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Merlin (TV Series)

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18 Reviews

BBC / Fantasy Drama

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    18 Reviews
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      20.12.2011 13:27

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      The stories are getting better but what has happened to Gwen and Arthur.

      Merlin himself is great as always, the plots are getting better in this series than previous ones, but the writers could do so much MORE with the Gwen and Arthur romance.

      For example, in a previous episode, she threw off her bangle in the dungeon after having snogged Lancelot before her wedding day. Why doesn't Arthur discover it, and whilst looking at it, slip it over his hand and start feeling all hot for Lancelot. In this way he would realise his loved one was enchanted and their reunion, when it came, would be far more truthful and dramatic.

      Leaving Camelopt could have prompted more character development. Why doesn't she re-enter the story having discovered a more wariorlike self instead of sitting in Eleador as 'it's as good as anywhere'. For example, she could have acted in a spylike capacity (maybe at Merlin's instigation) and then Arthur could save her in return. Again a more interesting emotional journey - not to mention a providing an understandible reason for Arthur loving her that the viewers could relate to - than just sitting in Eleador like a gentle maiden and coming in to nurse his wounds.

      Would have been four stars but three as this aspect of the show is so consistently annoying.

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      22.12.2009 17:12
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      Great show with its weaknesses.

      I've just finished watching the second series of Merlin so I feel I've seen quite enough of it now to give a good review. Merlin is very loosely based around the Arthurian legend with obviously some deviations being taken from the traditional account. Instead of being an elderly old wizard Merlin is instead an unsure teenager still coming to terms with his abilities. This means that he is same age as Arthur with means the relationship between the two is very different than in previous Iterations of the tale.

      Indeed I believe this relationship is perhaps the best thing about the show. At the beginning of the season their seems to be a clash of characters but as the episodes develop a true relationship develops between Arthur and his supposed servant. It is the rapport between the two characters well portrayed by Colin Morgan and Bradley James that provides the series with the large amount of its comedy. They manage to keep the series light throughout the several catastrophes that befall Camelot and its citizens. The rest of the cast are very good as well, John Hurt as the dragon is great and commands respect. I am a big fan of Anthony Head at any time and he is very good a Uther, the true villain of the piece. Richard Wilson as Gaius is tremendous, I love the squint.

      My main criticism of the show is its generally repetitive nature of the episodes. General formula tends to be 1. Problem turns up in Camelot 2. Trouble Starts 3. Merlin finds out about problem 4. Merlin hides in cupboard or asks Dragon for help. 5. Merlin defeats problem but doesn't get any credit for it 6. Everything goes back to normal.

      In summary I highly recommend Merlin to anyone looking for some light hearted entertainment.

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      16.12.2009 15:08
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      early adventure of merlin

      It's been almost a year since I had it's dvd first season. I got it as a present so I was able to follow how it all started. It's quite fascinating to see a different version of Arthurian legend on their early days.

      Even being on my early 30's I still enjoy watching fantasy and magical films especially with my little one. I believe that there's something worthwhile with those stories. It's not only about the adventure of the story and the happy endings but also the moral lesson and good values that children can pick up. So when a friend gave me the 1st series. I've ask everyone to join me and were really hooked on watching the series. Here's a bit of a storyline on how it all started :

      KINGDOM
      The kingdom is set in a mythical city of camelot, a magical adaptation of the Arthurian legend follows Merlin's early adventures in court of King Uther and his encounters with young Prince Arthur. The kingdom of camelot is a realm of legendary beast and mysterious people. Any form of magic is banned by the ruthless tyrant, Uther Pendragon. He drove magic away and made camelot an ordered and lawful kingdom. His reign is not always a peaceful one. Threats comes from those who seek revenge from the king and for those who long for a return to the days of magic. Merlin, a young man gifted with powers arrives at camelot. He was then guided by Gauis, a wise court physician. Through him Merlin was able to use his talent secretly to defend the kingdom and Arthur. He then discovers that his destiny and Arthur, the future king are linked and he have to protect Arthur from any harm that might come along the way.

