The CW’s hugely popular superhero series “Arrow”, which is about to deliver its fifth season in October, not only helped spawn a new generation of DC superhero shows on the small screen, but may have also (heavily) inspired a television series in the Philippines.
Based on the DC Comics character Green Arrow, the show stars actor Stephen Amell who plays the titular role of the crime-fighting vigilante Arrow, the secret identity of billionaire playboy Oliver Queen. He protects the fictional Starling City wearing his signature green hood costume and using his weapon of choice: a bow and arrows.
Filipino network GMA 7 recently released the trailer for its own action series called “Alyas Robin Hood” and it looked like it was a trailer for a new season of Arrow. Stephen Amell, who found the trailer online, shared it on his Facebook page using just a flushed face emoji as the caption.
Comments from Filipino Arrow fans ranged from tons of apologies to Arrow, ridicule of Alyas Robin Hood and expressions of embarrassment. Many netizens took shots at the lack of creativity by the TV station and its writers.
“Stephen Amell… do a crossover with them and kill his character,” suggested one netizen.
“Well this is embarrassing.. sorry for that mr. amell .. our tv networks in PH has no originality..” apologized another.
In response to the backlash that came immediately after the teaser was released online, one of the writers of Alyas Robin Hood and GMA Head Writer Suzette Doctolero, posted a statement on Facebook, Rappler reported. Belying claims that “Alyas Robin Hood” is a rip-off of “Arrow”, she said (translated from Filipino):
“Alyas Robin Hood is inspired by the legend of Robin Hood with a modern Filipino retelling. The British folktale tackles social injustice, which is currently a relevant topic. This is not like Arrow (which I think is based on Green Arrow/Robin Hood and Batman hehe) or Green Archer that were all inspired from the Robin Hood storyline, but were also given a different twist.”
Philippine-based DC/Marvel comicbook artist Gerry Alanguilan, however, summed up on his page what most Filipino comicbook fans were pointing out: “I’m sorry GMA 7, defend ‘Alyas Robin Hood’ all you like, but you can’t sit there and deny that Alyas Robin Hood exists at this moment in time because of the popularity of Arrow. You can’t. You’re telling me you’re NOT trying to cash in on the popularity of Arrow? You must think we’re all stupid. We SEE what you’re doing.”
The Filipino show, which stars Dingdong Dantes as the hooded vigilante “Alyas Robin Hood,” is set to premiere on September 19 in the Philippines. If this is indeed an Arrow knock-off or not, we will all soon find out.