Escape Velocity

A curated Collection of Fantasy and Science Fiction Media

The BBC series Merlin tells the story of King Arthur and the legendary wizard Merlin – with a twist. Merlin is a young mage, sent to Camelot by his mother. Here, he meets the young Prince Arthur, who is handsome and fair, but also arrogant and rude. Merlin becomes Arthur’s servant, and finds that whilst he must hide his magic – which is outlawed by the king – he is destined to use it to protect the young prince. Merlin and Arthur both have destinies, and they can’t fulfill them without the other.

Merlin is one of those shows that has a premise which makes you narrow your eyes, but boy does it deliver. The cast is superb, featuring (then) young talent like Colin Morgan and Katie McGrath, as well as established actors such as Anthony Head. It is a relatively light-hearted fantasy series, which blends comedy with drama effortlessly.

What I like best about Merlin is that it focuses mainly on characters. The show has an episodic structure. There is an overarching plot, but episodes can often be watched separately and still be enjoyed. However, characters show serious growth throughout the series. The cast has great chemistry, which makes it a joy to watch.

This show has 5 series (or seasons) with 13 episodes each. While it doesn’t always have the clearest overarching narrative, the relative shortness of the series means that it never has the chance to unravel and stray too far from the originally intended story.

The show does feature some queerbaiting, so be aware of that.

I would recommend Merlin to anyone who enjoys a good BBC series, and anyone who likes their fantasy light-hearted and character-driven.

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