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You'll notice that several pages on this site have a new mobile-friendly look. I'll be updating the whole site over the next couple months.
An exclusive interview with Jennifer Ash aka Jenny Kane about her novels Romancing Robin Hood, The Outlaw's Ransom and The Winter Outlaw (part of The Folville Chronicles series) and her new Robin of Sherwood audiobooks.
An exclusive interview with Adam Greenwood, owner/manager of The Robin Hood Legacy, Nottingham's tourist attraction. Adam also performs the role of Robin Hood and has written a series of novels about Robin of the Wood.
An exclusive interview with Steven A. McKay, author of the popular Forest Lord series of novels and short stories.
And now for something a bit different. 2016 is the 75th anniversary of the comic book superhero Green Arrow, the modern-day Robin Hood. Click here for a six-part interview with Neal Adams, the legendary artist responsible for the award-winning, critically-acclaimed Green Lantern/Green Arrow comic book series. He talks about remodelling Oliver Queen (aka Green Arrow) after Errol Flynn, how the TV show Arrow is the "Neal Adams Show", and comes out in favour of hats over hoods. He also talks about his lengthy career on some other characters you might have heard of -- Batman, Superman and the X-Men.
An exclusive interview with Iain Meadows. Iain is the writer, producer and director of the award-winning Hood series of audio dramas from Spiteful Puppet. He is also the executive producer of the upcoming Robin of Sherwood: The Knights of the Apocalypse, a special audio drama which reunites the cast of the classic 1980s TV series.
A special Christmas treat - a review of the 1957 episode "A Christmas Goose" from the classic TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. I'll be reviewing a few more episodes in the near future.
I've added a Spotlight review of the 1978 play The Adventures of Robin Hood by Clive Endersby. I saw this play when I was seven-and-a-half, and it's a big reason why this site even exists. The article is a touch more personal than most of the Spotlight reviews.
I don't always announce here all the changes and revisions I make on the site. For example, I completely revised my article on Robin Hood and the Friar and Robin Hood and the Potter. Other unannounced changes since the last official update include adding Robin Hood and Guy of Gisborne and chapters of Howard Pyle's The Merry Adventures of Robin Hood to the Robin Hood Tales section of the site.
I've added a Spotlight review of Frank Bellamy's 1950s Robin Hood comics. Bellamy is considered one of the masters of comic book illustration.
I've just posted an interview with Michael Morpurgo, author of the 1996 children's novel Robin of Sherwood which has just been re-issued this year under the title of Outlaw: The Story of Robin Hood. International readers probably know him best as the author of War Horse which has been adapted to both stage and screen. Click here for the interview.
I've added an alternative version of Robin Hood Rescuing Three Squires called Bold Robin Hood from the broadside held in the Toronto Public Library's Osborne Collection of Early Children's Books. (Expect more updates based on this collection in the coming months.)
I've created a Twitter account to provide updates on my site. Follow me on Twitter. I'll try to have some things to update in the near future.
Yesterday, noted British television writer Richard Carpenter passed away. On a personal note, I can say if it wasn't for "Kip" Carpenter, this site wouldn't exist. Carpenter created the 1980s TV series Robin of Sherwood -- a show which kept my interest in the legend alive well past childhood. RoS and Carpenter's other creations such as Catweazle are much-loved and fondly-remembered. Many subsequent adaptations of the legend borrowed heavily from Carpenter's writings. He will be greatly missed. Click here to read my interview with Richard Carpenter, conducted when this site was in its infancy. Elsewhere on the web, AssignmentX writer Abbie Bernstein pays tribute to him.
I've been doing updates behind the scenes for a while now. Expect some bigger updates in the near future. One of those updates will be an expanded review of Robin of Sherwood, the 1980s TV series that remains one of my favourite versions of the legend. The second Blu-Ray release came out this month, and you can buy Robin of Sherwood Blu-Ray Set 2 on Amazon.com or Buy it on Amazon.co.uk by following the not very subtle links.
