8.3. Robot Of Sherwood

Series 8 - 2014

Writer: Mark Gatiss
Produced by: Nikki Wilson
Director: Paul Murphy
Music: Murray Gold


The Doctor asks Clara where she wants to go. Since she was little she has always loved the story of Robin Hood and wants to meet him. Despite being fictional the Doctor materialises the TARDIS is Sherwood Forest, 1190 AD... ish. He tells Clara to prepare to be disappointed when an arrows strikes the TARDIS shot by an archer that looks very like Robin Hood.

Robin Hood sets out relieve the Doctor of the TARDIS. Clara, dressed in a period dress, is star struck when she sees Robin. Robin challenges the Doctor to a sword fight. The Doctor does not have a sword, but does have a spoon. The Doctor successfully parries Robins sword with his spoon. The Doctor manoeuvres himself behind Robin, back to back, and with a kick to Robin's knee Robin falls into a stream.

In a nearby village the Sheriff of Nottingham is looking for labour and a knight has shackled a woman, Marian. Her father is stands up to the Sheriff and is killed.

Having won the fight against Robin the Doctor and Clara are introduced to the rest of Robin's merry men. The Doctor is not convinced they are real, and takes hair and blood samples. The results say they are real. The Doctor is also concerned about the weather. It's hot, sunny and very green. But this is Nottingham in Autumn.

Robin tells the Doctor and Clara that the next day there is a contest to find the best archer in the land. Clara tries to tell Robin it's a trap, but Robin still insists on going to the Sheriff's castle. After ten rounds Robin, calling himself Tom the Tinker, reaches the final round which is against the Sheriff. The prize is a gold arrow.

After Robin has asked for a greater challenge, and asked for the target to be moved further away, the Sheriff scores a direct bullseye. Robin fires and splits the arrow, also scoring a direct bullseye. As Robin claims his prize a third arrow also sores a bullseye, splitting Robin's arrow, fired by the Doctor. Robin and the Doctor keep firing bullseyes until the Doctor blows up the target with his sonic screwdriver.

The Sheriff orders knights to capture the Doctor, Robin and Clara. Robin cuts the arm off one knight, revealing the knight is a robot. Once revealed the robots knights begin to fire energy beams at the villagers. The Doctor, Robin and Clara surrender, giving the villagers a chance to escape.

They are chained up in a dungeon.The Doctor and Robin argue and do not get on together, much to Clara's exasperation. A guard appears to take the ring leader to the Sheriff for interrogation. Whilst Robin and the Doctor argue about who is the ring leader the guard unshackles Clara.

Back at their camp Robin's merry men are discussing the gold arrow that Robin won and plans to free Robin. Alan-a-Dale notices that the Sheriff only seems to be interested in gold. Every time the Sheriff loots a place he only takes gold, not rubies and pearls.

In the castle the Sheriff has laid on a meal for Clara and invites her to eat. The Sheriff shows her the Doctor's sonic screwdriver and asks is she is also from beyond the stars. The Sheriff starts to question Clara, but she manipulates the questions to learn more from the Sheriff that she does from him. The Sheriff tells her about how a Skyship crashed on Earth and how the mechanical men imparted their secrets only to him. With the help of the robots the Sheriff plans to take over the world.

In the dungeon Robin pretends to be ill to lure the guard inside. When the guard goes close to Robin he is head-butted. Both Robin and the Doctor try to reach the keys but end up kicking them into a drain. Eventually they free the stone to which their shackles are fastened allowing them to escape from the dungeon. The first port of call is a blacksmith's forge to free their chains. Once free they make their way through the castle and find a out-of-place door leading into a 29th century spaceship.

Looking into the data banks the Doctor learns the ship was on the way to the promised land when damaged engines caused it to land on Earth where disguised itself as a castle to blend in. Radiation from the engines is causing benevolence in the locals.

When the Doctor and Robin start arguing again the Sheriff arrives with Clara and robot knights. The Sheriff orders the knights to kill Robin. One shot blows a hole in the wall and Robin, using Clara as a shield, jumps out with Clara into the castle's moat. Alone with the Sheriff and the knights the Doctor realises the Sheriff is using the knights, and local villagers, to cast new circuits put of gold to repair the ship.

The Doctor is knocked out by a knight, and when he wakes he is shackled underneath the castle where the casting of gold circuits is taking place. The Doctor explains to Marian what is happening, and asks her to arrange a small riot. Later, when a robot tries to free the Doctor he reveals he already is. When it tries to fire an energy beam, at him he picks up a gold plate and the beam is reflected back and destroys the knight. All the other captured villagers also have similar plates and mirrors, and when the robots start firing they are destroyed by reflected beams.

The Doctor frees the villagers but is caught by the Sheriff before he can leave. The Doctor tells the Sheriff that he does not have enough gold to make the ship fly. As the Sheriff closes in Robin and Clara arrive to help the Doctor. The Sheriff shuts down his robots and challenges Robin to a duel. During the fight above a vat of gold Robin loses his sword, but remembering his earlier fight with the Doctor manoeuvres behind the Sheriff and knocks him into the vat.

With the Sheriff dead robots start the take off. Everyone clears the castle, and in the forest the Doctor realises the ship does not have enough power to break orbit. Seeing the gold arrow from the tournament the Doctor realises this may be enough to give the ship the boost it needs. Robin's arm is injured and hands a bow to the Doctor, who reveals that he cheated in the tournament and cannot shoot an arrow straight at all. Working together the Doctor and Clara hold the bow as Robin fires the arrow into the ship.

When the arrow hits the ship it gives it a power surge and it leaves orbit, exploding in space. As the depart the Doctor leaves Robin a gift he has been searching for: Marian.

Regular Cast

  • Clara Oswald: Jenna Coleman

Guest Cast

  • Robin Hood: Tom Riley
  • Quayle: Roger Ashton-Griffiths
  • Quayle's Ward (Marian): Sabrina Bartlett
  • The Sheriff of Nottingham: Ben Miller
  • Alan-a-Dale: Ian Hallard
  • Friar Tuck: Trevor Cooper
  • Little John: Rusty Goffe
  • Will Scarlett: Joseph Kennedy
  • Walter: Adam Jones
  • Herald: David Benson
  • Guard: David Langham
  • Knight: Tim Baggaley
  • Voice of the Knights: Richard Elfyn

Original broadcast on the BBC

Channel Title Date Viewers Rating
BBC 1 (HD) 3. Robot Of Sherwood Saturday, September 6, 2014 7:30 PM - 8:15 PM 7.28M 82

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The TARDIS seems to be having problems with its door. When the Doctor first leaves it is wide open. As he walks away it is only ajar. Sometimes you can see inside, other times you cannot. When Clara leaves she pulls the door shut. When the Doctor and Robin first begin to duel the TARDIS is door is open. As they fight the door is closed again.


Due to world events at the time a scene of a beheading was cut from transmission.