Thursday, October 05, 2006


This is Not a Poem

They say I’m a liar
A criminal
A thief
With no respect for anyone, or anything.
I don’t go looking for trouble.
Trouble comes looking for me.
…It’s an advert. Robin Hood begins on Saturday evening on BBC1, and I’m expecting great things of it. The to-camera monologue is from a trailer I saw the other night, made in the charismatic ‘Do you want to come with me?’ Doctor Who style, and it looks great; now Will’s announced that it’s National Poetry Day today with the theme of ‘Identity’ and, well, this is close enough, isn’t it? All the bits that aren’t flaming arrows, anyway (‘Flaming arrows?’ you ask? Yes, and bleeding swords).

The Doctor Who-style trailer is not in any way a coincidence. The thrilling miniature monologues from Mr Eccleston and then Mr Tennant did a fantastic job of accomplishing the seemingly impossible: making a huge hit for the BBC on a Saturday night, with a family drama, and one that didn’t fit into the usual modern-day cop / hospital pattern. Robin Hood takes the same three elements (and at least one of the same writers), and hopes to have the same success. I hope so, too. I usually have a slightly law-and-order bias against cheeky crook heroes, and feel far more British than English, but Robin Hood has always been the big exception to both of those instincts. Whether it’s been Errol Flynn, Richard Greene, Michael Praed or a couple of Connerys, I’ve always been firmly on Robin’s side, and he’s one of the two great English myths. Let’s hope the BBC’s new series does the principles and the myth justice (or at least gets me agreeing with it more than The Amazing Mrs Pritchard).

Oh, and if the Liberal Democrats are still looking for some popular way to sell the message that you can be ‘green’ and cut taxes for the poor…

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