After much demand, I've added maps of Robin Hood locations. First, with permission of the publishers, I've posted the map from R.B. Dobson and J. Taylor's Rymes of Robyn Hood. However, I've also created an interactive Google Map of some prominent Robin Hood sites. You can also see photos associated with the sites, go to satellite view or zoom down to ground level through their 360-degree photos of streets and roads.
The Russell Crowe/Ridley Scott film is coming out on DVD/Blu-Ray today. Sometime soon, I'll get around to writing a review. On other versions of Robin Hood, plans are underway to put Robin of Sherwood on Blu-Ray. I should probably do more on RoS around that release day.
I made two slight edits to the Beginner's Guide and Wolfshead through the Ages pages to talk about a ballad that doesn't appear to exist. In some interviews promoting the 2010 film starring Russell Crowe, there were mentions of a ballad from 868 AD called "Robin the Beheader". As far as I (and many other puzzled Robin Hood scholars) know, no such ballad exists. Robin Hood and Little John did behead people in some of the earliest surviving ballads, but those come from centuries later. My best guess is that the 868 AD date comes from an early reference in The Life of Alfred to events in the area which would become Nottingham. Several dozen people have visited my site in the last few weeks looking for information on this apparently imaginary ballad.
Robin Hood is a flexible legend, and there are any number of political interpretations that one can bring to the legend. I have noticed recent articles by John Ridpath of the National Post, John Robson of the CanWest News Service and a certain radio and TV "personality" argue for an exclusively right-wing interpretation as if it is the only correct and true one. I should point out that there's no real mention of taxes in the early ballads, no mention of Norman tyranny and Prince John is a bit of a johnny-come-lately to the tale. Their interpetations of Robin Hood are no more valid than anyone else's.
I'll be discussing the political issues raised by the new film when I post my review.
I've added a new interview with Kevin Durand who plays Little John in the 2010 Robin Hood film.
Publicity for upcoming Robin Hood film is in full gear. And I've scored some exclusive interviews related to the film.
Alan Doyle, from Canada's folk rock band Great Big Sea, spoke to me about playing Allan A'Dayle opposite Russell Crowe in the new movie. (When I asked him about his first exposure to Robin Hood, I correctly guessed what his answer would be. For Canadians of our generation, Rocket Robin Hood was bound to be mentioned.)
Also, I've got an exclusive interview with Ethan Reiff, one half of the writing duo behind Nottingham the script which started the ball rolling on this year's Robin Hood film. When Ridley Scott came on board, he jettisoned the script. But Ethan Reiff talks to me about the script where the Sheriff of Nottingham was the good guy.
I have added a new interview with Councillor Leon Unczur - the current (for another couple weeks, anyway) Sheriff of Nottingham. Leon talks about the modern role of the sheriff, his legendary predecessor, and his tour of the United States to find ways to increase tourism to Nottingham. Also, Nottingham is hosting a Robin Hood month in May. Click on their website to learn all the details. I've also added a new Spotlight Review of Wolfshead, the 1969 film starring David Warbeck.
It's been a long while since I did a Spotlight Review and so this section returns with a special quadruple feature. "And Guest Starring ... Robin Hood" examines four Robin Hood-themed TV episodes. It looks at The Time Tunnel, Voyagers!, Star Trek - The Next Generation and Peabody's Improbable History.
There's a new proposal to put a tiny tax on the banks to help the under-privileged. Its somewhat controversial name? The Robin Hood Tax, of course. Here's a link to their official website.
The upcoming Robin Hood film premiered a new trailer at the Super Bowl. It's largely action scenes and some grunting. Click here to see it on YouTube. A few days earlier, a longer trailer with actual dialogue was released on the movie's official website.
Happy Holidays! I've added an exclusive interview with Frances Tempest, costume designer of the first two series of the 2006 Robin Hood television series by Tiger Aspect and the BBC. Frances and I both presented at the Robin Hood academic conference in Rochester, NY this year. And I took a moment to grab an interview with her. I'll just add here that she was an absolute delight to meet and I think this interview is the best one on the site.