      INHABITANTS OF CAMELOT
      Uther Pendragon - King of Camelot
      Arthur Pendragon - Uther's son/ Prince of camelot
      Lady Mogana - Daughter of Uther's close friend/ King's ward
      Gauis - Court physician and trusted retainer of the royal family
      Guinever - Maidservant to Lady Mogana
      The Great Dragon - The last of the dragon, kept prisoner deep beneath the castle
      The Knights Of Camelot - Noble fighthing elite under Arthur's command
      Geoffrey of Monmouth - Keeper of hall of records
      Tom - Camelot's blacksmith and Guinevere's father
      Merlin - Prince Arthur manservant

      Cast list: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby

      The story is about the adventures they all have to go through together to defend the kingdom and to unlock the mystical secrets of camelot. It's quite interesting to see the different characters such as edwin muirden, nimueh, mordred, lancelot, the black knight, tauren, anhora and knight valiant . As the twist and turn continues, I am hooked to it. The story is a bit current and can relate to the viewers of modern times, adding to the fact that Merlin's character is quite funny and cocky. I actually folllow it through bbc1, it is now on it's 2nd season and the story is getting more exciting as it goes. The latest series is quite more interesting because the love story between Prince Arthur and Guineverre is starting to blossom. There's a lot of twist that I didn't expected. If you have'nt see the first series, try to get one this christmas before you watch the second season or try to see them on bbc player which I usually do to catch up in case I missed any episode. I highly recomment it, especially the new series. I think everyone really portrayed their character very well especially the handsome Prince Arthur.

      On the otherhand, I think that it's not really for very young children. Some of my friends kids get scared even seeing just the introduction of some episodes. My son use to watch it with me and some characters and scene scares him a lot, but he gets through it at the end. As a result Merlin joins the list of his super heroes now.

      Thank you for reading ;-D
      also posted on ciao

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        07.12.2009 03:39
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        Here's to a successful third series and further series thereafter!

        If you write down the formula for this show on paper, it may seem hard to believe that this show should work. Essentially, it is a rather flawed series and the writers have provided plenty of ammo for the learned person to volley at them. One might even suggest that that the most dedicated Arthurian academic may weep as they see their beloved myths descrated before the eyes of a generation who have probably never heard more about Merlin than that old beardy bloke in 'The Sword of the Stone'.
        It appears that an arguably gawky twenty-something has taken on the role of 'boy' Merlin and has met Arthur a good decade or few before the original legends suggest they did. Guinevere is now addressed as the rather modern 'Gwen' and the traditional foe 'Morgan le Fey' is now the beautiful aristocratic 'Morgana'. Quite frankly, they have turned the legend on its head to the point that one wonders if there is but a mere borrowing of the names of the myth - a myth which men like Geoffrey of Monmouth, Sir Thomas Malory and Tennyson so carefully constructed over the centuries.
        The series is littered with more holes in its plot than that which can be found within a particularly holey block of Emmental cheese. It also seems like they have become lazily dependent upon a 'monster or baddie of the week' formula for each of their episodes. Moreover, surely the BBC have gone a bit too far with their political correctness? Instead of the pale-faced native of Albion that we may expect, Guinevere is played by the noticeably mixed-race Angel Coulby. Nick Griffin must be wriggling in his seat at the very thought. Ok, so maybe I'm being a bit harsh upon those who point this out? It would just appear that some people seem to find it rather anachronistic to have a black woman and, indeed, several other 'ethnic' actors act out a role in a stylised medieval world.

        I am pretty aware of the long list shortcomings written about the show but you know what - I still LOVE it! And it seems that a sizeable portion of the British (and, indeed, overseas) public would agree. This is a show that is doing pretty well. It pulls in a stable audience of between around 5 or 6 million viewers every week. This may not be quite as much as the 9 million pulled in by Doctor Who's 'Water of Mars' special but it is still quite an achievement. Up until fairly recently I've kept my love of this show on the low - a guilty pleasure if I should say so. Yet I feel it's time to declare my adoration for all things Camelot and I am going to let you know why...

        First things first, I've quite frankly had enough of the pedantic nature of some of the criticism. You could go on forever about the use of 21st century mores and language and supposed 'historical inaccuracies' of the story. How possibly could Merlin get pelted with tomatoes if such fruits weren't brought to the British Isles until the 16th century? Would a medieval Merlin actually call Arthur a 'prat'? Why does Camelot's castle have the architecture of the high medieval period when the King Arthur was actually claimed to live in the early middle ages? Really, we could go on and on. However, I would love to remind people that the tales of Camelot remain what they have always been - a myth! The Arthurian myths have been toyed with and twisted for centuries and I don't see why the writers of this show should not be allowed to use their creative license to produce a show for a modern audience.

