Fitzg’s Journey’s – Alas, Poor Robin

Fitzg’s Journeys is back for another thought-provoking post.  This time, she discusses “Alas, Poor Robin”???   Oh dear.

Click here for the big viewer.  Google is still not playing nice.

[document 1pA6lOHigd7ueg4im06p4oNEu7d1uJ1J40s9QxjSwWOw 640 700]


19 thoughts on “Fitzg’s Journey’s – Alas, Poor Robin

  1. @Joanna, bring it on. Just polishing my Gisborne Tin Woodman armour from Outremar. Should be ample protection. 😀 Except against pitch, of course….

  2. Joanna, I confess that Gisborne had me riveted. The pleasure of DVDs is that one can look at the other characters and the production from perspectives. Anyway, I like defending the under-tweeters! Just for fun. 😀

    btw, I really don’t think of Marian/Lucy as an under-tweeter.

  3. I am a critic of Robin’s character, but it has very little to do with JA’s acting ability. My issue is with how the character is written (hence the writers fault). Granted, I find RA more attractive but there is no way I’d kick JA out of my bed if he happened to find his way into it. LOL

  4. @Jael, absolutely Gisborne just did rather take over. I don’t think this was an effort on the part of Armitage. I do think Jonas was good, and yes, the scenes with Marian had authenticity. As to the writers, I’m not sure. They did seem to want a human Robin, not just a cut-out hero. Only, the villain was more compelling. We could talk  about the Robin/Much relationship. It was not a pleasant view…that was writing, and possibly a lack on Armstrong’s part (he was young) to play it a bt more sympathetically.

    • I kind of agree with your view of Robin. I think it was not so much the way the character was written, flawed and arrogant can be exciting to watch and even appealing, and not even JA’s acting talent. I do think Ra was the better actor and it showed quite painfully in the early scenes between Robin and Guy. But series 1 Robin written and acted mostly as the cheeky chappie for whom it was all a game suited JA, perhaps because it was close to his own personality. In series 2 and even more 3 they tried to write him darker and IMO it just didn’t work. The tragic hero came across as a spoilt child. I did buy Robin and Marian’s love as sweet, safe, innocent childhood-sweetheart love as opposed to the very physical attraction between Guy and Marian. However, I cannot read Robin and Marian fanfic, I’m not interest in the more tame variety and the more explicit feel “ick”, almost incestuous.  I suppose, as I still read Guy and Marian fanfic, it wasn’t all bad.

  5. Im afraid JA got the same reaction from me in a couple of episodes I saw of him playing minor roles in different series as he did in Robin Hood: He didnt convince me that he was doing anything other than speaking someone elses words, and his presence actually irritated me in ways that most actors (in the few series I watch) just dont, even when Im unconvinced by them.

    Does that mean hes A Bad Actor? I dunno. I know it makes him someone I wouldnt go out of my way to watch, and thats all I emcan/em know.

    Its my opinion that most of the actors in the series were wasted. It seemed to me like the first episode was really promising (and probably what sold the cast on signing up), and after that, it was all about painting by numbers. I reckon the writers only woke up when they were writing for the Gisbournes, Vasey, or Prince John. And those scenes showed me that the writers emcould/em do it, could make me laugh and wince and think, Oh, that was goood!, which just deepened the overall disappointment. I find myself wondering whether they were so wrapped up in some kind of Writing For Kids TV formula that they forgot to make the characters real. Theres a terrible tendency to talk down to kids. Theyll forgive all manner of wobbly sets and bad effects if the characters feel real and engage them. Adults tend to think its the other way round.

    As to shredding actors in snark communities, I just cant understand getting that wound up about any actor that Id go online and spend time and energy bad-mouthing them. After all, maybe theyre fab on stage or radio; maybe theyre growing into themselves; maybe its about script quality; maybe Ill see them in something one day, and go, Oh, they were good in that. And if we met, he might turn out to be a genuinely lovely bloke. Or a total berk.

    So, not impressed by JAs turn as Robin, but far less impressed by people being mean about the poor lad.

    And, to be fair, there really havent been many good Robin Hoods. I grew up with strongemRobin Of Sherwood/em/strong, in which all the characters were great fun, the plots were layered with all sorts of stuff I didnt get until I was older, and got pretty weird and dark at times. Dodgy effects, good characters, engaging plots that got a bit confused and raggedy by the end. Terrible Robins. Sorry to the lovers of Michael Praed and Jason Connery (the first of whom I never found engaging, the second of whom I saw in a couple of other things and thought, Oh, he was good in that!). Also, props to Judi Trott – a Marion often thwarted in her desire to be treated equally, regardless of her intelligence and determination. I liked her a lot.

    Before that, there was the late, great a href= target=_blank rel=nofollowRichard Todd/a in ibThe Story of Robin Hood and His Merrie Men /b/i(a href= target=_blank rel=nofollowclip here/a). Older by a long shot than RoS, wearing the most ridiculous costume. Yet Todd had a humour and wit and solidness about him, despite the at times wince-inducing dialogue. Hed already spent many years in film, stage, tv and radio productions; perhaps it was coming from an army family and being a Captain in the Paratroop Regiment in WWII that gave him the air of a man others would follow into a fight. Still, with all of Todds talent and charisma (how DID it all fit into such a little man?), I think he was miscast.