After spending some months under the working title of Ridley Scott's Untitled Robin Hood Project, it appears the producers have gone with the basic title of Robin Hood for the film coming in 2010.
Two trailers have been released. The North American trailer (on Apple.com) and the European trailer (available on YahooUK), click on the links to view them. The European trailer is longer and contains more dialogue.
I've added a new ballad to the Robin Hood Tales section of my site -- The King's Disguise and Friendship with Robin Hood. I've also included part of A Gest of Robyn Hode, where Robin also meets the king.
Next month, the Robin Hood Conference returns to its original home in Rochester, NY. Read this article on the upcoming conference which features a special re-issue of the 1922 film Douglas Fairbanks in Robin Hood and a rare print of the 1912 Robin Hood film.
I finally added a Personal Journey entry - Once More in Robin Hood Country - about my 2006 trip to Nottingham, Sherwood Forest and the 22nd Annual Robin Hood Festival. I've also been making a few updates on my site - mostly behind the scenes - but you'll find a few more lines about Green Arrow comics, a 12th century sheriff, recent Robin Hood novels and about what I like about Robin and what can be done about the character.
I've added an interview with Tim Beedle, writer of the Muppet Robin Hood comic book mini-series.
I've added an exclusive interview with Sam Hart, artist of the new graphic novel Outlaw - The Legend of Robin Hood.
The as-yet-untitled Robin Hood movie directed by Ridley Scott and starting Russell Crowe is still filming, and sites have published photos include Crowe using modern transport to move around the set. Comingsoon.net has a large collection of photos.
The Tiger Aspect/BBC Robin Hood television finished airing its third series in the UK last week. And this week, news reports such as this one from the BBC announced the show's cancellation. [Massive spoiler warnings for the series finale.]
I've added an exclusive interview with Tony Lee, writer of the new graphic novel Outlaw - The Legend of Robin Hood. [Incidentally, I contributed an afterword to this book.] An interview with Outlaw's artist Sam Hart is under way and will follow shortly.
In the future, I may create a separate news page for non-site news.
The University of Rochester will be hosting Robin Hood - Media Creature, the latest biennial conference for Robin Hood Studies, on October 22 - 25, 2009. The deadline for paper proposals is June 15, 2009. More details can be found on the conference website, http://www.rochester.edu/robinhood/.
The third series of the Robin Hood is currently airing on BBC One. There have been some new additions to the cast including David Harewood as Friar Tuck - colour-blind casting that created a minor stir, Joanne Froggatt as Kate - another new band member and Lara Pulver as Isabella, Guy of Gisborne's sister. This will be Jonas Armstrong's last season playing Robin Hood, but the programme may continue without him.( At some point, I'll make an addendum to my review of the first series, to discuss series two and three.)
Filming is underway in Surrey and soon Pembrokeshire for the film formerly titled Nottingham. In a recent interview, Russell Crowe suggested the new title may simply be Robin Hood.
The Daily Mail has some photos from the set, and in April, an official publicity photo of Crowe in his Robin Hood costume was released to news sources such as USA Today.
A late March press release gives some plot details - showing that the action takes place in King John's reign and deals with some historical concerns.
Recent casting includes William Hurt as William Marshal, the Earl of Pembroke, Matthew Macfadyen as the Sheriff of Nottingham and Eileen Atkins as the Queen Mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine. Originally, Eleanor was to have been played by Vanessa Redgrave.
According to Showbiz 411, playwright and screenwriter [Shakespeare in Love] Tom Stoppard is revising the film's script while the movie is shooting.
It’s been a long while … and there’s lots to say.
I’ve made some minor tweaks on my site to the Beginner's Guide: Merry Men and Wolfshead Through the Ages: Ballads and Background sections. And I’ll be posting a special four-in-one Spotlight Review in a couple of days – my attempt to make up for lost time.
