'Robin Hood: Season Three'
(Jonas Armstrong, Richard Armitage, Keith Allen, et al / 5-Disc DVD / NR / 2010 / Warner Bros.)
Overview: The legend continues... With new allies and old enemies, Robin Hood returns for a third series full of thrilling adventures as Robin and his gang continue to outwit the dastardly Sheriff and his forces. As the series begins, the outlaws are in disarray. Marian is dead and Robin has split up the gang and launched a solo mission to avenge her and kill Gisborne. It is only the intervention of the mysterious Tuck that stops Robin joining Marian in an early grave.
DVD Verdict: When writer/director Minghella made the decision to kill off Maid Marian (Lucy Griffiths) at the end of S2, he also dealt a fatal blow to this series. RH began as a children's show but it was the Marian-Robin-Guy triangle that soon attracted the serious fangirls. Marian was the conscience of the series, and through her alter-ego, The Night Watchman, she helped those who needed it the most; she stood up for what she loved-her father, her home, her feckless Robin.
She had the nerve to cross the corrupt authority of the sheriff and stood up to her sadistic suitor, Sir Guy of Gisborne (Richard Armitage). Even Guy recognized her goodness and thought by marrying her, she would make him a better person. She died, while defending her king and her country, by the hand of a man who genuinely loved her but whom she provoked into a jealous rage. Oh, to turn back the hands of time.
Too bad RH S3 couldn't have been Lady Marian Gisborne using her new found position to benefit the people of Nottingham; Sir Guy becoming a loving humane husband and father (whatever happened to his illegitimate son from early S1?) and staunchly defending the Magna Carta for instance; and who knows, maybe Robin going rogue (Crusade induced PTSS perhaps?). Instead the final S3 is a wounded, Grendal-like thing with no memory of its past, no hope for its future and the principals casually dropping in and out when apparently they don't have anything else to do.
A camply villainous Toby Stephens drops in briefly as the evil Prince John. Sir Guy receives a very nasty sister, Isabella (Lara Pulver), interesting new hair extensions, too much eyeliner and a new Goth wardrobe. Widower Robin (Jonas Armstrong) gets buff and quickly gets rather nasty new girlfriend, Kate. The poor viewer gets an astonishing back story to justify introducing Archer, an amalgam of Guy and Robin. Heavens to Betsy!!
Reasons to own S3: Ep. 9, probably the best written of the entire three seasons, finds the grief-stricken Guy jailed with a perky young miss named Meg (Holliday Grainger) who thinks there might be some good in him yet. Her interest is piqued after he tenderly picks some squirming creatures out of her black bread!
In Ep. 6, the too-tightly wound Guy finally snaps and engages in a vicious sword/knife fight with Sheriff (Keith Allen) that is a heart pounding, nail biter. And to watch the beautiful Gisborne in full fury with flashing eyes and flying tresses whenever one wishes is certainly worth any price. [JJ] This is a Widescreen presentation (1.78:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs and comes with the Special Features of:
A Legend Reborn
A New Look (Costume Featurette)
Trebuchet: Creating Chaos
'Robin Hood' - Video Clip