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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