A new early manuscript reference to Robin Hood has been discovered as a note in a chronicle dating from the 1460s. The reference places Robin Hood in the reign of Edward I, as it appears on a page covering the years 1294-1299. That’s consistent with some of the other early chronicles. But unlike the “mixed” assessments of other chroniclers, this one is wholly negative. Translated, it reads “Around this time, according to popular opinion, a certain outlaw named Robin Hood, with his accomplices, infested Sherwood and other law-abiding areas of England with continuous robberies.”
Full details can be found in "An English Chronicle Entry on Robin Hood" in Journal of Medieval History Volume 35, Issue 1, March 2009, Pages 70-76. An online copy can be found here.
The story grabbed the attention and imagination of the world’s press. Google lists almost five hundred related news items on this discovery such as this one from BBC News.
Much of the coverage sensationalizes and simplifies beyond Dr. Luxford’s measured article – proclaiming that the real Robin Hood was a bad guy. That’s taking things out of context as the chronicle reference comes from 150 years after when it claims Robin lived, and the early Robin Hood was never seen as the squeaky-clean hero he is today. After all, Robin Hood was very violent in the early ballads and another medieval chronicler referred to him as a cut-throat (or murderer). Still while this isn’t the earliest reference to Robin, nor to Robin in Sherwood Forest, it is an exciting discovery for those who study Robin Hood.
There have been a lot of changes to this film in the last month or so.
On Feb. 17, 2009, MTV’s Movie Blog revealed the film is no longer called Nottingham, the sheriff’s role has been reduced and now Russell Crowe is playing Robin Hood alone. (When the film began, Crowe was cast as a good sheriff, and then both Robin and the Sheriff, and now solely Robin.)
Reports vary on whether the film is now untitled or will simply be called Robin Hood. Filming starts in a couple weeks.
There have also been more casting announcements. After some speculation, Oscar-winner Cate Blanchett has been cast as Marian (previously to be played by Sienna Miller). Scott Grimes has been cast as Will Scarlet and Kevin Durand will play Little John. And finally Canadian Celtic musician, Alan Doyle – lead singer of Great Big Sea – has been cast as Allen-a-Dale. In an MTV interview, Doyle said the film would feature a lot of singing. It seems fitting to me (gosh, I wonder why) that the character named Allen/Allan/Alan is played by a Canadian. But others are annoyed at the mostly non-British cast, as in this article from the Daily Express.
It's been a while, but I've finally got a few things to update.
With the buzz about the upcoming Ridley Scott film Nottingham starring Russell Crowe as a heroic Sheriff of Nottingham (and apparently as Robin too, see below), it seemed time to reflect on earlier positive portrayals of the sheriff. So, I've posted a new interview with poet and novelist Michael Cadnum, author of the Robin Hood novels In a Dark Wood and Forbidden Forest.
While I've been away from the site, the upcoming Nottingham film has gone through some changes. Filming was postponed to next year, with stories of the wrong colour of leaves and script problems delaying the production. Sienna Miller was supposedly cast as Marian before the hiatus, and there were a variety of casting rumours for Robin. The most recent statement from MTV News is that Crowe will be playing both Robin and the Sheriff. (They deny the obvious Fight Club possibility of a split personality.) Click here to read the MTV news article including Scott's somewhat skewed version of history. Crowe seems a bit reluctant about the film now, but also is familiar with the Robin Hood legend.
And finally, a bit of self-promotion here. My article from the 1999 Robin Hood conference has finally been published in the new scholarly collection Bandit Territories edited by Helen Phillips, Unfortunately, the folks at the University of Wales Press misspelled my name. (It's Allen.) My article is on Robin Hood comic books of the 1950s and how the outlaw legend was modified to fit a time when authority figures could not be challenged. Other articles in the book look at homosexual themes in the legend, film and TV versions of Robin and Little John, the outlaw in the novels of Sir Walter Scott and in early American literature and more.
