Newspaper Articles

Here you can find newspaper articles about the commissioning of the show, interviews with the cast and even articles on the heavy debate regarding the future of Robin Hood. The articles, by the Telegraph, Guardian and BBC Press Office, are ordered by date. I have inserted the opening section of each article as well as adding a brief summary of what each one is about. The author for each article is also provided.

One of the most prominent articles is one by the Guardian detailing the shows cancellation dated 2nd July 2009 (penultimate article). This article went into detail not only about the cancellation of Robin Hood but also raised a poignant argument about how family dramas were falling victim to the chop. The article raises an important point about where family drama now falls in our world of television. My analysis comments on other similar dramas that have been commissioned around the same time as Robin Hood and why weekly thirteen part family drama should be taken more seriously today.

Robin Hood writer prepares for the big time

Dominic Minghella, the younger brother of Oscar-winning English Patient director Anthony, could be thrust into the limelight as the writer of a new BBC1 version of Robin Hood for Saturday nights.

Jason Deans ~ 14 July 2005

A Guardian article reporting on a new BBC Saturday night drama: Robin Hood with potential writer Dominic Minghella. The article made a comparison with Doctor Who pointing out that a similar show could reach similar success.

Ex-Teacher is new Robin Hood

So the chap in green tights is Jonas Armstrong, the Sheriff of Nottingham is Keith Allen, and Friar Tuck is, oh, there is no Friar Tuck. Welcome to the new Robin Hoodie!

John Plunkett ~ 03 April 2006

Guardian article reporting on the casting of Robin Hood. The article is a little sensationalist, but provides insight into how the origins of the show were reported.

Robin Hood revealed

Filming starts today in Budapest on the highly anticipated new series of Robin Hood for BBC ONE.

BBC Press Office 03 April 2006

BBC Press Office release on the commissioning of the first series of Robin Hood.

BBC’s Robin Hood tapes stolen

Thieves have stolen the only master tapes for the BBC’s new £8m series on Robin Hood and are demanding a £1m ransom for their safe return, it is reported today.

Press Association ~ 28 August 2006

A Guardian article reporting of the theft of the shows master tapes. Luckily they were retrieved! Perhaps there would have been no or a very different Robin Hood had they not been recovered…

Tape theft may delay BBC’s Robin Hood

The BBC confirmed last night that tapes from its forthcoming drama series Robin Hood have been stolen.

Paul Lewis ~ 29 August 2006

Day two of the tape theft saga.

First review: Robin Hood

The new Robin Hood has a lot to live up to. Not only Robins gone by but another classic Saturday teatime drama series recently reinvented by the BBC – Doctor Who. So is BBC1’s new incarnation Robin Good – or Robin Bad?

John Plunkett ~ 7 September 2006

First review by the Guardian on the first episode of BBC’s Robin Hood.

Return of Robin Hood

BBC executives are banking on a gang of merry men to replicate the success of a time travelling Gallifreyan after unveiling their latest big-budget Saturday night drama.

08 September 2006

A short but sweet article reporting on the BBC’s hunt for a show that could match the success of Doctor Who.

Robin Hoodie

In the BBC’s new Saturday night TV show, Robin Hood is ‘a bit of a geezer’. Helen Brown meets its writer, and its star.

Helen Brown ~ 16 September 2006

The Telegraph’s Helen Brown meets Dominic Minghella and Jonas Armstrong to discuss the exciting new BBC drama Robin Hood.

On set with the boys from ‘the Hood’

Writing the script for the BBC’s new Robin Hood series was the easy bit. Much harder, says Dominic Minghella in his on-set diary, was trying to keep his merry band of men in check

Dominic Minghella ~ 01 Oct 2006

An insightful Telegraph article written by Dominic Minghella, using his ‘on-set diary’.

Robin Hood returns for second series in 2007

BBC Press Office ~ 23 November 2006

Article released by the BBC Press office detailing the commission of Robin Hood for a second series.

Robin Hood arrows in for a second series – starts Saturday 6 October 2007 at 7.30pm on BBC One

Robin Hood arrows in for a second series, starting soon on BBC One. Made by Tiger Aspect Productions, the drama proved a huge hit with viewers last year.

BBC Press Office 21 September 2007

BBC Press Office release detailing a second series. To the right hand side of the page, there are interviews with main members of the cast (click on the names for the article): Jonas Armstrong, Keith Allen, Richard Armitage and Lucy Griffiths.

Robin Hood: Jonas Armstrong to bow out of BBC1 drama

Jonas Armstrong, the actor who plays Robin Hood in the updated BBC1 version of the popular legend, is to leave the show at the end of the forthcoming third series.

