UK tv series (1955-1959). ITV/Sapphire Films. Exec pr Hannah Weinstein. Dir Lindsay Anderson, Terence Fisher and many others. Writers Eric Heath, Ian McLellan Hunter (pseudonymous), Ring Lardner Jr (pseudonymous), Anne Rodney, Smart, Palmer Thompson and many others. Starring Richard Coleman (Alan-a-Dale), Rufus Cruikshank (Little John in later episodes), Patricia Driscoll (Maid Marian in later episodes), Archie Duncan (Little John in early episodes), Paul Eddington (Will Scarlett in later episodes), Alexander Gauge (Friar Tuck), Richard Greene (Robin Hood), Ronald Howard (Will Scarlett in early episodes), Ian Hunter (King Richard), Bernadette O'Farrell (Maid Marian in early episodes), Donald Pleasance (Prince John), Alan Wheatley (Sheriff of Nottingham). 143 26min episodes. B/w.
One of Television's most successful fantasy series, this nevertheless did its best to suppress all potential fantasy elements: it was basically an adventure series. It was required viewing for children – and many adults – on both sides of the Atlantic, being screened in the USA by CBS and through syndication; in 1995 it remained in active syndication. The series' scenario stuck closely to a consensus version of the Robin Hood legend; each self-contained episode formed a soon-familiar Template. The success of TAORH gave rise to two direct imitators: The Adventures of Sir Lancelot (1956-1957), which had a very similar production and writing team and was filmed on an adjacent lot; and The Adventures of William Tell (1958-1959), which again featured many of the people responsible for TAORH. [JG]