Back in the hood

Au­dio drama Robin Of Sher­wood: The Knights Of The Apoca­lypse re­unites the Merry Men after 30 years

SFX: The Sci-Fi and Fantasy Magazine - - Red Alert -

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.

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