Title: Merlin (2008-2012)
Also Known As: The Adventures of Merlin
Created by: Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy
Written by: Julian Jones
Starring: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Angel Coulby, Katie McGrath, Richard Wilson, Anthony Head, Rupert Young, John Hurt, Nathaniel Parker, and Emilia Fox
Country of Origin: United Kingdom
Original Language(s): English
No. of Series: 5
No. of Episodes: 65
Genres: Drama, Fantasy, Medieval
Running Time: 45-50 minutes
Original Network: BBC One, BBC One HD (Series 4-Series 5)
Merlin (Colin Morgan) is a young warlock who arrives in the kingdom of Camelot after his mother arranges for him to stay with the court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson). He discovers that the king, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head), outlawed magic twenty years ago in an event known as the Great Purge and imprisoned the last Dragon deep under the kingdom. After hearing a mysterious voice inside his head, Merlin makes his way to the cavern beneath Camelot where the Great Dragon (voice of John Hurt) tells Merlin that he has an important destiny: to protect Uther’s son, Arthur, who will return magic to Camelot and unite the land of Albion.
When Merlin meets Arthur, he believes that he is an arrogant bully and Arthur (Bradley James), likewise, has a less than stellar opinion of Merlin. After saving the prince’s life Merlin becomes his servant and the two begin to respect and trust one another. Merlin eventually becomes close friends with Arthur, and another servant named Guinevere (Angel Coulby). But when Uther’s actions eventually cause his ward Morgana (Katie McGrath) to turn against Camelot, Merlin must work together with the Once and Future King (Arthur) to save Albion.
I am officially in love with Merlin! I swear if I have known it sooner, I would watch it right away—not waiting for a long time like what I did. Even now I am still rewatching it. Yep, it was that good. So, Merlin is a TV series about Merlin and King Arthur from Camelot. They are originally from Arthurian Legend. Merlin is the greatest sorcerer to ever walk the earth and Arthur Pendragon is the great king of Camelot, the once and future king. This TV series from BBC One is one of the best—if not the only one—TV series that I think is a perfection. It has magic, a cute friendship between Merlin and Arthur, humour, and great stories. Merlin is the first TV series that has made me laugh out loud alone. Surely I have laughed through many other TV series, but none was like Merlin. My sister even thought me crazy because I can suddenly laugh out loud. Of course, since I wore my headset, she didn’t really know what am I doing or what am I watching in particular.
“Because… you’re Arthur. You’re noble. You’re the once and future king.” – Merlin
Colin Morgan is absolutely suited portraying Merlin, the young warlock. If I have to choose another actor to play the role of Merlin, I won’t think of anyone else. He’s just the perfect fit. He is good playing the character of a fool that wasn’t a fool at all. In fact, Merlin is far from a fool. He’s super strong and smart. Although he can be awkward, quirky, and seems to not know what he’s doing, he is actually very brave, strong, powerful, and most importantly, very loyal.
I don’t why, but I just love it when Merlin uses his magic. His eyes will turn golden yellow when he does his magic. All the sorcerer and sorceress will have their eyes turned golden yellow, but somehow, Merlin’s eyes are the coolest. They don’t look particularly fake—like CGI effects or something. Doesn’t mean that the others look like fake. It’s just I like Merlin’s eyes better or even best. Let me show you his cool eyes when turning golden yellow every time he does some magic.
Cool, right? Or is it just me who think so? Anyway, what I like about Merlin is that he used his magic only for good, for helping people, and most of all for helping Arthur, despite every person in Camelot thought magic is evil. Merlin is born with magic, unlike other people who learnt their magic as they grew up. Merlin is a natural. He doesn’t need any incantations to do magic—though later on, he does need it for stronger spells. He is always being underestimated by nearly everyone—except his ward, Gaius, the court physician who knows all about Merlin—though little they all know that Merlin is actually the key that helps Arthur to build a better Camelot. Merlin maybe Arthur’s manservant, but he is also Arthur’s best friend. Arthur really grows fond of him and values Merlin so much, even though Arthur won’t ever admit it.
Merlin’s other name is called Emrys, means immortal. Though I don’t know from where that name came from, but well, he sure is immortal. He can age to an older sorcerer with an ageing spell and he called himself as Dragoon the Great. Whenever Merlin changes into Dragoon, he gets even funnier. He has a sarcastic sense of humour. It’s like Colin Morgan really turned into an old man. That’s incredible. As for his magic skills, let’s just say it’s superb. He also has changed into an older sorceress, whom he called himself—or herself—as Dolma. Just like Dragoon, Dolma is also very funny. To add the list of how awesome Merlin is, he is, in fact, a Dragonlord. He can summon a dragon and told the dragon what to do. It’s just awesome. The most awesome thing is the way Colin Morgan adjust to the ageing. He knows how an old man or woman would act and talk and everything. Even he can change the personality. Totally different from the usual Merlin. That’s so remarkable. I must praise the makeup artists too because they really pulled it off making Colin Morgan really look like an old man and old woman without flaw. I really think Colin Morgan is perfect to portray the character of Merlin. His acting skill is incredibly great.
