I love mythological-historical-fantasy dramas with lots of action. And I dont mean Xena: The Warrior Princess type.
I don’t recall how or why I wanted to watch Merlin, but one day I found myself trying to locate the “The Adventures of Merlin” on Netflix. And from then on I was hooked
This BBC production gives its own twist to the legend of Arthur and Merlin. But legends have so many versions that we really cant hold it against this show. So in this interpretation of the story, Uther Penndragon, Arthur’s father, is alive and kicking, as the King of Camelot. He is a stern and a wise ruler, his only fault, being is his blind hatred of magic.Merlin, a young warlock, arrives in Camelot to live in the care of Gaius, the court physician. But magic is outlawed in Camelot. That means that Merlin is forced to live a life of secrecy.
The most interesting part of the show is the relationship between Arthur and Merlin. Merlin, as we all know, is destined to be Arthur’s trusted friend and ally. The show has on its own take on how this friendship could have become. Arthur is a brave young lad – a better person than his father , but he has this whole arrogant front that he maintains because he knows he cannot befriend people below his station. But his willingness to put his life on the line time and again for people he cares about makes him a true hero. Merlin, who is initally put off by Arthur’s bullying ways learns to respect him for his kind and pure nature. Merlin is employed to be Arthur’s manservant and this marks the beginning of their inevitable friendship.
Another of my favorite parts of the show is Merlin’s struggles with himself to keep his identity secret . He is not exactly modest. He is a powerful sorcerer and he knows it. And he wants credit for being that, which is not possible in Camelot.
How can we forget the dragon? The last magical dragon imprisoned by Uther ( why he did so is beyond me , since he hates all magical things) who becomes Merlin’s advisor. Is he just a good counsel, or does he have another role to play?
The other two key characters are Lady Morgana, who is Uther’s ward. In the original series, she is Arthur’s half sister. Lady Morgana is clearly a witch in making and her love-hate relationship with Uther makes her very unpredicatble. Then there is Gwen ( Guinevere) – yes, the future Queen of Camelot. Only in this version she is Morgana’s maid servant. Will she become the Guinevere of the legends ?
Bradley James and Colin Morgan have excellent on screen chemistry and play off the role of two hot headed young men very well.One would not expect a African American Guinevere, but Angel Coulby does this part really well. She potrays Gwen as a strong minded woman who is righteous and could be the future queen.
Anothy Head gives an amazing performance as Uther. I love characters who do grey really well. You would want to hate Uther but Head makes him likeable.
Like most myth-fantasy shows, this is has monster of the week and the general mytharc stories. So far they all have been really entertaining. As this is based in the middle ages, the costumes, the sword fights , the sets..all of it is huge fun to watch. I would recommend this to anyone who loves mythology and magic.