There are six audio books, two each read by Richard Armitage and Sam Troughton and one each read by Jonas Armstrong and David Harewood. We have reviewed the two stories read by Richard, however you can order any of the books by using either of the links below.
Description by Big Finish Productions:
The Sheriff of Nottingham has hit on the perfect plan to finish Robin Hood off once and for all… Accusing the outlaw of witchcraft, he invites a malevolent gang of witchfinders to Nottingham to track him down. Sir Guy of Gisborne leads the hunt - but he has problems of his own. Since the day Marian died, his dreams have been haunted by images of the woman he loved, and now he’s seeing her in the waking world. If the witchfinders discover Gisborne’s secret, will he be the one to find himself burnt at the stake?
Even better than the original four RH audiobooks in our opinion, this story is engaging, dramatic and fits between episodes 2 and 3 of the third series of Robin Hood perfectly. Concentrating mainly on the trauma that Guy suffers since he murdered Marian, we learn more about the nightmares he suffers and the fact that Marian is haunting him daily. Her spirit follows him day to day still influencing his thoughts, still casting the same disapproving looks on him as she did in life.
Kate is wrongly accused of witchcraft and whilst Robin tries to work out how to save her the witchfinders legitimacy is called into question. Richard Armitage's impersonations of the cast are particularly good, we especially enjoyed his Much, and his Sheriff, according to Richard himself, is a cross between a Dalek and Zippy from Rainbow!
The story lasts for 60 minutes followed by a very interesting interview with Richard at the end.
Description by Big Finish Productions:
Robin Hood and the Outlaws are on the run from a gang of mercenaries and are forced to take shelter in the ruins of a castle where soon they are besieged.
Robin’s more used to breaking into castles, not defending them. But he also knows this castle - he was apprentice to its lords many years ago. A great family brought to ruin by recent, cruel times... No one has dared set foot within these walls since then.
Robin and the Outlaws know there's no such thing as ghosts. Don't they?
One of the nice things about listening to this is that I had no idea what was going to happen, so I'm reluctant to give too many details of the plot away and spoil it for others. The description above gives you enough information so I will try not to reveal too much but I can say that when it refers to 'outlaws' this is actually a mistake. The story involves just Guy and Robin, with a brief appearance from Isabella at the end. It's essentially a two-hander between these two characters who have just learned to trust each other. I would therefore suggest that the story fits somewhere in between episode 11 and 12 and the viewpoint is mostly from Guy. He mentions the oddity of referring to Robin by his first name, the confusion he feels at Robin's apparent loyalty to him and his heroic temperament: Robin, always the hero. There is also frequent mention of Robin's irritating grin. Richard has managed to match his voice very closely to Jonas's Mancunian accent this time, and the two men remain distinct and true to the characters that we are used to seeing on the screen.
The story has a few eerie moments, but mostly it's an engaging tale, highly amusing at one point with a drunken interlude between the two characters (Richard's drunk voice is particularly funny) and then with an interesting if slightly predictable twist. However, I think this is better than the Witchfinders, which in itself was very good, and I'd highly recommend it to anyone who enjoyed the show and the banter between Robin and Guy - it's reminiscent of the wonderful Guy/Robin scenes in ep10. An excellent story by Simon Guerrier and I can't wait to listen to it again.
There is another interview with Richard at the end, in which he mentions what it's like to conjure the world of Robin Hood in a tiny studio with just his voice, how tiring it can be and also how both of these stories would have made fantastic episodes. I heartily agree.
Ali 17 July 2009