There’s a new take on the Arthurian legend over on the BBC now. Merlin‘s second episode just aired last night in the UK. I’m hearing mixed reviews from friends over there. Wish I could see some of the video on the website.  I get a “content unavailable… only available to play in the UK only”. WHAT?  Do our U.S. broadcasters do that to folks across the ocean? How rude!

No matter the reviews, this will be a series I’ll have to watch (if it makes it to U.S. television) or rent via Netflix. I’ve been a huge fan of the Arthur stories, oh probably ever since I saw Disney’s Sword in the Stone when I was a kid. (Yes, I saw the original in the theater. I’m as old as dirt, as they say.) I read T.H. White’s Once and Future King”, have seen Camelot too many times to count, and other films such as Excalibur, First Knight, the Mists of Avalon, King Arthur, and the Last Legion, to name a few. I remember reading “A Connecticut Yankee in King Arthur’s Court” by Twain as a kid and I really need to add a number of titles to my “to-read” list such as Stewart’s Merlin series. Can you recommend any others?


5 thoughts on “Merlin

  1. “Do our U.S. broadcasters do that to folks across the ocean?”

    Yes – the official sources for streaming video of US television programs is limited to US-based IP addresses. Mostly it has to do with international distribution rights, but the end result is that fans are often forced to use alternative means to get the content they would willingly pay for (either with cash or with advertising eyeballs).

  2. If your looking for a historicaly acurate re telling of the arthurain legends , you will be dissapointed. I peronsaly love the new merlin series but they have completly destroyed the origonal plot for no apparant reason. When watching it , I think its important not to take it too seriously, i laughed my way through most of the “scary” bits in last weeks episode and its clear that it is aimed at a younger audience who would otherwise be watching doctor who – there is no blood or gore or serious violence which i think takes away the effectiveness of some scenes. Its a little pathetic and sensative and there are some very dubious spells being cast eg. door slaming spell??? but saying that it makes good fantasy entertainment , visually it is very nice to look at,if you look at it as a story in its own right then the plots look better. This probally isnt your thing, but there is allot of slash in it.

  3. I’m willing to sacrifice some “historical” accuracy for good plotlines! Gwen (Guinevere) as a servant seems odd, so if the writers do end up going down the Arthur/Gwen legend storyline there should be some fascinating episodes as that unfolds. I like the idea that there’s an adversary relationship between Arthur & Merlin and that they are close in age. A UK friend sent me a quote from episode 1 that seems to sum that up:

    (dragon to Merlin): None of us can choose our destiny, Merlin, and none of us can escape it.

    (Merlin): No, no way, no, no, there must be another Arthur, ’cause this one’s an idiot.

    Okay… I’m hooked on the show already even without seeing it!

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