The BBC has officially announced that the current series of Merlin will be the last.
The fantasy drama will bow out with “a spectacular conclusion” this Christmas, the BBC has confirmed in a statement released at midnight. The special two-part finale will see Merlin’s re-telling of the Arthurian legend reach “its natural and dramatic end”.
Co-creators and Executive Producers, Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy commented: “This is the series where the storylines truly reach their apex. We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot. We’d like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication, the BBC, FME and all of our partners globally for their incredible support and encouragement across the last five series. But chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin’s remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe.”
BBC One Controller Danny Cohen added: “Merlin’s mix of magic, adventure and humour quickly became a hit with BBC One audiences and has continued to thrill families over the last five years on Saturday nights. I admire the creators’ decision to end Merlin on a high, but also know that we will miss it in the BBC One schedule. On behalf of BBC One I would like to thank Shine and all those involved in the making of the show both on and off screen. I hope fans will tune in over the coming weeks to see the spectacularly dramatic final episodes, and we have ambitious plans for new drama in the Saturday evening slot in 2013.”
Angel Coulby (Guinevere) said: “It has been a very special and memorable five years making Merlin. I feel extremely proud to have been part of such a brilliant show and such a great team. I think we’ve told the story we set out to tell, which ends with the fantastic two part finale by the way! I believe the key to any successful show is making sure you leave people wanting more!”
When Merlin returns to our Saturday nights later this year, it will open with a two-parter and follow the show’s tradition of jumping forward in time. “All the characters will have moved on a lot,” explains Merlin co-creator Johnny Capps, “and we will see that Gwen is now the Queen of Camelot and has a very different role than she’s had in previous seasons. When we start series 5 I think everone will be surprised where all the characters are.”
Now that the former maid has fulfilled Morgana’s visions of becoming royalty despite several thwarted attempts to prevent it, Gwen will play a more prominent role as Arthur’s confidant. For those concerned that this might affect the friendship between Merlin and Arthur, though, they needn’t be worried.
“I don’t think it will change the relationship between them, because Gwen and Merlin have always been close, and there’s been a bond there,” says Julian Murphy. “I hope it will make it a greater dynamic; three often shakes it up and makes it richer, and without it trying to, I think the writing will do that.”
It doesn’t seem like love will be on the cards for Merlin, though, at least not yet…. “It’s interesting with Merlin,” says Murphy, “because historically and in the legends – although there are legends that relate to certain romances and seduction – I think in our consciousness he’s a curiously non-romantic figure. In our mind he’s never associated with women, and I guess we stay true to that, but we’d never rule it out. and there are some interesting stories about Merlin being seduced away from the path.”
Digital Spy‘s recap.
So how about that for a finale, eh? ‘The Sword in the Stone (Part 2)’ kicks off with Merlin secretly summoning the Great Dragon to deal with Agravaine and his troops. Our heroes take refuge in a winding series of cave tunnels, but Aggy and his surviving goons follow…
Merlin breaks away from his friends to create a diversion, but is cornered by the villains. He reveals his magical powers – stunning Agravaine, who finally realises that Merlin is Emrys. Arthur’s wicked uncle tries to pull a blade, but a nasty dose of magic finishes him off for good. Yep, Merlin kills Agravaine – heavy stuff!
Reunited, Merlin and company decide to head back towards Camelot in the hope of finding their friends. But Arthur is floundering – his self-esteem is at an all-time low. Gwen tries to comfort him, but Arthur spurns his former lover, still bitter about her betrayal.
Back in Camelot, Gwaine is snatched from his cell once again to fight for scraps of food. He wins another mouldy loaf, but it’s not enough – the elderly Gaius is slipping away. Meanwhile, Merlin meets with the Dragon for a second time and devises a plan to restore Arthur’s self-belief…
Also, I want to say sorry – I haven’t updated in ages, thank god for Nicole and Laura!
I know this is only a small update, but I wanted to just inform you that Merlin has been added to Digital Spy’s ‘This Week’s Must See Shows’ on TV.
Merlin: Saturday at 8.15pm on BBC One
Naturally, The X Factor dominates this week’s television schedules, but if you’re not a fan, there’s always Merlin as an alternative. This week’s is a particularly cracking episode – the first instalment of an epic three-part finale. The sinister yet sultry Morgana (Katie McGrath) has teamed up with powerful warlord Helios (Terence Maynard) to launch a siege on Camelot. But King Arthur (Bradley James) is distracted by lady-folk, including glamorous visitor Princess Mithian (Janet Montgomery) and his returning love Guinevere (Angel Coulby)…
Sorry for the bad quality.