In Review: Doctor Who – Robots Of Sherwood

Ben Miller puts in a fantastic performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham, but unfortunately he does not get quite as much screen time as Riley does as Robin Hood, which is a great shame.

Synopsis: The Doctor tries to thwart an intergalactic plan to destroy Nottingham, and teams up with Robin Hood.

Review: Peter Capaldi’s third episode as the Doctor sees him having to share the screen with a very charismatic Tom Riley in the role of Robin Hood and it has to be said the sparks really fly.

The scenes between Capaldi and Riley have a lot of fantastic banter to them and the jokes fly back and forth like wildfire and its as much thanks to a great script by Mark Gatiss as it is to the brilliant acting performance.

The episode starts with Clare asking the Doctor to take her to Sherwood forest so she can meet Robin Hood, but as you will no doubt guess. The Doctor is not keen on this idea and dismisses Robin Hood as merely a legend.

All the classic Robin Hood tropes are here and the archery contest gets a brand new twist, which takes the splitting of the arrow to the heights of hilarity by just how far and over the top it goes.

Ben Miller puts in a fantastic performance as the Sheriff of Nottingham, but unfortunately he does not get quite as much screen time as Riley does as Robin Hood, which is a great shame.

The episode had a fair bit of violence to it, but it was not violence for the sake of it. If anything it was kind of tame in many ways given how gruesome things would have been in the eleven hundreds here in the UK, but you can understand why the BBC chose to exclude a certain scene that involved a beheading given the events of last week – and the exclusion of the scene didn’t seem to take anything away from the episodes story.

The robot knights in this episode looked fantastic. They kind of put me a little in mind of the Robots of Death dressed as Knights – but thing overlooked is an explanation of where they came from. All we learn is that they are from an alien world, but never do we learn where this world is.

The incidental music for this was a lot of fun and really got into the spirit of Robin Hood. So great all round. Shame that they haven’t changed the main theme tune and dialed the synthesizers back a bit. Its beginning to gnaw on my nerves and not in a good way.

We didn’t get a visit from the Mistress in this episode, but we did get a backhanded reference to her.

Doctor Who - Robots Of Sherwood
  • Some great acting performances all round
  • No explanation for where the Robots came from
  • Story
  • Acting
  • CGI
  • Incidental Music

Ian Cullen is the founder of and has been a fan of science fiction and fantasy from birth. In the past few years he has written for 'Star Trek' Magazine as well as interviewed numerous comics writers, television producers and actors for the SFP-NOW podcast at: When he is not writing for Ian enjoys playing his guitar, studying music, watching movies and reading his comics. Ian is both the founder and owner of You can contact ian at:
2 Comments on this post.
  • Raissa Devereux (@RaissaDevereux)
    7 September 2014 at 2:30 am -

    This is the best episode of the season so far, and I’ll definitely be watching BBCA’s repeat airing next week before “Listen.” I’m the audience for this kind of story telling, and the DW crew ticked all my magic blue boxes. 🙂

    The episode did need way more Ben Miller. His scenes were highlights of a really great overall episode. I loved the scene with Clara most of all. They really turned the damsel in distress trope on its head. If I have one quibble, it’s that Clara should have had a better final comeback. Something like, “The future Emperor of the Universe proposed to me, and I turned him down. He’ll be ten times the man you are, even if he’ll be a dwarf.”

    As for the robots, I think we’ll learn about them as we learn more about the Promised Land.

    As for the the theme music, they need to go back to something like the Fifth Doctor’s theme, which had the right synth balance other than in the original.

    • Ian Cullen
      7 September 2014 at 9:59 pm -

      Yup, inclined to agree that it is the best one so far.

      I thought the sequence at the start with the spoon vs robins sword was brilliant fun.