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Doctor Who: The Gallifrey Times Team Reviews Robot of Sherwood!

WARNING: This post contains spoilers for Robot of Sherwood. 

Last night saw the Doctor meet legendary hero Robin Hood and face off against an army of robots – but what did our team make of it? Read on to find out:

Oliver (TGT Podcast Producer)

A wonderful romp episode which manages to keep the Twelfth Doctor’s serious disposition and use it to a comedic advantage. Twelve comes into his own in this episode, and proves that, although he is more serious than the last two incarnations, he is still the fun-loving, universe-saving Doctor we all know and love. Tom Riley plays a magnificent Robin Hood, and the mythical world of Sherwood Forest is wonderfully constructed by Mark Gatiss. The story still makes sense with the cut scenes (bar the “half-man, half-engine” line) but there were still scenes left in that were arguably more graphic when it comes to the topic of decapitation, Twelve joking about Robin’s decapitated head still laughing, for example. In a way I’m pleased that the “Sheriff being half robot” sub-plot was removed due to the cut, because it’s unnecessary and detracts from the main focus of the episode. All in all, a great episode. Series 8 is an absolute cracker and a joy to watch so far. 9/10

Owen (TGT writer)

Robot of Sherwood is one of our best comedic romps we’ve seen on Doctor Who, with witty writing and likeable characters – Gatiss succeeds in engaging the audience throughout the 50 minute episode. Capaldi’s personality shines through as the Twelfth Doctor in the episode, showing his sarcastic dry humour seeping through Sherwood forest. Tom Riley and Ben Miller also hugely lift the episode with their superb acting with both characters. Miller is a typical pantomime villain and he portrays this with ease. Jenna Coleman once again outdoes herself, with Clara’s character continuing to be fleshed out and developed, with her taking control instead of the two ‘heroes’. 8/10

Mike (TGT writer)

Fun and lighthearted whimsy with clever dialogue and bravery – from Clara and Robin Hood. The Doctor was apparently involved with the story but you might have missed him completely if you weren’t looking. I did enjoy the now-standard callbacks (Miniscope from Carnival of Monsters and Patrick Troughton’s cameo) but they seemed a bit forced. Good for a laugh and bolstering Clara’s independence but for me not much else. 6.5/10

Suman (TGT writer)

Robot of Sherwood is unashamedly a straightfoward romp, complete with larger than life characters and an enjoyable yet untaxing plot. Gatiss’ witty script provides Capaldi with an excellent opportunity to flex his comedic muscles, well honed from his days in The Thick of It, and his irascible Doctor sparks off well against Tom Riley’s perfectly pitched performance as Robin Hood. Clara, meanwhile, is a wonderfully watchable mix of childlike excitement and her usual savviness, whilst Ben Miller’s Sheriff successfully walks the line between hammy and sinister. The story does well at blending together its historical and sci-fi elements, and its resolution, although somewhat twee, wholeheartedly embraces the spirit of the rest of the episode. 8/10

Ben (TGT writer)

This week saw a welcome return of the historicals. Episodes where they go back and meet a famous figure can be tricky, as you’re playing with viewers’ visions of these people, but this one stuck to the traditional portrayal of Robin Hood. The questioning of the reality of the characters was interesting, and Ben Miller made a good guest appearance. The Doctor is becoming more established and making a great impression, but it still seems to be Clara who’s running things. Overall, a fun little episode – one of Gatiss’s best – that leads into what promises to be a very scary episode. 9/10

Patrick (TGT writer)

The Twelfth Doctor has proven to be decidedly different to his last three predecessors, and it is this fundamental shift that highlights Capaldi’s comedic chops in Robot of Sherwood. We know by now that this Doctor is not the emotional type, nor is he prone to bouts of fantasy or a daydreamer. This man is cold, stern and fierce, and seeing this kind of a man deal with a seemingly fictional figure is as delightful as you might think. The character of Robin Hood (Tom Riley) is the embodiment of the cheekiness of Twelve’s predecessor, highlighting even further the departure the show’s tone has taken from gleeful to sinister. Our villain, portrayed by Ben Miller, is slimey yet his intelligence is not undermined by this, resulting in a compelling antagonist amidst a plot that once again fails to go anywhere (a trait of Series 8 so far), but is superb in its own light (another trait). A superb balance of comedy and grit.

Our spoiler-free preview of Listen will be up mid-week, with our team’s spoiler-filled review coming Sunday!