A fun, light-hearted romp. That’s the way this episode will be described. And I guess it was. I mean, it’s amusing, if kinda boring. The banter between Robin and the Doctor, while funny at first, got old and tired quickly.
I’m still waiting to be knocked off my feet. I really miss episodes like Blink, 42, Turn Left, Silence in the Library, Human Nature…When do we get those types of episodes back?
I have HUGE hopes for next week’s Listen. The things I’m hearing put it on par, or even above the previously mentioned episodes.
I truly hope so, because, man, I really miss the show I fell in love with.
Okay, on to Robot of Sherwood.
The Doctor asks Clara where she wants to go, and out of all of time and space, she chooses Sherwood forest. She wants to meet Robin Hood. Of course, the Doctor tells her that Robin Hood wasn’t a real person, but he takes her to the forest in 1190-ish AD anyway.
The Doctor is proven wrong when an arrow finds its way into the door of the TARDIS, and a rather attractive man presents himself as Robin Hood.
Robin decides that he wants the TARDIS, and he and the Doctor fight for it. The Doctor brandishes a…spoon? And Robin uses his sword.
Clara watches on gleefully, wearing a gorgeous red dress. And may I say that Mr. Gatiss, the writer of this episode, finally does Clara some justice? I enjoyed the way she was written, and I feel that she’s finally showing some strength and character! Well done, my good man!
The Doctor wins the spoon-fight, but he’s knocked into the water when Robin comes up behind him.
Meanwhile, the evil Sheriff of Nottingham is kidnapping maidens, stealing gold, and killing townspeople. Y’know, like evil Sheriff’s do.
Robin brings Clara and the Doctor to the Merry Hideout, and introduces them to his Merry Men. The Doctor spends that time trying to prove that the men aren’t actually real. I think it’s supposed to be funny? I didn’t find it funny.
Robin tells Clara about the Sheriff, Prince John, and the loss of his lands, titles, and his love, Marian.
The Doctor comments on how warm and green Sherwood Forest is, considering it’s autumn. What are you getting at, Doctor? Hmm.
Robin, the Doctor, Clara and the Merry Men attend an archery contest, to win a golden arrow. No one actually wins the contest because they all just keep shooting arrows into the previous arrow and splitting the arrows….that’s a lot of arrows. And then the Doctor explodes the target with the sonic screwdriver. And then the Doctor, Clara and Robin are found out and tossed into the dungeons. But before that, Robin slices an arm off a knight, and discovers that it’s a robot. Did anyone else yell at the screen, “IT’S JUST A FLESH WOUND!”?
Also, the robots shoot frickin’ laser beams out of their frickin’ heads, and they kill a labourer who’s working in the gold-counting-melting place as the kidnapped maiden cries. Who else figured out that she’s Maid Marian? Yaaaaay, we’re awesome at guessing stuff!
In the dungeon, the Doctor and Robin bicker, and this is by far the best part of the episode. Yes, it’s cheesy and corny, but it’s also frickin’ hilarious…at least until it gets boring.
Clara finally gets fed up and screams for them to shut up. IT’S ABOUT FRICKIN’ TIME.
After Clara finds out the neither of them have a plan—and good on her for calling out the over-use of the sonic screwdriver!—she’s taken to the Sheriff, because she’s quite obviously the true ringleader of the group.
Back with the labourers, we see that only gold is being melted down and crafted into…something.
In the dungeon, Robin comes up with a plan that gets them out of there. It fails, for the most part, but they do get free, eventually. This really wasn’t a funny or interesting bit. That’s why I’m glossing over it.
Clara does some good guesswork and flattery, and wheedles the story out of the Sheriff. He tells her that he witnessed a spaceship crash and the robots promised him that he would rule the world if he helped them get their ship back up and running.
The Doctor and Robin find the spaceship, and the Doctor discovers that it was headed for ‘The Promised Land’. Well. Isn’t that a freaking coincidence!
The engines are damaged and leaking radiation, which is why the forest is still sunny and green. The Doctor even says that the Sheriff and Robin himself are illusions, created by the ship to blend in.
Now, here’s a sweet and touching bit. As the Doctor is showing Robin the ship’s memory banks, they see a wonderful thing—a photo of the Second Doctor, Patrick Troughton, before he was the Doctor!
Yes, he played Robin Hood before he was in Doctor Who! Patrick Troughton himself is now a part of Doctor Who canon, haha!
As Robin and the Doctor argue about whether or not Robin is real, the Sheriff, Clara and the robot knights enter the ship. To escape, Robin grabs Clara and jumps out the window and into the water below.
As the Doctor talks to the Sheriff, he realizes why they need the gold—they’re making a matrix out of gold, and that will help the ship to fly again. Oooookay. I’m gonna have to take their word for that, because it pretty much makes no sense to me at all.
The Doctor warns the Sheriff that there’s too much damage, and that he’s “stoking a giant bomb”. And then he’s knocked out.
He wakes with the labourers, and Maid Marian, who we’re not supposed to know is Maid Marian. The engines are starting, but the Doctor knows they don’t have enough power to make orbit. If the Sheriff tries to fly the ship, it’ll explode and wipe out most of England.
The labourers begin a revolt, and use gold platters to reflect the frickin’ laser beams back onto the robot knights, destroying them. The labourers all escape, and Marian kisses the Doctor’s cheek to thank him. His reaction is very sweet. He still doesn’t seem to realize that he IS a hero.
Clara wakes in the forest, with Robin and the Merry Men. She tells Robin everything she knows about the legend of Robin Hood.
The Sheriff appears and he and the Doctor banter. The Doctor tries to explain about the exploding thing, and mentions fake Robin Hood. The Sheriff denies that Robin is a robot, and the man himself shows up to save the day.
Robin and the Sheriff fight and Robin uses the Doctor’s move on the Sheriff. The Sheriff falls to his death into the molten gold.
The Doctor, Clara and Robin escape the ship just before it takes flight. The Doctor knows there’s no way the ship will make it into orbit, and the three of them work together shoot the golden arrow—which the merry men happen to have on them—into the ship. WHY THE HELL DID THAT EVEN WORK NONE OF THIS MAKES ANY SENSE.
Regardless of why it works, the ship makes it into orbit, where it promptly explodes.
With the world saved, Clara says goodbye to Robin. And then the Doctor says goodbye to Robin after Robin says some nice, touching words and stuff.
The Doctor enters the TARDIS and tells Clara he’s leaving a present for Robin…iThe TARDIS dematerializes, and there’s Maid Marian. D’AWW, YOU GUYS TWU WUV! Then there’s smooching, and arrows shot into the air, and THE END.
So, yeah. This was better than the first two episodes, but still pretty meh.
But guys. GUYS. DID YOU EVEN SEE THAT FRICKIN’ TRAILER FOR NEXT WEEK?!?! OH MY GOOOOODDDDDDDDDDD.
Guys, this could be the big one. THIS COULD BE IT. THE BEST SINCE BLINK.
I HAVE HOPE!
Okay, thoughts and theories:
Robot of Sherwood was very much like Deep Breath—Robots from the future, trying to repair ship to get to the Promised Land.
What was the Doctor calculating on the chalkboard at the beginning?
Why are the robots trying to get to the Promised Land?
What and where is the Promised Land?!
Who is Missy?! Could she be Clara? (*gasp!*)
“And do people ever punch you in the face when you do that?”
“When did you start believing in impossible heroes?”
“Don’t you know?”
“Shut it, Hoody.”
The whole first dungeon scene between Robin and the Doctor.
See you all next week, for what I hope is the BEST EPISODE, EVAR!