On December 24th 2013 the five year series of BBC's Merlin came to its end. The final episode was a two parter and saw Arthur learning the truth about Merlin on their final journey together.
Merlin came to the BBC in 2008 after alot of nonstarts. The series was originally given its go ahead in 2006 but there were a number of unsuccessful attempts at getting started. The first series proved a success for the BBC and therefore a second series was commissioned.
In most adaptations Merlin is depicted as an old man with a white beard. The BBC's version see's Merlin as a young wizard first arriving in Camelot with Arthur as the Prince and his father, Uther, as King. In this Camelot magic is outlawed and and practitioner sentenced to death. Merlin must practice his magic secretly, usually in aid of Prince Arthur and with only his good friend Gaius as the keeper of his secret.
The usual suspects are here Morgana, Mordred, Lancelot but from a slightly different angle to the story we normally see in other adaptations. The cast are generally unknowns apart from Uther and Gaius and afew guest parts. Merlin is played by Colin Morgan, who had previously had some minor television roles. Morgana is played by Katie McGrath and Arthur by Bradley James, who again, both only had some minor television roles. Guinivere is played by Angel Coulby who has has some minor television acting roles since 2001.
There were five series screened over five years with each new series screening on the BBC from September running to a Christmas finally in December. As with an long series there are some great and the occasional bad episode and in term of series there are those that are better than others.
I would say the series rank in order.
1. Merlin Series 5
2. Merlin Series 4
3. Merlin Series 1
4. Merlin Series 3
5. Merlin Series 2
Come September 2013 I shall miss seeing Merlin back on the screens. It is one of the few series I look forward to and as I also love Christmas it always feels like a build up to the big event. Hopefully the BBC can come up with something just as great to replace it.
The GREAT news is, producers to wish to make three movies and there was talk of either covering the whole series in the three movies or making three follow on movies which would mean a modern error Merlin with the way Series 5 ended.
There is a more detailed episode break down and cast details at http://www.merlinseries4.com