        'Merlin' fulfills the aim of what intends to do - an exciting, gripping yet lovable family show for the very young to the very old. I think that as a result of this it is inevitably going to be a bit cheesey and formulaic (although I do hope that they eventually break the mould of monster/baddie of the week). Nevertheless, I do enjoy most episodes as a result of the story and characters. Most importantly, I think that the casting is fantastic.
        Amongst the cast, we have Colin Morgan in the title role of 'Merlin', fresh from drama school when he first began. I have to say that I been pleasantly surprised by Morgan throughout both series of 'Merlin.' I think that his acting is superb and has even stepped up a notch in series two. And if you have or do watch series two, there is a couple of emotional scenes in one romance-related episode that proves just how brilliant he is. I was utterly in love with him thereafter (he even had me tear up). The other cast are not too bad either. We have the attractive Bradley James in the role of Arthur. Both Bradley and Colin have great chemistry as a double act with terrific comedy timing. Although less noticeably brilliant, I would argue that Angel Coulby as Gwen and Katie McGrath as Morgana are also rather well cast. At first I had my doubts about both of them. I hate to say it but I wasn't sure if Angel Coulby was majestic or beautiful enough to play the future queen of Camelot but I definitely have warmed up to her and I love the love triangle that develops by the 2nd series between her and other characters. I wasn't sure about Katie McGrath's at the beginning either. Although very pretty, it seemed to show that she was a newcomer to acting. However, I also believe her acting has gotten much better.
        I cannot forget the veterans amongst the cast either. Viewers of Merlin are treated to the talents of Richard 'I don't believe it' Wilson from 'One Foot in the Grave' playing Gaius, elderly court physician and mentor to young Merlin; Anthony Stewart Head, of Buffy the Vampire Slayer fame, plays the harsh magic-fearing king, Uther Pendragon and the wise old dragon, kept hidden beneath the castle, is voiced by John Hurt (who I know from V for Vendetta).
        In addition to this, we are treated to various interesting and often talented guest stars. Some of us may be familiar with Michelle Ryan who played a deliciously evil sorceress, Nimeuh, in series one. I also particularly love Asa Butterfield as Mordred and Santiago Cabrera as Lancelot. Asa (who starred in 'The Boy with Stripped Pajamas) is so fantastically effective as a wide-eyed creepy young magical druid and Cabrera, if I be completely honest, I love because he makes a rather drop-dead gorgeous, dashing Lancelot. All in all, it seems that 'Merlin' is attracting a number of talented actors and with good reason.

        For all the plot holes, I really do enjoy the storylines of most episodes. I say most because I will admit that there were a couple that were just a little bit flatter than others. I would love to explain why but I don't want to ruin the plot for those who have not watched the series. The basic plot runs along the lines of Merlin going to Camelot and having to hide his magic from the King Uther yet discovering that his destiny is to protect King Arthur and allow him to fulfill his destiny as future king of Camelot, often through covert use of his magic. Of course you do wonder how Merlin can consistently perform magic under Arthur's nose without him so much as being suspicious of his wizardry. This may seem absurd but it does add to humour of the show. There is a great dynamic between characters like Merlin and Arthur which is interesting to watch and should continue to be interesting as it progresses. The thing I love about this show, which I feel has been seriously lacking in the Doctor Who episodes of the past year or two, is the emotion within the story and the emotion the actors portray. You really feel you care for the characters and I don't believe you can appreciate the action without appreciating the relationships between characters and your empathy for the characters themselves. I believe that this gives the show and edge and is definitely enhanced by the actor's talents too.

        I really have become quite the 'Merlin' fan largely on account of the exciting, emotional storylines and talent of the show's actors. Not only do believe that they have rejuvenated an essentially tired and neglected myth but it is hardly at the expense of the older tales (I still enjoy a bit of Tennyson). I feel like television has been missing a great fantasy series for what feels like a long time now and I feel like 'Merlin' has filled this void for fantasy fanatics like myself. I can therefore say that if you haven't watched it and possibly are reluctant to watch it, I would give it a go. It really is a fun series (and not one to be taken seriously).

        *~Series 1 available for £15.89 and Series 2 Vol. 1 available for £9.88 on Amazon~*

        (I hope the rants don't offend. They're mainly in response to my experience in internet forums discussing the programme).

        *~Thanks for reading~* x :)

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          03.12.2009 17:57
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          Ideal action packed saturday night viewing

          This is a completely different take on the Camelot story. The series centres around Merlin, a young servant to Prince Arthur and who is also an apprentice to the court physician. As Arthur's father is ruling Camelot and doesn't approve of any kind of magic, Merlin finds he needs to keep his growing magical powers under wraps. In fact by the middle of the second series only the court physician knows Merlin can do magic and even then doesn't know his full potential.

          Merlin and Arthur's relationship is gradually changing as the episodes progress. Although there is still the servant / master divide its becoming less and less clear as time progresses and their relationship turns into freindship.

          In this take on the Camelot story Guenivere is a serving girl who Arthur in the second series realises he has feelings for. When he finds out she feels the same he's happy, but she realises nothing can come of it because of their class division. He still holds out hope though. In the second series there is a lot of will they won't they. Time will tell.

          The casting of the main characters were unknowns at the start of the series ( Merlin played by Colin Morgan and Arthur played by Bradley James). Both are now recognised as up and coming stars but the big names at the start of the series were Richard Wilson as the court physician, Anthony Head as Arthur's father and John Hurt as the voice of the dragon.

