Thursday, October 26, 2006

Touching Wood

Gwen and Captain Jack from TorchwoodThe BBC's new version of the Robin Hood legend is still - like a lucky wolf at a "Win A Farmyard Animal Competition" – getting my goat. The only difference now is: I know I am not alone. Emails from various friends have confirmed that there is indeed something very wrong with the state of Nottinghamshire as portrayed by the Beeb film making department...

The chief complaints appear to be thus:

1) Where is Friar Tuck? Reports that he was dropped from the legend for fear of offending the obese and the religious are quite frankly un-tucking-believable!
2) Why is Guy Of Gisbourne wearing a coat half-inched from a Spandau Ballet video?
3) Why does the Sheriff frequently appear in public without a hat – surely this was not done by those who held high office in the Middle Ages?
4) Why were Robin and Much wearing vests with perfectly stitched round collars in a recent episode – since when did Ye Olde Burton’s open up a store in Loxley?
5) What’s with all this talk of “torture camps that turn men against their home country” – was there a Ye Olde Guantanamo Bay in the Holy Land?
6) Why is Robin sporting a re-curve bow that I’m pretty sure wasn’t invented until much later by the Mongols (correct me if I’m wrong)?

And lastly:

7) why oh why have they made Robin a pacifist?!?

The Normans were absolutely hated by the English – and in principle we still hate them now. We WANT Robin to shoot them! Shoot all of them! Horribly and violently!

Sigh... Much as I applaud the notion of pacifism I have to say it makes for a pretty naff hero. What next? Robin and his men form a dispossessed Saxons action group – English Serfs Against Norman Rule – and hold a rally and rag-rug making event in Nottingham Market Square to raise money for their cause?

All of this is a great shame because the acting is pretty damn good and it’s plain that a lot of money has been invested in the show. I could even forgive the anachronistic costumes if only the script writing wasn’t so pants. The people who thought up this post modern, self reflexive version of Robin Hood should be hung, drawn and quartered at their earliest inconvenience... for murder. They’ve killed Robin Hood with Political Correctness.

"Robin Hood! Robin Hood! He re-appropriated from the commercially buoyant and redistributed to the financially disadvantaged whilst adhering to his Zen Buddhist pacifist beliefs..." I’d like to see someone put that into a song.

Torchwood, on the other hand, is a triumph for the BBC. Decent sci-fi on terrestrial TV at last. Aliens, a bisexual hero and girl-on-girl snogging in the first two episodes! Wow. Best of all was a scene featuring an errant security guard beating one off the wrist whilst watching a couple shag on his CCTV screen. Torchwood? Touchwood more like!

Good old Russell T Davis. The Beeb should have got him to script Robin Hood... having Marian work in a Mediaeval Pole Dancing Club might have improved my opinion of the show...

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