1953Robin Hood.The British Broadcasting Corporation produced the first appearance of Robin Hood on television, with Patrick Troughton as Robin Hood, Kenneth MacKintosh as Little John, and David Kossoff as the sheriff of Nottingham. The series only lasted one season.
1955-1960 The Adventures of Robin Hood. A long-running British series featuring Robin of Locksley-Robin Hood and his band of men based in Sherwood Forest. Robin and his men protect England from the evil Prince John while good King Richard is away at the Crusades. The series was primarily intended for children. The show aired between 1955 and 1960 in the UK and between 1955 and 1958 in the US. Richard Greene as Robin Hood (143 episodes, 1955-1960), Victor Woolf as Derwent (112 episodes, 1955-1960), Archie Duncan as Little John (105 episodes, 1955-1960), Alexander Gauge as Friar Tuck (90 episodes, 1955-1960), Alan Wheatley as the sheriff of Nottingham (80 episodes, 1955-1960), Paul Eddington as Will Scarlett (64 episodes, 1956-1960), and Bernadette O’ Farrell as Maid Marion (47 episodes, 1955-1957). Some of those episodes were combined into feature-length colorized films:
(1) 1956: Robin Hood’s Greatest Adventures (also starring Donald Pleasence as Prince John).
(2) 1958: Robin Hood, the Movie.
(3) 1958: Robin Hood: The Quest for the Crown.
1958-1959 Ivanhoe. The British made for television adventures of Walter Scott’s Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, a noble knight and champion of justice during the reign of evil Prince John. Roger Moore is Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe (39 episodes, 1958-1959) and Robert Brown is Gurth (39 episodes, 1958-1959). Based very loosely on Sir Walter Scott’s 1819 novel. Ivanhoe’s contemporary Robin Hood (a major character in the novel) appeared at least once.
1966-1969 Rocket Robin Hood. A Canadian animated television series, placing the characters and conflicts of the classic Robin Hood legend in a futuristic, outer space setting, produced by Krantz Films, Inc. from 1966 to 1969.
1968 The Legend of Robin Hood. From the NBC, with David Watson, Douglas Faribanks, Jr., and Roddy McDowall.
1972 Monty Python’s Flying Circus. An episode of this BBC TV sketch comedy has a parody of Robin Hood called Dennis Moore who steals lupins from the rich and gives them to the poor.
1975 The Legend of Robin Hood. A BBC television mini-series of six episodes. Robin has been raised by John Hood, a groundskeeper, as his son, but learns that he is actually the long lost son of the Earl of Huntingdon. He comes into conflict with a plot to replace King Richard I by his brother Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham and Sir Guy of Gisbourne. Martin Potter is Robin Hood, Diane Keen plays Lady Marion, Paul Darrow is the sheriff of Nottingham and William Marlowe is Sir Guy of Gisbourne.
1975 When Things Were Rotten. This American situation comedy television series was created by Mel Brooks. A humorous imitation of the Robin Hood legend, that starred Richard Gautier (who earlier had played Hymie the Robot in Brooks ‘Get Smart’ series) as Robin Hood. Regular cast members were Dick Van Patten as Friar Tuck, Bernie Kopell (another ‘Get Smart’ veteran) as Alan-a-Dale, Henry Polic II as the Sheriff of Nottingham (whose name was Hubert), Ron Rifkin as Prince John, and Misty Rowe as Maid Marian. Eighteen years later, Brooks produced another humorous imitation, the feature film ‘Robin Hood: Men in Tights’. (see above)
1982 Ivanhoe. This UK/US television film is a remake of Walter Scott’s Ivanhoe. The noble knight returns to England after the holy wars. He find England under the reign of Prince John and his henchmen and finds himself being involved in the power-struggle for the throne of England. Anthony Andrews is Wilfred of Ivanhoe, James Mason is Isaac of York, and David Robb is Robin Hood.
1982 Robin Hood. From the CBC, with Rich Little.
1984 The Zany Adventures of Robin Hood. The humor is relentless in this American made-for-TV spoof set in the 13th Century. The neurotic Prince John (Roddy McDowell) sits on the throne, supported by his evil henchman, Sir Guy of Gisbourne (Tom Baker) and constantly ridiculed by his mother, Eleanor of Aquitaine (Janet Suzman). While celebrating his birthday, the Prince becomes unhappy when he discovers his older brother, Richard, is not dead as everyone thought but rather being held for ransom in Austria. George Segal plays Robin Hood, and he his band travel across the country to raise the ransom money to free Richard, but nothing goes right. Robin tries to seduce Marian (Morgan Fairchild), promising her they’ll be wed once King Richard returns, but with little success.
1984–1986 Robin of Sherwood. This fantasy-style British television series by Richard Carpenter starred Michael Praed and later Jason Connery as Robin. It paved the way for many of the adaptations that followed, most notably the introduction of a Saracen (Muslim) outlaw. Robin of Loxley is chosen by the mystical Herne the Hunter to become his ‘son’ and champion the oppressed. Gathering a band of comrades around him he fights a guerilla campaign against the Norman dictators, particularly the Sheriff of Nottingham and his deputy, Guy de Gisburne. Later he is succeeded by Robert of Huntingdon, renegade nobleman. This retelling of the legend introduces a strong fantasy element, with black magic and the old religion; a grittier theme. Michael Praed as Robin of Loxley (11 episodes, 1984-1985), Jason Connery as Robert of Huntingdon, (13 episodes, 1986), and Judi Trott as Lady Marion (24 episodes, 1984-1986).
