Monday, September 8, 2014

Doctor Who - Robot of Sherwood

Allowing Clara (Jenna-Louise Coleman) to choose the destination, The Doctor (Peter Capaldi) is flummoxed when her dream to meet the legendary Robin Hood (Tom Riley) produces exactly (more or less) what she suspects. Disbelieving everything about the fairy tale unfolding before his eyes, The Doctor sets out to discover what is really going on with Robin, his Merry Men, and the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Miller) whose robotic soldiers are stealing gold from the local populace.

Feeling more like a classic episode than new Who, "Robot of Sherwood" offers some fun moments particularly in flushing out more of the latest Doctor's amusing, if unfavorable, characteristics such as his relentless search for a logical explanation for the bizarre events and his unwillingness to allow himself to be bested by what he sees as a fictional character (even if he must cheat to do so). The episode also allows Clara to put both Robin and The Doctor in their place and shine in multiple scenes including soaking up the fantasy and deciphering the Sheriff's plans and what the robots need with all that gold.

Capaldi's run may have gotten off to a bit of a shaky start, but "Robot of Sherwood" is an enjoyable (if lightweight) episode in the classic Doctor Who tradition. Although the reasoning behind the robots' actions is pretty shaky (which is why the episode rushes through them as quickly as possible), the "The Robot of Sherwood" does deliver some classic Robin Hood moments such as the archery contest and an escape from the Nottingham dungeons. All in all, Clara gets the fantasy she always hoped for and The Doctor is able to adapt after he is proved wrong on basic assumptions about his surroundings and Robin Hod (we'll have to wait and see whether this is a trend which will continue over the actor's run).

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