Monday, March 9, 2009


For the last entry in our "As Seen On TV" mini-theme of historical characters from the 'Time Tunnel' episode "The Revenge Of Robin Hood", we have King John:
As I suggested with the casting of Donald Harron as the Earl of Huntington, perhaps John Crawford was cast based on his slight resemblance to the look sported by Claude Rains in the movie "The Adventures Of Robin Hood". (Maybe they were planning on using stock footage from that for far-away shots?)

I went into great detail yesterday about the various versions of the Robin Hood legend on TV, but there are a few I want to mention in connection with this portrayal.

First off, with the official version of Robin Hood being the 1950's series starring Richard Greene, there were three actors who played John, the most famous being Donald Pleasance. (I don't have access to my copy of his picture as John at the moment, I'll have to add it in later....) So far, I haven't found pictures of the other two actors in the role, but it's likely that two - if not all three! - were imposters, perhaps quantum leapers assuming the glamour of Prince/King John. Saying it was all three certainly removes the need to splain away the differences in appearance with any other portrayal.

The events at Runnymeade in 1215 were also depicted in "Time Out For Martin", an episode of 'My Favorite Martian'. Unfortunately I only have that episode on videotape, and AOL Video no longer offers the series - at least not free. I should have it in a few days though via Netflix. So I can't offer a splainin just yet. (I may be learning my lesson about splainin blind!)

I haven't seen the Fifth Doctor's story of "The King's Demons" from 'Doctor Who', but the Doctor Who Reference Guide offers a very detailed summary of what happened in that story. It also takes place in 1215 around the same time, but far from Runnymeade, and yet King John shows up in it.

Actually it's not King John but an android named Kamelion who can assume the shape of others. So we can splain away this recastaway by saying that Kamelion didn't capture the exact likeness of King John.

Toby O'B

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