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 Doctor's adventures with Robin Hood to be "real" as far as N-Space is concerned, while the frame story takes place in a parallel universe where Dr Who exists as fiction.[1]


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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.

Meanwhile, the Doctor and Barbara are captured by Little John and Will Scarlet, who take them to Robin. They learn that Robin and his men are outlaws who rob both the rich and the poor.

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...


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