As I said before I have been busy lately, so I am behind on my reviews. So here I am playing a game of catch up! Okay on to my review!
*WARNING MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD*
Episode 3: Robot of Sherwood
Okay, I’ll be honest when I first heard that Doctor Who was going to be meeting Robin Hood, I was cautiously optimistic. When it was announced that Mark Gatiss was writing said episode, I was a tad bit worried, not because Mark Gatiss is a bad writer, but because of his recent Who penned episodes. In series seven, Mark Gatiss wrote two episodes Cold War and The Crimson Horror. I actually really enjoyed Cold War, and thought it was executed pretty well, and find myself re-watching that episode. The Crimson Horror was enjoyable, but for some reason I liked Cold War more. Mark Gatiss has a continued trend of doing period pieces on Doctor Who, and personally I like that. It’s fun to see The Doctor visiting historical figures, or fictional characters while on his time traveling adventures. I went into this episode expecting a fun, silly, stand-alone adventure and that is exactly what I got! I am happy to to say that I really enjoyed this episode! Now onto the episode!
The episode opens with The Doctor and Clara already in The TARDIS and The Doctor asks Clara where she wants to go, anywhere in all of time and space, it’s up to her. Clara wants to see the legendary Robin Hood! The Doctor mocks her choice and says that he is a fairy-tale and does not exist (all the meanwhile I’m thinking, “that’s funny coming from you Doctor”). So despite his continued attempts to change Clara’s mind, The Doctor finally agrees to take Clara to see Robin Hood in Sherwood Forest in 1590. The TARDIS materializes in Sherwood Forest (very akin to Classic Who) and The Doctor steps out and proclaims “See, no damsels in distress, no pretty castles, no such thing as ROBIN HOOD!” Suddenly an arrow shoots The Doctor’s TARDIS and The Doctor is startled! Robin Hood is shown and says “you called?” and boom enter the title sequence with the cool intro buzz!
Robin Hood (played magnificently by Tom Riley) walks up to a log that is separating him from The Doctor and then Clara looking gorgeous wearing a nice red dress from the period exits the TARDIS and Robin Hood is taken by her beauty. Robin Hood asks The Doctor where he got that blue box, and begins laughing much like you would expect him to, “Ha Ha!” The Doctor asks Robin Hood if anyone ever punches him in the face when he does that and Robin says not yet. The Doctor then says, “Then it’s a good thing I’m here.” (Haha classic Capaldi!) Robin Hood plans to take The Doctor’s TARDIS from him and begins to draw his sword, while The Doctor claims he only needs a spoon and begins to sword/spoon fight him on the log. The Doctor is very skilled with sword fighting it seems and Clara is very impressed watching the two of them fight. The Doctor says he was trained by Errol Flynn and King Richard The Lionheart harking back to past adventures. The Doctor eventually loses his spoon and seems to give up until he spins around Robin Hood and knocks him into the water. The Doctor retrieves his spoon and is then knocked into the water by Robin Hood! Haha
Robin Hood then takes The Doctor and Clara to meet his Merry Men. (Sidenote when I re-watched this episode I was reminded of the scene from Shrek, when Fiona and Shrek meet Robin Hood and Robin Hood says “ohh Merry Mennnn!” Haha) The Doctor still cannot believe that Robin Hood is real and continues to find evidence to prove otherwise, all while Robin is introducing Clara to The Bard, Little John, and Friar Tuck. The Doctor begins sticking The Bard with a needle revealing he has tons of diseases and claiming if he is real, he will be dead in six months! The Bard is worried and says he is real, causing The Doctor to say “bye!” and walking away! Haha
I am going off track I apologize, so anyways, Robin Hood tells The Doctor and Clara that there is going to be an archery contest that day outside of The Sheriff of Nottingham’s Castle and plans to win the prize. We are then shown the contest and Robin Hood faces off against The Sheriff of Nottingham (played wonderfully by Ben Miller), all while Clara fan-girls over Robin Hood. Robin Hood fires his arrow at the target after The Sheriff has his turn and it splits The Sheriff’s arrow in two! Then another arrow appears and hits both arrows and it’s revealed to be The Doctor! The Doctor claims his reward, which is a golden arrow! Robin Hood continues to shoot arrows while not even looking and still hitting the bulls-eye! Clara is seen cheering on the sidelines. The Doctor continues to try and one-up Robin and eventually says “This is getting ridiculous!” and blows up the whole target with his sonic screwdriver! Haha The Sheriff is fascinated by this technology and tells his knights to capture Robin Hood and The Doctor. Robin Hood manages to cut off one of the knight’s arms revealing that it is in fact a robot! The robots begin firing lasers from their faces, scaring all the people and causing them to flee! The Doctor then reacts with “Finally something that makes sense!” Haha
Robin yells to his men to run and while Robin tries to fight off the robots, The Doctor judo chops him, harking back to The Third Doctor! (Jon Pertwee) The Doctor explains to Clara and Robin that the best way to find out someone’s plan is to get captured. The Doctor, Robin Hood and Clara are chained together and locked in a dungeon, all while The Doctor is making comments to the guard about how he cannot take anymore of Robin’s laughing haha. The Doctor and Robin Hood begin bickering with each other all while Clara is trying to get them to stop arguing and see if either of them have a plan. Finally a guard comes in and says that he was told by The Sheriff to find out which one of them was the ring-leader and while The Doctor and Robin Hood are both claiming to be in charge (still arguing) the guard assumes it is Clara. The guard takes Clara to The Sheriff all while she makes a comment about how she couldn’t believe how stupid The Doctor and Robin were being.
