Doctor Who S8E3 - "Robot of Sherwood" Recap

The Doctor gives Clara the opportunity to go anywhere in space and time to meet whomever she likes. Clara says she wants to meet Robin Hood, knowing that the Doctor will say he isn't real but she always loved the story. He agrees to take her to the 12th century, where he smugly declares there's now such thing as Robin Hood. However, a man reveals himself by shooting an arrow at the Tardis and saying, "You called?"

Tom Riley (star of Da Vinci's Demons) is the guest star this week, as a shaggy-haired Robin Hood. He attempts to steal the Tardis from the Doctor, who threatens to punch him in the face. It's then that Clara comes out in a period outfit. He's taken by her beauty and she's gleeful to see her favourite fictional character is in fact real. Robin and the Doctor begin sword fighting to determine who will take the Tardis and the Doctor uses a spoon in the match. The Doctor wins at first, knocking him into the river, but then Robin sneaks up from behind and knocks him in as well.

Robin then introduces Clara and the Doctor to his gang. The Doctor is convinced that they cannot be real, even going so far as to steal hair, blood, and a shoe to run tests on. Clara unintentionally gives them their name ("Merry Men"). Clara learns that the king is away and his corrupt brother is acting as sheriff, just as the story said. Robin is disarmed by Clara knowing trivia from his life, such as his lady love Marian, but is charmed nonetheless. The Doctor continues to distrust the surroundings, saying that the climate isn't right for the time period and geographical location.

Robin heads to the competition for the golden arrow. Clara warns him it's a trap but he says he knows it is. The sheriff of Nottingham shoots his arrow, which Robin Hood splits. He's about to claim the prize but then the Doctor shoots his arrow, which splits that arrow. He takes the golden arrow but then tosses it aside. Robin Hood shoots another arrow, splitting that arrow, the Doctor splits that arrow, and then Robin Hood splits it again. The Doctor is fed up, and explodes the target with his sonic screwdriver. The sheriff attempts to arrest him and a fight breaks out, with Clara and Robin ready to fight to protect the Doctor. But when Robin cuts the arm off of one of the knights, it's revealed to be a robot. The Doctor declares, "Now we are getting somewhere."

Robin tells his band of merry men to flee and live to fight another day. The Doctor, Clara, and Robin are taken captive. The Doctor wants to be captured because he wants to infiltrate the prison and find out what is going on. Once chained up, The Doctor and Robin Hood begin arguing until Clara shouts at them to shut up and reminds them that a plan must be formed for them to escape. Clara reminds the Doctor that he can't use his sonic screwdriver since the sheriff has taken it.

Clara is taken to be questioned by the sheriff. Robin tells the Doctor to fake a heart attack to get the guard to come in but the Doctor makes Robin do it instead. They're able to knock the guard out but accidentally knock the keys into the drain. Clara is taking the opportunity to try to pump the sheriff for information. He plans to use the robots to not only take over the kingdom but eventually, the world. Meanwhile, the Doctor and Robin Hood have gotten out of their prison but are still chained together. The sheriff tries to put a move on Clara but she tells him off, saying he'll regret it if he tries it again.

The Doctor and Robin Hood get free from their restraints and find a spaceship. It had disguised itself as a 12th century castle to merge into the culture. The engines are damaged and leaking radiation, creating staggering benevolence. This explains why the climate is too sunny, things are too green, and Robin Hood and his merry men are too merry. It created Robin Hood from its memory bank in order to give the locals hope. Robin is offended that the Doctor would accuse him of being a robot. The robots, sheriff, and Clara come in. Robin Hood grabs Clara and dives into a body of water outside exposed by the blasts.

The Doctor determines that the sheriff is pillaging gold in order to repair the engine so he can take over the world. He tells him this won't work, since there's too much damage, and he is in fact creating a bomb. The Doctor is knocked out and wakes up in chains with the rest of the captive peasants who have been tasked with performing labour on the engine. With the help of another peasant, he gets everyone free. They're able to trick the robots by holding metal plates up and then a fight breaks out. They're able to use the metal plates to deflect the rays and destroy all of them. The peasants get free and the sheriff comes down to confront the Doctor.

The sheriff tells the Doctor that Robin Hood is not one of their robots. The Doctor says he gives the people hope and is an opiate to the masses and the sheriff points out that they would not create an enemy to fight against themselves. The Doctor notes the absurdity in this but can't believe that he is real. "He's a legend!" Robin then reveals himself, "Too kind!" along with Clara. The sheriff turns his robots off so he can fight Robin Hood himself while the Doctor and Clara stand back and watch. Robin is able to knock the sheriff into the molten gold. The Doctor warns that they all need to get out.

From afar, they watch has the castle begins to crumble and the spaceship begins to fly up. The Doctor says that there's not enough gold in it and laments that they don't have the golden arrow. Robin shows that they do have it, as they are thieves, and the Doctor prepares to shoot it at the ship, in the hopes that it'll get it just high enough into the atmosphere that the explosion will not harm anyone. Robin cannot make the shot as his arm was injured in the fight with the sheriff. The Doctor says that he can't make the shot since he cheated in the contest. Clara offers to try it but then Robin suggests that they make it together. The Doctor and Clara hold the ends of the bow while Robin uses his feed to stretch the bow and aims the arrow with both hands before letting it fly. It hits the ship, which explodes upon getting into space.

Robin teaches Clara to shoot before she leaves with Doctor. She advises him to never give up on finding Marian and never stop being amazing. They say their goodbyes. Robin tells the Doctor that he's relieved to know that he'll be forgotten as a real man, saying that history is a burden. He knows all about the Doctor and the Tardis, telling the Doctor that he is Clara's hero and that their stories should never end. Robin adds that he is just as real as the Doctor is. Clara tells the Doctor that he should admit that he likes Robin, and the Doctor says that he is leaving a present. As the Tardis leaves, Marian is revealed to be behind it and Robin embraces her before shouting out his thanks to the Doctor.

Doctor Who airs on Saturdays on BBC One.


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