The Adventures of Robin Hood - The Prisoner
Sidney Cole for Sapphire Films/ITV
directed by Bernard Knowles
starring Richard Greene, Bernadette O'Farrell, Donald Pleasence, Donald Bradley, Jack Melford, Valerie Cardew, Willoughby Gray, Doris Nolan, Arthur Skinner, John Dearth, Paul Connell, Charles Stapley, Gabriel Toyne, Victor Woolf
written by Anne Rodney
Robin Hood, Robin Hood (Richard Greene), Adventures of Robin Hood, Adventures of Robin Hood (1950's)
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Mentally unstable Prince John (Donald Pleasence) decides it's time to
usurp his brother Richard's throne, announces him dead, and prepares the
coronation ceremony. Robin Hood (Richard Greene) however doesn't believe
in his King is dead and believes John is holding one of Richard's couriers
prisoner - so he tricks his way into John's castle's dungeons and starts
whistling a song only known to crusaders - and suddenly he hears someone
else finishing the song, who of course turns out to be Richard's
messenger, Blondel (Willouoghby Gray). Of course, Robin manages to free
him, the two make a daring escape, and ultimately Blondel is presenting
Richard's message to the archbishop (Jack Melford) just as he prepares for
the coronation - which he will now, with the King alive, of course no
longer perform ...
Ok episode that mixes the Robin Hood-story with quite a
few chunks of a (highly disputed) legend about Richard's own liberation -
in which singer Blondel is said to have wandered from castle to castle
looking for Richard by singing a tune only known to the two of them, until
Dürnstein (or Trifels, sources vary) a voice finished the tune that could
only belong to Richard. Donald Pleasence has his
first appearance as Prince John in this one, and he does a marvellous job
playing him as a mentally unstable weakling, but on the other hand, this
is one episode where the cheapness of the sets painfully shines through
when the battlements of the castle, supposed to be of solid rock, just
can't stop wobbling every time somebody bumps into them.
Still, if you can look past these shortcomings and like (in a good way)
old-fashioned Robin Hood adventures as such, you will
probably be entertained by this one.