Leigh Holmwood ~ 7 August 2008

Guardian article reporting on Jonas Armstrong’s decision to leave Robin Hood. Clearly Robin Hood had been commissioned for three series and Jonas Armstrong did not wish to renew his contract. Despite the sad news, the production team promised a ‘nail-biting finale’. Their love for the show and determination to prolong its life, despite the blow, was admirable.

Robin Hood: series three

Jonas Armstrong, who plays Robin Hood and updated the popular legend for a whole new generation, is set to bow out of series three on BBC One in an explosive, nail-biting series finale.

BBC Press Office ~ 07 August 2008

BBC Press Office release explaining the commission of the third series and Jonas Armstrong’s departure.

Robin Hood returns to BBC One on Saturday nights from 28 March 2009

Tiger Aspect Productions’ hit series Robin Hood returns to BBC One from Saturday 28 March with a host of new faces. During 13 action-packed episodes the quest continues for justice and freedom for all.

BBC Press Office ~ 18 February 2009

BBC Press Office release introducing the new faces of the cast and promoting the third series.

Robin Hood returns to BBC One – introduction

Hit series Robin Hood returns to BBC One on Saturday 28 March 2009 at 6.50pm with a host of new faces.

BBC Press Office ~ 27 March 2009

BBC Press Office release of series three. Interviews with Jonas Armstrong, Richard Armitage, Joanne Froggatt, David Harewood, Lara Pulver, Toby Stephens and Clive Standen can be accessed by clicking their names.

Robin Hood returns to BBC One – Clive Standen as Archer

BBC One audiences are in for a treat when Clive Standen bursts onto their screens as the swashbuckling half-brother of Robin Hood and Gisborne in episode eleven of Robin Hood this June. Best known to viewers as Private Harris in Doctor Who, 27-year-old Clive, seems to have been destined to play the dashing new action hero, Archer.

BBC Press Office ~ 27 March 2009

BBC Press Office release introducing Clive Standen as Archer.

Interview: David Harewood on playing Friar Tuck in Robin Hood

As David Harewood joins the cast of BBC One’s Robin Hood, he talks about why his Friar Tuck is a world away from the traditional fat foolish monk.

Serena Davies ~ 30 March 2009

An article interviewing David Harewood who played Friar Tuck in series three, detailing his thought behind the part in anticipation for the upcoming series.

BBC may move Robin Hood production from Hungary to Scotland

Corporation considering moving drama to BBC Scotland as it makes decision on whether to commission fourth series

Ben Dowell ~ 24 April 2009

As highlighted, it was clearly a tough choice. I think it is such a shame that the show failed to exist in some form beyond series three. Whilst it would have been sad to lose some of the beautiful scenery Budapest showcased, I would have done anything for a fourth series. I could have been done and would have provided some unique opportunities for creativity in telling a different version of Robin Hood – something the writers had proven they had not shied away from. Even having a spin off series or cast audio dramas inspired by the ones done by Big Finish, could keep the show alive. Themes could be explored between or during the existing three series as well as going beyond. Such as a night-watchman spin off, more holy land adventures and even ideas that didn’t quite make it into the final cut. I truly believe this would be a hit amongst fans and the show is undoubtedly strong enough to continue. As proven today, nostalgia is a powerful market!

It is so sad to hear that Robin Hood‘s continuation was so close, but didn’t quite make it over the final hurdle. With a heavy heart, an undeserved heavy, large and bleak full stop was put at the end of this beautiful version of Robin Hood.

Toff at the top! Aristocad Toby Stephens on his Robin Hood role, drink and famous parents

When Toby Stephens appears as the hilariously treacherous Prince John in the BBC’s hit series Robin Hood tomorrow, the arched eyebrows, as well as the arched manner, will be strangely familiar.

David Wigg ~ 01 May 2009

Although a little sensationalist, this article provides a rare interview with Toby Stephens who played Prince John in the third series. As Toby Stephens does not appear in any of the DVD extras on the series three boxset, it is great to be able to find an interview on his involvement in Robin Hood.

Robin Hood: easily replaced by another Archer

The BBC’s Robin Hood has never been historically accurate, or faithful to the mythology. But can it live on without the man in tights himself?

Will Hodgkinson ~ 16 June 2009

An article that is unnecessarily harsh on the proven hit Robin Hood, it explores the future of the show after the third series. Articles such as this prove that there was still an appetite for more Robin Hood as well as a reluctance for it to be axed completely.

BBC axes Robin Hood

Decision to end struggling Saturday teatime drama Robin Hood ends months of speculation about the show’s future.

Leigh Holmwood ~ 02 July 2009

The death of Robin Hood. Here lies our heroic legend.

