Friday, March 07, 2008

Robin Returns

Facing Heartbreak And Betrayal,
Robin Hood Arrows Back To BBC America

For A New U.S. Premiere Season

(BeansTalk note: Richard Armitage is enough reason to watch this. Sigh)

The quest intensifies as Robin and his swashbuckling Outlaws make huge sacrifices for the good of Nottingham, in the all new season of Robin Hood. With no tights in sight, BBC America’s contemporary retelling of this timeless classic sees the gang face betrayal, treason and deadly decisions, as they battle to save England and its King from the evil hand of the Sheriff of Nottingham. Robin Hood premieres April 26, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT.

Coproduced by BBC America’, season two sees Robin (Jonas Armstrong) and his Outlaws – Much, Little John, Will Scarlett, Allan-a-Dale and Djaq - in a rapidly changing world. The dastardly Sheriff of Nottingham (Keith Allen) has launched operation “Shah Mat”- a plot to kill King Richard – and he wants Robin dead.

Robin and Marian’s (Lucy Griffiths) relationship appears to be back on track until the Sherriff’s evil accomplice, Guy of Gisbourne (Richard Armitage), sets fire to Knighton Hall and seizes Marian and her father. As he battles with his heart, Robin soon discovers that he’s not only fighting the evil Sheriff but also a traitor within his own gang – Allan-a-Dale. When Robin is forced to dispel his once trusted comrade, Allan aspires to become Guy of Gisbourne’s right-hand man, exposing Robin and Marian to a far greater danger.

The heroic death of Marian’s father finally sends her to the forest and into Robin’s arms. But she has the ever burgeoning sense that she can achieve more as a spy in the castle, close to Guy of Gisbourne. As the war in The Holy Land intensifies and threats on King Richard’s life become critical, Marian returns to the castle to fight from the inside.

The gang encounter lethal Strong Rooms, chemical attacks and indestructible ‘medieval technology’ in their quest to rid Nottingham of poverty, before the tale of Robin Hood takes a deadly turn.

Cast And Production Credits

Robin Hood Jonas Armstrong

Marian Lucy Griffiths

Guy of Gisbourne Richard Armitage (North and South)

The Sheriff of Nottingham Keith Allen (Bodies, Viva Blackpool)

Much Sam Troughton (Vera Drake)

Little John Gordon Kennedy

Will Scarlett Harry Lloyd

Allan-a-Dale Joe Armstrong (Viva Blackpool)

Djaq Anjali Jay (The Inspector Lynley Mysteries)

Edward Michael Elwyn (Sharpe’s Challenge)

Principal Writer Dominic Minghella

Executive Producers Foz Allan, Dominic Minghella

A Tiger Aspect production for BBC in association with BBC America

Episode Synopses

Episode One — Sister Hood

Robin and the Outlaws have been busy constructing their ingenious new camp, but, when Knighton Hall is burnt to the ground and Marian and Edward are taken under house arrest, it’s clear that the rules have changed. As the state of Nottingham gets worse, Allan-a-Dale becomes agitated. He wants more recognition and a distracted Robin cannot reassure him – he’s too busy preparing to rescue two girls and their pretty mother, Rose, as well as formulating a plan to help Marian. Allan deserts the cause, determined to make his own way in the world, but everything changes when Allan finds himself in the castle dungeons. Rose is revealed as the Sheriff’s sister and the lure of the two girls is exposed as a brilliant trap to capture Robin. The Sheriff has formulated a devastating new campaign – “Shah Mat” – conspiring with Prince John to overthrow King Richard. Only with the help of Marian and the outlaws can Robin defeat the Black Knights. But, even when Robin and the Outlaws escape with their lives, they are no longer safe – Allan has deflected to the other side, becoming a spy for Gisborne.