“I am who I am. and I am who I was, and I am who I will always be.” – Merlin as Dragoon the Great
“There is no evil in sorcery, only in the hearts of men.” – Merlin as The Old Sorceress Dolma
Now, aside from Merlin, I also like Arthur Pendragon, played by Bradley James. Arthur always thinks Merlin as an idiot and clumsy, though he knows that Merlin can be wise. Despite always doubting Merlin’s capability of doing errands, Arthur knows he can trust Merlin completely, no matter what happened. I just love their cute friendship. They may be a royal and a servant, but I think the relationship between is more than just their status.
I also like the relationships between Merlin, Arthur, and Arthur’s Knights of Camelot. The Knights of Camelot like to tease each other and especially, tease Merlin. There are many knights, but the most notable and the closest one to Arthur are Sir Lancelot, Sir Gwaine, Sir Elyan, Sir Percival, and Sir Leon. Each of them is funny yet they all are very good at fighting. Of all the knights, my favourite is Sir Gwaine. Somehow, he is the funniest of all other knights. Not to mention his trade of being superbly talkative and loves to eat. The Knights of Camelot are very loyal to each other and of course, to Arthur, just like Merlin is very loyal to Arthur.
“It’s lonely to be more powerful than any man you know and have to live like a shadow. To be special and have to pretend you’re a fool.” – Merlin
I just can’t get enough of Merlin. I don’t think I can get over this TV series. Merlin is my number one favourite TV series thus far. I wish there was series 6, but I can’t hope much. It’s been awhile since the series has ended, so I’ll just have to forget about the idea.
All in all, Merlin is really really really worth to watch. I really love it so much. I often laugh out loug—literally, you can ask my sister—when watching it. The only regret that I have from this TV series is why I don’t watch it sooner. Nevertheless, I’ve watched it now and that’s all that matters. If you watch Once Upon a Time, they also have a Merlin and a King Arthur. But please, they are so different! The Merlin and King Arthur here are just way better in every aspect. I know it’s a different story and different actors, but seriously, Colin Morgan and Bradley James are way way way more handsome. Plus Colin Morgan has dimples and I always attracted to men—and women—with dimples. Anyway, let’s get back on track. All the actors and actresses in this TV series have done a great job. Their acting skills are really good that they made the story is enjoyable to watch. They delivered the story really well and made everything looks real. Especially the chemistry between Arthur and Merlin. Colin Morgan is incredibly good in playing Merlin and so does Bradley James in playing Arthur.
It’s interesting to see Guinevere was a servant before she was a queen. At first, I thought it was weird but after seeing the whole story, it did make sense and possible to do. I also like the way they made the affair between Guinevere and Lancelot in this TV series. Somehow, it made more sense. Well, even though I don’t know how’s the real story of the affair anyway. But in this TV series, the affair seems more reasonable, seeing how much Guinevere loves Arthur. Katie McGrath also played her role really well and to be honest, I really think she is beautiful. Playing the beautiful and evil Morgana Pendragon really suited her. I am not saying that she has an evil face but she is indeed beautiful and enchanting. Richard Wilson is also very good in playing Gius. His expression can be really funny. It’s compatible with Merlin’s. Basically, every single actor and actress in Merlin are doing a great job. They all look so natural. The jokes, the acts, all seem like they were ad-libbing rather than memorise them from the script. Even John Hurt who used to playing Mr Ollivander in Harry Potter films can pull off being a voice actor. Yes, John Hurt did the voice for the dragon in this TV series. Anyway, if all those spontaneous jokes aren’t truly spontaneous, then the writers of the script are really great. They thought those jokes and small acts thoroughly, making the story more entertaining. Plus, the actors and the actresses did it naturally, making the whole story more perfect.
All the settings in Merlin are beautiful as well. The castle, the villages, the forest, every place in Merlin was thought thoroughly and that is why they look very realistic. It’s like we were really brought back to the Arthurian era–if that era did exist. The theme songs also add more excitement and humour in the TV series. Even the clothes look perfect. It suits the years when the story took place. Although the CGI effects are not perfect–some creatures look so computerised, I don’t really mind, truly. I am still very entertained with the story. The magic is still enchanting in some ways.
“You know what I like about Merlin? He never expects any praise. All these things he does just for the good of doing them.” – Gwaine
Seriously, Merlin is definitely worth to watch. The story is great. I love how they made the Arthurian legend into a story. It’s awesome and brilliant. It’s like nothing I’ve ever watched before. The magic in Merlin is magnificent. Merlin looks very cool when he’s doing magic. Everything about Merlin is bloody awesome. Despite the unlikeable ending and wishing there would be a sixth series, I still think Merlin is the best and greatest TV series that I’ve ever watched.
I give Merlin 10 out of 10 stars. It may not be perfect, but it is perfect to me. 😍