Doctor Who News Doctor Who Number 12: Peter Capaldi

Published on April 5th, 2014 | by Jonathan Appleton

Is The Doctor About To Encounter Robin Hood?

Another snippet of casting news for Doctor Who Series 8 has pointed to an intriguing plotline we can potentially expect from episode three.

Ian Hallard, who donned a cravat to play Richard Martin in An Adventure in Space and Time, will appear in the story and according to his CV he’ll be playing Robin Hood’s minstrel chum Alan-a-Dale!

This adds to some understandable speculation that Tom Riley, the swashbuckling Leonardo from Da Vinci’s Demons, whose casting was announced this week, will be playing the famous “man in tights”.

An encounter between the Doctor and Robin Hood isn’t perhaps the first thing one would expect from a Mark Gatiss script, although on reflection maybe it isn’t so unlikely. Gatiss has built a successful career writing on topics that obsessed him as a child (Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes, horror stories) so it’s not too difficult to imagine being tempted to try a Who/Hood crossover.

The Mind Robber aside, I’m struggling to think of a time when the Doctor met fictional characters in the series (anyone?). But perhaps the real question is this: if this episode is to feature Sherwood’s greatest outlaw, what kind of Robin will it be?  Mystical and atmospheric a la Robin of Sherwood? A moody Manc like in BBC1′s Robin Hood of 2006-09? Personally I’m hoping for brutal and violent as in the classic series The Legend of Robin Hood from 1975, which Gatiss would have been just the right age to be gripped and appalled by.

However, there is one more element to consider: the rumour suggesting that the episode is called “Robots of Sherwood”…

What do you think? Looking forward to shenanigans in Sherwood? Or should this story be outlawed?

(Via Blastr.)


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About the Author


has watched Doctor Who since those great big spiders did for Jon Pertwee, and it's way too late to stop now. When he's not at his job working for a charity he spends his time following Hull City's fortunes, listening to Bruce Springsteen and wondering why it took thirty years too long for Doctor Who action figures to come along. Currently listening to: The Fifth Doctor Box Set. By, it were a crowded old TARDIS in them days...

19 Responses to Is The Doctor About To Encounter Robin Hood?

  1. avatar Dannie says:

    I think it’s a great idea. It should definitely be made. And to the thing about fictional characters. The TARDIS is, as you know, a time-machine able to travel in space and time, and also dimensions and between universes. Stories such as Harry Potter, Lord of the Rings, The Hobbit (etc.) and Robin Hood, are considered fictional dimensions or, also called, universes. These combined does mean that he would actually be able to meet fictional characters.

  2. avatar Perry Armstrong says:

    “The Mind Robber aside, I’m struggling to think of a time when the Doctor met fictional characters in the series (anyone?)”

    How about the whole Arthurian legend in ‘Battlefield’?

    I think potential exists to make something good from a Robin Hood concept. Many of the best Dr Who serials were essentially rewrites of classic literature, so why not this?

    • avatar FrancoPabloDiablo says:

      Don’t forget Frankenstein and Dracula from the chase :)

      I’m up for a Robin Hood story. Just hope it is one of Gatiss’ better scripts like The Unquiet Dead or The Crimson Horror and not a clunker like The Idiot’s Lantern or Victory Of The Daleks.

    • avatar simon magellan says:

      The characters in Battlefield were not fictional – they were from a parallel universe that had bled into ours, so the real stories of the heroes and villains of that world had become the basis of the legends in ours.

      Also, technically speaking, Arthur almost certainly existed (though not clanking around in armour) so he isn’t a fictional character anyway!

  3. avatar simon magellan says:

    They could, of course, posit that they were not fictional characters – the Doctor could meet the real people who inspired the stories.

    • avatar DonnaM says:

      Great minds think alike Simon! I was struggling with touchscreen technology to make the same suggestion below!

  4. avatar DonnaM says:

    Sounds like fun, but how about another possibility? Maybe the Doctor and Clara could somehow stumble into the founding of the Robin Hood legend? It’s got to have started somewhere, why not with some futuristic alien robots and a couple of time travellers!

  5. avatar Lozzer says:

    Hang on a minute, Robin Hood is a character that goes back many hundreds of years into English folklore – no one knows for sure if RH was or wasn’t a real peron, so it is perfectly reasonable to assume that the Doctor goes back in time and meets the person who started all these tales – the source of the folklore. That makes it no less fictional than him meeting the Cavemen in the very first story – it’s all fictionalised drama anyway.

  6. the Doctor is probably going to BE Robin Hood. That would be hilarious. And as for MAid Marian, remember… Clara and the Doctor are BOTH WEARING RINGs. waCHA! so many ways that could be AWESOME. In essence., the DOCTOR + BOW = AWESOME.

  7. avatar dr jon says:

    If it is true then I hope they film some of it at Nottingham castle to add to the story.

  8. avatar Geoff says:

    Its something different. Why not. I try not to anticipate how much I’ll like stories too much having found in the past I haven’t enjoyed stories that had a bit of hype as much as some if the less well publicised ones…maybe it’s anticipation that’s the problem but whatever the case I just tune in and try to approach each new episode with a blank slate in my mind,

  9. avatar Mugen Pharaoh says:

    The tenth doctor recalls meeting Arthur Dent. They should make that one too!

    • avatar Jamie-42 says:

      Now that would be fun…not sure some of the more rabid fans could suspend their disbelief long enough to enjoy the ride.

      For my money Douglas Adams is one writer that would have been great for the new series and we are all poorer for it…if only he could stop enjoying the wooshing sound dead-lines make as they pass by!

  10. avatar Richard Forbes says:

    Unlike many fictional characters, RH could very well be based on a real life person. The Doctor has been said to have met King Arthur in “Battlefield” (interestingly he leaves it open for a future story depicting him as Merlin – this sounds like a great story to be implied between seasons like when The Doctor became a monk between The Snowman and St. John). Ultimately, Robin Hood isn’t much more established historically than King Arthur.

  11. avatar Mark P says:

    Patrick Troughton already encountered Robin Hood!

  12. avatar craigt68 says:

    Let’s hore they pick a Master-ful actor for theSherrif of Nottingham!

  13. avatar dr jon says:

    How about peter capaldi playing two parts the Dr and sherrif of Nottingham. The 2nd Dr did it why not the 12th Dr.

    • So did William Hartnell don’t forget

  14. avatar CatPiper says:

    Regarding filming at Nottingham Castle, it would be great if they could use the castle rock, but the castle itself was built in the nineteenth century. I think there is a medieval gate (haven’t been back for years, used to live near there).

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