Sherwood… no, it’s not another Robin Hood reboot, but actually a drama based on a true story about two killings in the Nottinghamshire mining community where the author grew up, but certain elements have been fictionalised.
A murder is about to take place in the opening episode, but maybe it should be for that of the cinematographer who seems more spend more time with sweeping camera shots and framing the image, than the writer did on the plot? As such, it just highlights the flaws when any potential suspect looks like a cardboard cut-out baddie.
First up, a mysterious man comes to the house of Gary Jackson (Alun Armstrong – Year Of The Rabbit) – husband of Julie (Lesley Manville – I Am Maria), who looks like bad news thanks to the lighting. Elsewhere, since Gary gets on everyone’s nerves – such as by calling Dean Simmons (Sean Gilder) a scab in the pub – since we learn early on that the 1980s miner’s strike divided this community, and while Gary supported the miner’s strike, the village is one that largely didn’t support it.
Elsewhere, Sarah Vincent (Joanne Froggatt – Angela Black) is a Tory MP trying to canvas in a Labour stronghold constituency, and also about to get married, while Kevin (Robert Glenister – Isolation Stories) is a cop who’s facing an assault charge from a member of the public.
Naturally, before long, tensions flare, the murder takes place, but who’s the suspect? The obvious choice? Or could it be anyone? Well, after one episode, I’m not particularly bothered. I might check out a second. Given that the second episode is on tomorrow evening, I’ll watch it then. Sure, it’ll be on Iplayer after the first episode has aired, but 9pm’s a convenient time to watch it. And I’m not in a rush.
David Morrissey (The Singapore Grip) is usually fine in a drama, but as main cop investigator, DCS Ian St Clair, he just mumbles through each scene, and may as well as saying “Gritty BAFTA” all the time.
As an aside, at one point, on hearing the doorbell go, Lesley Manville starts chanting, “There’s somebody at the door!” from Rod Hull’s ’80s show, but as she’s doing it to her kids, they have no idea what she’s talking about… I remembered it, though 😉
Sherwood begins on BBC1 tonight at 9pm. It’s available to pre-order on DVD.
After each episode is broadcast, they will be on the BBC iPlayer.
Director: Lewis Arnold
Producer: Rebecca Hodgson
Writer: James Graham
Music: 14th Street Music
DCS Ian St Clair: David Morrissey
Sarah Vincent: Joanne Froggatt
DI Kevin Salisbury: Robert Glenister
Julie Jackson: Lesley Manville
Gary Jackson: Alun Armstrong
Neel Fisher: Bally Gill
Andy Fisher: Adeel Akhtar
Daphne Sparrow: Lorraine Ashbourne
Mickey Sparrow: Philip Jackson
Cathy Rowley: Claire Rushbrook
Fred Rowley: Kevin Doyle
DS Cleaver: Terence Maynard
Chief Constable Fraser: Phaldut Sharma
Sheriff of Nottingham: Sunetra Sarker
Andy Fisher: Adeel Akhtar
Anoushka Aram: Maimuna Memon
Dean Simmons: Sean Gilder
Ronan Sparrow: Bill Jones
Leonard Gibson: Charles Dale
Madeleine Hooper: Hazel Ellerby
PC Arjun Patel: Harpal Hayer
PC Kirsty Dove: Chloe Harris
DI Taylor: Andrea Lowe
Young Kevin: Tom Glenister
Young Ian: George Howard
Adam Salisbury: Joe Bolland
Commissioner Charles Dawes: Pip Torrens
Reviewer of movies, videogames and music since 1994. Aortic valve operation survivor from the same year. Running DVDfever.co.uk since 2000. Nobel Peace Prize winner 2021.