When Things Were Rotten - 3

In the final episode on the tape, "The Ultimate Weapon", a medieval weapon of mass destruction has been created by a German inventor named Otto Bahn (John Byner). Of course, the King and the Sheriff of Nottingham join forces with Bahn, to use the weapon to bring their enemies to their knees...and destroy Sherwood Forest, Robin Hood, and his merry men, once and for all.

This episode has several lines of dialogue that are supposed to be spoken in a German accent. Bahn is German, of course, and then Robin and Alan-A-Dale pretend to be Germans, to infiltrate Bahn's workroom. Oddly enough, however, most of the foreign-accented dialogue is not given to Kopell (the cast member who was actually able to do it convincingly!), but to Dick Gautier and John Byner. Byner's acting in this guest spot was even more horrendous than his accent, hard as it may be to believe.

Considering that cast regular Richard Dimitri played dual roles in every episode, it would have made more sense to cast Bernie Kopell as Otto Bahn, and let John Byner play another role in another episode. As it was, the only thing funny about Otto Bahn was his character's name....


While Robin Hood is at his class reunion (?!), Little John takes over as leader of the band of merry men. One day, a man named Otto Bahn arrives, and the men demand to know why he is passing through the forest. When they begin to search his wagon, he objects, saying they don't have permission to go through his things. The men go for their swords, and Bahn says, "Have a look!"



Then Otto Bahn boasts about a wondrous invention he's created...the ultimate weapon. Little John angrily tells Bahn that men should fight eye-to-eye, and he asks Alan-A-Dale for a light, to burn Bahn's plans for this fearsome weapon.



Robin returns, and he's horrified that they only destroyed the plans...because he knows Bahn can re-create them. After Marian rushes to the forest to inform them that the prince and the sheriff plan to destroy Sherwood Forest with the weapon, Robin gathers his men for a council of war. Robin asks Alan if he can do "that crazy accent", to which Alan replies, "You bet your schnitzel!"



By prior arrangement, Robin and Alan sneak into Marian's room at the castle.



There, she outfits them with uniforms like the ones Otto Bahn's workers wear.



They slip into Bahn's workshop in the castle dungeon, as Maid Marian distracts the guards by asking them to open a jar of pickles for her.



Alan and Robin fear they've been spotted by the Sheriff of Nottingham. Luckily for them, he thinks they really are Bahn's men, so he just pats them on the shoulder and praises their work.



Robin and Alan intending for Otto Bahn to overhear, of course talk to each other about what a shame it is that the prince is taking advantage of Bahn, in order to rule the world. They insist that Bahn, himself, should take over the world with his own invention.



Intrigued, Bahn says he wants to hear more, so Robin and Alan suggest that they talk in private. Bahn willingly agrees, so Alan shoos the other workers out of the room, and locks the door behind them. Alan tells Bahn that they were students of his at the university where he taught, and they're great admirers of his work.



When Bahn turns his back on them for a moment, Robin tells Alan to play along, because he's winging it.



But then they're interrupted by a woman's operatic singing auf Deutsch. The Sheriff and his men are at the door with a singer, whom they've recruited to lure Otto Bahn out of his locked workshop. (The sign above the door reads, "The Dungeon: Watch Your Step".)



Stopping the opera-loving Bahn from rushing upstairs to let the woman in, Robin hurriedly assures Bahn that he'll have all the women he ever wanted, once he takes over the world.



Otto Bahn has one odd quirk: He loves to be given orders. Knowing this, the Sheriff starts screaming at him, ordering him to open the door. Catching on quickly, Robin similarly orders him not to open it, until pretty soon Bahn is almost having a nervous breakdown from indecision.



Pretending to be helpful, Alan and Robin help him up and guide him toward his weapon. Alan suggests that he find a nice, quiet place to get his head together, then he and Robin lead Bahn toward his own invention loading him into the large barrel of the weapon...!



By this time, the Sheriff has had enough, and orders the door to be broken down with a battering ram. Unfortunately, Bertram doesn't get out of the way in time, and ends up getting smashed into the door. Ouch!



By the time the Sheriff and his men have broken in, it's too late. Robin and Alan have fired Otto Bahn out of his own weapon, and Little John has dropped a rope ladder down to them, so they can make their escape. Just before fleeing the castle and the sheriff's men, Alan-A-Dale taunts them, "Goodness 1, Evil zero!"


When Things Were Rotten links:
Petition to get WTWR on DVD!
BBC Comedy Guide
IMDb entry
Complete episode list
German WTWR page!
German TV page, with links