Premieres Saturday, April 26, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Two — The Booby and the Beast

In his first mission since discovering the devastating truth about operation “Shah Mat”, Robin launches an abortive raid on the Castle’s new Strong Room. The Sheriff has stored all his “Shah Mat” funding in a medieval Fort Knox, but he’s preparing to make a final deposit before the Black Knights arrive to divide up the silver. Having underestimated the Strong Room’s array of deadly traps, Robin rethinks his attack – resolving to track down the original Strong Room designers who have been mutilated, to prevent them leaking the secrets behind their brilliant designs. With the help of now-blind designer Steven, Robin and his men build up a picture of the Strong Room mechanics and practice how to beat it. Meanwhile, Gisborne has ordered Marian to look after Prince Frederick of Hanheim (Dexter Fletcher – Hotel Babylon), who has arrived to play in the casino. The Sheriff has no intention of losing to the Prince and, when Frederick learns the Sheriff’s plan to trick him using fake dice in the casino, Marian gains a vital ally. Together with Robin and the gang, Frederick and Marian formulate a plan to rob the Strong Room. All Frederick must do is lose in the casino, but he ends up winning. Things aren’t looking so good for Robin in the Strong Room, either. Traitor Allan has leaked information about Robin’s attempt on the vault and Gisborne has ordered modifications.

Premieres Saturday, May 3, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Three — Child Hood

When young boys accidentally stumble on Gisborne’s weapon-testing site, all but one of them is taken prisoner. The resourceful escapee, Daniel, is able to elude Gisborne’s men to alert Robin to the discovery. Robin is horrified to find that Gisborne has developed an indestructible new suit of armour, made of special Damascus steel, as an army with this new protection would easily defeat King Richard. Meanwhile, Gisborne has taken the boys back to Locksley Manor where they will be hanged. Luckily, Robin and his gang arrive in time to save the boys and steal the impressive black diamond, used to create the Damascus steel. However, disaster strikes when Daniel is captured. The Sheriff immediately demands an exchange – Robin can have Daniel in return for the black diamond. Robin and the gang agree to the exchange and, when completed, they intend to torch Locksley and melt the black diamond. Marian learns of Daniel’s capture and puts a plan into action. Feigning interest in seeing Gisborne, she requests a night pass from the Sheriff. She doctors the document so that the signature can be mistaken as a release for Daniel. Marian runs her plan past Robin as she needs one of the outlaws to pose as a guard to take Daniel. To everyone’s surprise Allan volunteers, but he only sees it as a brilliant opportunity to leak Robin’s plan to Gisborne. Gisborne arms himself with his indestructible suit of armour, making a rescue attempt virtually impossible. Robin must think fast to save the boy’s life and stop a vital part of the Sheriff’s war machine.

Premieres Saturday, May 10, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Four — The Angel of Death

The Sheriff and evil scientist, Joseph, are testing a chemical weapon on a street in Nottingham and blame the ill effects on the Pestilence. However, Dan Scarlett, who is in town to visit his son Will, is sure it’s not Pestilence. Dan wants Will to become his apprentice and run the family’s carpentry business, but Will is frustrated that his father is blind to the good work he does as an outlaw. Father and son bicker about what’s best for Will, but tragically fail to resolve their dispute before the Sheriff kills Dan for speaking out against the suspected poisoning. Robin realises that the Sheriff is up to something and resolves to track down the source of the poison before more innocent people die. Bravely plunging into the heart of “pestilence” territory, the outlaws work tirelessly to soothe the sick – not realising that a helper from Leicester is the scientist, Joseph. Worse still, Robin discovers that Will is heading for the Castle to punish the Sheriff for killing his father.

Premieres Saturday, May 17, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Five — Ducking and Diving

A horrified Robin discovers that his plan to capture the Sheriff’s spy, Henry of Lewes, failed because of a traitor in his gang. Fearing for Marian’s safety in the castle, Robin needs to find out who is betraying him. His only clue is supplied by Marian - the spy sells his secrets to Gisbourne at the Trip to Jerusalem Inn. With two missions to complete Robin is relieved when Henry of Lewes arrives at the castle unconscious, his vital information about the King’s landing sites remaining a mystery. Robin infiltrates the castle to silence Henry and is helped by a wise-woman Matilda, who is tasked by the Sheriff to nurse Henry to health. Asking Robin to look after her heavily pregnant daughter, Matilda promises that she’ll silence Henry using special herbs. The Sheriff makes the connection with Robin and Matilda’s life is in danger. Robin returns to the forest with Matilda’s daughter, to a confused and hurt gang - they resent being suspected of treachery. Marian arrives at the camp on a horse, reporting that Matilda is about to be tried for witchcraft. Can Robin trust his gang to save the lives at stake and also silence Henry? There is a spy in his gang who needs catching before the day is out.

