Doctor Who: Robot of Sherwood

Title: Robot of Sherwood
Episode: 8.03

Companion: Clara

Guests: Tom Riley {19}
Ben Miller {40}

Writer: Mark Gatiss {44} {w40}
Director: Paul Murphy

Rating: ****
Robin Hood is the focus of Clara's choice for an adventure, but the Doctor claims that the Merry Men and the Earl of Equality don't exist, he's fictional, until they meet him. Clara pops out of the box in a full drop sleeved medieval dress, and becomes the blushing schoolgirl when she spies Robin Hood.

The Rogue of Sherwood then tries to relieve the Doctor of his TARDIS. Robin, ever intent on stealing all he can, produces his steel, The Doctor defends himself well, with a spoon. When Clara compliments his skill, he cites training from the likes of Richard the Lionheart (contemporary of Robin Hood), Cyrano de Bergerac (fictional) and Errol Flynn (played Robin Hood). On a bridge over a stream the fight continues till the Doctor manages to knock Robin off, a la the famous quarterstaff fight with Little John.

While bantering about the Sheriff of Nottingham's contest to find the best archer in the land, Clara asks The Doctor when he stopped believing in everything. To which he asks her, "When did you start believing, in impossible heroes?" She simply says, "Don't you know?", as she continues to stare at him.

While the Sheriff and Robin of Locksley pair off in arrow splitting, The Doctor takes a shot and split the two arrows. Which causes the Sheriff to order the armoured guards to seize them, and Robin to attack the men, revealing that they are Robots. Robots that have cross marks on their faces and shoot purple cross marked lasers. The Doctor wants to be captured, better understand what the sheriff is up to. He disarms Robin's sword hand with a Pertwee style karate-chop.

Through an interrogation with Clara, the Sheriff reveals that the Robot army crashed in a skyship, and need gold to repair their ship, in exchange for power. Escaping the dungeons, Robin and the Doctor find the robots' ship and access the memory banks. The ship was heading to the Promised Land, like the half-face man from Deep Breath (8.01). The Doctor shows images in the memory banks of the legend that is Robin Hood, including a picture of Patrick Troughton (2rd Doctor, first person to play Robin Hood on TV) playing the Prince of Thieves in a BBC production from 1953.

A massive fight between Robin and Nottingham's Sheriff ends in Robin using the Doctor's bridge maneuver to throw the evil sheriff into a vat of molten gold.

When the TARDIS disappears, Marrion is revealed and returned to Robin, an aspect of the story that was almost forgotten.

Opening: 9
Setting: 9
Conflict: 6
Plot: 8
Dialogue: 8
Aliens: 7
Costumes: 8

Next time on Doctor Who: Listen

All images © BBC


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