Robin Hood – Prince John

Toby Stephens as Prince John in Robin Hood, Saturdays on BBC One,

The Sheriff of Nottingham is dead – or is he? Newcomer to Nottingham Prince John has pulled strings and had his insidious, whimsical way with lives, forcing Gisbourne and Nottingham into facing off. Only one could survive, but with Gisbourne convinced his former master is dead and the Prince apparently satisfied that this is the case, attentions look set to turn to the final elimination of Robin Hood.

Prince John of course is the usurping brother of the Crusading King Richard, who Robin and Much previously fought alongside in the Holy Land. John is superbly played by former Bond villain Toby Stephens (Gustav Graves in Die Another Day) as a “hornet’s nest of paranoia and neurosis” according to the actor.

The arrival of Prince John to Nottingham has meanwhile coincided with the arrival of Guy of Gisbourne’s sister, Isabella, played by the lovely Lara Pulver. There’s a distinct attraction between Robin (Jonas Armstrong) and Isabella, and with news of Armstrong leaving the series coming soon after the death of Marian at the end of the last series, the tension on screen is palpable. Can Robin trust Isabella? Would he still kill Gisbourne out of revenge for the death of his wife??

And will the series continue beyond this third series?

Toby Stephens meanwhile has added a veneer of class to the show, portraying a paranoiac egomaniac tyrant commanding such armies that he could do away with the entire forest and Nottingham itself as soon as cast his eyes in their direction.

Stephens is currently appearing on stage in London in Ibsen’s A Doll’s House, opposite former Doctor Who Christopher Eccleston and The X Files’ Gillian Anderson.

About the author

I'm Christian Cawley, a massive fan of UK fantasy television (particularly Doctor Who) and British Comedy.

"Quintessentially British" is my look at those two very British flavours of sci-fi/fantasy and comedy.
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