We’ve known Tony Lee for many years now, and one thing he’s never been shy of is self-publicity. This week he’s in Los Angeles taking film and TV meetings before the Gallifrey One Doctor Who convention (where he’s a guest), and already we’ve had news of a potential television series with Mark Sheppard:
— Tony Lee (@mrtonylee) February 14, 2018
And now we’ve had a second tweet from Tony, telling us of a slightly different project:
When I was a teen, ROBIN OF SHERWOOD was equal to DOCTOR WHO as my favourite show, and one of the reasons I became a writer. Thirty years later, I've just heard that ITV have green lit my @SpitefulPuppet ROBIN OF SHERWOOD full cast audio… :) #NothingsEverForgotten pic.twitter.com/5LJgp34u0B
— Tony Lee (@mrtonylee) February 14, 2018
For those that haven’t heard of it, Robin of Sherwood was a mid eighties ITV television show that lasted three seasons – the first two with Michael Praed playing the hooded hero of legend before leaving the show for a more lucrative offer from US soap Dynasty – I mean heroically dying while facing the Sheriff’s men – and then in the third season Jason Connery took over the hood before the series concluded.
You may, if nothing else, remember the theme from Clannad.
Robin of Sherwood was a groundbreaking show at the time, with writer Richard Carpenter merging the then-overused legend of Robin Hood with paganism and folk legends, revitalising it and creating a show that even now spawns a solid and loyal fanbase. The character Nasir, played by pre-Bumblebee actor Mark Ryan was the first Muslim ‘Merry Man’, and the inspiration for Morgan Freeman’s Azeem. Recently ITV teamed with audio production company Spiteful Puppet Productions to release the full cast audio play Robin Of Sherwood: The Knights Of The Apocalypse, written by Richard Carpenter before his death in 2012, and the response to the audio was so strong that a second ‘season’ of plays, to be released as a CD were commissioned, one of which we now know is written by Tony.
It’s not his first audio play, having written Doctor Who, Sherlock Holmes and Dorian Grey for Big Finish in the past, but currently details on the story are light. When contacted about this, all Tony replied with was that all he could say was that it was a Michael Praed adventure, and set immediately prior to the season two finale. So we contacted the producer/director of the new audio series Barnaby Eaton-Jones, who, speaking on behalf of Spiteful Puppet Entertainment Ltd and ITV Global said:
‘Sometimes, you have a wish list of writers you want to work with and can often to be too overwhelmed to approach them. Tony has been on our list ever since we got the audio licence for ‘Robin of Sherwood’ and we’ve only recently plucked up the courage to ask him to be involved. In all honesty, we didn’t expect a ‘yes’ but his enthusiasm in response – as it turned out he was a fan of the original show – has been infectious and we are so delighted he’ll be providing a script that really puts one of our main characters through the wringer!’
Knowing Tony’s love for Robin Hood – he wrote him into his series Midnight Kiss, wrote the GN Outlaw: The Legend of Robin Hood, and was announced a while back as the writer of Gianni Nunnari’s futuristic Robin Hood movie among others – we can assume that there will be no half measure here. And with three other stories to be announced in this series, and rumours of more audio / comic writers moving to the franchise, we’re watching carefully to see who’s announced next.
For more information on the series (and the details on how to order it), visit the Spiteful Puppet page here
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