Shades Of Words

The Adventures of Merlin

7 Comments

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.

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Author: Vipula

Before talking about who we are, we’d like to tell you a bit about how and why Shades of Words came into being. It all started with the idea of “A place where we could share with likeminded people about things we enjoy. From books to music to movies to travel; Shades of Words was to be a place about the best of our experiences” We thought about why should anyone read us? The answer was that whatever we review would be a mix of our experience of the thing along with interesting and useful information about it. So in case you are reading us regularly or even checking us out once in a while then we have succeeded in our efforts someway somewhere. Who are we? Known as Kapil Sood and Vipula Gupta, we thought of Shades of Words on one fine Sunday afternoon. Tired of writing interesting RFP’s and project documentation; we decided to give this a shot. Yes! We work in Indian IT industry. Cupid struck us while were innocently slogging together on the highly intricate job of formatting and beautifying documents! And since then, we have been working together to establish Shades of Words as a place that we can claim as ours. (Because buying a house is still years away!) What else? Kapil also writes some blogs which you can read here and here.

7 thoughts on “The Adventures of Merlin

  1. Ok…the pictures make it very enticing to watch…I must watch it…I like Lady Morgana in this series…her dress is so totally my fav 🙂 Guinevere looks really shabby though…although in movies…shez depicted as being beautiful.

    Ditziness on my part apart…thanks for pointing out this series to me. Will watch it for sure. Wasn’t Merlin supposedly old and wizened? So many questions!

  2. @zoya – woman stop asking the questions and start watching the show. I know you and I know you will like it.

  3. Vivek & I are hooked onto this show.. series 2 began 3 weeks ago.. and I saw one of the episodes like 2 hours ago.. 🙂

  4. I also like the Behind the Scene video diaries…But watching it I many times get the feeling of similarities to LOTR…I think all fantasy fictions become the same after all…

  5. @Priyanka – i love it. I am so hooked. And i think its primarily because of Colin Morgan and Bradley James. Can you believe ashmita has not seen it yet!!

    @Kapil – yes the video diaries are so much fun. all fantasy fictions have their origins in folklore and tales handed down by generations – which tend to be similar. so yes you are right the underlying to all fantasy fiction are the same – and i can draw parallels from star wars , harry potter, lotr and now this tale

  6. Here is my take on season 3 with lots of pics and a little wit if you are interested:

    http://fortresstakes.wordpress.com/2011/01/20/merlin-2010-bbc-season-3-13-episodes/

  7. @Thefortressguys – I did check it out and you guys are seriously funny 🙂 I actually thought Merlin improved a lot in season2 and then went downhill in 3 except for really good 2 episodes in the beginning and the last 3 or four in the end
    The ones in between were so meh

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