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Little John (Archie Duncan) is a mild-mannered slave, but also a giant
of a man, so when his master (John Rutland) goes too far in humiliating
him, he single-handedly picks him up and sits him down on a high
windowledge. His master of course fumes with anger, so John has to make a
getaway - but eventually he runs into soldiers who are after him. But
these soldiers think they are smart, and instead of arresting the giant,
they offer him his freedom should he bring them one of Robin Hood's merry
Having no alternative, John accepts the offer.
In Sherwood Forest, John bumps into Robin Hood (Richard Greene)
himself, and thinking only of his promised freedom, he challenges Robin to
a pole-fighting duel - which john wins. Then he makes friends with Robin
and with promises of inviting him to an ale, he lures him to a certain
tavern, where the soldiers are waiting. Robin agrees, but has long smelled
the trap ...
When they are almost there, John has second thoughts and tries to
dissuade Robin from visiting the tavern, but now Robin pushes on - and
quite on purpose walks into the trap. But now it seems the soldiers are no
longer content to have one of the merry men, even if it is Robin, they
also want to arrest John, the runaway slave - which is when John's raw
strength comes into play when he overcomes ll the soldiers pretty much
single-handedly. When Robin's merry men arrive, all the soldiers are
already done for ...
And despite his treachery, Robin offers John to join his merry men, as
now he has seen how treacherous the other side can be ...
It's no masterpiece of course, just a rather cheaply produced and
stagely directed (bt well-played) television series, but on the other
hand, this show explores the Little John character in greater
detail than usual in Robin Hood adaptations, giving him a certain
ambiguity normally totally lost where the character is reduced to a bit of
polefighting (a scene that here rather fails to impress).