The Doctor takes the TARDIS to medieval Sherwood Forest to prove to his companion Clara Oswald that Robin Hood is fictitious. But the TARDIS is penetrated by one of the legend’s arrows after the space and time ship lands.
Robot of Sherwood is a light piece of comedy fluff, as episodes of Doctor Who go, giving new Doctor actor Peter Capaldi a chance to exercise his comedy muscles.
It’s a welcome break from the darkness of the first two outings this season.
Capaldi does more than well playing against Jenna Coleman as Clara dressed in the red garb of a medieval lady. This vision of beauty is surely the episode’s highlight, since there’s not a heck of a lot else going on in this one, other than the banter between the Doctor, Clara and Robin Hood and his band of merry men.
Tom Riley does a good turn as the hilarity filled Hood, who is surely a robot. But none of his merry men are really fleshed out. The story takes Hood away from his gang as he joins the Doctor and Clara in their own adventure.
Comedian Ben Miller almost steals the show from Capaldi as the Sheriff of Nottingham. He just about avoids performing a parody of the black hat and makes it his own.
A great moment is a blink and you’ll miss it one showing a picture of second Doctor actor Patrick Troughton as Robin Hood. It’s from a production predating his Doctor Who days. Yes, that’s Troughton’s black and white photo on the view screen.
But the concept of Mark Gatiss’s script gets tired halfway through? Where is show runner Steven Moffat when we need him? It doesn’t really recover until the end when the Doctor and fabled outlaw, dressed in Lincoln Green, swap notes.
This is the weakest episode of Series 8 to date, it really could have been so much better, but next week’s looks promising from the shorts.