Ducking and Diving





3 November 2007

Written by

Debbie Oates

Directed by

Matthew Evans

Produced by

Jane Hudson
Nick Pitt


Jonas Armstrong
Lucy Griffiths
Richard Armitage
Keith Allen
Gordon Kennedy
Sam Troughton
Joe Armstrong
Harry Lloyd
Anjali Jay

Preceded by

"The Angel of Death"

Followed by

"For England...!"

"Ducking and Diving" is the fifth episode of Season 2 of Robin Hood and the 18th episode of the series as a whole.


A peasant woman, midwife and healer named Matilda is accused by the sheriff of being a witch, because she will not revive the messenger who is supposed to tell Vaisey where the king will land in England. When he finds out she was the midwife who helped birth Robin Hood, he grows even angrier. He sentences her to a "ducking", a trial in which she is dunked into a pond that will supposedly tell if she is innocent or guilty of witchcraft. If she drowns, she is innocent; if she lives, she is a witch and must be burned. Either way, she's doomed.

Meanwhile, Lady Marian charms Sir Guy into letting her walk around without a guard. She then follows him out through the town, trying to contact Robin to tell him about Matilda's impending death. When Sir Guy catches her coming back, she "confesses" that she wanted to spend more time with him, and didn't realize he was on business that couldn't be interrupted.

Matilda survives the first couple of duckings but starts cursing horribly at Vaisey, prompting him to command that she be held underwater longer. When the chair is next lifted up, it is empty except for Matilda's "underwrappings". Robin had swum underneath the pond, using a pipe to breathe with the help of Much, Allan, and Will, and rescued her. They get back to the outlaws' camp and find Matilda's daughter Rosa, who (with the help of Djaq and Little John, in the absence of an actual midwife, since Matilda was arrested) has just given birth to the woman's first grandchild.


David Bamber previously played Cicero on the HBO series "Rome". How he ended up on Robin Hood (as a physician) is anyone's guess.

Cast Edit