Marian And Her Merry Men
about Robin Hood and Maid Marian
and enjoy the mucky
antics of the astonishing characters
who grace the screen as Maid Marian
And Her Merry Men comes to DVD...
CREATIVE RAP INTRODUCES Maid Marian And Her Merry Men
the television series that was consistently number one in the children's television
ratings throughout its four series. Not only was it popular with children of
all ages, but it also became 'must see' cult viewing among young
adults and students.
Ignore the legends of Robin Hood according to Maid Marian And Her
Merry Men, Robin (Wayne Morris) is a celebrity-struck wimp and it is Marian
(Kate Lonergan) who is the heroine outlaw who robs from the rich to give to
the poor. Robin just grabs all the credit. Suitably dirty faces and tatty make-shift
clothing give the series an air of starving-peasant reality but the history
books have been rewritten with a large pinch of tongue-in-cheek irreverence.
To give you an idea of what to expect: "I think royalty are great, don't you?"
sighs the 'trendy' tailor Robin of Kensington. "They're so natural and… Cred."
The fair maiden is unimpressed. "There's peasants starving to death out there,"
Marian says, "while you get rich making enormous pairs of pants for the Royal
bottom!" Royals, she remarks, are "a bunch of millionaire half-wits who spend
our money and moan about our architecture." Phew!!
The Sheriff of Nottingham (the multi-gifted Tony Robinson, who also wrote the
series) behaves like a strict headmaster after he is shot by an arrow,
he demands: "If the boy who did this has any guts at all I want him to own up
now because if he doesn't everyone in this entire forest will have to stay behind
until he does." Tony got his big break playing Baldrick in Blackadder
and he is now the presenter of the successful series Time Team. He also
played the part of Vernon Crumley in the BAFTA Award-winning Hogfather.
A silly romp, perhaps, but Maid Marian And Her Merry Men is a highly-amusing,
slapstick comic departure from the legend of Robin Hood and great fun.
Little Ron (Mike Edmonds) is fantastic and as vertically challenged as his name
suggests and the evil King John (Forbes Collins) doles out torture a-plenty
in the form of 100 lines "I hate lines!" complains Barrington
(Danny John Jules).
The publicity blurb was: "Shun your Shakespeare; chuck your Chaucer; destroy
your DVDs of the Ango-Saxon Chronicle! You've got to make shelf space for the
complete box set of Maid Marian And Her Merry Men. Never has so much
fun and lunacy been crammed into one small cardboard container… Marvel at Tony
Robinson's hilarious cavortings in the days before he got boring and started
digging holes in the mud; watch the hysterically laid-back Danny John Jules
and realise there is life after Red Dwarf… run away terrified from snailiens
from outer space."
Testament to the series' popularity with the critics is the fact that Maid
Marian And Her Merry Men won a BAFTA, an RTS Award and the International
Prix Jeunesse. With an excellent cast and witty writing, the series has been
compared to Blackadder, Red Dwarf and The Young Ones, and
it has secured a huge fan-base in the seventeen years since the first series
With the help of her merry men a dwarf, a Rastafarian, an ugly dolt by
the name of Rabies (Howard Lewis) and yuppie Robin Marian fights oppression
and creates the outlaw's haven in the woods from where they can take on the
cruel King John and the villainous Sheriff. "We'll be famous forever," she says,
"and people will name pubs after us!" And she adds that they can spend their
time "doing incredible brave things like getting our ears pierced" before
reminding them: "We've spent all morning clobbering Normans so you'll never
be able to go home again!" I guess you do have to be a bit crazy to enjoy this
fun foray into the past, but then you wouldn't survive without a warped sense
Clever storylines involve the Sheriff being forced to invent something to make
King John famous; decorating the torture chamber for festivities; eating from
Mud-U-Like; a sedan-style seat with L-plates; A Song For Worksop ("If Rabies
thought some rubbishy singer with about as much talent as the entire cast of
Home And Away was better than me, that's fine," sniffs Marian of Rotten
Rose); and Marian's mother coming to stay, believing her daughter to be a dental
As the series progresses, it becomes more sophisticated including the
opening graphics. Series Two includes the Beast of Bolsover, Brown Nose Day
and more from Rotten Rose (Siobhan Fogarty); Series Three includes giant jelly
babies and aliens and Marian has to contend with some exceptionally thick villagers.
She also falls hopelessly in love with a total idiot!
In Series Four, the final series, Rabies grows wings and Robin finally finds
some backbone and turns nasty. The peasants get together to celebrate High Forks
Night (chanting "Remember, Remember, the 27th of April").
Brilliant moments include the Sheriff of Nottingham singing to Marian's mother
with a full peasant chorus as he tries to lull her into a fall
sense of security in order to trap Marian: "From the moment I saw you I swore
you would make me foolhardy; How I wanted to loosen your hair and to take off
your cardy…" And the World Archery Championship 1195 that is "sponsored by Perkin
Warbecks, makers of fine torture implements". The pancake day demonstration
is also masterful.
Maid Marian And Her Merry Men also features Ramsay Gilderdale as Guy
of Gisborne; Mark Billingham as Gary; David Lloyd as Graeme; Hilary Mason as
Gladys; Lionel Taylor as the Gatekeeper; Robin Chandler as Snooker and the fantastic
Patsy Byrne as Marian's Mum. The music is well matched by David Chilton and
Nick Russel-Pavier; the series is produced by Richard Callanan; and the Director
is David Bell.
Maid Marian And Her Merry Men
Special Edition Box Set, Series One, Two, Three & Four, is released by Eureka
Entertainment on 22 September (2008). Catalogue Number: EKA50034 | Barcode:
5060000500349 | RRP: £49.99 | Certificate: PG | Running Time: 608 Minutes.
Special Features: Audio Commentaries | Quiz Written By Tony Robinson
| Maid Marian Karaoke | Trailers | How The Germans Saw It Featurette
| Hunt The Chicken Interactive Game | Christmas Special | Tony Robinson,
Mark Billingham and David Lloyd On Creative Writing Featurette | Improvised
Sketches | Exclusive Booklets Written By Tony Robinson | Easter Eggs.
"Forget anything you've ever read about Robin Hood and Maid Marian well
almost! and enjoy the mucky antics of the astonishing characters who
grace the screen as Maid Marian And Her Merry Men comes to DVD"