The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation's podcasting service is featuring an edited version of the award-winning documentary Ideas: Hunting for Robin Hood for download here. It should be online for about four weeks.
Also, the first season of the 1955 TV Series The Adventures of Robin Hood is finally coming to North American Region 1 DVD in a complete season set. Buy it here from Amazon.com at a really good price.
I've just added a new interview with Bo Hampton and Robert Tinnell, the creators of a new online comic - Demons of Sherwood.
Unfortunately, Sherwood lost the bid for 50 million pounds. Plans to restore the forest will probably have to be scaled back, although restoration efforts will continue. Visiting the Sherwood Forest Trust site to find out how you can help.
The vote is on. Sherwood Forest has a bid to win 50 million pounds in a special UK lottery. Your vote could ensure the survival of Sherwood Forest for centuries to come. Robin Hoods old and new -- Kevin Costner and Jonas Armstrong -- have both publicly supported the bid and so do I. The forest is in danger, and does need money to survive. UK residents can call 0870 2424 603 to register their vote, but they can also vote at www.thepeoples50million.org.uk. The vote is technically only open to UK residents, although I don't know if the website notices which country you are voting from. More information can be found at the www.robinhood.co.uk website.
You might have noticed that the site has been up and down this week, and for a while it went through a time warp and turned into a 2005 version of itself. It's been a week of crazy technical screw ups that have prevented me from promoting the Sherwood vote as much I'd have liked. Sorry for all the chaos.
Recently, I added some PayPal links to the site. If you appreciate my website, feel free to donate a buck or two to its upkeep. Look at the green sidebar -- the TipJar isn't on every page. I left them off the kid-friendly Beginner's Guide, for example.
Finally, ComicMix.com features online comics, and this week saw the premiere of Demons of Sherwood by artist/co-writer Bo Hampton and co-writer Robert Tinnell. Expect some interviews up here about this new comic.
The folks at IESB have posted a script review of the first draft of Nottingham, the upcoming film directed by Ridley Scott and starring Russell Crowe. As I mentioned earlier, it sounds somewhat like the P.C. Doherty mystery novel Assassin in the Greenwood only far less sedate. Producer Brian Glazer recently said "Nottingham is the ‘Gladiator’ version of Robin Hood" over on MTV Movies Blog. The script review suggests the action takes place during Richard's captivity, but the MTV article states that the sheriff witnesses King Richard's death, placing the story a few years later. (Incidentally, King Richard didn't die on his way home from the Crusades but years later in France.) In articles circulating in various papers today, such as Scotland's Daily Record on 10/29/2007, Crowe notes "I'm a big Robin Hood fan and have been since I was a little kid." He went on to say "We'll have a look at the Hollywood mythology and how much of that is embedded in the psyche of people when they think of Robin Hood." And finally, "I tell you this - Richard the Lionheart won't be bounding up in the last scene and saving the day. Richard was a bloke who only spoke French. And who only spent six months of his 10-year reign in England. And besides, Richard Harris is dead." (The late Richard Harris played a nasty King Richard in Robin and Marian.
I'll have more news on this later, but Sherwood Forest has a bid in on the People's Lottery Giveaway. A victory would mean 50 million pounds to plant new trees, build a new visitor's centre and well, just revitalize one of Robin's homes. Brian Blessed, who played Robin's father in Prince of Thieves has publicly supported the bid. If you live in the UK, please consider voting for it.
Rocket Robin Hood is coming to DVD. For those of you who didn't grow up in Canada, this 1960s animated series featured the adventures of Robin's 30th Century descendant and his intrepid band based on Sherwood Asteroid. An early episode features a time-travelling team-up with the original Robin. Later episodes are bizarre and produced by Ralph Bakshi (some episodes were recycled into his Spider-Man series). The San Diego Comic Con often shows episodes in their Worst Cartoons Ever panel. [Note: This DVD Release was later cancelled.]
