

Listen to the 19 minute interview with Richard Armitage that accompanied the Robin Hood Audiobooks by clicking here, or right-mouse click (Ctrl-click on a Mac) the link to download the interview.


Robin Hood IMDB Page

BBC Robin Hood Official Site

Robin Hood Screencap Gallery

DVD Links to Amazon and Play.com

Robin Hood series 1 interviews with Richard