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Reviewing Doctor Who Episodes Without Having Watched Them: 'Robots of Sherwood'

I saw 'Deep Breath' and 'Into the Dalek'.  Then I stopped watching Series 8.  Welcome to the first in a new series of posts in which I will be revewing the rest of Series 8 without having watched it.


Mark Gatiss, that arch-trickster of modern Doctor Who, has done it again.  In 'Robots of Sherwood' he has managed to dupe everyone into thinking he is doing nothing more than simply paying homage to the classic series, while actually flying something far more profound under the fan radar.  Yes, he has armies of robotic Merry Men stalking around Sherwood Forest, their eyes glowing red, holding out their hands and saying "Kill the humans" in calm voices, but that's where the similarities to 'Robots of Death' end.  For a start, these robotic outlaws are the good guys, cleansing the greenwood of the forces of law and order.

The triumvirate of villains in this episode - the Sheriff of Nottingham, Sir Guy de Gisbourne and King John - represent the power of the Norman state, and Robin Hood is a symbol of Saxon resistance.  It's fitting that they should use a CGI Patrick Troughton to play Robin ...

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