We have decided to talk about this popular BBC TV series because we are studying the Arthurian cycle in our English lessons.
Merlin is a British adventure and fantasy TV series broadcast on BBC One. It focuses on the adventures of a young wizard, Merlin, and King Arthur Pendragon, describing their first meeting and the evolution of their relationship.
« In a land of myth, at the time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name: Merlin. »
This story is set in Camelot , a fantasy land inhabited by wizards, dragons and other fantastic creatures. But Arthur’ s father, king Uther , after his wife’ s death caused by magic, banned witchcraft from his reign. He killed whoever used magic and he kept the last dragon on the earth prisoner, which will later tell Merlin that his future is to protect Arthur and to help him to build his reign. So Merlin, when he arrived in Camelot to learn from the court physician, who was also a warlock, couldn’t reveal he could use magic and he tried to keep them secret
During the first day in Camelot he met young Arthur who was an arrogant bully and Merlin became his servant. Little by little they started becoming good friends and together they will have to face many enemies and adversities.
This TV series is a reimagining of the Arthurian cycle, in fact there are some differences:
- traditionally Merlin is an old wise sourcerer, instead in the TV series Merlin and Arthur are both young.
- Originally Guinevere is the daughter of a king and she isn’t a servant and a blacksmith’s daughter as it happens in the TV series;
- In the show the authors altered family bonds, e.g. Mordred isn’t Arthur’s nephew.
- In the Arthurian cycle, Arthur establishes the order of the “Round Table”, instead in “Merlin” Arthur says that the order has been established by precedents kings. In the original myth to be a knight of the Round Table you had to be a nobleman, but in the programme Sir Lancelot and Sir Percival are humble men.
- there is the reimagining of the story of Excalibur, Arthur’s sword.
This TV show was broadcast from 2008 to 2012 for a total of 65 episodes and 5 seasons. It was set in Wales and in Pierrefonds Caste (France). It was broadcast in 183 countries. Only 4 characters appear in all the episodes : Merlin (Colin Morgan), Arthur (Bradley James), Gaius (Richard Wilson) and the dragon’s voice (John Hurt).
In our opinion this is a really interesting TV series and we like the relationship between Arthur and Merlin much. There are also some fun episodes because Merlin always tries to tease Arthur.
If you like the fantasy genre, you must watch Merlin!
ALEX T. & LUCA