Hosted by actor Bill Bixby, "Once Upon A Classic" presents productions of the literature classics in a three-year series. Rich costumes and sets enhances the films, produced by the same BBC drama department responsible for so many of PBS's "Masterpiece Theatre" productions. The series consisted of classic stories filmed in England, then shown in thirty minute segments over a period of several weeks. In between the major series there were single episode specials. Some of the stories included in the series were: … More Great Expectations, What Katie Did, Little Lord Faulteroy, Heidi, The Secret Garden, Rebecca of Sunnybrook Farm, The Prince and the Pauper, Dominic, etc.
Recaps2x1: The Legend of Robin Hood , Episode 1 recap
: History's noblest outlaw takes to the forest with his band of men in a dramatic new television production of the legendary adventures of Robin Hood, 12 episodes beginning on PBS's acclaimed family series
"Once Upon a Classic."
Outlaw by circumstance not choice, loyalist to King Richard the Lionhearted, and a resistance leader against wealthy officials, Robin Hood became a legend for all time. But not until this new production has a convincing characterization of Robin Hood, the man, been attempted. Martin Potter, star of "Robin Hood" grew up in Nottingham, England where the legend lives on. Critics have called him a "thoughtful, incisive actor, who imposes his interpretation with skill." According to Potter, the "role's been played but not acted." He sees Robin as "lonely and sad, not as a medieval Tarzan." Robin is more serious in this newest production but his life is still a supreme adventure.
Although scholars cannot agree whether Robin Hood is fact or fiction, the idea of the noble outlaw has been one of the world's best loved legends for over seven centuries. Robin Hood has been popularized as an outlaw roaming Sherwood Forest, living by his own rules. He takes from the rich and gives to the poor; but he will help any man in need, rich or poor.
The "Legend of Robin Hood" has been placed historically as early as the 12th century, against the background of the Crusades. Robin's King, King Richard I ruled then, and like many noblemen of his time, left England to fight in the Holy War.
The Third Crusade, the crusade in the legend, was perhaps the most crucial; Richard and his men hoped to recapture Jerusalem from the Moslems. Though Richard failed to win the Holy City he did capture Acre, a vital port to the Holy Land. For his daring exploits he was proclaimed Richard Coeur de Lion (the Lionhearted).
During Richard's absence, Robin Hood and his men gained local renown as the self-appointed protectors of the king's law, in the face of his political opponents who were growing more powerful each day of
History and legend soon grew into literature and Robin Hood became part of Langland's "Piers Plowman" (late 1300's) and the subject of a ballad collection "Lytel Geste of Robin Hood" (circa 1490). But probably the best known and most widely read tales are Howard Pyle's "Merry Adventures of Robin Hood."
While the hero has leapt and changed throughout history, literature, and ballad, he is in all versions a noble fellow who lives the free life of the forest, fights well with the broadsword and excels in the longbow.
Every Robin Hood has led an endearing band of men who take from the rich and give to the poor, who live under their own laws in the Lincoln green of Sherwood Forest. Bill Bixby hosts "Once upon a Classic," which is prestented on PBS by WQED —Pittsburgh... read more.