Often portrayed as a wizened mentor with long, white hair and a matching long beard the Merlin (Colin Morgan) we first see walking casually down a road towards Camelot is actually a gangly, young man with plenty to learn in both magic and life. The former might be more difficult however because although Merlin has been sent to the city of Camelot in the hopes of keeping him safe through proper guidance we quickly learn that anyone who is caught practising magic is executed because magic in Camelot has been banned by the King, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head), Arthur’s father. Still, not doing any magic at all is virtually impossible for someone who has been able to do it since he could walk, especially when there are many others who choose to use their magic to try and bring an end to Uther, Arthur and Camelot, a goal Merlin cannot allow to happen because it his destiny to ensure that Arthur (Bradley James) becomes the great king he is meant to be who will one day restore magic to the land. Is this a lot of pressure to bestow on one young man? Don’t worry, Merlin has help from his guardian Gaius (Richard Wilson) the court physician and a thirty-foot talking dragon (voiced by John Hurt) who likes to give advice in the most cryptic way imaginable which our main man likes to ignore more than follow.
"One day people won't believe what an idiot you were."
Filled with familiar characters shown in new ways Merlin is a show brimming with fantastic actors, fast paced story lines that tend to wrap up in the span of one or two episodes and is a mixture of serious drama and wonderful humour. The show, I also believe does a great job of showing how the characters we see in Season 1 become the characters we have heard about from the legends, we get to see how each character grows and changes and by seeing their journey the audience has no problem believing that a bully can become a great king, a servant girl a queen, or a naive but loyal young lady become a powerful and evil sorceress. However, despite these high notes I will say that the show Merlin is not perfect because although it is completely enjoyable and entertaining and one of my favourite shows on TV it does have its short comings which I think is due to the inconsistency in writing. To truly enjoy Merlin I am often forced to suspend disbelief in the case of plot holes and out-of-character moments, simple things that could be avoided if more time was spent on polishing out scripts would make this series more than just a fun time but really fantastic but I will say the show improves with each season as does its popularity and cannot wait for Season 5 to be released later this year. Which may indeed be the final season; I am not sure how I feel about this yet.