Okay, so this one has me more excited than it quite possibly should be!
Back in the 1980s there was a little television series that aired on ITV. Created by Richard Carpenter, Robin of Sherwood (which was broadcast as Robin Hood in the USA) became for many of its viewers the definitive Robin Hood. The show added elements to the Robin Hood that have become the norm – such as the inclusion of Nasir, the Assassin from the holy lands. In addition, it was Nikolas Grace’s performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham that inspired not only Alan Rickman, but almost every other performance of the role that has followed.
The show made a bold decision after its principle lead, Michael Praed left to star on broadway as D’Artagnan. Praed had played the role of Robin of Loxley, a peasant chosen by Herne the Hunter to protect the Saxons from their Norman masters. Rather than simply replace the actor with someone similar looking and continue as normal, Carpenter (in one of the most haunting death scenes ever seen on the silver screen) killed Robin and introduced a new “Hooded Man” – this time Robert the son of the Earl of Huntingdon played by Jason Connery.
All this pre-amble, leads me to the actual news: The series is making a comeback with Connery, Grace, Ray Winstone, Clive Mantle and Judi Trott in their roles as Robin Hood, The Sheriff of Nottingham, Will Scarlet, Little John and Maid Marian respectively. Bafflegab Productions (who also produce The Scarifyers amongst other audio plays) are producing The Knights of the Apocalypse which is adapted from a script that was written by Richard Carpenter but never filmed.
Jason Connery had this to say about his return:
“My time in Sherwood was spent working with wonderful actors who became lifelong friends, and behind it all was Richard ‘Kip’ Carpenter’s brilliant writing, whose scripts we brought to life. After many false dawns, I can finally say that ‘Robin of Sherwood’ is coming back. And so am I! The Hooded Man is ready to face the evil machinations of the Sheriff of Nottingham again, surrounded by my wonderful band of Merries, in a brand-new audio adventure written by Kip himself. We may be a little older and wiser in real life but, on audio, we’re forever young and golden-haired.”
More news about the production will be coming soon to www.robin-of-sherwood.co.uk and proceeds from the production will be donated to the Red Cross and The Sherwood Forest Trust, two charities supported by the late, great Richard Carpenter. An Indigogo campaign will be run to support production costs during September – I’ll be sure to keep you posted.
I honestly can’t fully get over the impact the series had on me as a youngster … but along with Doctor Who it really defined for me what a hero is and should be. Not only that, but a lifetime love of forests, archery (and ranger type characters) can be linked directly back to this series.
Source: Press Release
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