Robin of Sherwood TV Series Episode Guide
Robin of Sherwood was a 1980s British television series based on the Robin Hood legend written by Richard Carpenter and directed by Ian Sharp.
It's also one of the most beloved versions. It combines the well-known legends with Pagan elements, mainly introducing Herne the Hunter as a guide for Robin Hood. The whole series had a mystical feel and look. Music by the Irish band Clannad added to the mystique. It appeared on the Showtime network and lasted three seasons with a cast change for Robin Hood later on.
- Michael Praed as Robin
- Jason Connery as Robin after Praed leaves the show
- Judi Trott as Marion of Leaford
- Ray Winstone as Will Scarlet
- Clive Mantle as Little John
- Peter Llewellyn Williams as Much
- Phil Rose as Friar Tuck
- Mark Ryan as Nasir
- Nickolas Grace as the Sheriff of Nottingham
- Robert Addie as Guy of Gisburne
Are you a fan of the Robin of Sherwood series?
First Season Trailer
Robin Hood and the Sorcerer Parts 1 and 2
In the first episode, we learn how Robin's village of Loxley was burned down when he was a boy by the order of Sheriff of Nottingham. We learn that Robins father, Ailric, was the guardian of an ancient silver arrow for which he was murdered.
Years later, an older Robin, is captured and thrown into the dungeon at Nottingham. And so begins the story of how he meets his band of men and Lady Marion and end up in Sherwood Forest. Herne the Hunter chooses Robin as his son and urges him to become the leader and inspiration for the oppressed of the land. But first he must defeat the evil Sorcerer Baron de Belleme played by Anthony Valentine who wants Lady Marion and the silver arrow for his own.
The Witch of Elsdon
The woefully charmless Guy of Gisburne's romantic advances were turned down by an herbalist of the village. He frames her for witchcraft and the Sheriff holds her husband hostage with the promise of letting him go if she uses her craft to trap Robin and the Outlaws.
Seven Poor Knights From Acre
Robin runs afoul of a band of Knights Templar returning home from the Crusades. They believe he has stolen the crest of their banner which will strip them of their honor. The knights hold Much captive and will kill him unless Robin can find who really stole the crest and return it.
Alan a Dale
Robin and his band show their romantic side in helping the minstel Alan a Dale reunite with his true love who has been promised in marriage to the Sheriff.
The King's Fool
John Rhys Davies stars as King Richard in this episode. After returning to England from the Crusades, the king nearly convinces Robin into becoming one of his warriors. The band is nearly broken up over the whole affair.
This series saw the first use of a Saracen character, that of Nasir played by Mark Ryan. This idea was later used in the Robin Hood film starring Kevin Costner. Mark Ryan played this role perfectly and is very skilled at the sword work required of the role.
Prince John, not quite as affable as his brother King Richard, visits Nottingham and brings with him a secret prisoner. This peaks the interest of the outlaws who believe he might be working against King Richard. But the prisoner is someone none of the outlaws expected and at least one of them is very close to.
The Children of Israel
The irresponsible Sheriff hasn't paid his debt to a Jewish moneylender. Instead of doing so, he persecutes all Jews in Nottingham by inciting the underlying bigotry of the people of the village. The moneylender and his daughter, a victim of Gisburne's misplaced affections, are barely able to escape, but the outlaws are there to help.
Lord of the Trees
The Sheriff is away and Gisburne is fed up by the outlaws thwarting his every incompetent attempt to capture them. He decides to hire mercenaries to do the job for him. The outlaws might otherwise be able to handle them, but now is the time of the Blessing. This is the time that the folk of the village believe that shedding blood will cause them to have a bad harvest for the year. The outlaws must use something more than just their famous brawn to defend themselves.
In Sherwood Forest
The troublesome Baron de Belleme is causing problems again. But this time it's in the person of one of his witchy followers Lilith who wants Robin to steal the silver arrow introduced in the first episode, the arrow that supposedly will help bring the baron back to life.
The Swords of Wayland 1 and 2
A coven of dark witches in the guise of nuns has control of the Hounds of Lucifer, a group of horsemen that go around instilling terror in the villagers. The coven's leader, Morgwyn of Ravenscar, is hell bent on retrieving the Seven Swords of Wayland for her evil end of conjuring up dark forces, maybe even the dark one himself.
This two-part episode pits the outlaws against Robin who has to conquer the evil alone. This is one of my favorites. Besides the story, in my opinion, it's one of the most visually stunning of the series.
The Greatest Enemy
This episode marks the last appearance of Michael Praed as Robin Hood. Prince John threatens the Sheriff that he'll lose his job if he doesn't catch Robin once and for all.
This was an emotional episode for the outlaws and fans alike at the loss of Praed who wanted to go on to other things. I for one wasn't sure if they could pull off continuing the series (they do, beautifully). Jason Connery makes a disguised appearance near the end and we have a brief glimpse of the future son of Herne.
The Swords of Wayland Trailer
What was your favorite episode from this season?
