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Maid Marian And Her Merry Men. Image shows from L to R: Maid Marian (Kate Lonergan), The Sheriff of Nottingham (Tony Robinson). Image credit: British Broadcasting Corporation.

Maid Marian And Her Merry Men

Ingenious re-working of the Robin Hood legend, placing Maid Marian as the real hero of the tale, and Robin as, actually, a bit of a wimp

1989 - 1994  (BBC One)
26 (4 series)
Kate Lonergan, Tony Robinson, Wayne Morris, Danny John-Jules, Howard Lew Lewis, Mike Edmonds, Forbes Collins, Mark Billingham, David Lloyd, Hilary Mason, Robin Chandler & more
Tony Robinson
British Broadcasting Corporation

Maid Marian And Her Merry Men sees a largely effeminate Robin led by the ever-wise and skillful Marian in revolt against the Sheriff of Nottingham, himself under constant order from the heartless King John.

The Sheriff is assisted in his terrorising the people of Worksop by slow-witted henchmen Gary and Graeme. From Series 2, King John also played host to his impossibly gormless and childish nephew, Guy of Gisborne, under threat from his fiersome sister, Guy's mother, Eleanor. It wasn't long before neither the King nor the Sheriff were sure if Guy or Robin was the greater foe!

Our Review: Arguably the best childrens' sitcom ever produced for British television, Maid Marian And Her Merry Men was witty, inventive, clever, and never patronising.

The writer's heavily left-leaning politics shine through in the occasional piece of dialogue or contemporaneous joke for parents, but there should be no mistaking Maid Marian as a work of sneaky socialist propaganda. It's a thoroughly silly, clean-humoured work of comedy with plenty for both adults and children to enjoy, from slapstick sequences to an impressive array of witty song spoofs, cultural references and just plain laugh-out-loud funny moments.

Made for Children's BBC, the series was a hit with all those who saw it and could have grown further had it moved to a later timeslot. We loved it when we saw it in the early 1990s, and we still love it today. A hugely enjoyable series.