Day 12 of my 30-day Robin Hood blog challenge, and it is the turn of my favourite side character.
Well, that’s easy, isn’t it? It’s the Night Watchman.
The BBC’s incarnation of Marian has got to be the best that I have seen, because she literally kicks ass as the Night Watchman. The actual preceder of Robin Hood, the Night Watchman is Marian’s secret rebellion against the Sheriff of Nottingham’s reign of terror. The masked crusader roams the countryside, generally at night (hence the name coined by the villagers), beating up the Sheriff’s men and delivering food and supplies to the poor.
The Night Watchman is a familiar figure in and around the villages that surround Nottingham, and is the bane of the Sheriff’s life. Thinking the character is up to no good, Robin captures him only to discover that he is actually a she – Marian.
The Night Watchman makes a number of appearances throughout series 1 and 2, and, along with her fantastic theme song, you always know it’s going to be fun as she takes down groups of the Sheriff’s guards at a time. However, I have often wondered exactly who taught a Lady to fight like that. Her dad? Doubtful..
It doesn’t always go well, though. In The Return of the King (series 1, episode 12), Marian is due to marry Guy of Gisborne, and decides on a last jaunt as the Night Watchman. Intent on stealing Guy’s ill-gotten wealth, she breaks into Locksley manor only to be stabbed by Guy, who is unaware of the Night Watchman’s true identity. Luckily, she lives, but in Treasure of the Nation (series 2, episode 11), she attempts to steal food for the villagers and is unmasked by Guy, who swears she will die as punishment for her treachery. However, after alerting the Sheriff to the Night Watchman’s capture and impending execution, he changes his mind and orchestrates the Night Watchman’s escape (Allan A Dale in disguise).
And that is the last we see of the Night Watchman. But it was great while it lasted!