The Thief of Sherwood was the sixth short story in the Short Trips anthology Short Trips: Past Tense. It was written by Jonathan Morris. Featuring the First Doctor, Susan, Ian Chesterton and Barbara Wright, the story of their encounter with Robin Hood was notable for being told through the frame story of the complete history of a fictional TV serial, The Outlaws.
In 2020, Jonathan Morris clarified on Twitter that he intended for the framing narrative of this story to be set in a fictional version of our universe, but that he would have no objection if fans were to believe it were instead set in a universe parallel to the Doctor's.
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The Doctor's TARDIS materialises in a dark cell. The Doctor and his companions find themselves in the dungeon of the Sheriff of Nottingham. The Doctor and Barbara head outside to explore, and Ian and Susan explore the dungeon. They find a cell containing a young lady named Marian, but when they try to rescue her they themselves are trapped. Ian and Susan learn that Ian is the exact double of Robin Hood.
The Sheriff plans to execute Ian, thinking him to be Robin. The Doctor makes a deal with the Sheriff: Ian's safe release in exchange for the Doctor teaching the Sheriff the secrets of alchemy.
Robin and his men agree to attack Nottingham's castle to rescue Susan and Marion, but Robin is killed in the attempt. Susan is scheduled for execution, but the Doctor has convinced Robin's men and the villagers to attack.
The Sheriff flees, and Susan is rescued. Ian hands out Robin's gold to the villagers, an action which along with Marion's romantic stories about Robin are the source of the legends about Robin Hood.
After the time-travellers depart, the Doctor detects a buildup of space pressure...
- William Hartnell
- William Russell
- Carole Ann Ford
- Godfrey Porter
- Patrick Whitfield
- Verity Lambert
- Archie Duncan
- Ronald Hines
- Frank Thornton
- Anneke Wills
- Milton Johns
- Carl Bernard
- Ivor Colin
- Ron Grainer
- Harper C Bassett
- David Whitaker
- Barry Newbery
- Mervyn Pinfield
- Gary Russell
- Kenneth Adam
- First Doctor
- Susan Foreman
- Barbara Wright
- Ian Chesterton
- Robin Hood
- Little John
- Will Scarlet
- Sheriff of Nottingham
- Maid Marian
- The Outlaws was a six-part Doctor Who story (Serial I), broadcast from 19 September - 24 October 1964. The serial received a Target Books novelisation.
- The serial (and Target novelisation) are stated as having been written by Godfrey Porter, with Patrick Whitfield as director. As a result of its placement, Verity Lambert is producer.
- The guest cast is stated as including Archie Duncan (Little John), Ronald Hines (Will Scarlet), Frank Thornton (Sheriff of Nottingham), Anneke Wills (Maid Marion), Milton Johns (Peddler), Carl Bernard (Villager) and Ivor Colin (Man-at-arms) with William Russell also playing Robin Hood.
- While doing an alchemy demonstration for the Sheriff in Episode 3, the Doctor nearly blows himself up while mixing chemicals, leaving him absent for two episodes while William Hartnell recovers from a short illness.
- The fact that Anneke Wills - who, in the real world, was more commonly known for playing companion Polly Wright - plays Maid Marion is referenced in PROSE: That Time I Nearly Destroyed the World Whilst Looking for a Dress, when Polly finds herself in the events of this story and encounters Marion, who looks exactly like her.
- In reality, Archie Duncan played Little John in The Adventures of Robin Hood from 1955 to 1960, while Ronald Hines, Carl Bernard and Ivor Collin all appeared on the series. Similarly, all the episodes titles were episodes of The Adventures of Robin Hood, with the exception of "The Thief of Sherwood".
- This story was reprinted in Short Trips: Re:Collections. Some time later, the rights "reverted" to the original writer Jonathan Morris, who was thus able to re-release the story on his personal blog in a fully-licensed way. As he noted, this release was the original text as written; slight edits had been made to the version printed in Short Trips: Past Tense to better befit the plotline of That Time I Nearly Destroyed the World Whilst Looking for a Dress.
- Barbara mentions being "poisoned by radiation" (TV: The Daleks), "hailed as a goddess" (TV: The Aztecs), "possessed by an alien brain" (TV: The Keys of Marinus) and "let down by a Frenchman" (TV: The Reign of Terror).
- The broadcast dates and production code put this story between TV: The Reign of Terror and TV: Planet of Giants. Further, the end of the N-Space narrative leads directly into the beginning of Planet of Giants.
- The Discontinuity Guide to: The Thief of Sherwood at The Whoniverse
- The Thief of Sherwood at CliveBanks.co.uk
- Love is a Silent Thief: The Thief of Sherwood on Jonathan Morris's blog, 2019