          All in all brilliant family viewing for saturday nights.

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          09.11.2009 12:28
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          An enjoyable show perfect for Saturday night

          Merlin is a BBC1 TV show airing in early evening on Saturdays, its currently in its second season and has taken over from the lamentable Robin Hood.

          I've always been a huge mythology, fantasy fan and one of my (if not most) favourite novels is The Once and Future King by TS White, this novel is one of the best ever written and gives us many of the common aspects of Arthurian legend. This book along with Morte D'arthur writtne by Thomas Mallory in the 13th century gives us the core of the Arthurian legend, i.e. Arthur, Uther, Merlin, Guineviere, Launcelot, Excalibur, Camelot. sword in the stone. Just listing the items shows how rich the Arthurian legends are, there is plenty of scope for heroic knight, dragons, myths, swords, beautiful women, heroes, treachery, magic and legend.

          Anyway onto the show, Merlin is clearly aimed at a younger audience its main character Merlin played by Colin Morgan is a magician living in Uther Pendragons camelot, Uther (Anthony Head) has banned magic and indeed doesn't believe magic exists, Merlin is the assistant to Gaius (played by Richard Wilson) whose the court physician. Merlin is also the squire for a young Arthur played by Bradey James.

          The show is a mix of the simple and the complex, there is a depiction here on a rural idyll, a simplistic view of the medieval world in which society is clean, easy to live in and basically just. Camelot is cast as a nice place, plenty of food, plenty of opportunity but it has one problem Uther is running a totalitarian regime based on repression of any displays of magic. Uthers response to any challenge to his rule is through violence, he tends to lash out and act before he thinks.

          Arthur is his son and shares many traits, he's headstrong, independent, arorgant and forceful but he has hidden abilities compared to his father, he's willing to listen to Merlin and takes on board that the world is more complex than perhaps his father wants to admit.

          Merlin is his squire, they can't be described as friends more as colleagues at the moment, Merlin is a magic user and his powers are slowly increasing. Merlin is a young man and is being guided by Gaius who doesn't have any magical ability but has plenty of sound advice and a undeground dragon called The Great Dragon who is voiced by John Helm. The dragon is Merlin's guide in his burgeoning magical ability but has motives of his own, he's also chained and his full story is unknown at the moment.

          There are of course women in the series, Guineviere (played by Angel Coulby), she's pretty and a friend of Merlins, her father is the black smith, her father has featured once or twice and indeed the Guineviere storyline is almost one of the common people in the castle compared to the deeds of the kings and princes. The other girl in the series is Moranna (played by Katie McGrath), Moranna is Uthers ward as the child of a now dead old friend. She has latent magical abilities and Katie McGrath is truly gorgeous.

          The cast are now set, every episode there is an external magic user who disrupts the court at Camelot, Merlin will manage to rescue the situation without revealing to the larger population that he's a magic user. The show has one or two constants, one os the antogonism between Merlin in Arthur, Merlin considers Arthur a posh upper class buffoon and Arthur considers Merlin a upstart fool. The other is the friction between Merlin and Morganna, clearly at some point in the future morganna will reveal her powers and the two will collide. The other main storyline is the hatred of magic shown by Uther and the loathing of Guineviere for Arthur, clearly this will have to change.

          The show after the pantomine that was Robin Hood has become a bit of a guilty pleasure for me on the early Saturday evening, after the football scores and before Strictly or X factor. The show has high production values but the magic can appear a bit dodgy to say the least, there is a hint of a sexual tension with a lot of the cast young and good looking but the time slot keeps this as only a suggestion rather than fully explore it.

          The acting is very good, helped by the brilliance of Anthony Head and Richard Wilson the young actors portray there roles well. This is a decent attempt at a light version of the Arthurian world and the BBC should be applauded for it.

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            06.11.2009 23:12
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            Definitly worth a try!

            I love mythology and fantastical adventure stories, and so when the BBC announced that they would be showing a new adaptation of the Arthurian legend, I was pretty excited!

            And I haven't been disappointed. The first series of any show is, I guess, always tentative, and allows viewers to decide whether they love it or are indifferent, or even hate it. It is true, then, that there were some issues exposed at the beginning of this story which may have put some people off (including my brother actually), mainly being the fact that it does tend to stray a little from the legend!

            However, there are already varying accounts of the legend, and for the most part, it seems, alas, that the story as a whole is not factual or historically correct anyway, and so what does it matter if people put their own creative influence into a series for television; they stay true to the myth and the spirit of the legend in that the makers of this series are telling a good, fantastical story.

