Merlin

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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Oct 16, 2012 10:44 am

Good start to the series, really glad they keep the Arthur/Merlin banter going so well.

episode 1 and 2
-Lots of thoughts on Morganna: the amount of cleavage has grown, the dragon and the mad side could make her very intresting additions to her character, her being denied victory by Mordred's backstab just felt very cheap. She needs some victories and it feels like the ways of ensuring she doesn't win are getting rather desperate for the writers. Also disappointed they didn't follow up the Gwain/lusty Morganna at the series finale.

-Woot to juggling.

-Not the best performance by the servant's Dad, particularly compared to GOT, but cunning plan by Gwen, unfortunately think the servant will not forgive Gwen for this and will turn bad.

-I quite liked the way they did the Key, a little scary and a huge dollop of mystery/otherworldness in the appearance.

-Think Merlin's obsession with Mordred as a threat will be the thing to turn Mordred against Arthur.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Shen Ai » Thu Oct 18, 2012 1:24 am

Servant's Dad was the guy from Outcasts, wasn't he? I liked him. A pretty cool character, I thought he would be the new Agravine.

Morgana has become a bit of a tired act. While I enjoy her decent into madness, she seems the villain that gets close but never wins. As you said Dong, she needs to be a little more credible, have some more successes. I still think the best antagonistic character this series had was Uther. Part of why I look forward to the next episode.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Wed Nov 28, 2012 11:49 am

The entire show is ending with a two parter this Christmas, after that no more Merlin. Sad but can see the logic, will do more on this when the series ends. I do wonder what the bbc have planned for their next Saturday family show given they have raided the past (Merlin, Doctor Who, the awful Robin Hood) for idea's in recent years.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Dec 02, 2012 11:53 am

question about episode 9 of Merlin
My sister and I were rather surprised to see Arthur spying on his wife. We knew Merlin and one or two others have strong doubts about her but I don't recall Arthur being concerned? Did we miss something in episode 8?


The replacement "non Dr Who Saturday Family Drama", as I understand it, will be the Three Musketeers. So a change in it is not the English past or the BBC past they are borrowing from. Don't think I have ever seen a Musketeers movie and only read the first novel (and a bit of the second), which I enjoyed quite a bit. It had the sense of adventure, good characters, entertaining politics with major figures like Cardinal Richelieu and a villain that sticks in the mind. Yet it also had quite a dark side underneath it all and beneath the rompy-pompy, some not happy lovers. I had similar concerns before I saw Merlin, that taking out the adult bits would limit it's fun so it may well surprise me again. Chances are my sister and I will watch it as we watched Robin Hood and Merlin, hoping it will be more like the latter then the former.

Certainly hoping they get a good Milady.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sun Dec 23, 2012 1:17 pm

Did strike me during last nights episoide that they have made an Arthur and a Camelot cause that I can get behind. That when the knights speak of virtue or Arthur speaks of values/Camelot, it rarely sounds silly. Seen too many "virtue" leaders in tv shows or games who cause me to eyeroll but not Arthur. Like say, DW's Liu Bei. Playing through Shu story in 7 with a lot of eyerolling, maybe they should make them more like Arthur.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Tue Dec 25, 2012 1:30 pm

Well the ending doesn't seem to have gone too well. Personally I enjoyed it, was absorbed in the episode and it mostly packed a punch despite some flaws
ending spoilers
Morganna's death was "that's it?" so could have been a lot better, slight sense the episode jumped about a bit, the crystal thing in the first part didn't work for me, blond girl could have done with being set up in earlier episodes
, loved the final parts. I can see where the unhappiness comes from but feel it is a little too strong.
ending episode stuff
I still wish the Arthur discovering Merlin's magic had been a half a season storyline but they did it very well, the distrust/hurt and final reconciliation. Great speech by the dragon, Arthur on the boat, Morgonna looking haggard by her defeat, the shouts of the King is dead from Leon. Very good stuff.

However I'm not sure it really managed to wrap the whole show up together properly. Five seasons of the great Camelot, the great destiny, of what Arthur and Merlin achieve but it was never done. Trying to push onto legacy felt something of a cop-out on reflection. Arthur was a provincial warlord even at it's most powerful and that was disappointing.


On the season as a whole, one or two things could have been done better or differently
example
why build up that servant girl in first two episodes, have her vanish... and never return. Also wish, since it was last season, they had used Freya, think that part of Merlin's life was underused throughout the show. The crippled dragon wasn't used particularly well.
. The big addition to the main cast was a fairly good one and the show remained true to it's strengths, like the banter between king and friend/servant, good adventures and a decent romance. The tried to change things up for team evil with mixed effect
Morganna was slightly changed and more intresting for it but her constant defeats, some of them in ridiculous circumstances, continued to make her a weakened villain and didn't explore possibilities they set up well enough. Gwen as an evil spy, with the actress going for over the top, was a lot of fun though.
It kept the dark tone and built up to it's finale well but wouldn't have minded a comic episode somewhere. Overall, it was like series 4 in terms of good quality and dark tone. Disliked Merlin himself sometimes though.