Premieres Saturday, May 24, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Six — For England…!

The Sheriff’s Black Knights gather at the castle to attend a feast and declare their allegiance to Prince John. With the outlaws disguised as entertainers, Robin infiltrates the castle to join forces with the only man who can stop them, the Sheriff of Winchester. Winchester’s territory is key to the Sheriff’s “Shah Mat” plan which will apprehend a homecoming King Richard at the southern ports. When Robin is satisfied that he has convinced Winchester to stand up to the Sheriff, he sends the outlaws on a diversionary mission and writes a farewell letter to Marian. Preparing to make his greatest sacrifice alone, Robin hopes to put an end to “Shah Mat” by killing all the Black Knights. As Robin enters the feast disguised as a Black Knight, he discovers that Winchester has double-crossed him, with Marian added as a sweetener to his deal. Surrounded by a roomful of enemies, Robin faces certain death alone.

Premieres Saturday, May 31, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Seven — Show Me the Money

Robin is determined to get hold of the Great Pact of Nottingham, written proof of the Sheriff’s treason. When lovelorn knight John of York and his chest of silver pass by Robin and the gang and the Knight begs the outlaws to save his girl, Robin formulates a plan. The Knight is sent off with the gang’s money as well as his own. Robin intends to rob everything back once it reaches the castle, by using York’s silver to locate where the Sheriff’s treasure, and the Pact, is hidden. As the outlaws gather at the castle they face a devastating blow from their once trusted friend – Allan-a-Dale. While Marian tends to Edward in the dungeons she overhears Allan revealing the outlaws’ secret entrances to the castle. Once Robin realises that Marian’s under threat too, he decides that England can wait. Edward, meanwhile, is spurred to action. If the Pact offers irrefutable evidence of Prince John’s treason, then he resolves to do all he can to retrieve it. Escaping his dungeon, he locates the Pact in the Sheriff’s secret safe. But, while Marian prevents Robin from silencing Allan, Edward is discovered escaping Nottingham with the pact and there are tragic and life-changing consequences for Marian…

Premieres Saturday, June 7, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Eight — Get Carter

Marian wakes up in Sherwood Forest on the first day of her new life as an outlaw. Surprising everyone with a new energy and recklessness, she jeopardises the gang’s mission to bring aid to Clun Village after it’s ransacked by the Sheriff’s men. Luckily Clun’s new avenging hero, Carter, a fearless ex-Crusade fighter, arrives to help them all out. But unfortunately, Carter is the Sheriff’s hired assassin, and the ransacking of Clun village was set up to allow Carter access to Robin. A man with a mortal hatred for Robin, Carter is tasked to infiltrate the camp and retrieve the Pact of Nottingham. Carter’s act is flawless, and he earns the gratitude of the Outlaws – they even take him back to camp to help him with his injuries. Everyone is too busy squabbling about the new dynamics in the gang to notice they have an assassin in their midst. Marian, meanwhile, must contend with worried Gisborne’s attentions as he sends Allan to track her down. Annoyed with Robin, Marian and Allan work together to trick Gisborne into thinking she’s become a nun. While the gang is distracted, Carter strikes a deadly blow against each outlaw. However, he’s concealing a secret of his own – vengeful love for a dead brother – for which he mistakenly blames Robin. As Robin gets to the root of Carter’s hatred, he begins to understand the real Carter and sets about rehabilitating him. Now Carter, Robin’s new ally, turns on the Sheriff of Nottingham.

