Sherwood: Season 1 REVIEW- In with an Arrow
You can’t go wrong with Robin Hood’s Sherwood Forest as a metaphor for dragging up past events. He’s plagued by a man who kills people with bows and arrows. But against all odds, this is a part of the loosely-based-on-fact Sherwood that wasn’t made up.
This is not the grim and gritty Robin Hood story we have been waiting for. David Morrissey’s old-hand detective, David Morrissey, is quick to slap anyone who starts rambling about historical parallels. The past is being dragged up, the still-raw wounds from the 1984 miner’s strike. This is often considered a Yorkshire phenomenon, but it spanned many British isles, including Nottingham.
Robert Glenister and David Morrissey are both very strongly leading the cast. They represent two different types of regional copper. Lesley Manville, the bereaved victim by proxy, takes a back-foot position that is still clearly a lead. Although she does not advance the action the same way the investigating officers, it opens up a portal into the community where even the most local coppers may be unable to get in.
Adeel Akhtar is a shining example of a man who has been tormented long before he ever did anything and finally regains some dignity. He can still achieve frightening intensity even though he plays a weak, put-upon character.
James Graham, a Sherwood writer, is more well-known as a playwright. Although it’s not as dramatic in the great, wide shots of police armies patrolling the woods while helicopters fly overhead, the main point of Graham’s play is that he is more comfortable writing for three walls or a curtain.
Sometimes the need to cover a lot of historical and factual ground can lead to preachiness. This is not an assessment of the topic being covered but the way they are delivered. While you may feel strongly about British police spying on innocent citizens, it is not uncommon for a woman to appear and politely ramble on with much exposition.
Some British work tends to use socio-political commentary. Irvine Welsh is an excellent example of this. Sherwood faces a more challenging hill, as she investigates the infighting between two miners’ unions: the NUM (get used to the acronyms) and the UDM (get comfortable with the acronyms). This is not the simple story of noble-savage miners being robbed by Thatcher’s cabinet full of guffawing monsters.