I've been delaying publishing a review of the BBC/Tiger Aspect Robin Hood series, pending some discussions with the BBC Publicity department. But as the second series hits the UK airwaves tonight, I've decided that I have waited long enough. Read the Spotlight Review to find out what I thought was good and not so good about the first series (updates will follow in future weeks about the second series) and also a special feature article about the Crusades in the Robin Hood legend.
Also, the 2nd volume of Robin of Sherwood DVD has been released in North America. These episodes are from the third season with Jason Connery as Robin. You can order it on Amazon.com
Russell Crowe is to play the Sheriff of Nottingham in an upcoming movie where Robin is the prime suspect in murders. This isn't the first time the sheriff has been portrayed as heroic. An earlier example was the novel The Sheriff of Nottingham by Richard Kluger, although the ne'er-do-well Robin only had a minor role in that book. Robin was, unjustly, a murder suspect in the P.C. Doherty novel, The Assassin in the Greenwood. The new movie's script is by Ethan Reiff. I wish the new project well. Actually, I think Crowe would have been an excellent choice to play the tougher Robin Hood of the early ballads.
It's been a long time coming, but Robin of Sherwood will finally get a proper North American DVD release starting in March 2007. You can now pre-order the first set (all Michael Praed episodes) on Amazon.com. It will have nearly all the many special features as the European release, except for a Clannad video. I've updated a few of the pages to reflect this good news.
I've been away from the site for a while. While I have seen several episodes of the new BBC series, I did not write a review yet. I'll probably craft one for after the series finale. I did, however, add a brief mention of Djaq when talking of the Muslim band members in the Film and Fantasy section of my Wolfshead through the Ages page.
Well, I'm still working on my articles about my most recent trip. But today is a rather important day, as the new Robin Hood TV series starring Jonas Armstrong (the tapes were recovered) premieres on BBC One tonight. I hope it's enjoyable and introduces a new generation of fans to the Robin Hood legend.
Living in Canada, I won't see the episode for about a week or so (depending on when a very dear friend mails me a copy), but expect a lengthy review when I do see it. (I don't know if I'll review every episode, but I'll definitely cover a few of them in detail. I am especially looking forward to the episodes written by Paul Cornell, as I enjoyed his work on Doctor Who.) I also hope to have other special features related to the new programme.
But feel free to discuss the new show over at the Blue Boar Inn, I've created a special forum for the new series. I've also inserted a few references about the new show into my Wolfshead Through the Ages article about the history of the Robin Hood legend.
Oh, and you may have see some recent news articles talking about how American "historian" Stephen R. Lawhead has proved that the original Robin Hood was Welsh. Sigh. It's a sign of our times that newspapers are unable to tell the difference between fact and fiction. Lawhead's new book Hood is a novel, a work of historical fiction. I wish that reporters were able to make that distinction.
This morning, the British tabloids are reporting that HD master tapes for the new BBC Robin Hood series have been stolen and are now being held by Eastern European gangsters for a ransom of 1 million pounds. Cruel irony or publicity stunt? Here's the link to the Daily Mirror's article.
Meanwhile, I have added a couple of links for websites related to the new series. Hopefully it will make it to air soon. But if you want to watch something Robin Hood-related while you are waiting, I've added more videos to the Recommended Viewing page.
I recently flew to England to take part in a new BBC documentary about Robin Hood, which will be used to launch their new series. The interview was conducted at the 2006 Robin Hood Festival in Sherwood Forest. I'll be expanding my Personal Journey section and even writing a spotlight about the Festival in the coming days. Meanwhile, I have added quite a few new photos to my Picture Gallery of Nottingham, Sherwood and the Festival.. And yes, obviously I have been in touch with the publicity folks for the new BBC series (due to air in September), and I hope to have some updates on that really soon.
