Robot of Sherwood
Episode / February 13, 2016

Aired 06 September 2014 Doctor Who is no stranger to featuring historical figures, and it seems like an odd omission that the character and well-intentioned notoriety of Robin Hood has never crossed paths with the Doctor. Writer Mark Gatiss amends that lapse, displaying an unexpected lighter side of both heroes. In only Capaldi’s third episode, writer Mark Gatiss gifts him with a more whimsical script that allows him to put on full display the mastery of comedy he already possesses, at the same time showing a slightly more humanized version of the Twelfth Doctor after two rather more arduous and strict outings. Capaldi plays with conviction the Doctor’s continued unwillingness to accept the existence of Robin Hood as well as his deadpan dislike of the man, and the comic reward is nuanced enough not to feel forced but while still fitting in with the new Doctor’s building persona perfectly. ‘Robot of Sherwood’ also furthers the changing dynamic between the Doctor and Clara. Coleman portrays Clara as much more confident and disciplined, taking charge of many situations that she would have stayed in the background for previously. From choosing this episode’s destination to discussing alternative approaches and solutions with the Doctor,…