            Of course, all the major characters are there still:

            Merlin - Merlin isn't what I was expecting! Having been used to seeing an aging wizard stereotype in many versions of the tale, it was a bit of a surprise to see a young, 20ish Merlin, however, it's actually refreshing, and this is where I think it is good to allow for some artistic licence; it's nice to see where Merlin began, to see him as a young man learning his craft, and to explore a younger relationship with Arthur.
            I have to admit, when I first started watching the series, I wasn't actually keen on their choice of actor for Merlin (Colin Morgan), however, now I can't believe I ever doubted him! He is a terrific actor, who does a great job of holding the show together, bridging the gap between the palace and the servants and Camelot's people. He is also a fantastic comic actor. However, his strongest quality as Merlin is his likability; Morgan's Merlin is so likable and lovable that it is easy to become immersed in the series and to care for the characters and the story.

            Arthur Pendragon - Played by Bradley James, who is a great choice for the part, Arthur is basically a young prince who is somewhat arrogant and described by some as a 'prat' or a 'clotpole'. However, true to the legend, Arthur is a great and brave warrior, and as the show progresses, we see more and more of Arthur's caring and compassionate side. However, he is torn between following his heart and not wanting to disobey his father; he must do his princely duties! This usually means he has to do the necessary tasks behind his father's back, along with the help of Merlin. His relationship with Merlin is very funny! They love each other, but Arthur basically thinks Merlin is pretty useless, as he can't know about Merlin's magic (it's banned in Camelot), and so thinks he's superior and can treat Merlin like a bit of a scivvy sometimes.
            As said, Bradley James is fantastic in this role; he looks like you'd imagine Arthur to look and is not only a good actor, but has great comic timing, delivering some great lines (and looks) perfectly.

            Guinevere - A.k.a. Gwen here, is not the usual LADY Guinevere, but actually...a serving girl!? Which takes some getting used to, and throws plenty more spanners in the works with regard to her and Arthur's eventual relationship... However, Angel Coulby is a good choice for the role and I'm sure they'll pull it off!

            Morgana Le Fay - Morgana, as played by Katie McGrath, is a great feisty female character who is strong and yet compassionate. Her and Uther (whose ward she is) do not often see eye to eye, and as Morgana discovers that she too has magical ability, they drift further and further apart...

            Lancelot - Yes, Arthur and Gwen's relationship will never be plain sailing with Lancelot around! Played by Santiago Cabrera (of Heroes fame), Lancelot is basically everything he should be. However, he isn't a permanent character...

            Uther Pendragon - Ooooo, we don't really like Uther! He's strict and hates magic with a passion since his wife died giving birth to Arthur, who she was able to conceive only via the means of sourceress Nimway. Uther really does try to be a good king, and loves his son, but he is annoying! He looks down on his people and servants as lesser; he's a very traditional thinking king really. Furthermore, he's always sending Arthur out on possibly fatal missions (while he never seems to stray from the dining room in the castle : / ) and then worrying when his son is in danger, which is most weeks... .

            Plot - Yes, most plot lines in this show consist of someone trying to kill Prince Arthur by magical means, meaning he must be saved by Merlin (secretly because magic is banned remember) and therefore Camelot and Albion are saved, yay!

            Arthur and Gwen and slowly getting together, although they didn't seem to give a stuff about each other in the first series (particularly notable when Arthur barely bats an eye when she is to be executed for sorcery).

            But the second series is certainly progressing nicely from the first, and hopefully soon, some of the characters will discover how brilliant Merlin really is; it just keeps getting better, but I don't want to give too much away if you've never seen it!

            New characters - Gaius, played by Richard Wilson, is a mentor and now father figure to Merlin. He, also having a shrouded history in magic, is the only human who knows about and understands Merlin's abilities, and so is able to guide him on how to use them best.

            The Dragon - Other guidance for Merlin comes from the magical old dragon (voiced by John Hurt) imprisoned by Uther under the castle. He is wise, but Merlin does not trust him and his intentions with regards to the safety of Uther Pendragon.

            Finally, there are guest stars on the show every week, usually playing the villains. So far, there has been Mackenzie Crook, Sarah Parish, Michelle Ryan, Will Mellor, and many more...

            So basically, it can at times be a bit dodgy, however, you just have to go with the flow and not be too picky - yes we all know the story, but we can read that from a book, or watch whichever adaptation we feel best works for us, and this does make for something different; if you view it with an open mind, you will almost certainly be entertained by a great story, great acting and some really humorous moments. I actually find myself quite the little Merlin addict now! Please give it a go!

