Doctor Who: Series 8 Review – ‘Robot of Sherwood’

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BBC America

Showrunner: Steven Moffat

Starring: Peter Capaldi, Jenna Louise Coleman & Tom Riley

Series 8, Episode 3 – ‘Robot of Sherwood’ 

“Ha! Ha!” There’s quite a bit of that in this week’s episode, “Robot of Sherwood”.
The story centers around The Doctor offering to take Clara to anywhere or anytime in the universe and Clara decides that she really just wants to meet Robin Hood! The Doctor, however, does not approve. He sees Robin Hood as nothing more than a legend, while Clara sees him as a real person. The Doctor acquiesces, hoping to prove Clara wrong, and brings them to Sherwood Forest.

What Worked:

  • Peter Capaldi Continues to Get Better – It was nice to see a more madcap variation on this Doctor’s personality. He had a very Looney Tunes feel. From “testing” the Merry Men to see if they were in fact human (and being disappointed that they were), to having to nonchalantly deliver some “BAD NEWS!” to the minstrel. This episode also showed his more tender side. A little bit of Matt Smith’s Doctor also came out here as The Doctor was more optimistic by the end, especially in contrast to his previous episodes.
  • The Doctor Fights Robin Hood with a Spoon – This had me laughing. Only Peter Capaldi could make me believe that he could defeat Robin Hood with a tool meant for breakfast cereal. This sequence only furthered Capaldi’s charm. The fight achieves even more credibility when Robin Hood uses some of The Doctor’s tactics when battling The Sheriff of Nottingham later on.

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  • Robin Hood – Tom Riley portrayed Robin Hood wonderfully, both as the legend that is timeless and also as a man who is probably not an angel. His constant laughing harkened back to the days of Errol Flynn taking up the bow and arrow. Tom Riley was clearly having fun, and you know what? So was I!
  • Clara, The Doctor and Robin Hood as a team – Dysfunctional and yet, functional. What better odd couple could there possibly be than The Doctor and Robin Hood? Together, they bicker like an old couple and Clara is the one that has to lead since The Doctor is busy trying to prove his point and Robin Hood is seemingly in over his head with robots from outer space and all.
  • Continuation of The Promised Land plot – Interesting. Let’s see when this comes into play again.

What Didn’t Work:

  • Not a big fan of the Robots – They felt like step-children of the Cybermen. They weren’t terrible villians, but they were just…there. I was hoping for a little more menace.

Overall, this was a really fun episode that harkened back to Classic Who. Three episodes in and The Scarf has not been disappointed. The tone was perfect, given the heaviness of “Into the Dalek”, and honestly, who doesn’t love a good team-up story?

8.5/10