NOTICE: If you have not seen the finale for Series 2 and do not wish to hear moderate spoilers for Series 3, do not read! I cannot be blamed for anyone who has kept their ears and eyes spoiler-free down to the last casting report and then stumbles upon this, reads it, and then flames me because I ruined the entire thing. Consider yourself warned, so don't hate me; I've done my best.
ALSO: Spoilers for series 3 are merely based on casting choices/predictions (who will enter/leave the cast somewhere in the course of series 3). I do not claim authority on any of these things.
ONCE AGAIN: If you do not want any hint towards the outcome of series 3, do not read any further!
That said, here is my PREMISE: Centered around the outcome of series 2 and the bbc announcement that "Jonas Armstrong aka Robin is to bow out of the next series in an explosive, nail-biting finale." I've sort of made up the fate of the others. Do not sue me or hate me or whatever. I'm just having a bit of a laugh—like Allan, only without the betrayal or the goatee.
DISCLAIMER: I do not own BBC Robin Hood, the original legend, or any of the characters mentioned. Also, the idea for this story was not produced solely by myself. Some friends and I were discussing press releases for the upcoming RH series, particularly Jonas Armstrong's departure and how they're planning two or so series beyond it, and the conversation took a "How can they have a Robin Hood show without Robin Hood?" turn. Someone—maybe it was me, I don't remember—said, "They'll just have to call it—The Much And Allan Show!" and I said: "ooh! I've got to write that!"
So I did.
The Much and Allan Show –by JotM
The night before, they had been sitting by a campfire—that is, if a solitary flame sullenly sputtering away qualifies as a campfire—when Allan looked at Much.
"Well, aren't you going to say it?" he queried a trifle bitingly.
"Say what?" Much asked.
Allan mimed raising a glass and scruffed at his beard.
"Oh." Much looked at the fire glumly. "Um. We are Robin Hood…?"
Alan scoffed. So much for bold declarations…
"Well," Much remarked contemplatively the next day.
There was a brief pause in which Allan waited a bit. Then—"Well what?"
"That's all—just…well." Much floundered a bit.
"Well," Allan mocked, "most people would actually say something—oh, never mind." He gave a disgusted sigh. "I can't believe, out of the entire gang, you're the one I'm stuck with in the end."
"Yeah, well…let's remember, I don't think…" Much began in protest, but let us leave them there for a time.
What Allan had said was true: out of Robin's gang, they were the last. Oh, Will and Djaq were still alive and well— on occasion they sent a postcard with pigeons on the front every now and then and the words "BIRD HAVEN: Wish You Were Here," at which point Much would become hungry and Allan cynical. Marian, of course, had met her untimely demise well over a year ago at the hands of Guy of Gisborne and her own double life. Little John had learned the lesson of Watch What You Say a little too late: one day, fate took his "a good day to die" seriously, and a French midget named Big Jean took his life. ('Irony, I do not like' were his last words.)
As for their infamous leader Robin himself, no one really knew what had happened. Some claimed to have seen him flinging himself into Locksley Pond with a last cry of "Marian! My love! I come to your side!" (These were mostly young girls and deaf men.) Others said he'd been raiding the butcher's place, gotten on the wrong side of a meat cleaver (or the right side, depending on who you asked), and crawled away to die. The favorite idea was that he'd raided the Sheriff's strong room one last time and was now living the life as a shoddy casino lord on a faraway, exotic island. I say "favorite idea," but it was really only the favorite idea of Allan.
Speak of the devil, the man said briskly: "Right. So I say we need to rethink this whole show thing."
(Television characters, contrary to popular opinion, do know that they're on air; otherwise they would never behave so ridiculously and irrationally. This is why reality shows bear such a name; not because the people on the show know they're on a show, but because the audience knows the people know and therefore get a slice of reality… It doesn't make sense, but that's Hollywood for you.)
"What do you mean, rethink?" Much asked suspiciously.
"Not being funny, but Robin's not exactly with us now is he? So being "Robin Hood" isn't going to work so long as he's in the carib living the life, is it?"
