This is a full plot synopsis and review of Doctor Who S8′s “Robot of Sherwood.” If you have not yet seen the episode, this article contains episode spoilers. Please proceed with caution!!!!
“Robot of Sherwood” penned by Mark Gatiss was a light hearted and funny episode that brought our hero, The Doctor and the Legendary Robin Hood together under the most unlikely of circumstances. The Doctor offers to take Clara to any point in space and time she would like. She tells him that she knows he will laugh and tell her it is impossible, but she has always wanted to meet Robin Hood. He indeed responds with the fact that Robin Hood is fictional, telling her that “old fashioned heroes only appear in old fashioned storybooks.” Clara points out that The Doctor is a hero, constantly saving people, and he brushes her comment off calling it a way to “pass the time.” Clara insists that it is her choice this time, and she would like to visit that time period. The Doctor resigns himself to bringing them to the era of the Robin Hood stories, 1190 A.D. England, in Sherwood Forest. Not wanting his companion to be disappointed, he tells her that she should not be surprised when she does not see Robin or a forest full of merry men. The Doctor steps out of the TARDIS and it is hit by an arrow while a man dressed as Robin Hood responds to the name with, “you called?” The Doctor pulls the arrow out of the TARDIS and it heals itself, showing its own sort of regenerative properties. We have seen that the TARDIS is alive before, but this is the first time I can recall seeing it physically repair itself so quickly and fully without prompting
Robin Hood congratulates The Doctor on his fantastical trick, presuming he has used mirrors or some other form of illusion to get the TARDIS to suddenly appear, not realizing it has materialized right before him. The conversation quickly turns sour when Robin Hood declares his intention to take the TARDIS from The Doctor. The Doctor tells Robin that no one will take his “box, in this universe or the next” showing the fierce loyalty The Doctor has to his only consistent companion over the course of his long lives. Robin pulls out a sword and Clara is concerned because The Doctor does not have one to fight back with. Capaldi solidifies his role as The Doctor, stating, “I have no sword. I don’t need a sword. Because I am The Doctor, and *this* is my spoon.” The spoon may have been a call back to Sylvester McCoy’s Doctor’s preoccupation with playing the spoons or it may have just been the dullest utensil one puts out on a table, but with spoon in hand, The Doctor begins to duel Robin on a log across a stream. While the pair seems evenly matched for a few moments, showing The Doctor really does not need more than a spoon to fight, Robin manages to get a swing in that cuts a button off of The Doctor’s coat. Big mistake – now Capaldi’s attack eyebrows are ready, and he holds his arm out as if to invite Robin to run him through, turning at the last second and knocking Robin into the stream triumphantly. Clara acknowledges how brilliant he is and appears to wonder where Robin has gotten to as The Doctor is pushed from behind into the stream by Robin who has snuck around behind them while the pair were talking.