The recent BBC series Robin Hood has come in for a great deal of criticism. None more so, than when in the final part of the second series, the writers had one of the strongest characters in the show, Marian, played by Brighton born Lucy Griffiths, apparently killed-off by the evil Guy of Gisborne. This led to the Robin Hood 2007 Blog, a companion of this site (see My Blog List) being inundated with 136 comments and over a thousand hits straight after the program! Later in his online poll, 69% of his readers wanted Lucy Griffiths to return for a third series.
Twenty year old Lucy had followed Joan Rice’s earlier pioneering steps in the Story of Robin Hood (1952) and moved away from the traditional ornamental ‘Maid,’ into becoming a distinctly bright, independent 'Marian' with her own agendas. These included becoming a crime fighter in her own right as the leather clad, Kung-Fu kicking Nightwatchman. But with this sassy Marian came the modern ‘Top Shop’ style clothes that didn’t go down too well with traditionalists, including myself.
But one tradition that the writers of the BBC series did stick to, was the love triangle with Guy of Gisborne played by Richard Armitage as Robin Hood's (Jonas Armstrong) violent rival for Marian. This plot can be traced right back to Reginald De Koven’s successful Victorian play of 1890 called Robin Hood (produced in London as Maid Marian). This popular formula was also used in the 1938 classic swashbuckling film The Adventures of Robin Hood with Errol Flynn, Basil Rathbone and Olivia de Havilland.