5.01: Merlin - Arthur's Bane - Part I

ctg

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As you might have guessed or rather knew Merlin is hitting the small screen and interwebs at October 6. However, this time Merlin isn't showing in the usual slot but it has moved on the later slot, with the series starting at 8.15 pm. So the question is has the series also matured as that's well past many younger people bedtime? What do you think?

PS. I'm trying to hunt synopsis for the first episode, but haven't been able to find it from anywhere.
 

ctg

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All right, here's the brief:

As the forces of fate cast a shadow over Camelot, Merlin must confront his darkest fears. Camelot basks in the halcyon days of a new golden age. But even as she flowers, so the dark seeds of her destruction are being sown... For in the frozen wastelands of the north, men are disappearing without trace.

In search of answers, King Arthur and his knights must undertake a dangerous mission to the unknown. As the sun sets on the icy plains, Merlin finds himself locked in a battle unlike any he has fought before; a battle with fate itself.


Now that doesn't reveal much at all, and neither does this spoiler free review of the first episode as it says:

It’s no spoiler to reveal that this opening episode is set some three years after the events of The Sword In The Stone, a gap of time necessary to properly fulfil a key series five plotline, and one that will become clear to fans by the end of part one.
The action is divided between Camelot, which is still feeling the ripples of Uther’s sorcery ban, and a stark, wintry landscape.



The change of location allows season four director Justin Molotnikov plenty of opportunity to show off snowy vistas reminiscent of Game Of Thrones’ impressive beyond-the-wall locations. The contrast between the blue-white stone walls of an isolated fortress and the red-yellow infernal activity it conceals is gorgeously done, recalling not Westeros this time, but Isengard (well, as much Isengard as you can conjure up in the vicinity of Cardiff on a modest BBC budget).


Without giving away anything in terms of plot, the episode deals in betrayal, heroism, prophesy and revenge. Both King Arthur and Queen Gwen face difficult decisions, and each is tested as a leader and commander, though it’s unarguably Merlin who carries the heaviest burden.



So I don't know. Maybe things has changed and I for one feel a little bit excited, but also afraid that the change doesn't portray well our wishes.
 

ctg

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Wow. That was good. Although not as good as GoT pilot episode but in Merlin terms, seriously good. Of course there were couple of bad moments, but in the way that they would have spoiled this season forever. And even though they had Merlin hiding his true colours, he was so out there, defending the king and worrying his socks off.

Then again when he would not have worried about Arthur. Never. Not as long as the great dragon gave him the task of defending the king. So seeing the vision and finding out that Mordred is Arthur's bane, there's not much he can do, but it doesn't mean he won't as you can see from him taking his chances and casting a spell at front of Arthur. He has never done that. Not while Arthur has been concious or near him.

Even then the episode wasn't all about their relationship as the producers had upped their game and cut in couple of extra PoV's. And that's not all as you get to see the monster of the week that I can only describe as a psychic alien. Man, where they are taking this? And this really the last season?
 

Mouse

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Is it the last series? I didn't know that.

I unfortunately missed the first 15 mins or so because we had a major spider incident in the house. Once the spider had been disposed of, I was still on edge so couldn't concentrate as much as I would've liked.

Anyway, I'm not really liking Gwen. I just find her irritating now. I didn't like Arthur being happy to make a fool of Merlin, but then in later scenes he did treat him better.

The alien I didn't like. What the hell was that?

Gawain and Percival semi naked? That needs to happen more often. They also need to get it on. Percival is fine.
 

Jo Zebedee

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Gawain and Percival semi naked? That needs to happen more often. They also need to get it on. Percival is fine.
Indeed, my daughter told me off for ogling Gawain... :eek:

Enjoyed this. I'd like to see Morgana doing more than hissing in an empty hall (its winter, light the fires, love).

I think there's to be at least one more series after this, btw.
 

ctg

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Is it the last series? I didn't know that.
The producers were speaking spring about the five series arch last spring after the season finished. The ScifiNow was asking what they were thinking about it, and they said something along line, "We always planned it to be five series but we are open for more."

So you never know what might happen. BBC might buy another series or two, but that's going to be it for Merlin. We can all speculate what happened to him after Arthur died, and all we know is that he went back to Avalon, where he was born. But how much they want to speculate? I don't know.

I unfortunately missed the first 15 mins or so because we had a major spider incident in the house. Once the spider had been disposed of, I was still on edge so couldn't concentrate as much as I would've liked.
Disposed? You did put it under a glass and transported it to the garden, didn't you?
 

ctg

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Enjoyed this. I'd like to see Morgana doing more than hissing in an empty hall (its winter, light the fires, love).
When Arthur and Merlin were "snuggling" under the three and Morgana appeared on top of the ridge I imagined that she would cast a spell and the earth around the two would start sizzle from creepy crawlies ala LOTR style.
 

