Wednesday, May 17, 2006

Nasir, Robin Hood's Arabic outlaw

One of many innovative ideas in Robin of Sherwood was the introduction of a Saracen outlaw, Nasir, played by Mark Ryan (top picture). Traditionally (if not in truth) Robin Hood has been portrayed as a loyal supporter of King Richard the Lion heart Crusader. So the introduction of a Muslim outlaw, whose religious beliefs would clash with those of the English outlaws (especially Friar Tuck's), was a bold move but one which worked perfectly. Indeed Nasir was such a huge success that every subsequent interpretation of the Robin Hood legend has included a black/Saracen member of the Merry Men, such Morgan Freeman as Azeem (bottom picture) in Robin Prince of Thieves (one of the more successful elements of that film). Other actors who would continue this concept include Hakim Alston as Kemal (New Adventures of Robin Hood), and Anjali Jay as Djaq (BBC's Robin Hood 2006).
Mark Ryan's Nasir has retained its cult status; a silent character wielding two swords, who puts Robin Hood himself to the test before joining the band of outlaws.

See more Nasir pictures by clicking this link.

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Blogger robin hood said...

Robin Hood.
Nasir started the trend for a "black" outlaw in Robin Hood's Merry Men. Azeem continued the idea, and then of course there was Kemal in the "New Adventures of Robin Hood".

3:03 AM  
Blogger radiogaga80 said...

Azeem was copied straight from RoS, his original name was to be Nazeem but then someone pointed out to the people of Prince of Thieves that the Arab was a RoS invention and NOT a character from the old legends.

After Nazir, there were Azeem, Rassan in "Green Arrow", Ah-choo, Kemal, Barrington and now there's Djaq.

There is a website for Nasir here.

11:29 AM  
Blogger robin hood said...

Thanks "radio",

As I point out in my review of Prince of Thieves, yes indeed, they had to be cautioned about using the name Nazir.

I think Djaq did an amazing job continuing this theme of a "Saracen Outlaw" in series one of BBCs Robin Hood. In series 2 she was given a lot less opportunity to shine.

11:49 AM  
Anonymous radiogaga80 said...

My bad - I hadn't come to read the Prince of Thieves page yet. I don't know about Djaq... I saw bits of the new RH series and felt it was too Xena like so I never fully watched an episode. Maybe I'll give it a go soon. :)

2:08 PM  
Blogger robin hood said...

The early episodes of series 1 were certainly too Xena like, it's true.

But it improved dramatically. Well worth checking out.

5:01 PM  

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