It has been incredibly difficult for me not to say ‘Robin’ when speaking this title. In denial about robots maybe?*
I was surprised to see so much divisiveness over this episode. It’s Doctor Who, it’s not high art; it’s a bit of fun, a romp, a laugh. Some people didn’t like it. I think they are watching the wrong show. I found it delightful. The Doctor gets grumpy and childish – not nice to see, perhaps, but certainly not out of character. Capaldi continues flawless. Clara continues brilliant. Fictional people become real; there are robots and explosions and ordinary people fighting back against the oppressor. Absolutely zero to complain about.
THE SPOON. I adored the spoon, and literally no one else seems to have noticed. Is that not almost precisely the scene between Anthony Hopkins and Antonio Banderas from ‘Mask of Zorro?’ Right down to the glove? And how very Doctorish to bring a spoon to a swordfight. How very Robin Hood to return his opponent’s gesture in kind. I loved it. I loved that Robin went on to use the Doctor’s trick against a mortal enemy.
THE SCENE. A beheading was notoriously cut at the last minute. Personally, if I hadn’t known I would never have noticed. The re-edit passes smoothly, with no awkward jumps or nonsensical moments. Apparently the Sheriff’s robot-ness was supposed to be revealed in this scene; I consider it unnecessary. His potential to return is made apparent by the gold-encrusted hands reaching from the vat, and the vessel’s destination. Personally I like the ambiguity anyway.
THE PROMISED LAND. Another appearance by Missy would have been too much, but to drop the thread completely would have disappointed as well. This struck a perfect balance. I am looking forward to the reveal, and I desperately hope that Moffat doesn’t screw it up.
PATRICK TROUGHTON OMG!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! I had JUST seen this picture online a few days before watching the ep, and I was tickled to spot it. I understand Troughton was the first actor to portray the bandit on television. Well done sir.
Other: Marion felt a bit forced, but she seemed a decent character for all the tiny bit of screen time she got. (Yes I suspected it was her from the start.) The episode was very lady-light; I guess that’ll happen when you combine Moffat and the tradition of Robin Hood stories. I love the ‘We’re all stories in the end’ moment, and the ‘gift.’ I love Clara’s dress and her badassery. I love the Doctor cheating at archery, after being so brilliant against a sword. The focus on gold made me think Cybermen, which with Moffat around is difficult to dismiss entirely.
In short: I had fun. Looking forward to more drama this weekend.
*Actually, yes. I never did buy the Doctor’s theory that Robin was a robot; I thought he was just offended by the idea that someone he thought fictional could be real. One of those lovely meta moments I suppose, when one’s own fictionality gets a little too much light. Can we have Sherlock Holmes next please? (Not the BC version, for preference…)