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Maid Marian and Her Merry Men 1989
TV-PG

  • 1994-02-15T16:00:00-08:00
  • BBC ONE
  • 1989-10-31T16:00:00-08:00
  • 25 mins
  • 10 hours, 25 mins
  • United Kingdom
  • English
  • Comedy, Children
Maid Marian and her Merry Men is a UK children's television series created and written by Tony Robinson and directed by David Bell. It began in 1989 on BBC One and ran for four series, with the last episode shown in 1994. The show was a partially-musical comic retelling of the legend of Robin Hood, placing Maid Marian in the role of leader of the Merry Men, and reducing Robin to an incompetent ex-tailor. The programme was much appreciated by children and adults alike, and has been likened to Blackadder, not only for its historical setting and the presence of Tony Robinson, but also for its comic style. It is far more surreal than Blackadder, however, and drops even more (deliberate) anachronisms. Like many British children's programmes, there is a lot of social commentary sneakily inserted, as well as witty asides about the Royal family, buses running on time, etc. Many of the plots featured, included or revolved around spoofing particular things, including films such as Jurassic Park and It Came From Outer Space, and television programmes, including The Crystal Maze and the long-running televised fundraiser Comic Relief. There were also frequent references to other Robin Hood incarnations, most notably ITV's Robin of Sherwood (and in particular a parody of that series' Clannad soundtrack is lampooned in the episode "The Whitish Knight") and the contemporary film adaptation Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves. The latter actually features Howard Lew Lewis (Rabies) among its cast - hence his doubly-witty line in the episode "The Came from Outer Space", which episode also passingly satirises the film for casting the lead with an American accent (Kevin Costner). The show was such a success, there was an adaptation produced for the stage, a cartoon strip by Paul Cemmick which was serialised in the Daily Telegraph's children's paper "The Young Telegraph" (also available as a series of collections) and the programme was repeated on BBC One in 2001. Series 1 was released on video in 1990, with three episodes each on two tapes (a couple of slight variations in cover design exist for each), and all four series are available on DVD

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