    We sat through Russell Crowes turn in Ridley Scotts film version. Generally a big Ridley Scott fan. Generally enjoy Russell Crowes performances (emstrongMaster and Commander/strong/em was truly wonderful). Visually fab. Both of us agreed it was an evening wed never get back, and least said, soonest mended.

    But my Robin Hood is, oddly, Errol Flynn in the 1938 film emstrongThe Adventures of Robin Hood/strong/em. Ludicrous outfit, ridiculous head and facial hair, and yet… the man had the kind of swashbuckling charisma that really carried the day for me. In fact, just about everyones well cast in this one – how could you go wrong with Errol Flynn, Olivia de Havilland, Basil Rathbone, and Claude Rains? The sets and costumes are mad, the musics over the top, and the whole thing is a rousing success. They expected families to go and see it, so it was light and frothy; it was also clever and sly and witty and damn funny, and the action – the final sword fight between Robin and Sir Guy is one of the most famous scenes in film for good reason (the choreographer later taught Inigo Motoya his moves).

    In other words, Robin Hood is tough to do right on screen. Even the most talented actors, directors and writers struggle. You need the right cast for the right project, and it seems that this is really not easy.

    This turned into an essay of sorts. Whoops.

    • Sorry if that’s hard to read – all the formatting went away, for some reason, so there are no embedded links or font changes, or even apostrophes. Oops.

  6. Richard Armitage was certainly the better actor, hands down. Ten years older than Jonas and a nuanced actor. Perhaps JA has developed into a good actor by now. Perhaps.

    Karen, as a child, I adored another Richard (Greene) as Roobin. The actor playing Archer in RH3 seemed to channeling Errol Flynn. 🙂  Good point about the writers being more inspired by the “bad guys”.

  7. My arguments in favour of Robin/Jonas were not especially convincing. The point was for commenters to turn the critical eye on the performance. Thanks to all for so doing, without the rancour toward JA that has sometimes emerged on the part of others. Besides, it’s fun to stick up for the under-tweeters occasionally. 😀

    • Well I for one am near to breathless with anticipation for your upcoming post  “Sheriff Vasey: The True Heartthrob Under the Clown Mask.” Maybe I’ll be so convinced that inside that hairy chest beat a heart of Byzantine Fire that I’ll change my name to beenvasey-ed (nah, not likely).

      As for Jonas Armstrong, I thought he did a splendid job in the VERY splendid Jimmy McGovern series The Street. He was featured in the episode called A Soldiers Story. So, I don’t question whether Jonas can act.  I must declare that I am an “All Guy, all the time, all hair lengths, wet, dry, good, bad, standing tall, falling down, no amount of Guy is too much” kind of Guy of Gisborne fancier and I really hardly noticed what Robin did after his back somersault in the first episode (but I certainly didn’t think he was awful – I would have noticed that). He was just part of the annoying babbling and stomping about in between the Guy scenes. Beyond that, I kind of feel a bit sorry for Jonas. I’m sure he’s still wondering what happened to that job where all eyes were supposed to be on him but weren’t.


      • “Well I for one am near to breathless with anticipation for your upcoming post  “Sheriff Vasey: The True Heartthrob Under the Clown Mask.” Maybe I’ll be so convinced that inside that hairy chest beat a heart of Byzantine Fire that I’ll change my name to beenvasey-ed “

        LOL!!!!  Watch out, she might take you up on that.  After all wasn’t Vasey woefully undertweeted too?

        I don’t have anything against JA.  I think he was caught in a situation of formulaic casting (JA for the tweens, RA for the mums etc) and  was made the lead of an ensemble cast too soon. He was fresh out of drama school and put opposite an entire cast (except for Lucy) more experienced than he was. That’s not to say he was a bad actor.  He simply may not have had, yet,  the experience to turn on a dime and adapt to a darker Robin which showed in S2 and S3. IMHO, he didn’t quite have enough gravitas to carry the show.  He might have fared better as part of the ensemble, but not as the lead.  I think had the guy who played Archer (forget his name) had been cast as Robin, there might have been a bit more parity between Robin and Guy.


        • @Judiang: I agree with you,especially with last sentence!

          @ beengizzed: May I join you?….”The truth Heartthrob under the Clown Masc.”-HILARIOUS!’:D  yes please,pretty please Fitzg!:)

  8. @Beengizzied, was that the sound of one gauntlet being thrown down? Oh dear. Pot-stirrers of the world, unite. 😀 Let’s hear it for the under-tweeters! Hmnn, there is another, too, who was not popular with the self-appointed mainstream. (Actually, Vasey was pretty popular, but Keith Allen is a good subject for discussion. Never fear, Joanna, bg’s Heart Throb under the Clown Mask is too good!

  9. @Jane, this is one detail where you and I diverge. I thought JA actually better in RH 3. I did feel he stepped up to the vision of a darker series, and was actually stronger as an actor than he had been. I think he was beginning to “hit a stride” in this series/season. Not great, necessarily, but developing. (Can’t prove it, it’s only an area where our mutual perceptions have not converged, yet.)

Comments are closed.