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Looks can be deceptive, and the third BBC series of 'Merlin' began with beauties Morgause (Emilia Fox) and Morgana (Katie McGrath) trying to bring about the destruction of Camelot, in the two parter, 'The Tears Of Uther Pendragon'. This story had probably the most spectacular special effects yet, including skeleton soldiers! 'Goblin's Gold' had a miscievous goblin who takes over Gaius, and makes Uther Pendragon go bald. Two rogue knights attempt to kill Arthur in 'Gwaine', and a stranger who arrives to help is not all he seems. 'The Crystal Cave' disturbs Merlin as he looks into the future, and 'The Changeling' sees Merlin fearful for Arthur over his planned marriage to Elena.
Merlin Series 2 Summary
Series 2 of 'Merlin' began impressively in September 2009, with Mackenzie Crook playing the furtive Cedric trying to undermine Merlin in 'The Curse Of Cornelius Sigan', and the charismatic Adrian Lester starring as a knight with a deadly mission in second episode 'The Once And Future Queen'. Anyone scared of fearsome creatures should have avoided 'The Nightmare Begins' and 'Lancelot And Guinevere', with giant scorpions in the former and the savage Wildren in the latter. Sarah Parish played a sly, repulsive, flatulent witch in the two 'Beauty And The Beast' episodes, as she wormed her way into Uther Pendragon's affections. 'The Witchfinder' sees Charles Dance playing witchfinder Aredian, who is keen to see Gaius burnt at the stake, but Merlin has other ideas...
Arthur is challenged to a duel in the eighth episode, 'The Sins Of The Father', and the challenger turns out to be an attractive young woman called Morgause (Emilia Fox). She has magical powers, and, through her, Arthur discovers a disturbing secret. In episode nine, 'The Lady Of The Lake', Merlin finds love in the shape of the pretty and winsome Freya (Laura Donnelly), but she is not all that she seems, though it isn't her fault... Prepare to get the hankies out for a particularly sad ending. In 'Sweet Dreams', Arthur is spellbound (literally) by a jester (Kevin Eldon), into falling for the gorgeous Vivian (Georgia Moffett) - all for nerfarious purposes. In 'The Witch's Quickening', Morgana is torn between her loyalty to Mordred and Camelot - and mesmerising Alvarr (Joseph Mawle) exploits her dilemma. Morgause returns in 'The Fires Of Idirsholas' with seven sinister horsemen, and all in Camelot seem affected by Morgause's strange enchantment - all apart from Morgana.
The final episode of the second series sees tragedy strike for Merlin, and the released dragon is far from being grateful for being set free by him... Good news for 'Merlin' fans is that there will be a third series.
- Paul Rance/booksmusicfilmstv.com.
Merlin Series 1 Summary
The BBC couldn't really go wrong with this adaptation of one of the most famous and popular characters from Arthurian legend, though this is about the life of the young Merlin (Colin Morgan).
Merlin is having to conceal his magical powers from King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head), as the King deems only death as a suitable punishment for magicians. Merlin's mentor Gaius (Richard Wilson) encourages and advises the young tyro, and when Merlin becomes a servant of Prince Arthur (Bradley James) he has to use his powers to both save Arthur, and to carefully make sure that Arthur does not suspect that he has the powers in the first place.
John Hurt's voice is used for that of The Dragon, who also advises Merlin, and there is love interest with Katie McGrath playing Arthur's girl, and an understated romance between Arthur and Gwen (Angel Coulby).
After a slowish start, 'Merlin' has become an impressive series, and is ideally transmitted on early Saturday evenings for a family audience. The cast is a good mix of experienced performers - Wilson, Head, and Hurt - and young, upcoming stars - Morgan, James, Ms. McGrath, and Ms. Coulby. Guest stars include the likes of Michelle Ryan. 'Teenage Kicks' star Ed Coleman features in the first two episodes as the put-upon Morris.
Merlin - Series 1 & 2 DVDs - available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.co.uk
Merlin - Series Books - available from booksmusicfilmstv.com - in association with Amazon.co.uk
Merlin Cast List - Series 3
John Hurt as The Dragon
Merlin Episode List - Series 3
1. The Tears Of Uther Pendragon (Part 1) - 11th September, 2010
Merlin Cast List - Series 2
John Hurt as The Dragon
Merlin Episode List - Series 2
1. The Curse Of Cornelius Sigan - 19th September, 2009
Merlin Cast List - Series 1
John Hurt as The Dragon
Children In Need Special Episode: Merlin In Need - 20th November, 2009
Merlin Episode List - Series 1
1. The Dragon's Call - 20th September, 2008
'Merlin' first series average viewing figures: 6.32 million
Children In Need Special Episode: Merlin In Need - 14th November, 2008
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