The show overall? Would never have imagined the excitement I was going to feel on a Saturday knowing Merlin would come when it started, or that Arthur would be able to talk with such power about Camerlot. The cast was inexperienced and it showed, the episode quality was erratic, the show struggled to juggle it's characters properly but had some strong one-off characters. It tried various styles, some sad stuff and some great comedy
examples
Freya for sadness, Utherxtroll for comedy
and had some good villains. Yet each series, the writers seemed to grow more confident and fixed some of the problems, the cast got a lot better with the experience under them and for me, the big proof of that was one of the series most powerful moments
Uther's death and reaction to it. It was played gently and calmly, it felt human and was a very sad moment.
. By that point, the important Arthur/Merlin bond had really come into it's own and the series went darker, went less episodic and more long term storylines but it's villains became a lot weaker. Yet the quality kept improving, reaching it's peak in series 4 and 5, and I was glad it had a chance to end the way the writers wished. It was a good family show that entertained me for a fair few years and I will miss it.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Sun Fin » Fri Feb 15, 2019 8:30 pm

I only watched the first 2 seasons of this during time of release. However I finished TBBT and saw that this was on Netflix. My curiosity piqued I decided to give it a go. This series has something of a cult following, unlike the Hood and Musketeer series' that filled the same BBC time slot. My feelings on those two programs are not as strong as DZ's but I do recall enjoying this one far more. It also helped that as a teenager I had a bit of a crush on Katie McGrath's Morganna. So I've gone in with reasonably high expectations.

3 days later and I'm 7 episodes in and thoroughly enjoying it so far. Obviously thus far I've just recapping what I've already seen. They play hard and loose with the traditional legends, and if I was encountering this series for the first time now that would probably bother me a lot. As it was what first got me into Arthurian legend though I cut it a lot of slack. That said it is reawakening my love of the legend. Once I finish my Star War's read through I think I might pick up the Pendragon cycle and give The Once and Future King another go.

As for what I like about the series. The banter between the four main characters is fun and feels natural. They had to get that right. They took some gambles with Merlin being a young man and Gwen being a servant but they do come off due to the spark between them. Wilson makes a great mentor for the young Merlin, you really get a sense of his growing care for the boy. Head also plays a very good Uther. A man whose hatred has twisted him yet is still committed to doing what he thinks is best. Having an older character with a more complex set of motivations really aids and gives the younger actors space as they grow in to their roles.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Mon Feb 18, 2019 1:28 pm

My sister and I watch a show on syfy called Runaways and our recording always catches the end of an episode of Merlin, is really giving a sense of nostalgia.

Glad your enjoying it, I agree it is the main four that drive it, the banter and the evolving relations and that Uther was a very good... antagonist. Not an outright baddie, just a old man who had grown twisted by time and events, he felt like a human being with a past rather then simply a baddie.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Sun Fin » Sat Apr 13, 2019 9:43 am

I've almost finished season 4. In lots of ways I think the first 2 seasons were the best. That is when the four young characters banter and story lines really rotate between all of them with Uther always there, in the background.

I thought season 3 was the weakest. Lady Morgana as the undercover spy didn't work for me. When she revealed her true character she just seemed too pantomime evil. what I'd loved about the first two seasons was how complicated she was, how you could see her motivations and how she was trying to be good. I get the idea that Merlin poisoning her was meant to make her bitter... but I just think they took away her humanity and replaced it with something worse. This meant her relationship with Gwen changed and basically completely wrecked the dynamics between the four, without adequately placing it.

Whereas Season 4 has improved. Arthur's knights have supplanted the Gang of 4,as the driving characters. I enjoy them, especially Gawain, but wonder if they could have used them more. They try to rotate them to give each of them decent screen time, but they are still playing second fiddle to Merlin/Arthur which you get as they are the titular characters... but I wonder if they would have been better giving each of the knights one episode with them as genuinely the main characters?

Uther has been replaced by Agravaine. It had to happen for the show to move on, but Anthony Head's Uther was just so good that the show has weakened without him as the antagonist. They do appear to be using Morganna better this season though, her new look makes her more sinister and her speech about loyalty to Merlin gives her back some of her humanity. I don't really get why she hates Arthur though? Merlin sure, Uther, absolutely! But why Arthur? Still enjoying it and will finish it but will be ready to move onto something new I think.
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Re: Merlin

Unread postby Dong Zhou » Sat Apr 13, 2019 3:19 pm

I don't think they ever got the balance right with the Arthur knights in truth, they always felt lightly drawn and lightly used to the point where I more remember the cast members for other stuff I have seen them in then for their roles in this. THey did struggle to replace Uther and yeah sometimes the Morganna balance was off
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