Much spluttered indignantly at that. He was still holding onto his personal theory that Robin was working undercover as a spy in the Nottingham castle and would return any day.
"What are you saying?"
"I dunno, just that this whole operation needs a more up-to-date name. How 'bout The Comic Relief and the Brain? 'Cause everyone knows that's what our characters are for, don't they?"
"Ha ha," Much intoned flatly. "Very funny. Well. For any producers who may be listening, let me say that that would be an outrage, I repeat, an outrage. We'd be better off calling it The Earl and the Sneak!"
"Well, I'm not bein' funny, but at least mine was funny!" Allan muttered. "Alright, alright," he conceded, noting Much's kettle-on-the-boil expression. "Only funnin'."
Much swelled angrily. "Funnin'. Hmmph. I wish…that is…We might as well just stay 'Robin Hood' until Robin—"
"Look, Robin's not comin' back! Casino lord, remember?"
"Spy." Much intoned firmly, crossing his arms and turning away slightly.
"What, aren't going to tell me to jigger off?" Allan sniggered. "You still don't know what that means, do you?"
"I did know. You knew." Much responded sulkily. "You still know."
"Yeah, whatever, mate," Allan said.
"Besides, what is all that 'not being funny but' business? No one knows what that means either!"
"Not being funny, but I know what it means!" Allan protested.
"Exactly." Much pronounced, seemingly satisfied. "There you go. That's just it, isn't it?"
"That's just—oh, fine, then," Allan shrugged in the half-helpless, half-mocking fashion of his. "We won't change the stupid name. You can say 'we are Robin Hood' to your simple heart's content. But we should at least change the show style a bit…"
"I agree there," Much uncrossed his arms. "I was thinking a sort of cooking channel—"
Allan snorted. "Cooking channel?! I was thinking more of a Who Wants To Be A Millionaire type-thing."
Much scowled. "Cheat."
The insult-tossing morphed into more of a duel-of-the-glares. Finally, Allan sighed.
"Look, it's just you an' me, mate, so let's call a truce, eh? Let's just be…The Much and Allan Show. Simple. Plain. To the point. And—
"Stupid?" Much queried as acidly as Much was able. "Yes, stupid! Rather stupid we'd look, going around piping we are Much and Allan!"
"We are Much and Allan!" Allan pointed out.
"Yes, but…you're completely missing the…that's not…where's the inspiration?"
"Not being funny, but I was never inspired by chanting 'we are Robin Hood' nor would I be if I said it 'till I was blue in the face!"
"Well…alright…but we have to say it the old way, every now and then, just in case…" Much trailed off.
"I know, I know, mate…just in case Robin comes back." Allan clapped Much on the back in an uncharacteristically sympathetic fashion.
Much cleared his throat gruffly. "D'you want to…I don't know…annoy Gisborne?"
"Annoy Gisborne?" Allan piped up. "How can we not? After all…"
"We are Robin Hood!" they chanted simultaneously.
A few hours later…
"Gisborne," the Sheriff intoned slowly as the sparrow in his fingers contemplated the afterlife with much trepidation, "would you mind explaining how the entire castle has been covered in graffiti saying "GISBORNE SUCKS"?"
"I don't know," Guy responded slowly and haughtily, "but I'm very annoyed."
"Well," the Sheriff said, "perhaps you can figure it out as you scrub every wall with your own two hands—starting with the mural in my room, I'm not too fond of that." He turned back to his birds.
Gisborne shuffled off to scrub "ROBIN THE CASINO LORD HAS MORE DOUGH THAN U" from the Sheriff's chamber walls with a brush, soapy water, much dejection, and many oaths.
Perhaps if he hadn't been cursing so loudly, he might have heard the chants of "we are Much and Allan! We are Robin Hood!" coming from the ground below. He might have overheard their plans of going into the villages, Much to teach the men how to cook, Allan to teach the women how to swindle.
'Wherever Hood is,' Guy thought glumly, scrubbing in vain at the indelible paint (something Djaq had left behind), 'I suppose he's laughing right now.'
And he was very annoyed.