Saturday, June 26, 2010

Saturday TV - The Adventures of Robin Hood

This one is for all those who, like me, simply were not interested in the grubby-looking "prequel" Robin Hood movie that was recently in theaters. Personally, Kiddies, yer old Professor is kind of tired of "heroes" who really aren't that heroic and films that are more about spectacle than telling a story or engaging us with characters. Is there any reason that a Robin Hood film made today seemingly has to be a mud-covered slog? In my opinion that's one reason why that particular film fell so flat whereas something like the first Iron Man movie was surprisingly well received. Not only was it well acted, but it's hero was someone who, though initially flawed, was, in the end, actually trying to be a hero. And yes, you had all the technological gee-gaws that draw the kids in, but at the same time, the producers weren't afraid to put that big shiny metal suit up there on the screen and let it shine instead of making the hero look like he constantly needed a bath (or, in Iron Man's case, perhaps a run through the car wash).

Anyway, from 1955 to 1960, Richard Greene starred in just such a Robin Hood Adventure. Produced for Britain's ITV and brought to the US by CBS, the series was adventure at its finest. To quote wikipedia, "Episodes are punctuated with manly deeds of derring-do, tense escapes and pursuits, princely tournaments, the thundering hoofbeats of powerful steeds, the clattering of flashing swords, and the whizzing of fatally-placed arrows." Yet, the show also contained a very strong supporting cast, including the lovely Bernadette O'Farrell as Maid Marion, and a band of Merry Men who were actually, guess what? Merry!

Here's an episode from the second season so you can take a look for yourself.


Until next time, Happy Treasure Hunting,
-Professor Damian


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