[SPOILERS] It’s Minute Review time! This week, Doctor Who series 8 episode 3: Robot of Sherwood. Skipping all the usual blah-blah, here are the pros, the cons, and then we can all get back to anxiously awaiting the next episode.
HITTING THE GOLD:
- There is a lot of fun to be had in ‘Robot of Sherwood’. Particularly in the competitive bickering between the Doctor and Robin Hood. Perhaps the “stubborn alpha male” cliché extended a bit longer than it should have but I was enjoying it too much to push that as a serious complaint. Through these exchanges we get further insight into the 12th Doctor’s somewhat curmudgeonly persona. Sure, he’s grumpy but this episode proves that grumpy can be fun, too.
- Visually this episode looks great. The production and post-production teams are at the top of their game from the nearly over-saturated greenery of the forest to the dark, blue dungeon to the design of the “robot knights”.
- The Sheriff of Nottingham, played by Ben Miller, was made up in a way that had me (and no doubt every fan with some working knowledge of the classic series) saying, “Why is this guy NOT the Master!?” Regardless, he was an interesting villain that I wouldn’t have minded seeing flushed out a bit more. Also, what a horrible way to go.
- There is some seriously over-the-top, ridiculous, eye-rolling stuff in this episode. Several times the episode takes the “hey, this is just a bit of fun” notion right over the edge into live action cartoon lunacy. We’re really going to do this archery competition cartoon bit? Are there really that many gold plates laying around at everyone’s instant disposal? Did they really have to bounce the laser around the final knight like that? And finally…
- The gold arrow! What? Why? How? If you’ve seen the episode you know exactly what I’m referring to. This is one of the dumbest things I’ve seen in the series. I’m even going to forgive the laser game mentioned in the last bullet point as an indulgent flight of fancy. This just seems idiotic.
- So, what was the deal with these robot invaders anyway? The episode never gives us a proper back story for them outside of another “Promised Land” mention. Their motivations for striking up a deal with the Sheriff seem unclear and since the aforementioned golden arrow gave them just enough boost to (instantaneously) reach orbit and explode just as they do it doesn’t seem like we will be seeing them again. Perhaps the Promised Land arc will touch back on who these mechanical alien invaders were, the episode itself answered what was happening but not why.
More classic Doctor Who parallels…