I have to be honest and say I’m getting very tired of the endless fan pleasing references to previous shows. In greater or lesser degrees we nods to The Androids of Tara, The TIme Warrior and Carnival of Monsters. It’s beginning to get in the way of things. Not that there was actually much to get in the way of this week. In terms of plot, the word ‘slight’ seems like an overstatement.
But, I’m not sure that really matters as, if nothing else, this was tremendous fun. Tremendous, historically suspect fun.
I’m not sure the plot, such as it was, was the important bit, it seemed much more like, say “Utopia” which did more to set up a later story than actually tell one itself. Bearing in mind the conversations about living with being a legend and allowing the man to die in favour of the legend, I wonder if this is a foreshadowing of the season finale. No Missy this week, but we got references to Paradise. Even Utopia/Paradise have similar meanings. And you know who turned up in Utopia . . .
Again, this was Clara’s episode; it’s so nice to see her finally getting a character as she was always hopelessly underused during Matt Smith’s tenure.
There was some fantastic banter – much to the Doctor’s Chagrin – a marvellous fight involving a spoon and what appeared to be a rubber glove and an hilarious put down of Alan-a-Dale.
But really, that was it. After Gatiss’ superb ‘Cold War’, this was something of a disappointment in terms of structure and gravitas. The Golden Arrow ending was poorly thought out and made very little in the way of sense.
Despite the good natured fun, I think Robot of Sherwood was actually very frustrating episode. It’s a shame that such a sterling cast was assembled for such a lightweight episode. Both Tom Riley and Ben Miller really deserved much more substantial parts.