Monday, 8 September 2014
Doctor Who: Robot Of Sherwood ( review with spoilers )
This week, the Doctor and Clara drop into Sherwood Forest in 1190 AD ( -ish ) to meet the legendary outlaw Robin Hood and aid him in his struggle against the evil Sheriff of Nottingham. Or, they would if Robin Hood were real. As the Doctor points out "Old-fashioned heroes only exist in old-fashioned storybooks, Clara". But who, then, is this dashing character in Lincoln green who laughs in the face of danger and protects the good people of Nottingham from the Sheriff's mysterious metal knights? Can he really be England's greatest hero? And what of the Doctor? How will he react when he becomes a part of somebody else's legend...?
So, what's good about this story then? It all looks great, with some fine sets, costumes and direction. Tom Riley steals the show as the larger-than-life, laughing-out-loud Robin Hood, charming Clara and hurling insults at that "bony rascal" the Doctor. The other "name" guest actor, Ben Miller, also has a great time playing the vain, egotistical Sheriff. The robots, while having no personality whatsoever
( unsurprising for robots, I suppose ), look suitably imposing and their crucifix-laser-beam stare is a cool effect. Gatiss' script, while nowhere near as witty or clever as it could have been, has some nice touches: a couple of quotes from Karl Marx (!), the odd call-back to the Pertwee era and some insightful thoughts on the importance of legends and heroes. Oh, and Jenna Coleman looks absolutely lovely in her faux-mediaeval gown:
Three Out of Five Sonic Screwdrivers ( or broken arrows )