            Merlin is on BBC on Saturdays usually at 18:30 (although do check as it can vary) and is 45 minutes long. If you miss it, you can see it on BBC iplayer, and I think you can see all of the current series this way too. This series, there has also been a good little behind the scene series, 'Merlin: Secrets and Magic', which is repeated, along with the weeks episode, on BBC on Sundays and Fridays, I think. It's nice to see what goes on behind the scenes and to hear funny stories from the producers and cast members, etc; a nice little bonus. I believe this can also be seen on BBC iplayer, although I'm not sure, but can be found on the Merlin website, along with other videos and information:

            http://www.bbc.co.uk/merlin/

            Enjoy!

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              04.11.2009 22:44
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              i love this programme

              I love this program its hilarious, its basically based on king Arthur and Merlin in there younger days when Arthur is just a prince and his father Uther Pendragon is king and few know of Merlins magic. The friendship between Arthur and Merlin is fantastic its so funny to watch i don't think Arthur as ever been spoken to like merlin speaks to him and it generally leaves him speechless or coming back at Merlin with witty remarks (Merlin is Arthurs servant) you also get the impression Arthur thinks a lot of Merlin but he would never admit it lol and can be slightly cruel at times to cover his feelings like for example he fired Merlin once and then when he realised Merlin had done nothing wrong instead of apolagising he dumped a sack load of armour in front of merlin and told him it needed cleaning by the next morning lol its well worth watching and yes they do change history a bit and Gaius the court practitioner tells Uther every week whats going to go wrong and yes every week Uther ignores his advice and then regrets it which can be infuriating but hey i love it and im sure you will too.

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              14.10.2009 13:03
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              Good fun, excellent young actors, and perfect for all the family!

              Oh this is a fun little program isn't it! What a perfect series to watch on a Saturday evening. It's family friendly, funny, has a bit of suspense, mostly well written...

              Like with the rest of my reviews, I'm not going to go into details regarding who's playing what character, the storylines, etc - all of this you can find for yourselves online. Instead I shall concentrate on my own thoughts and opinions on this series.

              I remember watching the series when it started over a year ago. I was unsure as to whether I would enjoy it, as I've always liked the Arthur/Merlin story, and was a little apprehensive about which direction the BBC would take it. But I was pleasantly surprised - and nice to see the story start with the well known characters at a younger age.

              The young actors in this series are superb. The relationships between the characters develop naturally and you can see that there's a definite chemistry off screen between them all too. The humorous dialogue is delivered wonderfully. And Merlin - his accent is incredible. I didn't realise that the young man playing him (Colin Morgan) was Irish - when you see him interviewed his accent is SO strong!

              The young actors definitely steal the show. But their credibility is backed up by the more well known older actors in the 'supporting' roles. (Richard Wilson & Anthony Head). It's nice to see the BBC taking a chance on a series where the main characters are ALL new talent. And it's obviously worked. From what I've heard not only has Merlin been sold to multiple countries around the world, but it's due to be around for a good many series yet!

              The storylines can at times be a bit predictable (not because of the well known Arthur/Merlin story...just the way you see each episode developing!), but that can be forgiven for a tea time Saturday family show!

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              04.10.2009 03:18
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              Future generations won't thank us for this

              As a review, "It's crap" would have been perfectly adequate, even if not very descriptive.

              Ok, the whole King Arthur thing only exists in folklore and, to this end, nobody can say what is fact and what is fiction - but why does the BBC think this is enough reason to do away with anything factual at all?

              Just for the sake of example... The program features jousting, which wasn't introduced into Britain until at least the 14th century, and I am all for equality but there wouldn't have been any black characters around at the time.

              The original tale was simple. King Arthur united the warlords in England with the help of Merlin and amassed a band of knights to find the grail, he married Guinevere - who later ran off with Lancelot - and then got seduced by his half-sister Morgana and they had a kid called Mordred. Meanwhile Merlin went off to Avalon and had his powers stolen by Vivienne. Arthur was killed and Excalibur (which had nothing to do with the sword that was pulled from the stone) was returned to the Lady of the Lake. It's a story that has probably been distorted enough by history and had enough mystery and romance without the BBC ripping it to shreds.

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                18.09.2009 17:55
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                So the second series of Merlin will be kicking off tomorrow evening and I for one can't wait! Now that Robin Hoods gone and Doctor Who isn't exactly approaching very quickly you need a bit of Saturday night drama which doesn't involve hospitals. What more could you want? A dragon, jousting, mythical creatures, wizards, witches and then to top it all off...Anthony Head, Richard Wilson and John Hurt!

                The show is rougly based on the Arthurian legend which revolves around the wizard Merlin. Unlike a lot of other versions this one shows Merlin as a young man, only really recently coming to terms with what he can do with his powers. Working for the yet to be crowned Arthur, also still as a young version. Obviously it isn't exactly a blessing in disguise when the current King of Camelot, Uther, truely hates anything to do with magic and sourcery.

