Well, no heavy soul-searching in this one – just a good old-fashioned fun adventure, and it definitely worked.
- Clara’s sheer enthusiasm at the initial situation – always a nice thing to see in a companion. Just a pity the Doctor didn’t appreciate it so much.
- Excellent action, particularly the sword-on-spoon swordfight at the beginning.
- Also excellent comedy, particularly with the Doctor and Robin in the dungeon. I also liked the Doctor’s revelation about his archery skills towards the end – well, even he can’t be good at everything.
- I like how this Doctor manages to be something of a grump without it making him unlikeable.
- Ben Miller seemed to be channeling Roger Delgado’s Master at times in his performance as the Sheriff – or maybe it was the beard.
- I had expected that Robin would turn out to be an illusion of some kind as the Doctor thought, so it was nice to find that he was the real thing after all.
The Not So Good:
- Felt a bit overly simplistic at times – there wasn’t much innovative about it.
- It felt like the episode was a bit unclear about the nature of the Sheriff – so presumably he was actually a robot, but from his conversation with Clara, he did seem to initially believe he was human and had encountered the robots when they arrived. Was he lying to Clara, or did he realise the truth and then just shrug it off?
- The twist at the end: so if Marian was living in the area, what was stopping her from being with Robin, and how did he not know where she was? (If he did actually know, it doesn’t seem like much of a present from the Doctor.)
A brilliant romp of an episode – rating: 4/5.