Comic Vine Review

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Doctor Who #803 - Robot of Sherwood

3

The Doctor finds out Robin Hood is real and so is a whole slew of danger!

No Caption Provided

Warning: Spoilers ahead!

Clara wants to see Robin Hood and the Doctor says he doesn't exist so they head to England back in 1190 AD to find him. The Doctor meets him right outside of the TARDIS. After a sword and spoon fight, Robin Hood brings the Doctor and Clara to meet his Merry Men.

The Doctor spends the time getting samples from the group to see if they're real. The Doctor finds out the Sheriff of Nottingham is wrapped up with some robots. But who are these robots and can the Doctor stop them?

The idea for this story is a bit silly and Robin Hood is a bit of a doofus, but it's great to see the Doctor go toe to toe verbally with him and make fun of him. The look on the Doctor's face anytime Robin does something is priceless. It's pure annoyance, which is exactly how I feel about a story about Robin Hood. "I'd like to see if his head keeps laughing if you chop it off" is my favorite line of this series thus far.

However, the back and forth battle of wits between the Doctor and Robin Hood eventually becomes a bit annoying. Briefly put, it becomes very "hammy." As much as one in particular scene bugs the living day lights out of me, where the Doctor and Robin struggle to grab some keys with their feet, Capaldi's tone and delivery are the only worthwhile things here. Yes, I will continue to praise Capaldi as long as he keeps getting me through rough waters in this show.

The Doctor has this obsession with Robin Hood only being a legend. He's dumbfounded with the idea that Robin Hood is possibly real. I don't get it. How could The Doctor's mind be blown with something as small as that? It turns into this heavy handed idea, at the end, that legends can be based on fact. It basically spells it out for the viewer. In this season, the writing team is treating their audience like idiots and over-explaining the themes and meanings of each episode. It's insulting.

Annoyances aside, this humor continues at the camp and what Peter Capaldi does exceptionally well is deliver some of these darker and humorous lines in a straight to the punch way. He says his line and moves on, aside from other Doctors who may make a bit of a "I just made a joke" face right afterwards. Capaldi's Doctor still has the sense of humor as previous Doctors but the jokes almost like a knee jerk reaction and less of him actually trying to be a jokester.

Clara continues to be a more developed character and less of a two dimensional companion. Her lines are a bit better in this episode and she's a bit more headstrong and independent instead of a character who struggles to do anything on her own and someone who needs the Doctor at every waking moment. This is the first time, in a long time, where I enjoyed Clara in an episode. With this and building on her relationship back in normal times, this may be a stand-out season for this character.

When it comes to the baddies of this episode, the robot designs are pretty darn cool. It's a great mixture of future tech and medieval awesomeness. It's also just nice to see a non-familiar enemy in this series. Although, this is technically the second time Doctor Who has gone to the "robot-well" in this series. Regardless, alien and robot design has always been a stand-out part of this series.

In the end, there are sappy, happy endings abound. Robin finds Marian. He thanks the Doctor and everyone is pleased. It couldn't be more silly and a forcibly happy ending. Once again, it feels like the writers are dumbing down this show to put smiles on viewers faces by wrapping up everything in the nice, little package, no matter how pointless it seems.

Expectations were insanely low for this episode because the previews for it looked incredibly awful. However, it turned out to be a fun romp, but not much more than that. Nothing is added to the "heaven" overarcing story which we saw in the first two episodes, and while there are lots of problems with the episode, it still ends up being pretty fun. Capaldi is nailing it as the Doctor and finally, Clara is worthwhile in this episode and given a bit of meat. Overall, it was a solid episode but not much more.

28 Comments

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NightFang3

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Edited By NightFang3

After watching this episode, I know want a new Robin Hood. Get on it BBC!

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MadeinBangladesh

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After watching this episode, I know want a new Robin Hood. Get on it BBC!

We already have him on CW.

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TheBlueAngel93

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This was a fun, silly, and at some points a bit ridicules and I think that's probably why I enjoyed it so much. This was one of those random, standalone episodes that was just The Doctor and Clara having a fun adventure in time and space. Honestly we need more episodes like this in series 8.

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lagozzino

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For me this was a good wacky episode. Yeah it was hammy and cheesy, but Doctor Who is a mostly hammy and cheesy franchise. Its nice to get some silliness and banter in between the melodrama.


Also, is it just me or was Clara basically being written as Amy Pond in this episode?

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leokearon

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I was glad they didn't make it a crossover with that Awful Robin Hood show BBC did a couple of years back.

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sentryman555

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Actually I think it's wrong to say nothing was added to the overarching "heaven" story in this. As the sheriff and robots were also trying to get to paradise in this episode. It does add to the question "Why are all these people trying to get to paradise and what exactly is it?" plus the doctor sees the robots are trying to get to paradise and makes the connection that more people are trying to get to this place.