                Throughout the first series we were introduced to certain well known characters from the Arthur and Merlin tales. Lancelot was introduced as a commoner, Mordred was the son of a druid and Morgana comes across as a kind and caring lady. So only time will tell about how the writers are going to expand on these characters.

                Being taken under the wing of Gaius, the courts physician and a sorcerer, Merlin is learning that some things should be kept only to yourselves. It doesn't matter how well you know somebody, a few secrets are worth keeping.

                I was a bit dubious about this at first. There have been so many tales and twists and different versions of the story that in some cases they start to appear the same. However I was quite happy with what I saw. Although Arthur ends up becoming Arthurs servant they appear to have a good relationship. The mixture of Arthurs slight unawareness of things and Merlin clearly being a bit more quick thinking you do get a good combination. Despite all the funny moments it's still obvious that Merlin knows his place.

                It is the same with Gaius. Although in the sense that he is the character more in tune with the best way to go about things. You get a sense that he wishes he were young again so he could join in with the more active and adventurous occassions.

                Personally my favourite of the characters is the great dragon, whom King Uther had locked up due to his magical powers. You don't get to see him very often and when you do it's always when Merlin needs some kind of help of guidance. Usually you can guarantee that it'll be a bit confusing and more of a hinderance than good advice. I just love the fact that he reminds me of a family member, a slightly old and sometimes confused character.

                Despite it being well known the cast, aside from a few, are fairly un recognisable. Katie McGrath who plays Morgana had a small part in The Tudors but aside from that hasn't really been in anything that I'd heard of. The same with Colin Morgan as Merlin and Bradley James playing Arthur. It's like the producers have decided that they wanted their cast to be new talent and not those who everybody is going to associate with other programmes they've starred in.

                In each episode you can expect to find magic, King Uther yelling that he doesn't want any magic, mythical creatures, a bit of comedy and general tom foolery mixed with a dash of stern looks from Gaius and wise words from the dragon. Brilliant!

                Its popularity has increased to countries far and wide. In 2008 broadcasting rights made it possible for it to be screened in America. Making it the first british drama in 30 years to be shown on network television.

                The second series will also have plenty of guest appearances from the likes of Sarah Parish, Adrian Lester, Charles Dance and Mackenzie Crook. So lots of things to look forward to.

                This new series will start tomorrow, Saturday 19th September, at the time of 6:40-7:25pm. So book your TV if you can. It runs for a total of 13 episodes but another good thing about it is that you don't have to watch each and every episode to see what is going on. There is a new story with each programme and very rarely did you need to watch the previous show to understand it all.

                A show which you should at least give a try!

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                  13.09.2009 01:30
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                  A fantastic family show!

                  Merlin is back for its second series next week and i 100% cant wait!! In fact i dont remember the last time i looked forward to a new series as much, if ever!

                  The first series started just as we returned from our honeymoon last year, and we quickly settled into a weekly pattern of baking fresh cookies and muffins and pouring glasses of cold milk, to sit down with ready for the start - a nice little ritual!

                  I loved the casting of pretty much everyone, and loved the way they all developed as the series went on. Have to say i was a little unsure after the first episode, but by the second had forgotten this doubt and was sucked into camelot along with others! My favorite aspect was the brilliant and every developing relationship between Arthur and Merlin - it was done brilliantly! And also Gwen was a breath of fresh air every week! The story lines were great fun evry week and kept you on the edge of your seat!

                  The only slightly iffy thing for me was the Dragon, voiced by John Hurt! Not sure they got that as right as they could!

                  If you havent seen this you really should because it is just great great fun for the whole family!

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                  01.03.2009 23:25
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                  I found out about the show Merlin just before Christmas from a friend who said that it was a fantastic show and that I should give it a go as I would love it. So for Christmas I gave it a go and it is a brilliant show with brilliant characters and great story lines. I have to say I am a little bit obsessed with it and can't wait for the next series. Here is why.

                  The story of the show roughly follows the legends of Merlin. In this show we have Merlin who comes to Camelot to be looked after by the King's physician Gaius. Gaius tries to teach Merlin how to control his magic but when Merlin is appointed Prince Arthur's servant, he finds it hard to control his magic. You see in Camelot anybody caught using magic will be executed by the King so Merlin has to be careful.

                  This show really is a lot of fun and each story grasps you form beginning to end. The show does follow the legends as much as there is Merlin, Arthur, Guinevere and Morgana but it is not completely true to the legend so don't expect it to be watertight. It is fantastic show and it is exciting to see a new show about the legends of Merlin with a hot cast and great effects.

