TL;DR – This the best reimagining of Robin Hood I have seen in years, take what works of the traditional story and reinterpreting it into the Australian context.
Score – 4.5 out of 5 stars
Robin Hood is one of those characters that you see a lot of in media because he is one of the few safe completely public domain characters that most people know about. We have had every type of adaptation of his story, from the faithful, to big action set piece films like Robin Hood: Prince of Thieves, to the farcical like Robin Hood: Men in Tights, to the forgettable, I mean we ever got a version from Disney where they were all animals. However, while there have been a lot of versions of the story, they have all followed pretty much the same formula with nothing of any real worth to the adaptations, well that is until now.
So to set the scene, Robbie (Pedrea Jackson) is 13 and a is thief, he lives in Alice Springs and Alice Springs is a dump, well he uses a different word, but we will go with dump. He lives with his Nana Mary’s (Audrey Martin) house after his mother died and his Dad (Andy Golledge) never really recovered. Robbie might be a thief, but he always has the best intentions at heart as he goes around Alice Springs with his friends Little Johnny (Levi Thomas) and Georgia Blue (Jordan Johnson).
vast majority of film etc that adapt Robin Hood always try and set it in its original
setting or at the very least a British setting, which is fine, but let’s be
honest we’ve seen it all before. Right from the start, this makes Robbie Hood that little bit different
and special because while it has many of the components that make up the Robin
Hood mythos. They have been translocated into the Australian context,
specifically the rural Australian context. This means that you have a sheriff,
but he is the local copper Shane (Dan Falzon), we have a Maid Marion, but she
is Mim (Tiara Doolan) Shane’s daughter that works at the local store, and so
on. This makes the show at first instantly familiar, but also distinctly different.
For a show about Robin Hood to work, you need to have a strong cast because you have to go along with them as they take on the power structures that you yourself might be part of. Here is one of the areas where the show really excels. When researching this review I was shocked to find out that this was Pedrea Jackson, Jordan Johnson, and Levi Thomas’ first acting roles. I would not have known that given how amazingly they sell the roles of Robbie and his merry band. Pedrea Jackson is a revelation as Robbie, and I expect we will see him in a lot more roles in the future. It is the cast and writing that bring you into this world and get you ready for the story it is trying to tell.
One of the big issues about just setting your Robin Hood narrative in 1100s AD England is that there is always the same bad guys, the same power hierarchies, and rarely is an audience challenged because they are not nobility in an age of scarcity. By setting your Robin Hood story in the middle of present-day Australia and framing it in the discussion between Indigenous and settler hierarchs you do not have that comfortable ignorance to hide behind. For many Australians, when asked about who is the rich and who is the poor, would not think about themselves as being in the rich part, but they are. It also confronts the narratives that continually get propagated in the media about Indigenous youths. This all means that while you are laughing at the jokes, and having fun with Robbie and his band’s antics, you can’t but help think about your place in the power hierarchy that is Australia.
In the end, do we recommend Robbie Hood? Absolutely. Given that it is six ten minute episodes, I think it is something that everyone should give a watch. The cast is amazing, the setting is perfect, and it will make you think.
By Brian MacNamara: You can follow
Brian on Twitter Here, when he’s not chatting about Movies and TV,
he’ll be talking about International Relations,
or the Solar System.
Have you seen Robbie Hood yet ?, let us know what you thought in the comments below, feel free to share this review on any of the social medias and you can follow us Here. Check out all our past reviews and articles Here, and have a happy day.
Credits – All images were created by the cast, crew, and production companies of Robbie Hood
Directed by – Dylan River
Written by – Dylan River & Kodie Bedford
Created by – Dylan River & Tanith Glynn-Maloney
Production/Distribution Companies – SBS, Ludo Studio, Since 1788 Productions & Screen Australia
Starring – Pedrea Jackson, Jordan Johnson, Levi Thomas, Andy Golledge, Tiara Doolan, Dan Falzon, Helena Gallagher, Steve Kidd, Tanith Glynn-Maloney & Audrey Martin
Episodes Covered – Robbing By Nature, Cool Clean Water, I Was Robbed, The Kids Are Gone, Speedway & It’s Christmas Again!