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[personal profile] lesbiassparrow
I know, I know: I'm becoming one of those crazy people who create deep bitterness threads on Television Without Pity for shows that have only had trailers. But this thought just struck me and that means I have to immediately post it. Because otherwise it may not have existed.

The BBC's new Robin Hood is very much a Blairite version of the legend compared with the anti-Thatcherism of the 1980s Robin of Sherwood, something which may cause more problems for me than the ratty looking hero. Think about it: in this one the problem is not the position of Sheriff, which it was in Robin of Sherwood, where the Sheriff was always going to be oppressive no matter who you got. That was his function: to screw you over and impose his will on you and break up any traditional organizations or social structures you had. In the new version troubles began when the old, benevolent Sheriff was deposed and replaced with an evil one who taxed people so much they could no longer engage in capitalism, thus tragically ending Nottingham's market day. Robin protests not that hungry people are punished for stealing flour but that they are punished too harshly.

Whereas for Robin of Sherwood all property was pretty much a form of theft, no matter what, in this version if you have the right people in charge and wealthy then everyone wins. Thus this Robin has to be a kindly aristocrat, whereas in Robin of Sherwood, Robin (or the first one) was a peasant who held his position not because of birth but because he was wicked hot chosen by Herne. And yes that's a mystical thing and a bit random and not democratic, but it was suggested that Herne was somehow part and parcel of the spirit of the people, not part of an outside structure. And Robin was important not in and of himself but because he was about rebelling against an unequal social structure and redistributing its wealth amongst the poor. This one so far just wants the people to be taxed less so they can sell Medieval trinkets to each other like grubby Ren Fair refugees.

And yes this snap judgment is tremendously unfair given that the new Robin Hood has only had one episode, but I put my money on this show falling out this way.

Date: 2006-10-08 07:57 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] rheanna27.livejournal.com
Aha! Yes, that makes a lot of sense to me. Since watching it last night, I've been trying to figure out what this Robin Hood is about and coming up blank, and this interpretation is the first thing I've seen that puts the story in some kind of sensible context. I wonder if that was a deliberate choice, or if popular culture just inevitably reflects its times.

The main thing Robin Hood is doing for me at the minute is making me want to see Robin of Sherwood.

Date: 2006-10-08 08:41 pm (UTC)
From: [identity profile] lesbiassparrow.livejournal.com
This Robin Hood doesn't seem tremendously well thought out to me so I'm guessing they're just absorbing popular culture. If they end up with any sort of focused message I bet it will be about the Crusades and just the Crusades.

Rewatching Robin of Sherwood a while back made me very nostalgic. It looks dates (the hair!) but it held up very well. And the writers went to a lot of effort to give it its own feel and spin on the story. It also looked more expensive than this one and had a prettier Robin (oh Michael Praed, how I loved you as a young girl!), which doesn't hurt.


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