Premieres Saturday, June 14, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Nine — Lardner’s Ring

A mortally wounded, one-legged messenger from King Richard flees Locksley Manor pursued by Gisborne’s men and ends up in the arms of Robin. With his dying breath, he tells Robin that the King needs him to return to the Holy Land, and he utters the word “Lardner." The Sheriff is furious that the messenger has escaped, especially now that he and Gisborne are also on the hunt for “Lardner” - they received a prediction from a fortune-telling Fool that the “Ring of Lardner” would spell trouble. When Will and Djaq discover that Locksley Village is being scoured for Lardner’s ring, Djaq tells Robin what “Lardner” really is – a Saracen carrier pigeon. Consequently, Robin’s reply to King Richard will only take days to reach him. While Robin and Marian go to the last place they saw the King’s messenger, the gang composes a note to the King. Unfortunately, just as Robin and Marian reach “Lardner”, the Sheriff and Gisborne arrive. Surrounded, and trapped in a tree, Robin and Marian realise that unless they resort to desperate measures they will face certain death.

Premieres Saturday, June 21, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Ten - Walkabout

Tormented by Robin, the Sheriff sleepwalks into Sherwood Forest on the day that Prince John’s messenger, Jasper, arrives to check all is well in Nottingham. By the time Gisborne raises the alarm, Prince John’s private army is on its way, ready to burn Nottingham at sunset. Drastic action is called for, so while keeping up appearances with Jasper, Gisborne and Marian secretly task Robin with tracking down the Sheriff in the forest. Meanwhile, the Sheriff is getting to grips with nature and embarks on a journey of rediscovery. When he comes across some scheming beggars intent on fleecing Robin, he realises he can get his hands on the Pact at last. Little John is fooled by the Sheriff’s blind, poor-man disguise and allows the enemy into the heart of the camp. As sunset and oblivion draw closer, and Prince John’s army looms on the horizon, Gisborne risks his life standing by Marian as they fight together to save the people of Nottingham. Only Robin can save them.

Premieres Saturday, June 28, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Eleven — Treasure of the Nation

The Sheriff has turned Locksley into a garrison, throwing its people out to make room for an army of vicious mercenaries. As Robin and the Outlaws formulate a plan to stop them, they are intercepted by three of the King’s Guards, led by the fearsome Legrand who brings a vital message from King Richard. The King has sent coded information concealing plans to move his thesaurus patriae (Treasure of the Nation). Faced with a difficult decision, Robin decides that he must help the King, even if it means forsaking Locksley. Marian, however, believes that Locksley must be protected and the Nightwatchman goes into action, wreaking vengeance on the mercenaries. Gisborne and Allan predicted trouble, and Marian finds herself trapped and unmasked by Gisborne. Her secret is out and Gisborne swears she will die as punishment for her treachery. Robin is cornered too – the Sheriff has already killed Legrand’s contact, and the man Robin meets is the Sheriff’s spy. Everyone is in for a surprise when King Richard’s treasure is revealed.

Premieres Saturday, July 5, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Twelve — A Good Day to Die

Robin and the Outlaws arrive at a barn for Robin’s birthday party, only to find that they are surrounded by the Sheriff’s mercenaries. The Outlaws share their secrets with one another whilst the traitor, Allan-a-Dale, realises that the Sheriff and Gisborne are heading to the Holy Land to kill the King. The fearless Marian takes it upon herself to stop the Sheriff in his tracks, and Allan must choose his allegiance. Will Robin realise that the mercenaries are a decoy?

Premieres Saturday, July 12, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT

Episode Thirteen - We Are Robin Hood

Robin and his Outlaws, the Sheriff, Guy of Gisborne and Marian are all in The Holy Land. Robin warns the King of the impending threat to his life, but the Sheriff is one step ahead, and instead of a heroes’ welcome, Robin and the Outlaws are treated as traitors. Marian makes a final attempt to redeem Gisborne – if he kills the Sheriff he will have everything he wants, including her. Will fear of the Sheriff or the smell of power win the struggle for Gisborne? The battle for England is on. Will Robin be released in time to save the King’s life? Will Marian escape from the clutches of the Sheriff? High stakes and ultimate tragedy ensue…

Premieres Saturday, July19, 9:00 p.m. ET/PT