Monday, October 09, 2006

Another lesson in storytelling ...

Last Saturday was the first episode of BBC's new series Robin Hood. Or perhaps it should be called Chav Robin or Robin Hoodie. With little attempt at a proper historical setting, awful costumes and a truly terrible script, it was not exactly a joy to watch. The lead has little charisma, though it's probably not the actor's fault as he hasn't much to work with. The only scene of any promise was Much taking a bath, having a short conversation about the war he'd been in (i.e. one of the Crusades) and then he began crying. That created a bit of intrigue, but it really was the only scene that even slightly piqued my interest. The best thing about it, for ladies-of-a-certain-age like me, is Richard Armitage playing Guy of Gisbourne (a baddie); his photo adorns this blog entry. Overall, the series seems very laboured, and there is much talk in reviews of it trying too hard to tick boxes. It's in the Dr Who time slot, presumably till the glorious TimeLord returns. But it's a hard act to follow, and Robin Hood is failing miserably.

In stark contrast, and this was very unfortunate indeed for the Beeb, Channel 4 showed A Knight's Tale on the same evening. This film, despite modern rock music and all sorts of anachronisms, triumphed. It was storytelling at its most confident. There was strong characterisation, good themes, great action and a cast that knew it was looking a gift horse in the mouth so played the material to the hilt. It seemed effortless. It made Robin Hood look even more pathetic. Oh. Dear. Definitely a lesson in being committed to telling a strong story, rather than trying too hard tick the boxes.


At 1:16 pm BST, Blogger Martyn said...

I missed Robin Hood as we were travelling back from Wales. I was a big fan of the 80s ITV version when I was growing up so I've been a bit reluctant to watch this one. Might give it a go next week.

Saw a Knight's Tale a few years ago and really enjoyed it. York's Mark Addy is in it if remember rightly ?

At 3:21 pm BST, Blogger Alex Bordessa said...

I'm not sure if I'll bother to watch Chav Robin this Saturday. Probably should, just in case it improves.

Yes indeed, Mark Addy is in Knight's Tale. So's the marvellous Paul Bettany :-)

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