The Ancient Ways - Forest Archetypes
Mark Ryan who played the Saracen teamed up with artist Chesca Potter to create The Greenwood Tarot which was inspired by "pre-Celtic, Dark Age Arthurian and Green Man traditions, as well as from Robin Hood mythology." This deck is unfortunately out of print but in 2011 Ryan worked with author John Matthews and illustrator Will Worthington to create an updated version, The Wildwood Tarot.
Leaford Grange - Great Chalfield Manor was the setting for Leaford Grange in the episode - Power of Albion.
A New Son
The final season of Robin of Sherwood sees the exit of Michael Praed as the lead character and the entrance of Jason Connery in his place.
Jason is the son of actor Sean Connery most famous for playing James Bond. He steps up to the role admirably. This season was the longest of the three with a total of 13 episodes.
Herne's Son Part 1 and 2
The death of Robin of Loxley caused the outlaws to break up and Marion returned to her home after her father bought her pardon by the king. Herne calls the nobleman Robert of Huntingdon to be his son, but he feels he's not worthy to take on the mantle of the Hooded Man.
Robert meets Marion at a banquet held by his father for Owen of Clun who turns out to be a disgusting man. Owen becomes infatuated with Marion and doesn't take no for an answer to the point of kidnapping her. Robert begins the task of gathering up the reluctant band of outlaws to save her life. He finally accepts the calling to be Herne's son and becomes the leader of the band.
The Power of Albion
Robert is living two lives. Many still believe him to be just the spoiled young man of noble birth instead of the new Robin Hood. But Gisburne suspects Robin's real identity. In this episode, Robert is injured and Marion is called for to help in healing him. She's been the keeper of the powerful sword Albion since the death of Loxley. And when she attempts to return home to Leaford after helping Robert, she's arrested by the Sheriff who now also has Albion. But only Herne's son can release the power of the Albion.
Some treasures are beyond price. Isadora and her father live in Caerleon, the ancient castle that holds the treasure robbers are searching for. Isadora seeks Robin's help for protection.
The Sheriff of Nottingham
John is now king and blames the Sheriff of Nottingham for the troubles with Robin Hood, namely the disappearance of his tax money. He sends a new Sheriff to town who's much more vicious than the the old one could ever hope to be. This episode features the showdown of the Saracen's as Nasir comes up against the new sheriff's servant, a man from Nasir's past.
The Cross of St. Ciricus
On the way to the shrine of the Cross of St. Ciricus at Croxden Abbey, the outlaws encounter an ill woman on her way to the abbey. She confesses a secret that ties together Robert and Gisburne who plans on stealing the cross. Robert must find a way to stop him but is confused by the lady's confession.
Revenge is in the air as the outlaws are led to the village of Cromm Cruac by Gulnar, a follower of Owen of Clun, after Much is injured and needs help. All is not as it seems in the friendly town that no one has ever heard of.
The series creators once again blend elements of legend into the story lines. Irish legend tells of the god Cromm Cruach. This god is said to have been introduced by King Tigernmas, also known as the Lord of Death. Worship supposedly involved human sacrifice at Samhain, the ancient precursor to Halloween, though this hasn't been proved.1
The old sheriff is still in town and King John still wants his taxes. This time he hatches a plan to make Robin and the outlaws out as the bad guys in order to lose them the support of the villagers. Will it work?
Adam Bell has lost his way. He once shared the ideals of Robin and the band but now is only out for himself. He kidnaps the sheriff's nephew. But the sheriff has a bargaining chip as he has captured Much. Robin agrees to help rescue the nephew in return for the release of Much.
King John has his marriage to his queen Hadwisa annulled in order to marry the 12-year-old French princess Isabella. Seeking revenge, Hadwisa finds a pretender to challenge the legitimacy of John's kingship. While the Sheriff is incapacitated by illness, Gisburne becomes part of the ex-queen's plot to murder Isabella.
The conniving brother of Robert's father, the Earl of Huntingdon, captures Mad Mab and her pig Rutterkin accusing her of being a which hired by the Earl to cast a death spell on the King. The timing is ripe as the King has been taken ill, so the Earl is arrested and sentenced to death. It's up to Robert and the outlaws to save his father.
The Time of the Wolf Part 1 and 2
Gulnar, now worshiping the Norse wolf god Fenris, is back wreaking more mayhem. He and his followers have murdered the monks of Grimstone Abbey and taken up residence there. On top of this, the king has ordered food taken from the villages to feed his army that is rising against the Welsh. Can Robin and the outlaws inspire the villagers to rise up as well as save them from the mad sorcerer Gulnar?
Scene from The Time of the Wolf
Loxley or Huntingdon? Praed or Connery?
Do you prefer one or the other?
The Irish band Clannad did the musical soundtrack for the series. Their music gave the series just the polish it needed. It was haunting and evoked the mysticism the show was going for. Here are a few samples.
This is the remastered CD.
Sources for location info:
All seasons: RoS Locations. Spirit of Sherwood, October 2011.
Info about Cromm Cruac (season 3): Ellis, Peter Beresford. Dictionary of Celtic Mythology. Oxford University Press, 1992. and Celtic Gods, Cromm Cruach. Shee-Eire, accessed January 2012.