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?