Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure drama television programme created by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy, and Johnny Capps, starring Colin Morgan in the title role. It was broadcast on BBC One from 20 September 2008 to 24 December 2012 for a total of 65 episodes. The show is loosely based on the Arthurian legends of the young wizard Merlin and his relationship with King Arthur, but it differs from traditional versions. The show was influenced by the US drama series Smallville about the early years of Superman (Wiki).
Merlin was extremely popular in the years leading up to a boom in TV serial programming. It was a must watch. In the league of the original Prison Break, Lost, Legend Of The Seeker, Kyle XY, etc., TV shows that had good story, awesome characters, and an impressive cast – Colin Morgan, James Bradley, Angel Coulbey, Katie McGrath, John Hurt, Anthony Head – to mention but a few.
Merlin is a reimagining of the legend in which the future King Arthur (James Bradley) and Merlin (Colin Morgan) are young contemporaries. Arthur’s father Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head) has banned magic in Camelot, its use punishable by death, forcing Merlin to keep his magical powers secret from everyone in Camelot other than his mentor Gaius (Richard Wilson). Arthur grows from a young, self-absorbed boy to the mighty king in the legends, and Merlin develops into his colossal role in creating the powerful Camelot (Wiki).
Merlin discovers that the king, Uther Pendragon, outlawed magic twenty years earlier in an event known as the Great Purge and imprisoned the last Dragon deep under the kingdom. After hearing a mysterious voice inside his head, Merlin makes his way to the cavern beneath Camelot where the Great Dragon (voice of
John Hurt ) tells Merlin that he has an important destiny: to protect Uther’s son, Arthur, who will return magic to Camelot and unite the land of Albion .
When Merlin meets Arthur, Merlin believes that he is an arrogant bully and Arthur, likewise, has a less than stellar opinion of Merlin. After saving the prince’s life Merlin becomes his servant and the two begin to respect and trust one another. Merlin eventually becomes close friends with Arthur, and another servant named Guinevere (Angel Coulby ). But when Uther’s actions eventually cause his ward Morgana (Katie McGrath ) to turn against Camelot, Merlin must work together with the Once and Future King (Arthur) to save Albion.