Should BBC America Modernize Its New ‘Robin Hood’ Series?

Robin Hood, Jonas ArmstrongBBC

BBC America recently announced that it would be rebooting the classic tale of Robin Hood — you know, the archer who steals from the rich and gives to the poor. However, the network is putting a little spin on the classic folktale by making Robin Hood the same person as the Sheriff of Nottingham.

According to the Deadline report on Nottingham, the show will be written by Cole Haddon, creator of NBC’s Dracula, in the vein of Game of Thrones. The Sheriff of Nottingham will be loyal to the king by day, and a hero to the people by night. It’s already an interesting twist on the old story. But we are wondering if Nottingham would be more interesting if they modernized the classic character as well.

First off, BBC already recently ran a Robin Hood series (titled Robin Hood, appropriately) from 2006-2009 that took place in the same Medieval time period as every single Robin Hood story. Besides, modernizing classic characters is proving to be more successful on television: both BBC and CBS have found success in updating the story of Sherlock Holmes — Sherlock and Elementary are widely popular, though different enough to appeal to similar audiences. 

The only drawback of modernizing Nottingham is that it will encourage comparisons to both Batman and The CW’s Arrow — whose main hero is himself a loose twist on the Robin Hood character. However, with the unprecedented popularity of superhero film franchises and television shows, it would be more good than bad to be mentioned alongside Batman or Arrow.

If Nottingham were able to strike a good balance between a superhero series and the beloved folktale, especially in a modern setting, it would appeal to a wider audience. Also, given Haddon’s treatment of Dracula, and the show’s floundering ratings, we’re worried he won’t do much better with Nottingham — and a modern twist might be the kick this show needs.