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Maid Marian & Her Merry Men on DVD

Tuesday, 29 November 2016 00:00 Written by 

Maid Marian and her Merry Men - Complete Series 1-4 out as a Limited Edition DVD setRe-released as a limited edition DVD box-set (just 3,000 copies), Maid Marian and Her Merry Men is a brilliantly funny, BAFTA-winning re-imagining of the Robin Hood story from Tony Robinson, of Blackadder and Time Team fame. In this version, Maid Marian is the brains behind the band of outlaws who rob from the rich and giving to the poor; Robin by contrast is a dim-witted and rather cowardly tailor with terrible archery skills. AND YOU COULD HAVE WON A COPY OF THE LIMITED EDITION SEASON 1-4 BOX SET IN OUR PRIZE COMPETITION.

Marian is played with gleeful bravado by Kate Lonergan (The Hello Girls, The Bill), with Adam Morris (Genie in the House, Backup) as the bumbling Robin. Danny John-Jules (Red Dwarf, Death in Paradise) is Barrington and he also lends his vocal talents on many of the songs that open the episodes. The final two members of the crew are Rabies (Howard Lew Lewis – Brush Strokes, Chelmsford 123) and Little Ron (Mike Edmonds – “Time Bandits”, Ewok Logray in “Star Wars: Episode VI – Return of the Jedi”).

Robinson has the choice part of the Sheriff of Nottingham, which he plays as a blend of Baldrick from the aforementioned Blackadder and his sneering, scheming character from Man Down. Forbes Collins (Doctor Who story “Vengeance on Varos”, the original Poldark) is King John, a booming, bossy lunatic who one imagines might be related to Brian Blessed in an alternate universe.

A paltry two guards called Gary and Graeme do Nottingham’s bidding, played with delightful innocence and stupidity by Mark Billingham and David Lloyd, both perhaps better-known for their writing. Billingham writes the Tom Thorne crime novels and Lloyd has worked extensively in TV for the likes of Doctors and EastEnders.

The sitcom is aimed at kids but the humour and wonderfully goofy, slapstick tone make it very entertaining for adults as well. Reminiscent of Monty Python and (this is the final reference I promise!) Blackadder, the loopy plots, characters and songs are guaranteed to get you giggling.

I was only given the first season to review, but as a fair-sized taster it got me hooked immediately and is ideal if you want to relieve the stress after a rough day at work. For example, episode six features a character called The White Knight whose moniker is changed to The Whitish Knight, by way of “The Creamy, Beigy Knight” after being reassessed by the muddy village folk (mud is everywhere in this series).

Episode three, “A Game Called John” sees the accidental invention of snooker (many centuries early), although there are many bumps in the road including the baize being snatched to make the merry men’s outfits. Much of the humour is made up of more modern references to make the series more topical for modern children, and it works brilliantly. Another example is Barrington hawking rats flavoured like potato crisps (eg, cheese and onion). The characters sometimes break the fourth wall, adding to the knowing sense of humour.

Simply put, Maid Marian and Her Merry Men is a classic kid’s series that is as funny now as the day it was made, and which offers plenty of entertainment for everyone, regardless of their age. Grab a copy now before they have all sold out!

Bonus features include:

  • Christmas Special
  • Cast audio commentaries
  • Maid Marian Lute Karaoke
  • Interactive quiz
  • Improvised sketches by the cast
  • Photo gallery
  • Easter eggs
  • Trailers
  • Subtitles
  • Compendium booklet by the artist Paul Cemmic

Tony Robinson’s commentary on episode 1 is amusingly rude about his colleagues. Hopefully they get their own back on the other commentary tracks! The dynamic disc menus feature an archer shooting arrows through from one screen to the next, which looks great. At three episodes a disc, the video quality is pretty decent and not unnecessarily compressed.

Maid Marian and Her Merry Men – The Complete BBC TV Series 1-4 (Limited Edition) (1989-1994) is released on 21 November 2016, courtesy of Eureka Entertainment Ltd. The eight-disc set has a running time of 608 minutes approx., carries a ‘PG’ certificate and retails for £49.99, or less from

Thanks to Eureka Entertainment, you had a chance of winning a Maid Marian complete series box set. All you had to do was answer the following question:

What is the name of the character played by Danny John-Jules? Is it:

(a)      Carrington

(b)      Barrington

(c)      Harrington

The answer was (b) and the lucky winner was Rachel Clare Meese of Wolverhampton. Thanks to everyone who took part.



Last modified on Tuesday, 29 November 2016 03:56