Series 8, Episode 3
At Clara's request, The Doctor reluctantly takes the TARDIS to 12th Century England to find a man who shouldn't exist. Myth and legend come to life as Robin, Earl of Locksley and his Merry Men, with the aid of The Doctor and Clara, square off against the nefarious Sheriff of Nottingham and his robots.
IMAGINE IT FROM MY POINT OF VIEW!
This light-hearted romp, penned by Mark Gatiss, is aimed at the comedic center of recent Who. As far as being funny, there are some great moments, and The Doctors refusal to accept the reality of a fictional character despite their staring him in the face is a lot of fun. Wander-lost robots trying to mine some gold for some inexplicable chemical necessity was perhaps unnecessary, as the story of Robin Hood is interesting enough. Finding the truth behind the legend would have been enough of a story to tell.
The Good Things
Don't Always Soften The Bad Things...
Tom Riley/Ben Miller: Two fantastic actors engaging and owning their respective roles. Miller (I had hoped) almost felt like a returning Master with his sneering, low voiced menacing. Brilliant.
True Hero: Gatiss excels at humour, but also, for this story, at keeping all the players true to form. The Merry Men as a brotherhood, intent on the betterment and freedom of their countryfolk, and Robin, despite the handicaps of The Doctor and Clara, still maintains his voice of reason.
Pleasant Nods: A quick glimpse of a very young and dashing Patrick Troughton as Robin Hood in the Robots ship archive. Nice touch.
...But Vice-Versa, The Bad Things
Don't Necessarily Spoil The Good Things...
Fictional reality: I'm going to be unpopular for this, but i think the scene cut from the end should have been left. It relates directly to the title, and on a simpler level, is the way the show was intended to be viewed. Reality will always be harsher, and we shouldn't censor ourselves just because of that.
Plot Points: Golden arrows do not a plot hole plug. Weakest “Ta Da” handwaving episode end I've seen yet. And it totally undercut the rest of the episode. It's like they were wrapping up final principal photography and realized “Shoot – we forget the ending!!!”.
Friends in Low Income Places: The Doctor LOVES a good time, regardless of his regeneration. Shouldn't he have gotten along with Robin, to the chagrin of Clara? Imagine the banter...
...And Make Them Unimportant.
Heaven is for Members: Why didn't we get a scene with Missy for the Sheriff? Some dead guys don't rate I guess.
Ready Maid convenience: Token village chick is Maid Marian all along and The Doctor knew! Yay!
Chewy scenery: Capaldi has too much to offer, and not enough to Doctor. This is becoming Clara Who.