The third instalment of Doctor Who romped along thanks to a rather silly storyline involving a lot of merrie men.
As with all these series, the “fun” episodes can often go astray (let’s not mention the “Beer Bad” Buffy episode). But in the capable hands of Mark Gatiss, master of comedy, we got a fun, extremely silly episode involving spoon fights, thigh slapping merriment, and an archery tournament that felt like a deleted scene from Robin Hood Men In Tights.
In fact, Tom Riley, the actor responsible for the legendary Earl of Locksley seemed to be channelling Cary Elwes’s Robin Hood throughout. His Robin displayed much forced merriment, due to an inner sadness involving… well, I’m not entirely clear, but I think it was to do with local peasant, Marion. We spent most of the episode expecting to discover Robin was all strings and clockwork, but instead it was the Sheriff of Nottingham who brought in the robot army.
Ben Miller had a lovely time as the Sheriff, while Clara got some of the best scenes, not to mention some memorable lines “you can take a girl out of Blackpool.” And while the Doctor’s main role was a comedy partner for Robin while Clara got on with being the ringleader, Capaldi continued to shine in the part. He’s still impossible to pin down, and pleasingly grumpy after the three cheerful chappies preceding him.
This was definitely “one for the kids”, which is probably why I enjoyed it so much…
It’s probably no surprise that an episode involving a lot of mythical males didn’t pass the Bechdel test, but really would it have been so hard to have given Marion more of a role?
Those cross-shaped lasers seemed very apt in a series that seems to be heading towards an episode about paradise, the promised land and self-sacrifice.
Apparently, the next episode is AMAZING! It looks “Blink”/”Empty Child” level scary. Pillows at the ready!