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Merlin: Season 1
The creators of Merlin position their hero as the original Harry Potter: a headstrong young wizard with mixed feelings about--and sometimes outright hostility toward--the destiny that's been thrust upon him. Merlin is a reboot of Arthurian legend, starting when all the heroes and sorcerous folk were teenagers, bursting with hormones and wrestling with the powers-that-be, particularly Arthur's heavy-handed father, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head, best known as Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), a benevolent tyrant who's banished magic from Camelot. Merlin (Colin Morgan, an impish lad with prominent ears) comes to the kingdom with high hopes and innate magical powers. He's taken under the wing of the court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson, One Foot in the Grave), but additionally becomes the servant of young Arthur (Bradley James), a handsome and talented fighter who's also a bully and a snob. Rounding out the main cast are Morgana (Katie McGrath), who will one day be Merlin's foe but is now Uther's ward, and Gwen (Angel Coulby), a.k.a. Guinevere, the woman who will one day be the center of a legendary love triangle--but who is now Morgana's maid. Clearly, Merlin wants to shake up any preconception about these stuffy old stories, presenting a multi-ethnic Camelot with contemporary language and attitudes.
Despite all this, Merlin quickly becomes addictive. The dialogue and special effects can be cheesy (particularly when the CGI monsters have to interact with actors), but the cast is charming and the stories, while a tad formulaic, keep things moving. Morgan is appropriately dweeby (but also has killer cheekbones), James combines football-quarterback good looks with a hint of sensitivity, McGrath is luscious and impetuous, and Coulby has earthy spunk. The heavy lifting, acting-wise, is ably handled by Head and Wilson. The first season deftly explores the origins of the pillars of Arthurian mythos, from the sword Excalibur to a very dashing (but born of peasant stock) Lancelot to the mysterious birth of Arthur himself. Add to it all an imprisoned dragon, voiced by John Hurt (Alien, The Elephant Man) and prone to cryptic but sometimes helpful advice, and you have an engaging fantasy series. In addition to 13 episodes, there's an additional disk with making-of features and video diaries of the young cast gallivanting around France. --Bret Fetzer
I already watched Merlin when it was on TV. I Bought the DVD's 1. Because I love the show and 2. I wanted the special features :D
The show is a new take on the Arthur... Read more
Many of the actors are quite inexperienced and it often shows. However, I enjoyed it more as the episodes progressed - found it imaginative and the characters grow on you.Published 22 months ago by gregory e young
We have watched all five seasons and wanted to own them for our family. It is full of magic and some very funny moments. Very fast and efficient delivery from Amazon as usual. Read morePublished 23 months ago by Dalene Ruppel
I'm a huge fan of the Merlin Series! It came very fast in the mail as well which is always good.Published on Nov. 22 2013 by K.
hotties but cheap graphics. Colin Morgan was adorable same with Bradley ;> i was sad to when I was told it got cancelled at s5Published on Oct. 3 2013 by Sophia Lee