Robin of Sherwood
|Name:||Robin of Sherwood|
|Date(s):||1984 - 1986|
|Country of Origin:||United Kingdom|
|External Links:||Epguides, IMDb|
|Click here for related articles on Fanlore.|
Robin of Sherwood mixed a realistic setting -- for instance, they filmed in a real medieval castle for castle scenes, putting workmen near the crumbling walls to make it look like the castle was still being built -- with a magical background. In this version of the Robin Hood tale, Robin was called by Herne the Hunter, a local god, to be his "son" and protect the local people. While the setting itself is medieval Christian, down to a local corrupt bishop, Robin himself is clearly pagan once he swears fealty to Herne.
This was the first version to include a Saracen, Nasir, as part of Robin's band.
Their adventures ranged from traditional things like the archery contest where the Sheriff of Nottingham (Robert de Rainault, in this version) intended to trap Robin to battling mind-controlling sorcerors.
The Two Robins
The first two series starred Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley, a free Saxon peasant who became Robin Hood to help free his people from tyranny. During the second series, Praed got tapped for an acting gig in America, and wanted to leave the show. The series ended with his death.
Rather than cancel the series, TPTB went for a different actor, Jason Connery, for the third series. Connery played Robert of Huntingdon, the son of a local earl who heard Herne's call and went to the forest to take on the mantle of Robin Hood -- thus neatly accounting for the two different origin stories in the Robin Hood mythos. Robert turns out to the the half-brother of Guy of Gisburne.
The fandom is still active nearly 25 years after the show went off the air, producing fic, art, icons, and vids. One of the primary online sources for the fandom is the Robin of Sherwood Fanfic Archive, which hosts fanfic (gen and slash); links to some vids; links to multiple RoS sites, including individual authors; has an "RoS Anachronism Guide"; and in 2009 started up a sister Livejournal community for discussion and fic challenges called RoS Fic Forum.
RoS Fandom and Slash
RoS zine fiction is almost exclusively gen or non-explicit het as the creator of the show specifically requested people not slash the main characters. Most fans went along with this request; comments regarding slash in letterzines were along the lines that it was boring, disrespectful, stupid, and bascially badly-badly written soft porn. A few fans commented that it was a matter of reality in other fandoms, but thankfully not Robin of Sherwood. A few fans spoke up, saying it was fine for other people, just not themselves and that if you didn't like it, don't read it. 
A fan writes: "The only true no-no in our fandom is slash (this comes from Kip himself), otherwise you are free to wander wherever the muse leads you." 
And, "You may or may not be aware that Richard Carpenter has requested that fan writers not create homosexual situations using characters who are heterosexual in the TV stories. I feel that we are fortunate to have the series creator so actively involved in the fandom, and don't think it's unreasonable to honor this one request he's made. He also mentioned that homosexual relationships involving characters such as the sheriff, Philip Mark, Tom and Dickon - or your own original gay and lesbian characters - are fine by him." 
There is much comment about slash in the letterzine Herne's Stepchildren #5. One comment: "I just don't read that crap. If other fen get off on it— that's their personal problem. I just ignore it and hope it will go away. There is very little, if any, of it in RoS fan-fic." 
Another comment: "Your comment on genres sounds precariously like a vote for censorship. And the comment on slash seems gratuitous, as I know of only two slash stories, one of which was written for another fandom. In this fandom, I think we respect Mr. Carpenter's wish for no slash, but I also think that Philip Mark is presented as gay, so slash does exist in the ROS universe. As for the men and women who like slash, again: if you don't, don't read it. Many fans loathe it, many love it. Most of both sides are nice people, and can't each be allowed to read or to read what they choose? I think it's fine if you personally find slash revolting, but I also think it's fine if adult people want to read it. Again, if you don't like it, don't read it." 
Fandom History Timeline
Lists & Communities
- RoS Fic Forum (LJ comm; discussion and fic challenges)
- Green Man of Sherwood (LJ comm; news, fic, art, vids)
- Heart of Sherwood (Yahoo group; ongoing storytelling RPG)
- Robin of Sherwood (Yahoo group; active discussion list with over 800 members)
- Tales of Sherwood Forest, the online version of the original paper zine. On Yahoo groups.
- Robin of Sherwood PL Polish-langauge Yahoo group for discussing RoS.
- Robin of Sherwood Fanfic Archive
- Robin of Sherwood Fanfiction by Leiasky (Geocities link; this is the Wayback version). Warning: site plays music automatically when it loads (even on the Wayback version). Scroll down to stop the player.
- Major Oak Awards, run by the Spirit of Sherwood fanclub, for excellence in fanfic and fanart, focusing on zines.
- Spirit of Sherwood yearly grants the Major Oak Awards, honouring Excellence in Robin of Sherwood Zine (stories, poems, filks and artwork) Achievement. Club members get a vote in the ballot. The Awards (popularly called "Oakies") are presented to the winners during a hilarious ceremony at the Weekend in Sherwood convention. 
- Silver Arrow, an annual U.K. convention held till the show's 20th anniversary in 2003
- Legend (Robin of Sherwood convention), the successor annual con to Silver Arrow, also in the U.K. (con homepage). The con is possibly defunct after 2008.
- Weekend in Sherwood, put on by the Spirit of Sherwood fanclub, held irregularly. There have been 9 weekends to date: the first was in 1992, the most recent in 2005.
- see Herne's Stepchildren for some of these comments
- from the letterzine, Cousins #6
- from the letterzine, Cousins #8
- from Herne's Stepchildren #4
- from Herne's Stepchildren #4
- Spirit of Sherwood home page, accessed August 14, 2009.
- Spirit of Sherwood's Major Oak Awards page, accessed August 14, 2009.
- Spirit of Sherwood's "Weekend in Sherwood" page. Includes programming info, contact info, pictures. Accessed August 14, 2009.