I thoroughly enjoyed the first episode of “Merlin” on UK’s BBC 1, which we fortunately receive her in Ireland. I gather this series has already been sold around the world before its first airing. In the USA it will be on NBC.
What the BBC seem to have done is taken some Lion, Witch and the Wardrobe, some Harry Potter effects and a Smallville type plot and script and it all seems to work very well.
Like Smallville, the story of the young Clark Kent and Superman that is told totally against expectations with many twists and turns, this is the story of young Merlin and Arthur also told against what we imagine and expect. Young Arthur’s character is totally against expectations as he is portrayed as spoiled brat without a care, a bit of a show off, almost a bully, little compassion and loves to party and get drunk.
I do like Anthony Head as a cool Urther Pendragon but cannot help wondering when the queen will say they have run out of coffee and he pulls out a jar of Gold Blend or Taster’s Choice from his cloak. His voice and delivery is the same as on those adverts..
The sets are a wonderful combination of medieval and surreal without going all Disney. You can believe that all of these sets once, and may still do, exist. Acting is superb. Sometimes it can seem a bit silly and pantomime, but this is a family series and adults will enjoy the silliness too.
The amusing thing to me is how all of the lead characters, especially Merlin, speak with total Brit costume drama Upstairs Downstairs marbles in the mouth accents. I suppose this is also to go against expectations as I would expect such a series to be full of Somerset, Avalon, style eees, arrrhs, and iiiiists and a few Ye’s, Yor’s and Thou’s thrown in too. The semi cockney accented black skinned Guinevere, Guin for short if you please, is also a lovely diversion destined for a big future fan club.
Thirteen episodes, of course, and the opener gave wonderful anticipation for the rest.
Usually, I get irritated by flash web sites, but this is good……
Do let the home page play out before clicking anything.