I somehow feel I should start this article by slagging off the new Robin Hood, and saying that Maid Marian is a million times better, and is all you’ll ever need. Unfortunately, I’ve been away the past couple of weekends and so haven’t caught it – and so can’t confirm that it’s as terrible as everyone else says it is. I’m afraid some form of journalistic credibility has peeped into my writing for the first time. Bugger. But you can always pretend I’ve said it if you know for yourself it’s rubbish, and then chuckle smugly.

Anyway, Maid Marian Series 3 is due for release on Monday – and Play informed me it had been posted on Thursday, so I fully expect it to plop onto my mat this morning. Interestingly, whilst we knew about the booket, the one commentary, and the Christmas special, I didn’t know about the “footage of Tony Robinson, Mark Billingham and David Lloyd on ‘Creative Writing'”, which sounds intriguing. And why didn’t I know about this? Well, I wasn’t relying on shitty online shopping sites which are usually wrong – I checked Eureka’s own site. Clue: don’t undersell your products.

(Which reminds me – I meant to write a review of Eureka’s relaunched site, but never got round to it. Basically: beautifully designed, and extremely good on the standards front. My only reservation is the decision to design for screens 1024×768 or higher; quite a few of your customers will still use 800×600, or not have the browser window open in full in 1024×768. And what about PDAs? I sympathise with the decision to do it, because it makes things a lot easier, but I can’t help but feel that it’s a mistake – you’re better off designing a site that will adjust to fill the space of the browser window. Still, for all that, they got a hell of a lot right.)

What with the Christmas special being included, this will at least be the first Marian release to actually need its two discs. We should have a review of the Series 2 release this weekend, with Series 3 following in a couple of weeks.

Speaking of Marian, I came across the following version of the Series 1 DVD cover on the Unofficial Tony Robinson site; presumably it’s a draft version.

Maid Marian Series 1 DVD - draft version

I have to say, I think I prefer the way the draft version was heading; whilst it doesn’t have Paul Cemmick’s excellent drawings, I do prefer the fact that it uses the proper series logo, the cast don’t blend quite so much into the background, and best of all – there’s none of this Special Edition nonsense. If there’s a Special Edition, that indicates that there’s also a Standard Edition – and that Just Isn’t The Case. To say nothing of the fact that a Special Edition would indicate bucketloads of documentaries and special features. Interestingly enough, the image on Amazon doesn’t have the Special Edition text either – it looks like this particular brand of foolishness was added fairly late on.

And finally – did you know the show was getting a Region 4 release? As with Brittas, this didn’t even appear on our radar, but Series 1 was released on the 8th June, with a completely different cover – which I think looks rather snazzy, and as with Brittas, better than the Region 2 release. (And again, no Special Edition nonsense!) No word of further releases, but I’ll keep an eye out…

So, just Series 4 left, and then I’ll own all of Maid Marian on DVD. And I honestly never thought I’d be able to say that, whinging about extras and packaging aside…

11 comments on “More Marian

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  • > quite a few of your customers will still use 800×600

    As always, my policy is – fuck them.

    In other news, the new Robin Hood is a DRAG. You might think ‘what are they gonna do, drag the usual Robin Hood movie plot out over 13 episodes?’ the answer is the biggest resounding YES you could possibly imagine. I’m still gonna watch the third episode, but only because I’ve got flip all else to do at 7 tonight. If it doesn’t improve I’m gonna make a point of not watching any more, even though I usually call people who don’t give shows a chance dicks. To be fair, watching three 44 minute episodes is certainly giving a show a chance.

    My main beefs with the show are as follows –

    – The actors playing Robin and Marian (both of them actually need acting lessons, and Jonas Armstrong as Robin is WRONG WRONG WRONG)

    – The guy playing Guy of Gisbourne (just STOP doing a Sean Bean impression and piss off with that biker hairstyle, you pillock)

    – The ‘oh look at us, aren’t we so MODERN!!!’ way of shooting the series (of course, ‘modern’ filmmaking to them consists of ‘cool’ flash cuts and 24/Spooks-style zooms, Matrix-style sequences, not to mention the arrow flying in telling us where we are because we, the ‘modern’ audience, are so thick. The way it’s being done is SO patronising.)

    – The production values (despite some money being thrown at this series, it doesn’t stop it looking like Doctors but shot in some trees somewhere. I hate that BBC-style film-effect that plagues just about all BBC shows that use it. Evidently, shooting in HD makes naff-all difference to that.)