As for the episode, I think the doctor is just so set in thinking he knows everything that he's just can't process that robin hood is real because it contradicts something he thinks he knows. I really hope Robin Hood makes another appearance eventually since the banter between him and the doctor was gold for me in this episode.

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Mucklefluga

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Edited By Mucklefluga

This episode made me hugely miss the Robin Hood show which was out some years back. I loved that show.

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WarDishy_

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Also, is it just me or was Clara basically being written as Amy Pond in this episode?

Ah, perhaps that's why I found her bearable. And also maybe because it somehow felt like she was less central in this episode.

Overall, decent episode but nothing special. I love how curmudgeonly this Doctor is. The silliness was almost too much at times but at least it was more entertaining than the slightly boring episodes we've had thus far. The preview for the next episode seems promising too.

Also, for some reason, Ben Miller as the Sheriff of Nottingham struck me as looking quite similar to Anthony Ainsley. Maybe it's just me?

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StarWatcher

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Edited By StarWatcher

I quite liked the silly jokes and humourous moments, Capaldi handled them like a champ.

However the storyline itself was pretty shallow and uninteresting imo... Also, 3rd episode of the season and already the plotlines are getting repetitive. Crashed ship on earth (and england lol), robots trying to take advantage of humans, yadda yadda... I hope the upcoming eps get more creative because the humour and acting alone won't keep me watching forever.

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timelord786

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Loki9876

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It was a fun, silly episode. The preview for next week's episode looks very cool.

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Benk111

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Edited By Benk111

hated this episode

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MaskedGuy

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After the past two episodes, i feel this was not as good as the previous but i still like it, a more light hearted episode definitely but still good

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IDontLikeBirds

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I enjoyed it. Not a great episode, but a nice thing to come home and watch after work. I'm enjoying Capaldi as the The Doctor and the change in his attitude: "has anyone ever punched you in the face?". As much as I liked the previous Doctors, it's nice to see him be a bit of a jerk, especially after all he's been through for hundreds of years and what he has to deal with. I got tired of all the "oh I made a joke, now I'm going to smile and be charming" that previous Doctors did.

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tximinoman

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TheDalek

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I was glad they didn't make it a crossover with that Awful Robin Hood show BBC did a couple of years back.

Me too, I loved the banter between The Doctor and Robin Hood. Great episode imo.

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Blizaga101

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This ep was silly fun for me, I smiled for most of it, but it did feel childish. Those robots looked really cool, i hoped there'd be more development with them.

Did anyone else hope Robin was a robot, we could have got a real emotional scene that way.

But I feel like its finally paid off, as next weeks preview looked spine tingling. Doctor who is always at its best when its more horror centric, in my opinion. I love my horror episodes.

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Devbob98

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@blizaga101: next weeks looks like reversed weeping angels and that's just boring.

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Devbob98

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@blizaga101: next weeks looks like reversed weeping angels and that's just boring.

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bloggerboy

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A fun episode but I'm just maybe expecting too much from this show. Doesn't help that the same channel just ran repeats of the Series 3 finale three parter Utopia/The Sound of Drums/The Last of the Time Lords which were stellar in my opinion.

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ScarletBatman

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Edited By ScarletBatman

3 stars for this stellar episode? Really? It was funny, quick and enjoyable! Vastly superior to the last episode, which really fell flat (especially considering its cool concept). This episode was light-hearted and definitely written (and acted) in the vein of the classic Doctor (who was not embroiled in doom and gloom (the way he often is in the newer series)).

I have to really disagree with your idea that this episode did not contribute to the meta-plot. These robots were looking for the Promised Land, just like the ones from the first episode. Additionally, they chose to disguise themselves and hide in plain sight. There has to be a reason for this. Just because we did not see the Mistress, does not mean she did not welcome these Knight-bots into her Promised Land. It is just a superfluous scene that would have played out in much the same way as the last two encounters.

Also, did anyone else get a clear Men in Tights vibe from this Robin? Maybe it was just the mustache but he really felt like a solid stand in for Cary Elwes.

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RalfvdH

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This episode was one the rare moments where I don't like an episode of Doctor Who.... Found most of the episode annoying... Stupid laughter... stupid Robin Hood.... This one didn't do it for me. I liked Peter Capaldi in the first 2, but not in this one. Except the spoon fight. That was good.
The fourth one looks promising, though. :)

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Lvenger

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Edited By Lvenger

It was a fun, light hearted episode which the new series has been in deep need of. Granted it wasn't the deepest but it had a nice take on the inspiration myths and stories can give ordinary people to make themselves better. Robin's comment about how others would be heroes in their name was one of the best parts. Not to mention Ben Millar as The Sheriff of Nottingham, he was superb.

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Cave_Duck

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I enjoyed this episode despite the flaws- the less I think about the golden arrow saving the day, the happier I'll be.

But I keep wondering if I missed a bit- The Doctors sonic was confiscated when they were captured, but I don't remember him actually getting it back?