WARNING: I have literally only just watched this episode, and this is entirely an initial thought. Also SPOILERS!
I enjoyed this episode of Doctor Who. To a point. I thought that Capaldi once again put in a wonderful performance as the Doctor, and he is quickly becoming one of my favourites. Jenna Coleman also put in a good enough performance as Clara, though I thought her exchange with Ben Miller’s character during the dinner scene was weak (in fact, the whole scene wasn’t top notch.).
I think the premise of this episode was solid, worked well and gave us a nice historical setting other than Victorian London (oh my god I am sick of Victorian London). However, this plot did feel a little recycled, almost a cross between The Next Doctor and Fires of Pompeii (which starred Capaldi himself). Despite this, the episode was paced well and I think was directed in a nicely different way. The writing by Mark Gatiss was wonderfully tongue in cheek, I loved the scenes in which the Doctor and Robin bicker, and also their fight scene.
However, it is Robin that made me dubious of this episode before even watching. Seeing the promotional pictures, I thought “good god, he looks awful. Like a cheap Halloween costume of Robin Hood. And when watching I couldn’t help seeing the Green Clarinet man from That Mitchell and Webb Look. However, with the plot of the Doctor thinking he’s fake, I was on board. “Oh he’s meant to look bad, because he isn’t really Robin Hood,” I thought. Unfortunately, as it transpires, I was wrong. And as a result, I think that maybe the costume dept could’ve at least gone with a look more reminiscent of the 2000’s BBC series Robin Hood.
I think in general, the last act is where this episode falls flat. The use of the golden arrow to give the ship power is simply stupid, and poorly written. The fight scene between Hood and the Sheriff was dramatic, but was so full of cliché that I think it went beyond parody and into ridiculousness.
In conclusion, this episode was okay. Not the best episode I’ve ever seen, but I think it could have been worse. I look forward to next week’s episode which looks to be a very creepy, suspense-filled adventure.