BBC kills off Robin Hood as viewing figures fall

• Recession forces end to renaissance in TV dramas
• Talent and reality shows will fill Saturday schedule

James Robinson and Leigh Holmwood ~ 02 July 2009

Undoubtedly the most significant article which still has a strong argument today. Whilst family tea time dramas experienced a brief revival through the likes of Doctor Who, Robin Hood, Merlin and Primeval, they slowly disappeared. Whilst Robin Hood was the first to fall, it was swiftly followed by its ITV competitor Primeval. Even Merlin, that had beaten Robin Hood to the Saturday tea time slot for when Doctor Who was in production, was cancelled after five series in 2012. Whilst Merlin was successful, there has not been another family drama that has managed to reach such heights apart from Doctor Who. Despite the cancellation of Merlin, its creators refused to let family tea time drama become fully extinguished. Atlantis was launched in September 2013, lasting only two series. Its final episode was in May 2015. However Atlantis proved that family tea time drama was a challenging format to keep alive despite strong viewing figures. Perhaps because audiences had witnessed so many family tea time dramas over the years, the format had been tired out. Whilst that may have been the case, from watching all of these shows, I feel that the writing got weaker and broadcasters less interested in giving family tea time drama the support it needed. It was increasingly seen as a dying format. Out of all the family dramas, only Doctor Who has survived, owing a lot to its long history.

As highlighted by Atlantis being bumped down from 13 episodes in its first series to 12 episodes in its second series, the budget was becoming more unfriendly to these shows. Even the crown jewel, Doctor Who, which has been an iconic and staple BBC production for over fifty years, was reduced from 13 episodes to 12 episodes from its eighth series with Peter Capaldi. From series thirteen, Doctor Who has now been reduced to ten episodes. Whilst budget cuts are understandably needed across the board, there is no doubt that this genre and format has been hit particularly hard in the past few years. Once towering at 13 glorious episodes, it is now not uncommon for a family drama to consist of ten episodes. I do not believe that is enough to tell a good series story. Thirteen episodes allows for plenty of twists and turns in the plot, character development and story telling. Having less episodes produces less story, less emotion and less escapism. A thirteen part series provides three months of important escapism for audiences! Now it gets viewers just over two.

Despite the lack of support for family tea time drama since the fall of Robin Hood and Merlin, there is still appetite for it. In January 2014, a new BBC drama The Musketeers was broadcast. Incredibly well written, with vivid characters and fabulous music (from Paul Englishby), The Musketeers proved that family drama could still be a success if done well. The Musketeers even shared a writer with Robin Hood – Simon J. Ashford! Although The Musketeers was only meant to last for two series, the fact that a third one was commissioned proves that appetite for family drama did not fade away. Whilst steps were made to make the series darker to appeal to an older audience from series two onwards, the popularity of The Musketeers demonstrates the value of engaging, quality family drama. With The Musketeers ending in 2016, there has been no knowing where the next family drama will come from. I still believe it is an incredible format when the writing casting, costumes, set and music are sublime. Together they create a world that provides many hours of escapism.

The Musketeers to be cancelled by BBC after upcoming third series ...
Recently broadcast between 2014-2016, ‘The Musketeers’ remains an important example of how family drama is far from a tired format

With the rise of Netflix and streaming services, the television landscape is constantly changing more than it ever has. However there is still nothing quite like sitting down to watch a 45 minute 13 part series, on a Saturday night, awaiting with excitement at what is going to happen as a family. Whilst the world is now used to box-set binging, it has meant audiences have no patience to wait for the next episode. They increasingly expect it instantaneously. I feel that defeats the point of television. Entertainment on the home screen is best experienced when having to wait a week for the next episode. For the whole week viewers are left wondering ‘what on earth is going to happen to this character?’ or ‘how are they going to get out of that situation?’. Audiences spend the week pondering these questions, thinking through all the scenarios methodically in their heads, speaking to friends about it, researching theories online, reading about reviews and speculation in the news until… the broadcast day arrives again. Whilst this may not be representative of every audience member, the rollercoaster sensation that thirteen part family dramas have the power to provide to each viewer is unrivalled. It does not match any other experience. There is a reason why the tea time family drama format continues to last: because it is timeless. It has been forgotten how successful and cherished these shows were. I believe they deserve more of a spotlight in the world. I believe they still deserve a place in television today.

Robin Hood axed by BBC

The BBC has announced that the Saturday teatime drama Robin Hood has been axed, although viewers were given a clue when the hero of the tale was killed off at the end of the final series.

03 July 2009

An article by the Telegraph also reporting on the cancellation of Robin Hood a day later.

Remember Robin Hood? This is what the cast of hit BBC drama looks like now

21 May 2018

An ad heavy article, it is still nice to know that Robin Hood can be remembered even after all this time!