Clara’s been an awfully good companion decides the Doctor in the Series 8 episode Robot of Sherwood, and so as a reward he lets her pick their next destination. She initially hesitates to tell the Doctor where she wants to go as she believes he won’t believe it’s possible. She wants to meet Robin Hood, and the Doctor states that he’s a myth and doesn’t actually exist. But Clara insists, and so the Doctor eventually caves and takes her back to Nottingham Forest. The Doctor was suitably shocked when his TARDIS arrives at the right time and place only to be shot with an arrow by the one and only Robin Hood. The Doctor spends nearly the entire episode convinced that this Robin Hood is a fake, a robot created by the Sheriff to serve his purpose. At one point the Doctor shows Robin Hood the future of his story and the many faces that will play him in the future. In the end it’s revealed that Robin is a real, and very talented, human that inspired the stories that surrounded him. The Doctor could be mistaken for believing that Robin Hood’s story is too good to be true, as the legend of Robin Hood and his merry band of men has many features in common with many other myths.
When Robin Hood meets the Doctor in The Robot of Sherwood the Doctor breaks it to him, that he is nothing but a myth to generations that follow. When he breaks the news, he also shows him the many faces the person of Robin Hood will take in the tellings of the story. Robin Hood becomes disheartened that he will become a hero with a thousand faces. But this is the fate of “the hero”, at least according to mythologist Joseph Campbell. Tomorrow we’ll look at the commonalities of all myths (including the “myth” or Robin Hood), the evolution of myth, and its role in societies.