"One Man's Meat"
Season 3 Episode 19; dated 1957 but may have originally aired 3 Feb 1958
Young Henry the Serf
Sound Clip (aiff, 686K; wav, to come)
One man's meusli...Robin Hood (Richard Greene) and Friar Tuck (Alexander Gauge) are looking forward to a visit with Edmund Woodstock (Robin Bailey), a friend whose cook is renowned for his bountiful, delicious meals. However, on arrival they find the servants thin and weak, the cook dismissed, and Edmund praising the powers (and cheapness) of a grain, seed, and wildflower mixture he is calling "ambrosia." No one at his manor has been allowed to eat anything else for weeks. Edmund lines up his servants for Robin's inspection. Even the tall, strapping young serf Henry (Gary Raymond) can barely lift the rock Edmund has given him to demonstrate the lad's newfound strength. The other serfs show the same weakness, and Edmund suspects them of deviating from their diet. They appeal to Robin for help, and the man in Lincoln green devises a plan. He and Tuck bring the servants meat from the forest, spiriting away the ambrosia and feeding it to half the animals of a local pigherder -- the other pigs are fed on ordinary grub as a control group. When Edmund later lines up his servants for a strength test, Henry and the others easily lift the stones. Before Edmund can declare the success of the ambrosia, Robin and Tuck show him the pigs. Those served on ambrosia are large and fat, twice the size of the other pigs. Edmund realises his error and enters into an agreement with the pigs' owner, and serfs and lord and outlaws merrily retire to eat the fattened pigs.
As noted on the filmography page, Gary Raymond appears in only a few scenes and has only a very few lines, mostly delivered in Ye Olde Peasant Accent. He does spend a lot of time hovering in the background looking hungry and resentful (a better effort than the disassociated expressions on the faces of the other actors) and, like all the actors in this series, wears regulation Howard-Pyle Robin Hood attire: a little tunic and tights. "Robin Hood" is a fun series, now aged into a patina of earnest camp; presumably the series was primarily intended for children. Interestingly, Donald Pleasence starred as the evil Prince John in the second season. It has been overshadowed by its 1980s successor "Robin of Sherwood" but is far more sincere to the spirit of Sherwood than the 1990s effort "The New Adventures of Robin Hood." Filmed mostly on simple sets and entirely in black and white, each half-hour episode is a little snippet of an Errol Flynn movie as filmed in your backyard.
11 February 1999
return to the briefing room by jeep
return to the briefing room by tank
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