Review: Merlin

This autumn sees dragons, wizards and mythical legends back on BBC1 with Merlin returning to our screens.

Love it or hate it, this family favourite is returning for its fifth series and it is set to be more exciting than ever before as the story now moves on to tackle the most well-known chapters of the legend: King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table. The question is, how true will the show stick to this legend? And does it really matter all that much if they don’t?

Following the end of King Uther’s reign, the last series saw Arthur finally becoming king. He fought dragons and went on quests, while all the time fighting to marry his beloved; however, the series ended a bit too well. Arthur and Gwen were married, the evil Morgana had been supposedly banished and Merlin was finally recognised as a worthwhile companion.

This new series will see our heroes three years on, and with all new adventures to be had, and even a recast Mordred is set to return no doubt bringing havoc along with him – a character whom this series is to be played by little known  but appropriately older actor, Alexander Vlahos (The Indian Doctor).

In the past the series took liberties with the legend, yet new episodes will tackle very well known narratives so it will be intriguing to see the balance that the writing team have struck between the legend and narratives more suited to TV. However, the true question is, do the Merlin plots really matter? What more do viewers want for when they have dragons and quests?

It’s highly unlikely it will lose viewership due to not sticking to the legend at this point- with thrilling new ways of portraying ancient magic and those ever wonderful special effects, who really needs a good plot? The new series is due to return on 6 October – swords and horses at the ready!


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January 2022
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