Award-winning production company Spiteful Puppet has announced it is to publish a collection of the Look-In “Robin of Sherwood” strip, in partnership with Chinbeard Books and Rebellion Publishing.
We reported hopes for a collection earlier this year, and Spiteful Puppet has now just announced the project has the go ahead, with more details to follow in due course.
Masterminding the restoration of fan-supplied strips will be Chinbeard’s graphic designer Robert Hammond, who has provided covers for Spiteful Productions audios and books.
Spiteful Puppet are best known as the producers of the audio series Hood, a reboot of the Robin Hood legend – as well as being executive producers of the new audio adaptation of the classic TV series Robin of Sherwood. They recently recorded a new 45-minute, full-cast drama, “Fitzwarren’s Well“, led by RoS original cast member Judi Trott as Maid Marian, recorded remotely during lockdown.
The story, echoing recent events in 2020, is set during the third series of the TV show’s original run, between the episodes “Rutterkin” and “The Time of the Wolf”, and sees Ian Ogilvy (Return of the Saint) reprise his role of Lord Edgar of Huntington, Robin Hood’s nasty uncle, from the former episode.
Produced in Britain between 1983 and 1985, the Robin of Sherwood TV drama was created by Richard Carpenter and produced by Paul Knight for Goldcrest. It starred Michael Praed as the Hooded Man in the first two series and Jason Connery became Herne’s Son for the third.
The series originally aired in the UK on ITV and in the United States on Showtime cable channel and various PBS stations from 1984 – 1986, and still enjoys a dedicated following on both sides of the Atlantic.
Chinbeard previously announced they had secured the exclusive licence to publish books based on Robin of Sherwood, initially novelising some of the award-winning Spiteful Puppet’s audio dramas based on the show, in the same style as its creator Richard Carpenter and other writers adapted his television scripts into book form.
Adhering to the continuity of the series and audio dramas, Chinbeard’s Barnaby Eaton-Jones explained the novels are expanded, limited editions, with extra material not included in the audio, launching with The Meeting Place by Jennifer Ash.
When Barnaby gained the licence to create new Robin of Sherwood audio dramas released through Spiteful Puppet, he was also granted the book licence, “so I’ve been looking to do a few left-field projects,” he revealed – including a comic collection of the strip that featured in Look-In between 1984 and 1986, drawn by the late Mike Noble, Arthur Ranson and Phil Gascoine.
As we noted here on our “Classic British Comics – Who Owns What” page, Rebellion now owns the Look-In brand but as with the TV Century 21/ TV21 and Lady Penelope, comics, most of the strips they featured based on TV properties – such as Follyfoot, The Tomorrow People, Robin of Sherwood, Space: 1999 and many more – were published under license and reproduction would require a licensing agreement from the current brand holders.
However, while others hold the character copyrights on TV properties, Rebellion informed downthetubes they own and control the script and the art on the Look-In material, so don’t assume there is a free rein on that material.
Now, in a three-way partnership, a collection is going ahead, which is great news for fans of the popular strip.
Spiteful Puppet also produce other quality audio drama and audio books, as well as undertaking production management and sound design for other audio projects.
• Robin of Sherwood: Fitzwarren’s Well is available as a digital download from Spiteful Puppet’s website, alongside a range of other Robin of Sherwood audios and books.
• Check out the Robin of Sherwood audio dramas at www.spitefulpuppet.com
Television series Robin of Sherwood © HTV/Goldcrest Films & Television 1983. Created by Richard Carpenter | With thanks to Ian Wheeler for the heads up and “Mark 27B” for another lead