Without doubt the most successful and influential re-telling of the Robin Hood myth in more recent times was HTV’s Robin of Sherwood. The writer of this series Richard Carpenter cleverly blended together elements of ancient pagan mysticism and folklore and created a gritty, realistic and hugely successful re-telling of the ancient legend for television. It soon became a firm favorite of mine.
Paul Knight of Goldcrest and Richard Carpenter had seen Michael Praed in a West End production of The Pirates of Penzance in 1982. His real name was Michael Prince, but chose the old Cornish name ‘Praed’ (meadow), because another actor was already listed with that name in Equity. Praed was playing the part of the swashbuckling pirate Frederick and soon displayed to them, all the qualities they needed for the part of the ‘Hooded Man’ in their new project.
Robin of Sherwood was first shown on Saturday April 28th 1984 and went on to attain cult status and ran up until 1986. Praed played Robin of Loxley for the first two series then left leafy Sherwood for Broadway, later taking on the role as the Prince of Moldavia in the American TV series Dynasty.
The third season had Praed replaced by Jason Connery (son of Sean who had played an older Robin Hood in 1976) as a reincarnation of the outlaw, Robert of Huntingdon.
I will be looking at this series in greater depth in the future. The series has a huge fan base with various excellent websites out there, including http://www.robinofsherwood.org/.
If you enjoyed the series get in touch! How does it compare to the latest BBC version?