The Adventures of Robin Hood is a popular British television series comprising 143 half-hour, black and white episodes. It starred Richard Greene as the outlaw Robin Hood and Alan Wheatley as his nemesis, the Sheriff of Nottingham. The show aired between 1955 and 1960 on ITV in the UK, and between 1955 and 1959 on CBS in the US. The show followed the legendary character Robin Hood and his band of merry men in Sherwood Forest and the surrounding vicinity. While some episodes dramatised the traditional Robin Hood tales, most episodes were original dramas created by the show's writers and producers.
The program was produced by Sapphire Films Ltd for ITC Entertainment, was filmed at Nettlefold Studios with some location work, and was the first of many big-budget shows commissioned by Lew Grade, who hoped to make large profits by selling programs to the lucrative American market. The series was shot on 35mm film to provide the best possible picture quality, and had fade-outs where US commercials were intended to slot in. Episodes may be viewed in television reruns and are available on DVD. Some episodes include the commercials for an early sponsor, Wildroot Creme Oil (men's hair cream), with a cartoon archer whose messy hair gets tamed.
* Robin Hood, a nobleman returned from the Crusades and forced into outlawry in Sherwood Forest. Played by Richard Greene
* The Sheriff of Nottingham, Robin Hood's enemy who schemes to capture the outlaw. Played by Alan Wheatley
* Little John, Robin Hood's trusted friend and his second in command. Played by Archie Duncan, Duncan was briefly replaced by Rufus Cruikshank for ten episodes after Duncan was injured saving two child actors from a runaway horse.
* Maid Marian, a noblewoman and Robin Hood's lover. Played in series one and two by Bernadette O'Farrell and in series three and four by Patricia Driscoll
* Friar Tuck, a member of Robin Hood's band. Played by Alexander Gauge
* Alan-a-Dale, a member of Robin Hood's band. Played by Richard Coleman
* Prince John, the scheming friend of the Sheriff of Nottingham and brother of King Richard. Played by Donald Pleasence, Hubert Gregg and Brian Haines.
The show had a number of performers appearing in minor roles. Jonathan Bailey, Richard O'Sullivan and Peter Asher all played Prince Arthur while John Arnatt played the Deputy Sheriff of Nottingham. Ronald Howard played Will Scarlet, a member of Robin Hood's band in two episodes of series one while Paul Eddington played the character in series four. Eddington also played many other parts in series two and three. Victor Woolf and Patrick Troughton (who had played the title role in an earlier Robin Hood series) played a variety of roles in the show. On the distaff side, Jill Esmond played Queen Eleanor, Jane Asher played Prince Arthur's sister, and Anne Reid and Simone Lovell played barmaids at the Blue Boar Inn. Joan Sims guest starred in one episode. John Dearth played so many roles, he just about needs his own page. Many soon-to-be-famous faces pop up, including Robert Shaw (Jaws), Edward Mulhare ( The Ghost & Mrs. Muir (tv series)), Patrick Troughton (the second Doctor Who), Leo McKern (Rumpole Of The Bailey), and Harry H. Corbett and Wilfrid Brambell (Steptoe and Son).