|The Booby and the Beast|
"The Booby and the Beast" is the second episode of Season 2 of Robin Hood and the 15th episode of the series as a whole.
Robin Hood and the outlaws are successfully stealing all the sheriff's tax money, but Robin has his eyes on the chest of Black Knights funds in the sheriff's strong room. The outlaws sneak into the castle and find the strong room, but are turned back by traps, triplines, pressure plates, and a spiked portcullis. Will takes them to an old friend of his father's, a blind man named Stephen, who originally designed the strong room before his apprentices sold the plans to the sheriff (and were subsequently murdered by Sir Guy of Gisborne). He explains that the location of the pressure plates changes, so there is no guaranteed safe path to the money chest, and that once the door is opened, an hourglass turns over and runs for 170 seconds. Once this time runs out, the strong room fills with molten lead and anyone inside it will die. The outlaws, Much in particular, are extremely skeptical about this venture, but Robin insists it can be done and they go to an abandoned barn to "reconstruct" the strong room for practice.
In the meantime, the sheriff is entertaining a guest, Count Friedrich, a gambler from Bavaria. He instructs Lady Marian to "entertain" him and tells her that the count's "every desire will be her command". The count arrives and foppishly appears quite enchanted with both the gambling tables the sheriff has set up and with Marian. Spurred on by Sir Guy, the count tries to win Marian's affection. Disgusted, she feigns a headache and begs off. The count follows her, and then from behind a pillar, she and the count overhear the sheriff telling Guy his plans to rig the gambling tables and cheat the count out of all his money. Furious, the count rebuffs an embarrassed Marian and declares his intentions to leave immediately. Marian tells him she doesn't think he's as dullwitted and foppish as he appears, and assures him she's "not the sheriff's lackey". Together they formulate a plan to humiliate the sheriff and help Robin and the gang loot the strong room.
The two take a ride—without any guards, under the guise of a tryst—into the forest and relate their plan to Robin, telling him that tonight will be the only chance he has to get into the strong room. the outlaws are horrified, convinced they can't do it, but Robin can't let the money get handed out to the Black Knights—and the count wants to ensure he can get the money back he'll have to lose to escape Nottingham alive. The count confesses to Marian that he gambles because it's the only risk he's allowed to take in his life, trapped by rules and etiquette. She reveals her feelings for Robin, admitting she has a similar "craving for danger".
Back at the castle, Count Friedrich and Lady Marian successfully convince Sir Guy and Vaisey that Marian has warmed up to the count; she stays by his side all night, blowing on his dice for luck and even kissing him on the cheek when he wins a round. Dressed as a servant, Djaq acts as a go-between for Robin and Marian, running up to tell Marian when the outlaws are into the strong room. In order for their plan to work, the count has to start losing money, but he can't seem to break his lucky streak. He bets his entire chest of gold against the contents of the sheriff's strong room, knowing this will force the sheriff's hand. The sheriff gives him the loaded dice, and he loses. The count pretends to storm off in a huff, giving Marian an excuse to leave, and secretly readies his things to leave.
Robin, meanwhile, has successfully infiltrated the strong room—nearly dying several times—only to find that the coins in the chest were an illusion cast onto a sheet, and there is apparently no money at all in the strong room. Angry and frustrated, he is about to turn back, when the sheriff's servants start pouring the count's ill-won money into the strongroom. Hearing it fall through the walls, Robin realizes that the chest has a false bottom, and he barely gets the money out and escapes before the hourglass runs out and the room fills with lead. Marian sneaks out to see them off, and the count tells her that he will always remain her servant and friend. The outlaws return Count Friedrich's money—which he refuses, telling them to use it for a good cause—and also send Stephen on his way with Friedrich.
- Robin Hood ... Jonas Armstrong
- Marian ... Lucy Griffiths
- Guy of Gisborne ... Richard Armitage
- Sheriff of Nottingham ... Keith Allen
- Little John ... Gordon Kennedy
- Much ... Sam Troughton
- Allan A Dale ... Joe Armstrong
- Will Scarlet ... Harry Lloyd
- Djaq ... Anjali Jay