    – Much

    – The CRAP scripts and story ideas. Who knows, maybe in the 13-episode run they’ll come up with at least ONE original idea, but I’m not hopeful, and the dialogue is pathetic. It feels so confused, it’s written in such a ‘modern’ way that when they do have to say anything that isn’t modern it sounds utterly ridiculous and forced. They think saying ‘do not’ instead of ‘don’t’ is sufficient enough to make us believe this isn’t some people in 2006 pissing around in some trees and a set from another production.

    Maid Marian IS better, by miles.

  • It’s an interesting question, about designing websites for certain widths. The common wisdom *used* to be that you *don’t* – you design your sites to be fluid, and let them adjust to your width. But recently more and more people have started designing websites for certain widths – including a lot of top-class website designers who *really* know what they’re on about.

    Me personally? I don’t like it. I want to be able to shrink or expand my browser window, and let the website fit around it, whatever resolution I’m in. I don’t want the page going off the side, or big gaps when I’m in higher resolutions. My objection isn’t really about designing for certain widths. It’s that you should be designing for *every* width. Yeah, designing for a certain widths can be a lot easier – but it’s still possible to produce beautiful designs that are fluid. I think it’s worth it.

    For examples of a fluid website that *really* works, try And all that Malarkey, or Jason Santa Maria’s site.

  • Oh – Marian Series 3 did indeed arrive today. I’ll post my review of Series 2 later, but suffice to say I was slightly disappointed by it.

    I’ve only watched the first episode of Series 3 so far, but if it’s any indication – the quality is *right* back up where it should be, possibly exceeding Series 1. It’s absolutely marvellous.

  • Hoare:
    For examples of a fluid website that *really* works, try And all that Malarkey, or Jason Santa Maria’s site. Lovely sites.

    Well, neither’s *wholly* fluid, such that you could read them on a PDA, since they scrollbar-out around the 800w mark :)

  • I thought someone would mention that! Indeed, I started writing a paragraph on it, and then deleted it because I didn’t want to confuse things. Although yeah, I brought up PDAs in my article, so I should have mentioned it.

    You’re quite right, of course – they only work in 800×600 or above, just as any sites I design do. What’s really needed is to use seperate stylesheets for handheld devices. I might get round to designing one for G&T over Christmas, as it shouldn’t be hugely hard.

  • I have to agree with the Special Needs person, Robin Hood is oozing with wrongability.
    I will continue to watch though for a while as there’s nothing much else on.

    It was so obvious who was killing everyone today and everything is so predictable.
    I guess what really got me was the fact that anyone could pop anyone else off at several stages of the episode and the foresters never thought of letting the dogs off their leads, I think most kids would question this eventually.
    Having said that, I seem to recall that no TV version of Robin Hood was ever realistic, so it’s following tradition to a degree.

    Perhaps the best thing is the Sheriffs warped sense of humour, Keith Allen certainly gets the best dialogue.

  • Pssst, why is everything in Italic?

    Because I forgot to close an HTML tag above. Thanks for telling me!

    And why didn’t I spot it? Because Safari corrected it for me, so I didn’t see it. Fucking thing. I *need* to be able to see my stupid errors…

  • > I hate that BBC-style film-effect that plagues just about all BBC shows that use it. Evidently, shooting in HD makes naff-all difference to that.)

    I thought one of the things about HD was that it’s progressive and so doesn’t need a film effect slapped on it? Am I wrong?

  • HD can be shot either progressive *or* interlaced. Robin Hood *was* shot using progressive, so yes – there’s no film effect applied.

  • > there’s no film effect applied.

    If it was shot in progressive and nothing done to it in post-production to give it that BBC look I’ll eat my twat. You’re not telling me everything shot on that camera in progressive will automatically end up looking like how Robin Hood looks (like Doctors but in some trees and with the colour turned down a bit). Maybe I’m just fucked off because it might as well have been shot on Digibeta and then upscaled for HD. Of course, I haven’t seen it in HD yet and by all accounts it DOES look good (as does Torchwood) but…it’ll never beat 35mm, not even the highest res digital does, not at the moment anyway. I just pray 35mm never dies. George Lucas is a fucking fool shooting Episodes 2 and 3 on digital because the Original Trilogy re-mastered in HD looks better!. What he sees as ‘pioneering’ will look like a joke in 20 years, including the overuse of CG in Attack of the Clones and Revenge of the Sith.

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