1986 Ivanhoe. An Animated TV movie produced by Burbank Films in Australia, with Lewis Fitz-Gerald as Ivanhoe (voice), Nick Tate as Sir Cedric (voice), and Robert Coleby as Robin Hood (voice).
1989–1994 Maid Marian and her Merry Men. This British children’s TV show, rewrote the legend somewhat, with Marian as the dynamic leader of the resistance against Prince John. Kate Lonergan is Maid Marian, Wayne Morris is ‘Robin of Kensington’, her thick-headed, cowardly, buffoonish figurehead, and Mike Edmonds is ‘Little Ron’, a short angry parody of Little John.
1990–1992 Robin Hood no Daibōken. This Japanese anime TV series tells a version of the story in which Robin and his men (and women), as well as Marian, are – in majority – children. This version also incorporates several fantasy elements, mainly expressed in mystic powers and a powerful treasure protected by the forest Sherwood itself. The whole series contains strong environmental messages. The characters include: Robert Huntington (Robin Hood), Marian Lancaster, Wilfred (or Will), Friar Tuck, Little John, Mutch and Barbara. There were 52 episodes.
1991 Robin Hood. This Canadian/German/UK/USA production was shown on TV. Patrick Bergin is an interesting Robin Hood, with arrogance, compassion, charm and a devil-may-care attitude. Uma Thurman plays a strong Marian, and Owen Teale is an excellent, fun-loving Will Scarlett, with David Morrissey as Little John and Jeff Nuttall as Friar Tuck. Jurgen Prochnow is the malicious knight, Sir Miles Folcanet, who pursues Robin through the forest, and Jeroen Krabbe is Baron Daguerre, a greedy lord with a conscience. There’s also the brief, but impressive appearance of Edward Fox as the would-be King John. There is excellent swordplay, good costumes and fairly convincing accents, one of the more ‘authentic’ of the Robin Hood films.
1991 Young Robin Hood. This animated TV series from Canada/USA, went for two season, and consisted of 26 episodes. It tells a version of the story in which Robin and his men, as well as Maid Marian, are teenagers. This version also incorporates several fantasy elements. Robin is sometimes assisted by a forest-dwelling old woman who knows magic.
1996 Robin of Locksley. After his parents win the lottery Robin McAllister is sent to the prestigious Locksley Hall. There he experiences how the sons of the school’s benafactors, John Prince and his associates Warner and Gibson, are treated like royality. Robin can’t join the archery club, he gets in trouble when he stands up for himself, and his parents are completely preoccupied with their new horse ranch. A teenage Robin Hood steals for a needy cause in this updated tale. This American TV movie stars Devon Sawa as ‘Robin McAllister’, Sarah Chalke as ‘Marion Fitzwater’, Joshua Jackson as ‘John Prince, Jr’, Chad Todhunter as ‘Warner Jr’, and Kevin Hansen as ‘Gibson Jr’.
1997-1999 The New Adventures of Robin Hood. This French/American TV series has Robin Hood and his band which includes Marian, Little John, and Friar Tuck, robbing from the rich and giving to the poor as they fight against Prince John, the Sheriff of Nottingham, and all other manner of evil people and creatures. Magic plays as much a part as the sword and the arrow. Matthew Porretta, (Robin Hood, 27 episodes, 1996-1998), John Bradley, (Robin Hood, (26 episodes, 1998-1999), Barbara Griffin, (Lady Marion Fitzwalter, 39 episodes, 1997-1999) Richard Ashton, (Little John, 52 episodes, 1997-1999), and Martyn Ellis, (Friar Tuck, 52 episodes, 1997-1999). Porretta had appeared as Will Scarlet O’Hara in ‘Men in Tights’.
1997 Ivanhoe. This British/American TV mini-series has Steven Waddington as Sir Wilfred of Ivanhoe, Aden Gillett as Robin of Locksley, Susan Lynch as Rebecca and Victoria Smurfit as Lady Rowena. This mini-series is a costume epic with good characters. Lavishly filmed on locations in the United Kingdom, it’s a production with good visual appeal.
1999 Back to Sherwood. A UK/Canadian TV series. Robyn Hood is an ordinary young girl in the present time, but her life takes a strange turn when she is called to a magic talisman. When she puts in on, she is transported back to the time of the legendary outlaw hero, Robin Hood. Although she does return, she learns from her grandfather that she is the direct descendent of the outlaw. Aimee Castle plays Robyn Hood in this adventure/fantasy.
1999 Blackadder Back and Forth. From the BBC, with Rowan Atkinson, Tony Robertson and Miranda Richardson. (One episode features Rik Mayall as Robin and Kate Moss as Marion.)
2001 Princess of Thieves. This UK/American TV movie, was produced by Granada Productions in 2001 and first broadcast on The Wonderful World of Disney on ABC in the United States that same year. This romantic action-adventure starred Keira Knightley as Robin Hood’s heroic adolescent daughter, Gwyn, who takes over her father’s role and comes to his rescue. Stuart Wilson is Robin Hood, Malcolm McDowell the Sheriff, Jonathan Hyde as Prince John, Del Synnott as Froderick, and Stephen Moyer as Philip. It was filmed in Romania.