Mouse

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Disposed? You did put it under a glass and transported it to the garden, didn't you?
If by 'put it under a glass and transported it to the garden' you mean 'had your mother suck it up the hoover' then yes. Yes I did.

(I shouldn't worry about the spider, I suspect it's climbed out of the hoover and has set up home in the conservatory if the GIANT spider's web is anything to go by!)

When Arthur and Merlin were "snuggling" under the three and Morgana appeared on top of the ridge I imagined that she would cast a spell and the earth around the two would start sizzle from creepy crawlies ala LOTR style.
I was expecting the very same thing!
 

Dave

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The alien I didn't like. What the hell was that?
It reminded me of Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of Crystal Skull; really good until the last 5 minutes and then it just went weird!

Well, no idea where we are going with the 'whatever it was' thing.

"You've met me before. You saved my life. Don't you recognise me?"
"Well no actually, because you've changed your head!"

I never though Gwen would make a good Queen, but executing traitors isn't a fault. I think their problem is in the HR department who keep hiring all these dodgy servants in the first place. Who is doing the interviewing and character references in Camelot?

Wouldn't they be crowning a new King around now considering they think Arthur is dead?
 

ctg

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Wouldn't they be crowning a new King around now considering they think Arthur is dead?
Arthur isn't dead and I don't think anyone is in hurry to crown a new king while the old one is just missing. And that's what they said.
 

Dave

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Yes, yes, but all I'm saying is that as far as the Court is concerned he must be 'missing presumed dead', just like the other knights who have been sent to the frozen wastelands of the North before him. Under those circumstances, and with the threat to the Kingdom that everyone keeps mentioning, would they really leave power in the hands of a Queen who caused so many raised eyebrows when she made a decision.

The raised eyebrow bit was a little OTT in my opinion. I think they should execute more servant girls myself. And how is it the subject of Gwen's magic-loving father never crops up?
 

FeedMeTV

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Gawain and Percival semi naked? That needs to happen more often. They also need to get it on. Percival is fine.
Haha I thought of you during this ep Mouse! I was hoping they wouldn't get rescued straight away :p

I'm a little unsure about the glowing blue alien but I'm trying to withhold judgement until next week when we find out what it really is. Hopefully the cave doesn't start whizzing round and a saucer zooms off into the sky.

I do feel a bit sorry for Morgana still not being able to wash her hair but at least she's got herself an army and a good dress now. I'm quite pleased they introduced Mordred early on though so we get an extra baddy to worry about rather than just seeing poor greasy Morgana floating about looking cross. Also exceptionally pleased to see the round table in action.
 

Kylara

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I'm still angry about how Mordred was introduced in the first place. and how in about 5 years Camelot time he's aged about 15...sigh oh well, some more suspension of disbelief...aliens? Really? more suspension, this has elevated to "ooh they have the same names as a legend I know, how coincidental" level that comes out surprisingly often. Still don't like Gwen, no idea why it suddenly seemed like a LOTR rip off (Isengard mines anyone? Hobbits hiding beneath a tree? You'll have to go through me Sam adoration?) but I shall continue watching, just because I can :wink:

P.S. Apologies for me, I shall probably end up grumping about a load of stuff each episode, hope you don't mind...

p.p.s. Gaius' hair is longer and is now grey not white...weird...
 

ctg

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I'm still angry about how Mordred was introduced in the first place. and how in about 5 years Camelot time he's aged about 15...
I was thinking about that as well and the thing is you just don't know how much time passed between the first season and fourth. But what we know that it is three years forward and Mordred is now in his teen years.

However what I do not know is what the old scriptures says about his ages when he confront Arthur on the windy hilltop. Does anyone have an idea?

p.p.s. Gaius' hair is longer and is now grey not white...weird...
And a floppy chin, but I think that has to do with his actual age, and nothing with the character. Anyways, I thought he looked fabulous.
 

Kylara

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Hahaha he is one of my favourites...he always look weird with hair in Merlin, he is a brilliant actor...

Well Mordred is the son of Morgana and Arthur and he kills him on a battlefield when he is probably mid twenties I'd say, maybe younger/older...it is a long while since I looked into Mordred, my last trip I was more interested in Merlin's origins and where Gwain was from.

But I try to get rid of as much Arthurian knowledge as possible when Merlin is about...hehehe so as to get less angry when I watch it...
 

Jo Zebedee

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In terms of when they fought the battle of camlann and arthur died, there are a number of ages mentioned, but he is mostly believed to be a man of about forty, i believe. That being the case and given mordred is usually either his son or nephew, you can put mordred around the twenty mark. Of course, its all highly subjective, and i am happy to be corrected... But based on the arthurian stuff i have read, i think that is about right.
 
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