Wednesday, 5 May 2010

He's no Robin Hood

"It's me, Robin Hood" claims actor on a binge. He's not though. His Archery style looks like it was learned using a kiddies archery set. Not that the politically correct TV travesty he was in could get even a major historical detail like a flaming longbow right. As I've pointed out before, the style of bow the actor uses is a short recurve of a Turkish, Roman or Magyar pattern. Funnily enough not widely known in English medieval folklore or literature. Historically speaking, the Yew longbow superseded the Welsh Elmwood bow some time in the 11th century, at least as far as the English were concerned, and the Welsh pattern wasn't a recurve. A short recurve pattern bow was unknown in England at this time. We know this because no-one has ever found one in literature or sculpture. This does not say much for the period detail or research required to play the part of Robin Hood convincingly. 'Robertus Hoode' was a sodding longbowman widely thought to have annoyed local Yorkshire law enforcement during the 12th Century FFS!

Despite the aforementioned I actually like short recurves, and prefer them for bush or field shooting. There's less chance of the lower limb snagging in the underbrush and throwing your aim off. This modern Maple and Fibreglass model shoots very fast and flat, which amuses a purist Archer like me as I prefer to shoot without sights. There's a knack to field shooting with one of these smaller bows, as the classic slow draw and hold you learn for target shooting (and portrayed in the movies - try drawing and holding even a 40lb competition recurve for more than five seconds at full draw and you'll know what I mean) isn't the best technique for shooting a 45lb+ pull bow in the field. My own technique is to tend to keep the bow at half draw during the latter stage of the stalk, and draw slowly to two thirds for sighting, then final draw and release all in one motion. Looks like you're showing off, but it's actually very effective. Endless practice is the key.

Anyway. Russell Crowe shoots far better. At least he actually took the trouble to learn how to shoot a longbow.

I used to like Doctor Who as well (Until Sylvester McCoy and Bonnie Langford), but like Terry Pratchett, who is still sharp despite early onset Alzheimers, I don't think the current BBC incarnation can honestly be called science fiction.

1 comment:

delcatto said...

It is now too emotional for me, has little credible 'science(fiction)' and Terry Pratchett is spot on re. the lack of narrative. I've stopped watching it. For me the best Dr Who was Jon Pertwee although I wonder if that is an age thing? I was aged 9 - 14 years during Jon Pertwee's 'tenancy' of Dr Who and when I discovered science fiction.

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