The festival was showing a two-minute trailer for the new BBC series. It begins with (I assume) Little John asking "Are you Robin of Locksley -- Robert, earl of Huntingdon?" When Robin says yes, Little John replies "Good" and then punches our hero. Of course, there's some swordfighting and archery, and the trailer has something of a jokey manner.
More casting announcements have appeared in the Daily Mirror. 19-year old Lucy Griffiths will be Maid Marian, Keith Allen will cause trouble as the Sheriff of Nottingham, and Richard Armitage will play Guy of Gisbourne. Filming should start soon.
The Daily Mirror has announced the BBC's new Robin Hood - little-known actor Jonas Armstrong. The series will film in Hungary and air in the same pre-watershed timeslot as the new Doctor Who. I hope it is as creatively and critically successful as the new adventures of the Doctor.
Today, I turned on the hotlink protection on my site. You see, a lot of blogs, dating profiles and idiotic skateboarding message boards have been loading images directly from my site. I'm stuck paying the bandwidth costs, and these sites don't even acknowledge me. Read up on bandwidth theft to understand this widespread problem. Things are a bit busy now, but I promise I will have an update by early February.
Happy New Year! I started off the New Year by winning the 2005 Content Site of the Year Award from Vie's Inn of Wonders. It's quite an honour. You can read a brief interview with me here
I've added a few new links to the ballads of the Curtal Friar (Friar Tuck), Little John and Maid Marian directing them to other articles on my site about those characters.
The BBC has officially confirmed the new Robin Hood TV series. It will be written by Dominic Minghella, and produced by Tiger Aspect. They're still shopping for Robin Hoods, although earlier this year James McAvoy and singer Robbie Williams had been raised as possible Robins. A BBC news article can be found here.
And paying homage to past TV Robin Hoods, I added a bit more information on the famous theme song to my article on The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene.
My site was unavailable for a day and half as my webhost had some major problems. Sorry if you couldn't log on during that time. (Note to my webhost: People like it if you actually apologize for inconveniences.)
I've just won the Gold Award from Vie's Inn of Wonders, which is quite an honour. I've also added a brief summary of my experiences at the recent 2005 Robin Hood academic conference to my Personal Journey page.
Tomorrow marks the 50th anniversary of the first UK transmission of the classic TV series The Adventures of Robin Hood starring Richard Greene. So, I've written Spotlight review of this fondly-remembered show.
I'm pretty busy at the moment working on my paper for the upcoming Robin Hood academic conference. However, my site has just won the Gold Site of the Month Lynx Award, which means I've added a new graphic to my Awards page.
I've just added a review of the 1952 Ivanhoe film starring Robert Taylor and Elizabeth Taylor to the Spotlight of the Month section. It's only the first part in a series of Ivanhoe-related spotlights.
One of my favourite TV series of recent years has been the refurbished and re-invented Doctor Who. Its great success for the BBC has made the channel consider reviving other TV heroes of days past. In particular, a new Robin Hood TV series is being considered for the BBC's return to Saturday night family viewing. Commissioner of BBC Drama Jane Tranter remarks “Like Dr Who, we would try and reinvent it with a degree of modernity." I wish them well. Actually, much of what makes the new Dr. Who series tick would work very well for Robin Hood. The outlaw hero has become too safe in recent centuries, and he could use the kind of edge that Christopher Eccleston's Doctor has. But while Robin Hood needs some grit, you can't forget the humour. Even when he was brigand decapitating his foes, Robin had a sense of humour. Oh, and my choice for a TV Robin? I still say that Sean Bean would make a great Robin. (Oh, and pretty much television's first Robin Hood was Patrick Troughton who went on to play the Doctor.)
The Mirror.co.uk website reports that Dominic Minghella will write the series and that it might star James McAvoy. But given that the Mirror wrongly said the BBC has never done a Robin Hood TV series (the Troughton one, the 1975 The Legend of Robin Hood and Maid Marian and her Merry Men), that Errol Flynn was the first Robin Hood (forgetting about Douglas Fairbanks and the other silent screen Robins) and misspelled the name of some Robin Hood actors - well, I'd take the article with a grain of salt.
