The First Robin Hood
17th March – 21st April1953
By Mickie Newton
Whilst I was doing some research for my monthly column, Gadgets and Gizmo’s and looking for suitable items from 1953, due to the episode of focus 'Out of Time', I stumbled on this little gem and so decided I really should write something.
To most Whovian's Patrick Troughton will always be remembered as the man who had the daunting job of taking over from the very first Doctor, William Hartnell, back in 1966. Patrick took the bull by the horns, as it were, and played one of the most loved Doctors of the classic series, and also the favourite of the 11th Doctor, Matt Smith. But just over 10 years previous to William Hartnell playing the first Doctor, Patrick was making his own mark as televisions first Robin Hood.
Written by Max Kester, Robin Hood was a drama shown over 6 weeks. Each episode was 30 minutes long and was broadcast live from the Gaumont-British Studios in Lime Grove, London. Today such a show is seen as a challenge for the cast and crew and is rarely ever done. Back in the 1950's live shows were the norm. Though by this point the BBC had been experimenting with a new monitor that had been adapted to record anything that was being televised. Unfortunately only episode 02 of Robin Hood, The Abbot of St Mary's has survived.
Patrick was ideal for the role of Robin Hood as he was an expert swordsman and an extremely versatile actor. And Patrick, though the first Troughton to appear in Robin Hood, he was most certainly not the last. From 2006-2009 a certain Sam Troughton played the role of Much (Robin’s man servant) in a new BBC adaptation of the Robin Hood stories. Sam is Patrick's grandson and the son of David Troughton, who has also appeared in a number of Doctor Who episodes, both classic Who and new Who, but notably never with his father Patrick.
I did manage to find a very brief clip of Patrick as Robin Hood. So I thought it would be nice to share this with you all. Here's a link to the YouTube page:
It's also interesting to note that Patrick wasn't the only Robin Hood cast member to appear in Doctor Who, though he was the only one to play the Doctor. Below is a list of Robin Hood actors who appeared in the classic Doctor Who. Enjoy!
John Breslin (1929-2009)
played Alan a Dale in Robin Hood
1970 Spearhead from Space As Captain Munro in 4 episodes
Dudley Jones (1914 -1990)
played Much in Robin Hood
1966The Tenth Planet as Dyson 4 episodes
Leonard Sachs (1909–1990)
played Sir Gilbert in Robin hood
1966 as Admiral Gaspard de Coligny in 3 episodes:
Bell of Doom
Priest of Death
The Sea Beggar
1983 Arc of Infinity as Lord President Borusa in 4 episodes
Whovian trivia about Leonard:
He was a possibility for the role of of Marcus Scarman in the episode Pyramids of Mars in 1963. This role was eventually played by Bernard Archard.
His role as Lord President Borusa in the 4 part story, Arc Of Infinity, was his final television role before his death in 1990.
Leslie French (1904–1999)
role uncredited in Robin Hood
1988 Silver Nemesis Part 1 as Mathematician
Robin Hood Information