Back in the hood
Audio drama Robin Of Sherwood: The Knights Of The Apocalypse reunites the Merry Men after 30 years
When Robin Of Sherwood was cancelled by ITV in 1986, creator Richard “Kip” Carpenter, unwilling to see his series go out without a proper send-off, wrote a script that he hoped to have filmed as a coda. Unfortunately, it didn’t happen – but now, 30 years on, almost the entire cast have reunited to record it for charity.
“When I first read it, I could see it playing out in my mind,” says producer Barnaby Eaton-Jones, who funded the project with a Kickstarter that hit its target in one day flat. “It’s so well-written that, oddly, you feel like you’ve watched it.”
Picking up not long after the series finale, the story sets our Sherwood-loving heroes against a band of religious knights who start raising mischief, with Anthony Head playing their leader. The original cast – who worked for reduced rates, with a few even donating their fees to charity – were thrilled to be recording it, as they told SFX during the London premiere of the drama’s first chapter.
“We were all excited about the fact it was Kip’s writing; that makes a big difference,” says Jason Connery, who played the second Robin, Robert of Huntingdon. The actors – including Ray Winstone, Judi Trott, Clive Mantle and Nickolas Grace – were also joined in the drama by the original Robin, Michael Praed, who makes a mysterious cameo. Others who have sadly died, such as Robert Addie (Guy of Gisburne) have been carefully recast.
Given the logistics of reuniting so many people after three decades, The Knights Of The Apocalypse is an extraordinary achievement, and it’s also a landmark event for some of the characters. “I had more lines in this thing than in three years of the show,” laughs Mark Ryan, who played the taciturn Saracen, Nasir. Hear what he has to say by purchasing the audio drama from www.spitefulpuppet.com.
The Knights Of The Apocalypse is out on 30 June.
Anthony Head is a new member of the cast.