I was a bit hasty in my last update. Real life has got in the way, and the Ivanhoe spotlight is still being written. I think it will be worth the wait. I have just updated the Wolfshead Through the Ages section that mentions Ivanhoe, however.
Yesterday was the one-year anniversary of this site being moved to its new URL at www.boldoutlaw.com. There are still many websites out there that link to my old site. Sigh.
I've added a few new links to my Legendary Links section. I'm also working on a very lengthy spotlight about Sir Walter Scott's Ivanhoe, which should be posted within a week.
It's been a while, but I've finally completed a new spotlight review. This one is on Princess of Thieves, a 2001 TV movie starring Keira Knightley as Robin Hood's daughter. The spotlight also contains information about other stories that feature Robin's offspring.
A few weeks ago, the British press announced that Nottinghamshire was shedding its Robin Hood image in favour of a slanted N logo. It's not the first time that a "we've got more than just Robin Hood" sentiment from Nottinghamians has been reported in the press as a "Robin Hood? We're so over him!" attitude. As someone who has spent a lot of time promoting Robin Hood and Nottingham, I feel a bit hurt. I come from a Canadian city that's similar to Nottingham in many respects, with a bit of unsavoury reputation across the country. I know that Hamilton, Ontario would trade its soul to have an internationally-recognized tourism icon like Robin Hood. I suspect the outlaw hero will reclaim his former place on Nottinghamshire tourism brouchures before too long. In the meantime, this gives Yorkshire tourism folks a chance to further their own claim on the legend.
I've added a bit about Robin Hood's traditional death dates to the Beginner's Guide page. Also, I have expanded the "Comic Books and Copycats" page of the Wolfshead Through the Ages section. I've mentioned the "Jaynestown" episode of the Firefly series where one of the smuggler heroes acquires an undeserved Robin Hood-like reputation. The western style of that science fiction show allowed me to segue into the various "Robin Hood of..." westerns starring Roy Rogers and Gene Autry, and also the Robin Hood qualities in the legends of Billy the Kid and Jesse James. I also added another political figure, the late Tooker Gomberg. As a mayoral candidate in Toronto, he once dressed up as the outlaw hero and aimed a suction cup arrow at the mayor. Gomberg got my vote.
I've just added The Debate Over Robin Hood Country. This features interviews with David Hinchliffe, MP for Wakefield, and Graham Allen, MP for Nottingham North, on whether the Robin Hood legend belongs to Yorkshire or Nottinghamshire.
I've just added a timeline for the television series, Robin of Sherwood. I originally wrote this for a mailing list several years ago. It has appeared on other websites, and so I thought I should add it to my own site.
I've just added a new Spotlight review article on Antonia Fraser's Robin Hood, a children's novel from the 1950s. I'm still working on an extra-long spotlight for the film Robin and Marian.
Also, I have added some new information to the Wolfshead Through the Ages section, mostly about the Reginald de Koven and Harry B. Smith comic opera.
What's new? A lot. Today sees the official launch of my new URL, www.boldoutlaw.com. If you've been to my site at the old location, some of the changes should be apparent. There's a green navigational bar at side now. I've added new sections such as How to Use This Site, a search engine and Site Map.
Also, I have posted three new interviews.
Elsa Watson is the author of the novel Maid Marian.
John Hartshorne was the Sheriff of Nottingham in 2003 - 2004, and has recently been installed as the city's Lord Mayor.
Izi Banton is the Park Manager of Sherwood Forest Country Park -- yes, the real Sherwood.
And I'm not finished improving the site. Coming in the next couple of days is a very indepth Spotlight on the film Robin and Marian, some additions to my Wolfshead pages and more.
As the Sheriff of Nottingham (in Robin of Sherwood) once said ... "it's not over. It will never be over."
Care to see what was new in years past? Visit the What's New Archive.