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Doctor Who: Robot Of Sherwood by Mark Gattis (TV review).

Believe it or not, I don’t watch ‘Doctor Who’ to pick flaws but they do seem to becoming a trend with this latest season and it’s hard to avoid them.

Be careful: There may be some unintentional spoilers although I won’t give away the ending.


Clara wants to meet Robin Hood and although the Doctor says the outlaw is a fiction, takes her to the right time and place and er…they meet him. Only the Doctor thinks neither he or his merry men are real only to get the wrong end of the stick…maybe spoon, when they join Robin to win the golden arrow at Nottingham.

Interestingly, I did a double take of actor Ben Miller as the Sheriff of Nottingham because he was almost a dead ringer for the late Anthony Ainley. Must be a goatee thing.


The Doctor has the wrong end of his sonic screwdriver when he discovers who are robots and they end up captured. After Clara is taken to see the Sheriff, the Doctor and Robin plan an escape only their bickering has them push the key out of reach. From this point on, either the timing of the episode was too much or someone went through the script tearing out pages. There is no explanation as to how they extract the rock holding them in the dungeon, nor why they couldn’t get the key or how they escaped. The last two are pretty arbitrary but if it was that easy to pull a slab out of the floor, why didn’t they do it earlier? Things like that should have been left in not taken out.


As to the villains of the piece, again they are nameless nobodies. What is it with either Steven Moffat or the BBC, afraid to have identifiable villains for merchandising or reoccurring? It must be playing havoc with archivers.

It’s probably the fault of the script but the Doctor seems to be turning into a buffoon than someone who is genuinely out there to help people. It’s one thing to know that Peter Capaldi can play comedy but he must surely be worth more than that. It’s as if the writers can’t get Malcolm Tucker out of their heads.

Oh, hands up those of you with sharp enough eyes to spot a photo of Patrick Troughton in the computer footage of the various Robin Hoods. There is also another quandary here in that if the starship’s computer has all this information on tap, then there is the implication that it can time travel, so why pick the past than even the present where gold would have been more available. Granted, with damage, it couldn’t have chosen where to land but dropping back into the past seems like another flaw.

Granted that everyone concerned are still finding their way with how to deal with the new Doctor, you would think they would know better by now with so much experience under their belts. This is still coming over as Doctor-lite when we all know the series can do better than this. There really should be an attempt to bring in new writers and hopefully with some stronger ideas.

Geoff Willmetts

September 2014



Geoff Willmetts has been editor at SFCrowsnest for some 21 plus years now, showing a versatility and knowledge in not only Science Fiction, but also the sciences and arts, all of which has been displayed here through editorials, reviews, articles and stories. With the latter, he has been running a short story series under the title of ‘Psi-Kicks’ If you want to contribute to SFCrowsnest, read the guidelines and show him what you can do. If it isn’t usable, he spends as much time telling you what the problems is as he would with material he accepts. This is largely how he got called an Uncle, as in Dutch Uncle. He’s not actually Dutch but hails from the west country in the UK.

2 thoughts on “Doctor Who: Robot Of Sherwood by Mark Gattis (TV review).

  • 1. Peter Capaldi is great.

    2. This episode was dumb.

    (Spoiler below but really it’s pretty rotten already)

    Shooting a golden arrow into a spaceship fixes it? That’s not science or science fiction or science fantasy, it’s just pure magic. Argh.


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