Clara is taken to The Sheriff and he begins asking her questions about the identity of the man she is with (The Doctor). Clara begins talking about how there was a bright light in the sky one night and she saw a ship fall from the sky and that these robots promised her great riches and power and The Sheriff says he too saw these events and was promised the same thing. Clara then begins to piece together The Sheriff’s motives, when he begins to tell his story and how he was not respected by his King. He plans to take over the world with the technology the robots have and to make himself ruler of all. Clara reveals to The Sheriff that she lied about seeing the robots ship, but was just trying to get him to believe that so that she could find out his plan! Clever Clara!
Back in Sherwood Forest, Robin’s Merry Men are talking about how The Sheriff has been robbing everyone of their riches. The Bard realizes that The Sheriff doesn’t take any jewels, just gold…interesting.
The Doctor and Robin manage to escape the dungeon and find a room that is filled with a lot of advanced technology and figures out that the castle is actually a spaceship in disguise! The Doctor looks at a screen to discover the ship’s destination and it is in fact The Promised Land! (the place the Half-Face Man mentioned he was trying to reach in Deep Breath) The Doctor is shocked and continues to see that the ship’s computer has information on the legend of Robin Hood, including a nod to Patrick Troughton (The Second Doctor) playing Robin Hood. The Doctor deduces that Robin Hood was created from the ship’s data and believes he is working for the robots and The Sheriff. Robin is offended by this accusation of being in league with The Sheriff and denies it.
The Sheriff shows up with his robots and tries to capture Robin Hood and The Doctor. Clara meets The Doctor and tries to convince him that Robin Hood is not a robot. The robots begin to attack Clara and Robin Hood and they both jump out a window landing in the moat. The Doctor figures out that the robots’ ship crashed in England and they are using gold to power the ship’s engines to reach outer space. The Doctor speaks to the Sheriff and tells him that the robots do not have enough gold to power the ship’s engines and the ship will explode before leaving the earth’s atmosphere and will destroy England. The Sheriff dismisses The Doctor and has his robots apprehend him and bring him to a part of the castle where other people are being held, including Maid Marian! The Doctor formulates a plan to break everyone out, and it entails getting all the people to use gold plates to reflect the robots’ lasers back at them, destroying them!
Meanwhile, Robin Hood and his men are talking about what to do about the Sheriff, when Clara wakes up and is questioned by Robin Hood about who The Doctor is and what his motives are.
The Doctor saves all the prisoners, including Maid Marian, who thanks The Doctor by kissing him on the cheek! The Sheriff sees The Doctor and is intrigued how he escaped and is interrupted by Robin Hood who starts sword-fighting The Sheriff! At one point Robin is fighting the Sheriff on a wood beam and loses his sword! Robin uses the same move The Doctor used to defeat him earlier and knocks The Sheriff into a vat of gold! Ouch!
The Doctor, Clara and Robin escape the castle and The Doctor asks if Robin still has the golden arrow he won in the archery contest. Robin gives The Doctor the arrow and he struggles to keep it on the bow! The Doctor admits he cheated during the archery contest, by using arrows with homing devices haha. Robin, The Doctor and Clara work together to aim the arrow and it manages to hit one of the ship’s engines, causing the ship to rise into space before it finally explodes.
Before The Doctor and Clara depart, The Doctor and Robin have a conversation and Robin reveals that Clara told him The Doctor’s story and how he is a Time Lord from the planet Gallifrey. The Doctor is upset at this news, but Robin tries to explain that once Clara started talking about The Doctor, she could hardly stop. Robin asks The Doctor if he is remembered in history and The Doctor says no, but he becomes a legend. Robin seems content with this information and says perhaps it’s better him and The Doctor stay legends, because history is a burden. Robin and The Doctor finally come to respect one and another and Robin hugs Clara goodbye and mentions how he will miss her. The Doctor and Clara depart and when The TARDIS de-materializes, Marian is shown to be waiting! Robin and Marian are reunited and Robin shoots an arrow into the air in celebration, thanking The Doctor!
Overall, I really enjoyed this episode, and thought it was a fun filler episode. The interplay between Robin and The Doctor was amazing and I loved Tom Riley as Robin Hood, he was perfect in the role. Ben Miller was menacing as The Sheriff of Nottingham and I would love to see him come back as another character, even if it’s not The Master. This is one of my favorite episodes of Doctor Who and appreciated a lighter episode for a change, and that’s why I am giving it a 9/10!