One of the best (and most “pagan”) re-tellings of the Robin Hood legend has to be the 1980s English production “Robin of Sherwood”. The television show, created by screenwriter Richard Carpenter, placed a heavy focus on occult and supernatural elements and sported a much beloved soundtrack by the Irish musical group Clannad. Until now you had to order the set as an import from England, but Acorn Media Group is releasing the first two seasons of the show as a set in America.
The cast of “Robin of Sherwood”.
“Acorn Media announces the March 13, 2007 U.S. DVD debut of Robin of Sherwood, Set 1, the definitive retelling of the Robin Hood legend with gritty period realism and a mix of history and myth. The 5-volume DVD box set includes all 13 episodes in Series 1 & 2 and a bonus fifth disc devoted exclusively to more than eight hours of special features.”
Unlike previous television and movie re-tellings, this Robin Hood is a bit grittier and is a devotee of an underground pagan survival that worships Herne the Hunter. An element that made it distinctive among the various Robin Hood myths (and quite popular amongst the modern Pagans who were able to see it). It certainly had a big effect on my early Pagan days back in the early nineties when I first saw a couple episodes at a science fiction convention.
“Paring down all the tacked on silliness that has been associated with the character over the years (most horribly handled in the Kevin Costner flick from the 1990’s that managed to “borrow” portions of the ideas from the series but only sparingly to it’s discredit), Carpenter had the show shot in the actual forests of England, even going so far as to move the locations to areas where the trees were similar to those native to the time frame of the events. Weaving in bits of myth and history far more carefully than previously done, he and the rest of the creative team managed to instill a realness to the show that surpassed the low budgets with a sense of charm all its own.”
A few years back, my wife and I sprung for an import of the entire series (including the third and last season starring Jason Connery). I don’t want to disclose how much I spent, but I will tell you that the $45.00 pre-order price at Amazon is a lot cheaper than what I paid. This is an ideal time to discover (or re-discover) this classic show.