Sunday, March 8, 2009


I think I mentioned yesterday that I was going to deal with King John today, "As Seen On TV" in that 'Time Tunnel' episode of "Revenge Of Robin Hood". But I still have some more research to do on that so I'll put it off until tomorrow.

Instead, we have two other characters from that episode, figures more closely associated with legend than history: Little John and Friar Tuck. Since they made contact with Doug and Tony, who also interacted with King John - and we know he actually existed - then these two "Merry Men" must also be accredited as being historically real.

Even more so than Robin Hood, the physical differences between various portrayals of Tuck and Little John are harder to splain away. At least Friar Tuck has a look from which there is usually little deviation. We can always attribute facial differences to degrees of hardship from living in Sherwood Forest. It's more difficult with the recastaways of Little John and would have to be dealt with on a case by case basis.

But we can cut away some of the many televersions of these two Merry Men by packing them off to alternate dimensions.

First off, any TV movies or mini-series of the Robin Hood legend - like "Robin of Locksley", "Young Ivanhoe", and "The Zany Adventures Of Robin Hood" - can be automatically dispatched; portrayals as seen in episodes of TV shows in which they interact with established TV characters should always have precedence.

'When Things Were Rotten' - Mel Brooks' first treatment of the tale should be relegated to that TV dimension in which we'd also find 'That's My Bush!' and 'The Secret Files Of Desmond Pfeiffer'.

The latest version of 'Robin Hood' has a black Friar Tuck, so perhaps that series should find refuge in the TV dimension in which other established characters were also black - like the black version of 'The Odd Couple'.

With 'Voyagers!', since they're deliberately altering the timeline, it's the Toobworld contention that Phineas and Jeffrey are always visiting alternate dimensions, so recastaways are never a problem. Meanwhile, the 1975 mini-series has a gravitas that makes it feel perfect for 'The West Wing' dimension.

The only series that would cause a problem for these televersions of Friar Tuck and Little John would be the official series of Earth Prime-Time, 'The Adventures Of Robin Hood'. And those are the two who are also seen in this post........

A possible Toobworld splainin? The Little John from that 1950's series is the father of the one who tagged along with the Earl of Huntington in that episode of 'The Time Tunnel'. And Friar Tuck was a younger man in that original series, having aged by the time Doug and Tony met him.

Works for me.

Toby O'B

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