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Richard Green's TV Robin Hood

As a baby boomer, Denise and millions of others are becoming senior citizens. She explores what it means to be over 60 today.

TV show

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Robin Hood Played by Richard Greene

Okay, so I'm not really old enough to have seen this when it first aired. But I have to say that Richard Greene's (1918-1985) Robin Hood is my all-time favorite version. The scenery is ACTUALLY English countryside and the castle scenes are actual castles with straw on the floor and narrow winding staircases. Don't get me wrong. I love Errol Flynn's Robin too. But you have to admit that the scenery was not very English and the castles were obvious sets, and the costumes very modern cloth. I guess only an artist and designer would notice those things, but I did. When I first saw Richard Greene's Robin Hood series, I was already an adult and stumbled on rerun quite by accident on a public television station. I was hooked. He is charming, handsome, English (with an accent), born in Plymouth, Devon, England, and Marion (played by Bernadette O’Farrell and later by Patricia Driscoll) was beautiful and dressed appropriately for English peerage of the time. I think the first season is in black and white but that didn't deter from the charm of the series.


Renaissance Fairs Are Popular Today

richard-greens-tv-robin-hood
richard-greens-tv-robin-hood

Maid Marian

I love the first Maid Marian in the series played by Bernadette O’Farrell. He had an elegance and grace even dressed in the boy’s clothes in Sherwood Forest in Lincoln Green, riding side-saddle as a lady would. Her performance was very believable. The second Maid Marian replacing Bernadette O’Farrell, Patricia Driscoll, was not any less believable in her performance but her hair was modern cut short and that would have been inappropriate in the 12thcentury. She handled her role well and sounded much like the first Marian so I wasn’t too disappointed. I think my biggest disappointment was when I saw a few colorized versions of the show. They gave Marian a pink dress. Anyone who knows clothing and dyes of the early centuries knows that pink was not a common color even among the very rich. There simply wasn’t a way to make a pink dye back then. Even red faded to brown and not to pink. Her light colored gown was probably light brown or light blue but not pink. Not a lot of people know that but it killed the magic for me when I saw it because I do know that.

Young Archer

richard-greens-tv-robin-hood

Heroes

By brother practicing to rope the bad guys.

By brother practicing to rope the bad guys.

Hero Theme is Loved

Let's face it, Robin Hood is classic. The hero who robs from the rich to give to the poor stands up for the oppressed and downtrodden and saves the day, daily. This theme has been used for a number of heroes since the days of Robin Hood. Zorro, The Cisco Kid, and even Batman have a Robin Hood theme. They operate outside the law because the law, at times, is corrupt. There was a time when I felt that saving the damsel in distress was my favorite part, but I have lived long enough to find there is also an appealing political edge to the theme too. When good people stand for what is right against all odds, things can change. Robin Hood is about hope and standing for what is right, loyalty, faith, hope, love.

Robin Hood is my favorite TV show and I had to have it so I bought the whole series 143 episodes, which aired weekly from 1955 to 1959.

Renaissance Fair costumes

richard-greens-tv-robin-hood

Robin Hood Theme Song

Robin Hood, Robin Hood,

Riding through the glen,

Robin Hood, Robin Hood,

With his band of men.

Feared by the bad,

Loved by the good:

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.

He called the greatest archers to a tavern on the green,

They vowed to help the people of the king.

They handled all the trouble on the English country scene,

And still found plenty of time to sing.

Robin Hood, Robin Hood,

Riding through the glen,

Robin Hood, Robin Hood,

With his band of men.

Feared by the bad,

Loved by the good:

Robin Hood, Robin Hood, Robin Hood.

Recreate the Middle Ages Yourself

If you like these pre-Renaissance themes as much as I do, you may be interested in the SCA—Society of Creative Anachronism. The Society was created many years ago by some Berkley students to recreate the Middle Ages, complete with costumes, customs, speech, and life. They like to get together on weekends for jousts, tournaments, and speaking forsoothly, kissing lady’s hands and such. They camp in tents and serve period food, wearing as close to authentic garb as possible. They even go further and each member creates a persona; that is a name and background for himself/herself that would have been likely in the era they wish to portray. I was mostly annoyed with the guys wishing to portray rascals, rakes, and knaves, however, even that was authentic. Being a Scott, I wanted to be from Scotland and gave myself the name D'lnys of the Scotts.

The Known World was the map of the Earth place sideways and lines of kingdoms redrawn so that everyone knew where they lived and the name of their kingdom. Each kingdom and principality would have annual jousts or tournaments to determine the king and prince reigning for the year. The king who won the joust would then in a formal ceremony, crown his queen, and begin his reign. Same with the prince. Myself, I lived in the Kingdom of the West, the Principality of Cynagua, in the humble Shire of Applegate. At one time I was the Seneschal of Applegate. We had our own humble events and awards and met once a month in costume to plan events. I enjoyed speaking forsoothly and having my hand kissed, as it were. Fun times.

If you enjoy this type of role-playing, join your local SCA. To find one near you, you can look here. Although they are recreating the Middle Ages, they still have techs in the 21st Century.

Middle Ages Melee

You'll Love It

For those of us who feel that the charm and romance of the days gone by is exciting to see, you must check out this series on YouTube or buy your own DVD version. They will be loved for the authenticity and exciting good vs. evil, swordplay, archery, and young love as well as regal loyalty in every episode. Take my word for it.

Heroic comments

Robert Sacchi on January 09, 2018:

I remember this series, barely a couple of scenes here and there. Some of my earliest TV memories. Thanks for the trip down memory lane and other details. It seems the British paid more attention to historic accuracy than the Americans in movies and TV shows of that era.

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 06, 2015:

That Richard Greene is really handsome!

Denise McGill (author) from Fresno CA on January 19, 2014:

@BritFlorida: Yes, it's my favorite even over Errol Flynn's Robin Hood. Thanks for liking my lens.

Jackie Jackson from Fort Lauderdale on January 19, 2014:

I was totally in love with the TV programme - an absolute classic.