ORBzine - Merlin (2008) TV Review

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Merlin (2008)

Season 1

  • Colin Morgan ( Humans ) as Merlin
  • Bradley James iZombie ) as Arthur Pendragon
  • Angel Coulby as Gwen
  • Richard Wilson (One Foot In The Grave) as Gaius
  • Anthony Head ( Buffy the Vampire Slayer ) as Uther Pendragon
  • Katie McGrath as Morgana
  • Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 1] The Dragon's Call
    Shown 20th September 2008 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ), a clueless farmboy and closet Magic-user, arrives in the Big City of Camelot. In a very quick piece of exposition we learn that King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) has banned use of magic, on sentance of death. The last Dragon (John Hurt - Alien ) has been imprisoned in a cave under the castle, and the evil witches have a grudge against the good (but intolerant) King.

    Merlin gets a job with the Wise Old Man (Richard Wilson with long hair? I don't belieeeeve it!). Nothing in Camelot matches any previous version of the Legends, but since this is from the BBC then viewers should expect something like Robin Hood (2006) . Prince Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is the school bully. Gwenhyfar is a dusky-skinned serving wench who prefers Merlin to Arthur.

    Whoever is behind this has obviously been influenced by Smallville , in the same way that Torchwood is more than slightly reminiscent of Angel . And on a similar note, Eve Myles pops up as a Princess who is imitated by an eeevil witch who wants to attack Camelot from the inside.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 2] Valiant
    Shown 27th September 2008 [Saturday]

    The BBC contract player of the week is Will Mellor, AKA Gaz the muscular skinhead from 2 Pints of Lager and a Packet of Crisps. He rides into town as Knight Valiant, and duels Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ). Unfortunately, Mr Valiant has eeevil magic on his side ...

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 3] The Mark of Nimueh
    Shown 4th October 2008 [Saturday]

    People start dropping dead in the city. It seems there is a supernatural plague! Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) tries to help, but his casual attitude to Magic use just starts more trouble.

    Merlin and Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) go hunting for the beast that has contaminated the city's water supply. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) tags along.

    A powerful Sorceress named Nimueh ( Michelle Ryan ) is responsible. She might be involved in the show's story arc ...

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 4] The Poisoned Chalice
    Shown 11th October 2008 [Saturday]

    Uther Pendragon (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) welcomes his enemy Bayard (Clive Russell - Game of Thrones ) to Camelot for a peace deal. A servant girl ( Michelle Ryan ) tells Merlin that Arthur's chalice has been poisoned. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) ends up getting poisoned himself.

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) goes on a quest to get the antidote. Unfortunately, the eevil sorceress Nimueh is still pulling the strings. And Uther is a complete bastard. Not just ruthless, as in prior episodes, but almost sadistic!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 5] Lancelot
    Shown 18th October 2008 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) is saved from a Griffin by a foreign warrior named ... Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera - Musketeers )! Lancelot goes to Camelot to become a Knight ... But Uther's first commandment is that only the Aristocrats can become Knights. This is perfectly sensible - what fool would give military power to illegal immigrants like Lancelot instead of trustworthy members of the Aristocracy? One cannot attempt to force modern concepts of social mobility onto an agrarian, pre-Industrial society!

    Gaius (Richard Wilson) tells Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) that the rampaging monster was created by magic. But Uther still refuses to use magic to fight it! After all, magic is powerful and power corrupts.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 6] A Remedy To Cure All Ills
    Shown 25th October 2008 [Saturday]

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) falls ill. It is due to a magic beetle, but Gaius (Richard Wilson) mis-diagnoses the problem. Luckily there is a scar-faced stranger in town named Edwin (Julian Rhind-Tutt - Britannia ) who promises A Remedy To Cure All Ills.

    Strangely, the King automatically trusts the stranger. Ironic, considering his past record. Valiant, a villain, was quickly trusted, while heroic Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera - Musketeers ) was quickly made an outcast. Does Uther not have the brains to mistrust his own instincts?

    For some reason these Dark Ages characters all use modern-day medical terminology. It is more like an episode of Holby City than anything else.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 7] The Gates Of Avalon
    Shown 1st November 2008 [Saturday]

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) has a premonition. It is not about her, it is about Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ). This is a pity, of course, because her precognative powers could have been useful in saving herself last week.