                  Stories within this show are great. You have ones that are about Merlin finding out about himself but most of them are stories on their own so you can pick up episodes whenever you like. My favourite is about Arthur killing a unicorn and the consequences of that. You get a lot of beasts in the show and the effects are great. The dragon imprisoned beneath the castle is good and is fun in the episodes he appears in.

                  Character wise and they are all great. Merlin is perhaps my favourite as he is just such a loveable character who gets himself into all sorts of sticky situations which is hilarious. Arthur is gorgeous which makes him a great character in my books, lol. Seriously though every character in this show - even the bad ones are likeable.

                  Acting wise and Colin Morgan is quite new playing Merlin but he is fabulous. Then you have Richard Wilson playing Gaius who is great and you don't often see him much anymore on TV so it is great to see him as this knowledgeable character. My favourite person though plays King Uther in this show and he is Anthon Stewart Head. Now I have liked him for ages and he is fabulous in this playing quite a nasty character. Brilliant!!!

                  Each episode of the show lasts just over 40 minutes which flies by so quickly when you are watching it. There are 13 wonderful episodes in the first series and on TV it was a BBC show on a Saturday night. It is also a certificate PG so suitable for all which is nice. You can also buy the whole series on DVD. It is split into 2 parts which are about £12 each so go get it.

                  In conclusion I love this show as I think it is new, wonderful and basically a lot of good fun for everybody. It is a very good family show which I love and with great characters and great stories, I do not think you can get much better.

                  Thoroughly recommend to all.

                  Thanks for reading.

                  xxx

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                    23.02.2009 12:43
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                    A magical programme

                    This 13-part series follows a young Merlin (Colin Morgan) who, sent by his mother, arrives in Camelot only to see a man executed for using magic. The use of magic has been banned under penalty of death by the King, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head), and Merlin quickly realizes he will have to hide his powers as best he can if he is to avoid the same fate.
                    He seeks out the court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson), who happily takes him on as an apprentice, but is astounded when Merlin reveals that he was not taught to use magic but was in fact born with his powers.
                    When Merlin meets the young Prince Arthur (Bradley James), he takes an instant dislike to the arrogant heir, but over the series they grow closer and become firm friends. The duo is joined by Morgana (KatieMcGrath) and her servant Gwen (aka Guinevere! (Angel Coulby)).
                    As the story progresses, the young heroes encounter many dangers and enemies - leaving the audience wondering if everyone will survive the series.....

                    This retelling of the Arthurian legend is great fun.
                    Many have complained about the historical and plot inaccuracies, but just look at the scheduled slot for Merlin - 6/7pm on a Saturday. It is not designed to be a historically accurate documentary of the legend, but to be a fun, family programme, and let's not forget it has replaced Doctor Who (which is not exactly known for its realism!). Besides, if kids really enjoy Merlin, they may well decide to learn more about the legend behind it; which can't be a bad thing.

                    The acting is fantastic, with such familiar faces as Anthony Head and Richard Wilson and newcomers Colin Morgan and Bradley James - both of whom portray their respective characters well. Morgan's Merlin is a bit of a cheeky chappy whom you can't help but love and Bradley James is well suited to the role of the valiant, if slightly arrogant, Prince Arthur; the banter as the pair become closer friends is often hilarious, they really are an excellent combination.
                    Granted, the special effects are far from perfect, but then the producers would not have had a limitless budget, and it adds to the overall fun of the programme.
                    The combination of some great actors (both familiar and new) with a fun story, plenty of action, enemies and danger galore and even a bit of comedy thrown in for good measure creates a great programme for all the family to watch.

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                      13.12.2008 22:16
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                      A great tv series

                      A great and mystical show which is perfect for saturday night viewing. The show follows a young merlin as he learns to use his powers for good under the guidence of his mentor gias. Also he has a desteny which is revealed by a fantastic looking dragon who guides him on what to do. The series starts of with merlin having an uneasy relationship with merlin but ends with them having a deep but unspoken respect for eachother. the series had 13 hour long episode which have a diffrent story with some arcs throughout its run. It has some great effect for a tv show and brings a welcome relief whilst doctor who is off our screens. The show has some dark episodes and gives hints at what destiny lies for the future king arther and merlin. death is an element in the show and is always subtly hanled. The only critisism of the show is merlin can never reveal his powers, i think t would bring a great dynamic between arther if he were to find out as magic is banned from king uther. Anthony head plays uther well. In the begining of the series he seems a one dimensional villian but as it progresses we see the king regret some of his actions in some remarkable scenes which show of his talent and is a reminder as to why he should be on our screens more. it would be good to have some cliff hangers but the story arc and revalations throughout the series always want you to know more. The last episode of the series is the best and you really get a glimpse of how powefull merlin can become. A great series worth the watch

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                  • Product Details

                    It is based around the Arthurian legends of the mythical wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur.