Apologies for lack of service — I have somewhat sadly concluded that RH has NOT really er “found its rhythm” this series, even tho I think its badnesses remain ODD rather OBVIOUS, and that this project doesn’t lack for ideas rich in potential (for some of em see below); it just lacks the slightest sense of how to sustain any ONE of them between scenes…
SOME THINGS WE HAVE LEARNT:
i. “Jack” the tomboy saracen is a TWIN!!
ii. The writers have zero grasp of economics in any era whatever. Hoodwork usually riffs round the tension between centralised tax-gathering and yeoman smallholder resistance to same — ie traces the transition between feudalism as a warlord culture and the early stirrings of networked bourgeois resistance, where people who worked for a living are protected from people who inflict violence for a living by people free of the cash nexus who to battle for HONOUR (ie aristocrats of chivalry battle aristocrats of venal bullying). This is much-trod ground; but escaping its cliches into a satire of the corruptions of present-day globalist managerialism is a tall order then the writers seem to know. Though Prince John and King Richard are often mentioned, we have no sense that the Rubbiff needs to keep them much in mind, as regards his own robber capitalist schemes (he is decidely NOT a feudalist). (Maid P this week used the phrase “until King Richard returns” to mean “never”… )
iii. They seem to be scared of broaching the issue of religion — the episode with the Black Abbess fluffed it, by revealing her spiritual righteousness, and protest the Rubbiff’s anti-clericalism, as the work of a con artist… Not a bad concept in itself, but they just did their usual thing of totally switching register — the fact that ppl competely believed in her before had no resonance after, as if everyone gets amnesia every time the camera cuts. Anyway NO FRIARS, NO NUNNERIES, NO MENDICANTS, NO FAT BISHOPS, NO PAPAL BULL…
iv. The default theme is (is always in Hoodworks) “To live outside the law you must be honest” — hence merrymen morality is contrasted with the scheming of Rubbiff et al “within” the law (the concept of institutional law’n’order sneered at from a very teenage anarchist standpoint) AND with some real actual outlaw crim who only steals FOR THEMSELVES boo. I REALLY LIKE LA PIEFACE as a character idea — athletic and decisive when masked, utterly stymied when not — but hoo boy can she not convince us, caught as she is in a threeway battle of loyalties between full-on needymen Pa Pief, Goth of Jizbum and RH himself, she herself is the symbolic the arena for the central ethical debate of the show. (i kno there is a pro-jiz faction lookwise, but the set-up really does seem to be that she only prickteases him for reasons of outlaw concealment and dad-protection only: and neither dad nor robin do for US what we are bein told they do for HER).
v. Again: I like this version of robin as high-concept (expert guerrilla tactician, scarred by long and ghastly war far away, now home doesn’t want to be grown-up, cheers self, merrymen and poor by OFTEN IMMATURE MISCHIEF, is a bit conceited but SEKRITLY VERY SENSITIVE ) — but the scripts have a real problem with their permutational chemistry, viz. interaction of A w.B and A w.C already throws up consistency problems within A, before we even GET to issue of chemistry between B and C. As a result it’s really hard to work out which version of themselves is being at any given time.
SARTORIAL ANACHRONISM OF THE 3-WEEK ROUND-UP: A street-vendor crim in a porkpie hat! I have no prob AT ALL w.the anachronisms — Hoodworks have been abt creative anachronism since it first emerged as a popular genre.
AWESOME IDEA SEMI-WELL EXECUTED OF THE 3-WEEK ROUND-UP:The one where all the keys within the castle are the same — and can be faked with a piece of easily carved wood!
IDEA MOST APPARENTLY TAKEN FROM THUNDERBIRDS OF THE 3-WEEK ROUND-UP: The way to make a mine unuseable is to SET IT ON FIRE!
NOT-AT-ALL DESPERATE PRO-SERIES “CLEVER” ANALYSIS OF THE WEEK: I am all out for now :(
ABIDING TRUTH OF THE 3-WEEK ROUND-UP: There is no good idea that they will introduce that they will not have more or less forgotten about by the following week.