    Arthur and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) are out deer-hunting (with Medieval crossbows). They rescue a beautiful young woman named Sophia ( Holliday Grainger ) and her dad from bandits. Naturally, Arthur falls for the damsel, and when he takes her back to Camelot she starts to seduce him. She has her own agenda, of course, linked to the Faerie World of Avalon.

    Merlin's duty is to protect Arthur. He lies to Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) to cover for Arthur's dalliances. And he gets punished repeatedly, to comical effect. Believe it or not, this counts as character development!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 8] The Beginning Of The End
    Shown 8th November 2008 [Saturday]

    A Druid and his pre-teen son Mordred (Asa Butterfield - Ender's Game ) are spotted by the Camelot Guards. The wee lad manages to escape, and hides with Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and his pals. He has telepathy, but only with other magic-users. His dad had telekinesis, but only uses it when convenient to the plot. And Merlin's telekinesis can be used for exotic and humourous scenes.

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) feels the inexplicable urge to protect the youngster. The Dragon, on the other hand, predicts dire consequences. Naturally, the twist ending to the episode is terribly predictable.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 9] Excalibur
    Shown 15th November 2008 [Saturday]

    Someone has been reading Gawain and the Green Knight. However, this time it is a Black (armoured) Knight, and he wants to duel Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ). Naturally, the King does not duel people, so the junior knights must face the stranger ...

    The Black-armoured Knight is a zombie, raised by Nimueh ( Michelle Ryan ). A normal sword will not slay the undead, so Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) must get a magic sword ... Excalibur!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 10] The Moment Of Truth
    Shown 22nd November 2008 [Saturday]

    Merlin's village is raided by bandits led by Kanen (Alexander Siddig - Star Trek: DS9 ). Unfortunately, the village is across the border - Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) cannot send an army to help, and the local King does not seem to care about the bandits.

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) goes home to fight. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ), Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) and Gwen come along to help. Arthur tries to teach the local yokels how to stick up for themselves, and gives a pathetic speach vaguely reminiscent of Henry V. Merlin's childhood buddy, William (Joe Dempsie - Game of Thrones ), protests that they should just beome draft-dodging refugees instead of staying and fighting to save their homes.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 11] The Labyrinth of Gedref
    Shown 29th November 2008 [Saturday]

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) kills a unicorn - he has evidently never seen Legend , the Tim Curry film made from outtakes of Blade Runner !

    Arthur is tested, with all the usual cheesy crap about goodness of heart and so on. He is sent through a hedge-maze. Wow. The ending is particularly disappointing.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 12] To Kill The King
    Shown 6th December 2008 [Saturday]

    Gwen's father, the Blacksmith, is arrested for consorting with a known sorceror. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) lost her own father due to Uther's actions, and she wants revenge. This asks more questions than it answers ... did Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) copy King David's strategy?

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) discovers Morgana's plot. He has to ask himself, would Camelot be better off without Uther? Is Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) really ready to take the throne? Would it be morally acceptable to allow the assassination?

    This is a great episode in terms of characterisation and plotting. Certainly an improvement over the previous episode.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 1, Episode 13] Le Morte d'Arthur
    Shown 16th December 2008 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) finally gets a climactic confrontation with Nimueh ( Michelle Ryan ).

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season , Episode 1 ]
    Shown th September 2010 [Saturday]

    Merlin (2008)

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  • Season 2

  • Cedric the sneak-thief (Mackenzie Crook - Pirates of the Caribbean )
  • Myror the assassin (Adrian Lester - Doomsday )
  • Lady Catrina ( Sarah Parish )
  • Trickler the creepy jester (Kevin Eldon - Dead Set )
  • Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 1] The Curse of Cornelius Sigan
    Shown 19th September 2009 [Saturday]

    A tomb is discovered in the mines under Camelot. Cedric the sneak-thief (Mackenzie Crook - Pirates of the Caribbean ) hears of this, and gets a job as Arthur's servant in order to get access to the tomb.

    It turns out that the tomb bears the Curse of Cornelius Sigan, the greatest sorceror the kingdom has ever seen.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 2] The Once And Future Queen
    Shown 26th September 2009 [Saturday]

    A neighbouring King hires the world's greatest assassin, Myror (Adrian Lester - Doomsday ), to kill Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ). Lester is best known as the token black guy in Hustle, but looks butch with a beard.

    Arthur discovers that the other knights have been pulling their punches during training with him. He decides to attend the great tournament incognito, and win in the guise of another knight. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) helps, as always, and Guinevere shelters Arthur in her home.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 3] The Nightmare Begins
    Shown 3rd October 2009 [Saturday]

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) starts to develop her magical powers - violently. She is terrified of what is happening to her, and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) takes pity on her. He arranges for her to hide out with Mordred (Asa Butterfield - Ender's Game ) and the Druids ...

    Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) thinks the Druids have kidnapped his ward. This gives him the excuse he needs to send Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and the guards on a genocidal rampage. Can Merlin sort this mess out?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 4] Lancelot and Guinevere
    Shown 10th October 2009 [Saturday]

    A gang of bandits kidnap Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) and Guinevere, so their boss Hengist (James Cosmo - Braveheart ) can get a ransom from Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ). The girls show a lot of backbone, despite the story hinging on the need for a manly rescue.

    Uther refuses to send a rescue party, so Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) sneak off alone. Arthur in particular wishes to rekindle Guinevere's favour. Yes, Arthur obsesses over Guinevere.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 5] Beauty and the Beast - Part One
    Shown 17th October 2009 [Saturday]

    A noblewoman named Lady Catrina ( Sarah Parish ) comes to Camelot, and seduces King Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ). Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) is the only one who realises that she is a Troll!

    The troll pretends to be an upper-class human, but betrays herself with a working-class accent in her true form. Also, the trolls tend to be quite flatulent - like the skin-wearing aliens in Dr Who .

    The troll's minion, Jonas, is Adam Godley - recognisable as the Police Chief in Powers .

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 6] Beauty and the Beast - Part Two
    Shown 31st October 2009 [Saturday]

    Since the Troll ( Sarah Parish ) has both outsmarted and out-magicked Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ), can he and Gaius evade the palace guards and reveal her secret to the rest of the court?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 7] The Witchfinder
    Shown 7th November 2009 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) has a typically lax attitude towards magic. This means that a paranoid peasant sees too much. The Witchfinder (Charles Dance - For Your Eyes Only ) is called in by Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ), who is willing to pay for his expenses even though the only proof is the word of a crazy woman. Worse, even if there is no actual evidence the Witchfinder will make sure some is found.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 8] The Sins of the Father
    Shown 14th November 2009 [Saturday]

    An unknown knight walks into Camelot, overpowering the guards, and challenges Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) to a duel. Naturally, then unmasked the knight turns out to be a beautiful woman - Morgause ( Emilia Fox ). Naturally, she has an agenda of her own.

    We get to see the secrets that Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) has been hiding from everyone, especially Arthur. This is a nice set-up for the Season climax. Of course, the whole thing seems a bit last minute. Not much in the way of advance foreshadowing or complex plot, but this is the BBC we are talking about.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 9] The Lady of the Lake
    Shown 21st November 2009 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) discovers a Druid girl ( Laura Donnelly ) who has been captured by a Bounty Hunter and delivered as a gift for King Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ). Naturally, the silly boy releases the girl. This puts him at risk, because Uther and his men now know that the Druids have a secret ally in Camelot. Worse, kindly old mentor Gaius now knows that Merlin is a liar and a thief.

    Now the girl is loose, people start to die. The full moon is up, and a mysterious monster is on a kill-crazy rampage. Will Merlin take responsibility for the bloodshed?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 10] Sweet Dreams
    Shown 28th November 2009 [Saturday]

    Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) hosts a peace conference at Camelot. One of the Kings brings his creepy jester, Trickler (Kevin Eldon - Dead Set ). Another brings his teenage daughter, Lady Vivian ( Georgia Moffett/Tennant ).

    The Jester uses his magic to secretly enchant Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and the beautiful Princess, making them fall in love with each other. The idea is that the king will become insanely jealous and overprotective of his female offspring, and duel Arthur to the death. And when royal blood is spilt, war is inevitable ... leaving Eldon's boss neutral, and thus the only winner in the long run.

    Naturally, Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) spends his time running around trying to save Arthur from humiliating himself. Isn't this love-enchantment plot a bit similar to the troll-wife two-parter from a few episodes ago?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 11] The Witch's Quickening
    Shown 5th December 2009 [Saturday]

    Mordred (Asa Butterfield - Ender's Game ) is back, this time at the head of a gang of murderous bandits.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 12] The Fires of Idirsholas
    Shown 12th December 2009 [Saturday]

    Morgause ( Emilia Fox ) is back. She has a bunch of zombie knights, and with help from her sister Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) casts a spell on Camelot to make everyone fall asleep. Like in the Cattle Raid of Cooley.

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ), the last ones awake, must hide Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) before Morgause can find him. Morgana is still awake as well, and Merlin must choose his side.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 13] The Last Dragonlord
    Shown 19th December 2009 [Saturday]

    The Dragon wants revenge on Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ). Only the last Dragonlord (John Lynch) can save Camelot ...

    Season 3

  • Cenred (Tom Ellis - Lucifer )
  • Percival (Tom Hopper - Black Sails )
  • Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 1] The Tears of Uther Pendragon
    Shown 11th September 2010 [Saturday]

    After months of fruitless searching, Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) miraculously returns. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) is the only one who is suspicious. Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ), by comparison, treats her as a long-lost daughter.

    Morgana's sister, the butch (yet more gorgeous than ever) Morgause ( Emilia Fox ), is plotting. She has King Cenred (Tom Ellis - Lucifer ) as her pawn.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 2] The Tears of Uther Pendragon - Part Two
    Shown 18th September 2010 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and the Dragon (Yes, John Hurt's voiceover is back) take on Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) and her sister. Morgana has something to do for a change other than look pretty.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 3] Goblin's Gold
    Shown 25th September 2010 [Saturday]

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) accidentally unleashes a goblin creature. It causes CGI havoc, then possesses Gaius. As always, Merlin is the only one to realise that someone's personality has changed.

    This is a comedy ep, but the story arc is beginning to show. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) is Merlin's arch-foe, somehow far more dangerous to him than Nimoue was in Season One.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 4] Gwaine
    Shown 02/Oct/10

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) go incognito to a tavern, and face off with the local brigands. So much for the Kingdom being crime-free and peaceful. A stranger helps our heroes - though this time it is Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ), not Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera - Musketeers ).

    Arthur returns to Camelot to fight in the Melee contest. The brigands attend too, using magic to disguise themselves as knights. This seems more than a little familiar as a plot device.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 5] The Crystal Cave
    Shown 09/Oct/10

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) tries to assassinate Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) by magical means again. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) tries to stop her, and ends up making things even worse.

    Morgana learns of Uther's secret, but instead of being placated by the knowledge she is enraged by it. Morgause ( Emilia Fox ) now seems to be the voice of reason!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 6] The Changeling
    Shown 16/Oct/10

    King Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) decides to force his son into an arranged marriage. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) does not object, even though this will push her further out of the succession. Even Gaius gets a love interest!

    The Princess in question is possessed by a Faerie, and guarded by secret Pixie Miriam Margoles.

    This ep was written by Lucy Watkins - best known for This Life, but she also wrote an episode of the dreadfully disappointing show Demons .

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 7] The Castle of Fyrien
    Shown 23/Oct/10

    Gwen is kidnapped by men who work for Morgause's BF Cenred (Tom Ellis - Lucifer ). They somehow wandered into Camelot town in full chain-mail. Gwen is ordered to bring Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) to the impregnable castle, or her brother (a black smith, in more ways than one) will be murdered.

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) comes along for the quest. It would be a nice idea if Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) brought Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ) too, but he cannot even reveal that Morgana is a traitor.

    The only good thing is that, like a classical villain, Cenred keeps dangerous prisoners alive to be tortured - thus giving them opportunities to escape!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 8] The Eye of the Phoenix
    Shown 30/Oct/10

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) goes off on a quest to prove his manhood. This despite the fact that he has won tournaments and led the knights into battle!

    Morgause ( Emilia Fox ) drops by to give Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) a cursed item, the The Eye of the Phoenix. When Morgana gives it to Arthur it will slowly sap his strength, making it impossible for him to survive the quest.

    Gwen is suspicious of Morgana. And Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) gets Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ) to help save Arthur.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 9] Love in the Time of Dragons
    Shown 06/Nov/10

    Gaius' old GF, Alice (Pauline Collins) comes to Camelot. She uses magic to cure illnesses, and Gaius covers up for her. But she is secretly controlled by an evil Manticore ( ) ...

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 10] Queen of Hearts
    Shown 13/Nov/10

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and Guinevere go for some private alone-time. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) arranges for Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) to discover this, in the hope that Arthur will be disinherited and thus she will become sole heir to Camelot.

    Gwen is framed for enchanting Arthur. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) decides to disguise himself as an elderly version of himself, then pose as an evil wizard who wanted to undermine Arthur.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 11] The Sorcerer's Shadow
    Shown 20/Nov/10

    A couple of thuggish bandits attack a competitor en route to a tournament at Camelot. Haven't we seen this before? And predictably, a secret magic-user enters the match.

    This is not the same as the Melee Tournament. It is hand-to-hand, on foot with no holds or weapons barred - but it is one on one, with organised bouts.

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) manipulates Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) into entering the contest. After all, she is second in line to the throne - only Uther and Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) stand in her way.

    Arthur and Uther face off. Father against son in front of a crowd baying for blood, while Ennio Morricone-style music plays, makes this reminiscent of a Spaghetti Western.

    Who should we be cheering for? Uther, who oppresses magic-users, or a morally-troubled member of the oppressed minority?

    This episode is better thought-out than most, and certainly far above the level of the other BBC show, Robin Hood .

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 12] The Coming of Arthur - Part One
    Shown 27/Nov/10

    Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) sends Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) on a quest for the Cup of Life, a pagan chalice with powers like the Holy Grail. Arthur and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) bump into Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ) on the way, of course.

    Morgause ( Emilia Fox ) also wants it, so she can raise an invincible army and take Camelot by force. She will not have much need for her ally Cenred (Tom Ellis - Lucifer ), of course.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 3, Episode 13] The Coming of Arthur - Part Two
    Shown 04/Dec/10

    The story takes off from the cliffhanger ending last episode, where the villains have the upper hand.

    Our heroes respond by bringing together the foreshadowed elements from different episodes. Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ), Percival (Tom Hopper - Black Sails ) and Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera - Musketeers ) all join Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ). Meanwhile, Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) visits the lady of the lake ( Laura Donnelly ) to retrieve the magic sword.

    The main story is nicely tied up, but if the show is renewed for another Season there is still enough mileage for more stories.

    Season 4

  • Borden (James Callis - BSG 2003 )
  • Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 1] The Darkest Hour - Part 1 of 2
    Shown 01/Oct/11

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) is still alive and kicking, though her sister Morgause ( Emilia Fox ) is severely wounded. They go to a magic isle, the Isle of the Blessed, where an old witch tells Morgana that she will be defeated by Emrys. Morgana breaks the veil between life and death, so a pack of CGI ghosts come flying out.

    Back in Camelot, Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) is paralysed and almost comatose. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is in charge, advised by his creepy uncle Traitoro - I mean, Agrivaine. But the town is flooded with refugees from all over the land. Yes, about a hundred people ...

    Arthur takes his best knights on a quest. Merlin's magic is useless against the ghosts, but he goes along anyway.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 2] The Darkest Hour - Part 2 of 2
    Shown 08/Oct/11

    Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera - Musketeers ) takes Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) back, in the hope of getting him healed. Luckily, despite Uther's crusade against magic it is not long until they bump into some helpful water-sprites.

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) leads the knights though the cave of giant moles that he and Merlin faced in Merlin (2008) [Season 2, Episode 4] Lancelot and Guinevere .

    Arthur plans to sacrifice himself at the Isle of the Blessed. Merlin will sacrifice himself to save Arthur. But who will REALLY make the sacrifice?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 3] The Wicked Day
    Shown 15/Oct/11

    An assassin tries to kill Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) – again. But Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) is mortally wounded. Can Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) use magic to save him? Will Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) stop him?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 4] Aithusa
    Shown 22/Oct/11

    Borden (James Callis - BSG 2003 ) is on a quest – to steal the last dragon egg. He is an old pupil of Gaius, who knows better than to trust him. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) wants to help Baltar, though - he wants to hatch the dragon egg. But Merlin's attempts to steal the key from Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) are so bumbling that they make Uncle Traitoro look competent and trustworthy!

    Arthur goes after him, with the Knights in tow. Merlin does not know who to help ...

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 5] His Father's Son
    Shown 29th October 2011 [Saturday]

    At the suggestion of his wicked uncle, Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) executes a bloodthirsty warlord who refused to make peace. But the man’s wife ( Lindsay Duncan ) wants revenge, and leads her HUGE army to invade. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) helps the vengeful Queen.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 6] A Servant Of Two Masters
    Shown 05/Nov/11

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and his comrades get ambushed in the forest. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) gets captured by Morgana ( Katie McGrath ), and implanted with a Puppet-Master type parasite (which looks like a Hydra). His orders are to return to Camelot and to murder Arthur.

    Gaius notices that Merlin's personality is changed. Arthur is busy trying to locate the traitor. His creepy uncle is the obvious suspect, but he manages to cast suspicion onto Gaius.

    Merlin has to face Morgana in order to free himself from the curse. He disguises himself as the old man yet again.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 7] The Secret Sharer
    Shown 12/Nov/11

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) had a close call last episode, and realises she has to get Emrys before he can get her. She hires a Cathar – no, not an Albigensian, but a priest of The Old Religion. Funny, I thought that was the druids. Of course, the actor they got was the one who played the druid in the UK TV film of Boadicea .

    Gaius is kidnapped and tortured for the identity of Emrys. Back in Camelot, the obvious traitor claims that Gaius is a traitor. Can Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ) clear the old man's name?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 8] Lamia
    Shown 19/Nov/11

    Men fall ill in a remote village. Gaius is busy in Camelot, so Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) sends Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and Gwen – along with four knights. It turns out that the illness is the result of sorcery.

    En route back to Camelot, they blunder into a gang of robbers. Despite being well-armed with swords, the thugs are easily defeated. Their damsel in distress is rescued. Her name is Lamia …

    Anyone who has seen Drag Me To Hell will have worked out who the demonic source of the illness is. The knights start to fight among themselves, and obey suggestions from Lamia.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 9] Lancelot Du Lac
    Shown 26/Nov/11

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) decides to marry Gwen. He has known her for years, but there is no reason for him to hurry into it. The peasants are not any more revolting than usual, so making himself popular with the plebs is hardly an excuse.

    The first person that Arthur tells is his creepy uncle, who instantly goes and tells Morgana. Morgana knows Gwen's secret - her love of Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera - Musketeers ). The witch must go to the last of the five gateways to the Land of the Dead to summon him. Does anyone keep track of all these sacred sites?

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) is the only one who realises that something is wrong.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 10] A Herald Of The New Age
    Shown 03/Dec/11

    The Knights discover a strange shrine in the forest. Gwen's brother investigates, and gets haunted by a creepy little boy.

    The ghost is a Druid boy, victim of the Purge that Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) inflicted on them. But the one who actually led the troops, and who must take responsibility, was Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) himself ...

    The idea of Arthur atoning for being too bloodthirsty was already explored a couple of episodes ago. It seems to be getting repetitive.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 11] The Hunter's heart
    Shown 10/Dec/11

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is betrothed to marry a Princess ( Janet Montgomery ). He is still on the rebound after having to exile Gwen.

    Guinevere has gone from taking out Morgana's chamberpot to shovelling pig-poop on a farm. Some Saracens invade the village, slaughter the women and rape the cattle. Oh, except for Gwen, who they dress as a belly-dancer and then allow to escape.

    The new Princess loves to go hunting. Will Arthur manage to impress her by killing a doe (a deer, a female deer)? Even if that deer is Gwen, under a shapeshifting enchantment?

    Evil Uncle Agravane starts snooping around, trying to find a sally port he can use as a back-door entrance to Camelot.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 12] The Sword in the Stone (Part 1 of 2)
    Shown 17/Dec/11

    Agravane leads Morgana's Saracens (plus pirates and Persians from 300 ) in an invasion of Camelot. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is stunned, and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) must lead him to safety. The rest of the supporting cast are soon rounded up. Only Arthur and Merlin are left, which is just as well because they are the core of the show.

    Merlin disguises Arthur as a half-wit yokel. They are forced to team up with Tristan and Isolde, a pair of Frankincense smugglers.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 4, Episode 13] The Sword in the Stone (Part 2 of 2)
    Shown 24/Dec/11

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and his handful of companions are chased by Agrivane and a massive army of Saracens. However, Merlin is a Dragon-rider and thus can summon the Dragon (John Hurt - Alien ) ...

    The real problem is, how to inspire Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) - and the peasants - with faith again. Merlin comes up with the idea of the Sword in the Stone myth. This is probably the first time in the series that Merlin has actually thought up a good idea, without having Gaius or someone else around to help him. A pity he was not this smart in previous episodes.

    Season 5

  • Mordred (Alexander Vlahos - Versailles )
  • Eira ( Erin Richards )
  • Ruadan (Liam Cunningham - Game of Thrones )
  • Tyr Seward (John Bradley - Game of Thrones )
  • Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 1] Arthur's Bane: Part One
    Shown 06/Oct/12

    This starts three years after the previous Season. Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ) and some minions have gone MIA on patrol in the Northern Wastes. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) takes the rest of the Knights to search for him.

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) is back, with new allies. A Saxon horde conveniently provides manpower. Also, she has a Druidic Ninja named Ruadan (Liam Cunningham - Game of Thrones ).

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 2] Arthur's Bane: Part Two
    Shown 13/Oct/12

    The Knights are in a slave mine, digging for a magic key.

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) do not know if they can trust a grown-up Mordred (Alexander Vlahos - Versailles ).

    Guinevere is in charge of Camelot, now all the men (except Gaius and her brother) are away. At least she seems a lot wiser than she used to be.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 3] The Death Song of Uther Pendragon
    Shown 20/Oct/12

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) saves a suspected Witch from a summary burning at the stake. She gives him a magical artefact, the Horn of Cathbad. It allows the user to visit the land of the dead, and speak to a deceased loved one.

    It is the anniversary of Arthur's coronation - and Uther's death. Arthur visits his dead father, but discovers that Uther (Anthony Stewart Head - Buffy ) is still a bigoted tight-arse. Uther is unhappy with the liberal regime now in Camelot. And then his ghost starts to haunt the castle, attacking low-class types who have risen above their station.

    Arthur and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) must bannish the ghost. Will Arthur get conveniently knocked out so he does not see Merlin using magic to save his life?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 4] Another's Sorrow
    Shown 27/Oct/12

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) is back, with a new ally.

    Princess Janet Montgomery comes to Camelot, begging Arthur for help. Will he recklessly lead his army into a trap yet again? Why break the habit of a lifetime?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 5] The Disir
    Shown 03/Nov/12

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) has trained Mordred (Alexander Vlahos - Versailles ), who is now one of the knights of Camelot. Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) knows what Mordred's destiny is, and wants to prevent it.

    A trio of witches called The Disir condemn Arthur. He takes the knights with him, and against Merlin's advice he confronts them in their cave. Naturally things get violent, and one of the knights is mortally wounded.

    Arthur is given a choice. He can do what the witches want, or they can condemn him to his fate. Will he sacrifice one of his own knights?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 6] The Dark Tower
    Shown 10/Nov/12

    Gwen and her brother go visit their father's grave. On the way back, they and their knightly bodyguards are ambushed by magical snakes. Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) still wants revenge!

    Morgana keeps Gwen in a special cell in the Dark Tower, where she is magically subjected to psychological torture. Its defences combine spooky Halloween decorations with booby-traps from Raiders of the Lost Ark .

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) come to the rescue, along with the other Knights. They know full well that they are going into a trap, but they charge in anyway. Who is the bigger fool - Arthur, who always falls into traps, or Morgana, who sets them even though they always fail? Wiley E Coyote would have learned the lesson by now!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 7] Clock Curse AKA A Lesson in Vengeance
    Shown 17/Nov/12

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is ambushed while out riding. Suspicion falls upon Arthur's stable-groom Tyr Seward (Samwell Tarley from Game of Thrones ).

    The investigations to discover the traitor take on a CSI-like approach, where they forget the suspects and focus on the evidence. Nobody thinks that the real traitor would be able to dispose of physical evidence linking them to the crime, or to plant it on an unwitting patsy.

    It is good to see that Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) actually has a decent plan this week.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 8] The Hollow Queen
    Shown 24/Nov/12

    Camelot plays host to a villainous king known as The Sarrum. He looks like John Shrapnel, but his guards are scimitar-weilding Saracens. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) fears and mistrusts him, but knows he must make the alliance work.

    We find out what happened to Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) in her two missing years. She mentioned in a previous ep that she spent the time chained up at the bottom of a well. But it was the Sarrum who was responsible ... and this is part of her revenge plan.

    Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) meets a young Druid boy, who asks him for help. Can he be trusted? Or is it yet another one of Morgana's amateurish and half-hearted attempts to kill her arch-enemy?

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 9] With All My Heart
    Shown 01/Dec/12

    Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) and Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) want to cure Gwen of her brainwashing. They have to take her on a secret journey to what looks like a disused quarry. Mordred (Alexander Vlahos - Versailles ) gets suspicious - where do his true loyalties lie?

    This time Arthur will not trust Emrys again - so Gaius tells him that a different Sorceror will help them. This time, Merlin has to magically disguise himself as a woman.

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) is not the only sorceress this week. Emrys has to visit an old blind crone, who allies herself with Morgana.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 10] The Kindness of Strangers
    Shown 08/Dec/12

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) captures the Cathar priest who knows the true identity of Emrys. Will he reveal the secret?

    Back in Camelot, Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is still murderously paranoid about magic-users. This makes things more difficult for Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) and the Cathars.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 11] The Drawing of the Dark
    Shown 15/Dec/12

    A murderous Druid girl named Kara ( Alexandra Dowling ) is on the loose. Mordred (Alexander Vlahos - Versailles ) wants to protect her, for old times' sake. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) declares her to be an Enemy of Camelot - a crime punishable by Death!

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 12] The Diamond of the Day: Part One
    Shown 22/Dec/12

    Now Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) knows Merlin's secret, she tries to remove him as a threat. As a result, he must go on a quest to the Crystal cave.

    Previously, there was a female spy in Camelot - Morgana herself, and then Gwen. Now there is Eira ( Erin Richards ) a convenient love interest for Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ). Whose side is she on?

    Morgana sends her Saxon army to invade the lands of Camelot. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) decides to cut them off at the pass, literally, by putting his army at Camlan. Unfortunately, Morgana and Mordred (Alexander Vlahos - Versailles ) must have been watching 300 , because they decide to duplicate the Persian strategy at Thermopyle. Yes, there is a secret path for the Saxons to outflank Arthur's men.

    Merlin (2008) Merlin (2008) [Season 5, Episode 13] The Diamond of the Day: Part Two
    Shown 24/Dec/12

    With the battle underway, Merlin (Colin Morgan - Humans ) rushes to save the day. Why he does not use his Dragon-riding skills is not explained. But at least he can chase away Morgana's pet dragon, to even the odds. And despite having the amazing ability to make a spectacular lightning display while silhouetted on a mountaintop, his combat skills are the same as they have always been - to send someone flying through the air.

    The battle features hundreds of casualties, but there is no blood. Arthur (Bradley James - iZombie ) is wounded, so Merlin must take him to the Isle of Avalon. Finally we get some heart-warming scenes of them together.

    Morgana ( Katie McGrath ) is still out for blood. But Gawain (Eoin Macken - Krypton ) wants revenge on her. Finally the Wylie she-coyote will meet her fate.