Clara wants the Doctor to take her to see Robin Hood, even if he doesn’t believe in the famous outlaw. They go to Sherwood Forest, 1190, where the Doctor says has no pretty castles, damsels in distress, and no….
then an arrow hits the TARDIS, and, apparently, someone who says he’s Robin Hood (Tom Riley) arrives. He’s impressed by the TARDIS as a magic trick, as it repairs arrow holes in a flash. He tries to takes it from the Doctor, but the Doctor is able to get a hold off Robin’s sword with his spoon. The Doctor winds up getting dunked, though. The bantering and competition between Robin and the Doctor is the best part of the episode. They argue over who’s the real hero, even after getting captured. Clara, meanwhile, has to play referee.
Through it all, the Doctor tries to prove Robin isn’t real, from analyzing blood to noticing the weather is too warm for that time of year.
The real problem, though, is the Sheriff of Nottingham (Ben Miller). Instead of taking “taxes”, he’s interested in taking as much gold as possible, and forcing peasants to do hard labor. He’s also got guards who are really robots. It seems an alien spaceship crashed near Nottingham, and the Sheriff took advantage of this to acquire power, and eventually all of England. Clara’s able to get him to admit to this in a clever move. Still, the Sheriff is one very bad man, and may remind people of the Master during the 1970s.
The Doctor and Robin Hood do get out of the dungeon, and find the ship disguised as the castle. It’s from the 29th Century, and was headed to “The Promised Land”. Somehow it’s connected to the Half Face Man. He also knows if the Sheriff tries to launch the spaceship, half of England will be lost. That doesn’t matter to the Sheriff, though. The Doctor also thinks Robin Hood is actually a robot, serving as hope for the oppressed. When the Sheriff arrives with his robots, Robin grabs Clara and leaves. He also asks her all she knows about him.
The Doctor is sent with the other peasants, and is able to stop the robots by ricocheting their death rays back towards them. He also realizes that maybe Robin Hood isn’t a robot. Still, Robin’s not real but a legend.
Robin says that’s “too kind”, as he returns with Clara. This sets up a big battle between Robin and the Sheriff, ending with the Sheriff taking the fall.
As for the spaceship, Robin, the Doctor and Clara all are able to fire a golden arrow to bring the ship down.
So, was Robin Hood the real thing? Maybe, because he sure fits the role. He reminds the Doctor that he is like Robin Hood, someone could be considered a legend for fighting for the oppressed.
In the end, his Maid Marian did show up, and their legend will continue..and so will the Doctor’s.
Next week: the Doctor will fight something scary, and may wind up at the end of the universe, or under someone’s bed, to fight it.