Merlin: The Complete First Season
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Merlin: The Complete First Season (DVD)
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
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Top Customer Reviews
There's lots of action, lots of laughs, and the characters are so likeable that you really care about them. It's a great combination, pretty much like in Stargate SG-1 and Buffy (my favorite shows). The same recipe in fact - a handful of brave heroes with supernatural abilities, fighting a different monster each week, saving the world a lot, and trying hard to keep it all secret.
Unlike these shows, however, you don't get 22 episodes per season. You get 13 in each of the first 3 seasons and 10 in the fourth. Too bad, because the show is absolutely worth watching.
I've read reviews of this show, complaining about the lack of historical accuracy. Well, LOL at that. It's got dragons and sorcerers and the Questing Beast. If you're still expecting historical accuracy after all that, you've got a big problem.
As long as you don't mind seeing Merlin being Arthur's servant boy, you will too find this Merlin series very entertaining.
Merlin is a boy who possesses magic, yet feels like he has no place to belong to in the world, so his mother sends him to Camelot, to live with her friend named Gaius. Gaius is an old physician to the royal family of Camelot and is one of the few people trusted with Merlin's secret, that Merlin is a warlock. In Camelot, anyone caught using magic or is accused of as being a sorcerer is executed.
Somehow or another, Merlin finds himself as the servant of Prince Arthur after saving Arthur's life. Merlin hears voices in his head, and discovers that there's a dragon living underneath the city. It is the last dragon that lives. King Uther chained it there as a lesson to others that practise magic. Many years ago, King Uther also rid the city of any magical creatures or anyone that practised magic by executing them.
The dragon has lived for thousands of years and has much wisdom. It tells Merlin that his destiny goes hand in hand with Arthur's, and that Merlin is to protect Arthur for the future of Camelot. Because when Prince Arthur is king, magic will once again be accepted in the land.
Arthur and Merlin go on different adventures, and we see the friendship between them form. Many times, while still concealing that he has magic, Merlin must save the life of Prince Arthur because of the many dangers that exist. Every episode stands alone, there isn't any tension most of the time that goes into the next episode.
Most recent customer reviews
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 on Jan. 15 2014 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 on Dec 31 2013 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.
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