As a child of the eighties, for better or worse, television played an important part of my childhood and shaped who I would become latter in life. It was also television that provided me with the exact moment my childhood ended by supplying the television death I will never get over.
It was 1985 and I sat down to watch may favorite series on Showtime, Robin of Sherwood. I was three months away from my twelfth birthday and still believed in happily ever after. I dragged my bean bag chair right in front of our console television and watched as the dashing Robin of Loxley (Michael Praed) ran through Sherwood Forest to that eerie intro music from Clannad.
The name of the episode was The Greatest Enemy, and to anyone familiar with the series, you know where i'm going with this. I was on the edge of my seat as Robin, Marian, and Much ran from the Sheriff's men. I cheered when held them back, flushing them out of the grass and forcing them to retreat. So far, it was a typical episode. Robin and his followers were making complete fools of the Sheriff and his men.
Robin goes to Marian and gives on of the saddest goodbyes ever put on film.
Robin of Loxley: [He, Marion, and Much are surrounded by the Sheriff's forces] I'm asking you to live because it's meant to be.
Marion: Nothing's meant to be.
Robin of Loxley: It is. It is! And one day you'll know it.
Marion: Let me stay with you... please?
Robin of Loxley: There are so many things I want to say to you, but time's caught me up, and now I'll never say them... except that I've loved you from the moment I saw you, and every moment since.
Marion: Don't make me go.
Robin of Loxley: Do you want them to win?
Marion: I don't care about them!
Robin of Loxley: You must. For the sake of everything we've meant to each other, you must care, because that way, you'll keep alive all we've believed in. And I can't die then, can I?
And then it happened...They killed him.
I couldn't believe what I just saw. That was not the way that Robin of Loxley was supposed to go out. I mean, where was the happily ever after? And just like that, my childhood was over.
I no longer believed in happily ever after and I knew that you had to enjoy the important things while you had them because they could very well be gone in the blink of an eye or by the shot of an arrow.
Of course, I didn't know it then, but that night where I cried in front of the television would also shape my writing career. I became a true believer in a love that couldn't die, past lives, and reincarnation. I was all about the dead (Robin Hood in the back of my mind) getting a second chance. My first spin on this was my favorite ghost Alastor from my Spiritus Series and now I'm facing my demons head on with Hood's Heart which will be out February 9th.
As crazy as it sounds, I owe a great deal to Robin of Sherwood for damaging me at such a young age. Without that tragic death, I may have gone on looking for the happily ever after in my own writing, when sometimes that just doesn't happen...At least not in this life.
If you're in the mood to have your heart broken, Amazon has the series available here.