Merlin to end after fifth season

The BBC has announced that Merlin will end after its fifth season. Co-creators ad executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy said in a statement: “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.”

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Stephen Fry has voiced his concerns over the television shows coming out of Britain being too childish.

The actor made his comments after delivering his BAFTA lecture recently, saying that although there are some good programmes on British television, they are more suitable for children.

“If I wanted to be angry… I would say infantilism’s the problem,” he said. “The number of times I turn on the television and I think, ‘Gosh, children’s television’s gone on, that’s a really good art documentary… Oh my God, it’s nine o’clock in the evening. This is for grown ups?’ It’s just shocking.”

“The only drama the BBC will boast about are Merlin and Doctor Who, which are fine but they’re children’s programmes,” he said. “They’re not for adults. And they’re very good children’s programmes, don’t get me wrong, they’re wonderfully written… but they’re not for adults.

“They are like a chicken nugget. Every now and again we all like it. Every now and again. But if you are an adult you want something surprising, savoury, sharp, unusual, cosmopolitan, alien, challenging, complex, ambiguous, possibly even slightly disturbing and wrong.”

Source: Digital Spy

SUNDAY 5th July 7:30PM

Family Drama

While out on a routine hunting trip, Arthur and his men encounter a huge and terrifying monster. It has the body of a lion and the head of a serpent, with a huge pair of dripping fangs.

Arthur and his men run for their lives. Finally, they reach safety and turn to look back at the ominous woods. Merlin realises one of the party is missing. Suddenly a man’s dying scream are heard echoing through the darkness.

Gaius explains that what they encountered was a Questing Beast, said to have been conjured from the nightmares of a long-dead King. It is a creature of great power from the Old Religion, whose bite is always fatal. Uther refuses to acknowledge such folly, but when someone close to him is injured will he continue to dismiss the beast?

SUNDAY 28th June 7:30PM

Family Drama

Against his better judgement Gwen’s father, Tom, agrees to help a renegade sorcerer, Tauren, turn lead into gold using a magical stone. Halfway through the act, a voice rings out – they’re both under arrest. Several guards appear out of the shadows, led by Arthur. Tom goes quietly but Tauren uses magic to escape. Tom is placed under arrest for treason against Camelot.

Morgana and Arthur plead mercy for Tom but Uther is adamant – he will face trial and if he is found guilty, there can be only one sentence. Morgana tells Uther that if he kills Gwen’s father, she will never forgive him. Uther says that it is he who should forgive her for siding with those that would bring his reign crashing down. Just what will Uther’s refusal to be lenient force Morgana to do?

SUNDAY 21st June 7:30PM

Family Drama

Out on a hunting trip, Arthur kills a unicorn. Merlin rushes to the animal’s side, obviously upset, as the other knights cheer Arthur for killing this most highly-prized of beasts. As the unicorn dies, Merlin sees a wizened old man watching the scene amongst the trees. But as soon as Merlin notices him, he is gone.

The next morning, Arthur and Uther on horseback survey a valley. The crops in the fields below have died overnight. It’s the same story all over the kingdom. If they don’t do something, the people will starve. When later that day, the water in Camelot’s well turns into sand, Arthur and Uther become desperate – the town is now facing a famine and a drought. Gaius suggests that these events cannot be a coincidence – a curse has come to Camelot. 

That night, Merlin and Arthur are on patrol when they come across a strange man; it’s the same person Merlin saw in the forest. He introduces himself as Anhora, the keeper of the unicorns. Anhora tells them Arthur is responsible for the curse, revealing it was unleashed when Arthur killed the unicorn. Arthur doesn’t accept this and is angry at the suggestion he is responsible. Anhora tells Arthur that he will be tested, and until he has made amends for his actions, Camelot will be damned. Could this be the end for the mythic city?

SUNDAY 14th June 7:30PM

Family Drama

Merlin is stunned when his mother, Hunith, turns up in Camelot, bruised, battered and desperate for help. Their village has been attacked by a bandit called Kanan and his men. Kanan is demanding all of the harvest and will be back in a week to collect everything or they will pay with their lives. However, if they give Kanan their food they’ll starve to death.

Uther listens to Hunith’s story but refuses to do anything. Ealdor is beyond the boundary of Camelot’s realm, none of Uther’s soldiers can cross the border and to do so would be an act of war. Hunith makes an emotional plea but Uther won’t be swayed.

Merlin tells Arthur that he can no longer be his servant; he has to protect his mother and friends. Is this really the end of Merlin’s time at Camelot?

SUNDAY 7th June 7.30pm

Family Drama

At Arthur’s coming of age ceremony the celebrations are suddenly interrupted when a mysterious Black Knight crashes through the window on horseback. He throws down his gauntlet, challenging the knights of Camelot to a duel.

The Black Knight soon sees off two of the knights of Camelot – leading Arthur and Gaius to suspect that magic is involved, especially after the Black Knight is seemingly unhurt after being stabbed during combat.

Arthur is determined to fight the Knight; Merlin knows he must protect the Prince at all costs and visits the Great Dragon for advice.

But what is Uther hiding? Does he recognise this masked marauder?

SUNDAY 31st May 7:30PM

Family Drama

When a Druid and his young apprentice are caught in Camelot, the terrified pair make a desperate bid for freedom, with guards in hot pursuit. Throughout the chase, Merlin hears the boy’s telepathic cries for help. Unsure what is happening, he is increasingly concerned but feels compelled to help the terrified child – he realises, he must hide him.

When the Druid is captured and later executed, Uther threatens the same punishment for anyone caught hiding the boy. Merlin knows that he is endangering his own life by offering shelter to the boy – confused about what he should do; Merlin consults with the Great Dragon.

Merlin is surprised when the Great Dragon advises Merlin to leave the boy to fend for himself. Merlin is even more surprised when the Great Dragon tells him that if the boy lives he is destined to kill Arthur in the future.

SUNDAY 24th May 7:30PM

Family Drama

Morgana has a terrible nightmare. It shows Arthur’s death at the hands of a strange but beautiful girl. She does not fully understand it, but the intensity of the dream scares her.

When hunting in the forest, Merlin and Arthur come across a girl, Sophia, and her father, Aulfric, under attack from bandits. The Prince wades in and, with a little covert magical help from Merlin, successfully sees the vagabonds off. The pair are shaken so Arthur offers them refuge in Camelot.

It becomes apparent that Arthur is quite taken with the beautiful Sophia, but when Morgana sees her she is far from happy – this is the girl from her nightmare, Arthur must not trust her. Morgana tells Gaius of her dream and although he does his best to hide it, it is clear she has raised his suspicions over Camelot’s new guests.