Merlin (TV series)
|Also known as||The Adventures of Merlin|
|Created by||Julian Jones
|Theme music composer||Rob Lane|
|Opening theme||"Merlin's Arrival at Camelot"|
|Ending theme||"The Call of Destiny"|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5|
|No. of episodes||65 (List of episodes)|
|Executive producer(s)||Julie Gardner
|Running time||45-50 minutes|
|Production company(s)||Shine Television|
|Original channel||BBC One
BBC One HD (Series 4 - Series 5)
|Picture format||1080i (HDTV)|
|Audio format||Dolby Digital 5.1|
|Original run||20 September 2008– 24 December 2012|
|Related shows||Merlin: Secrets and Magic|
Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure television programme by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps. It was broadcast on BBC One between 20 September 2008 and 24 December 2012. The show is loosely based on the Arthurian legends of the young wizard Merlin and his relationship with Arthur Pendragon but differs from traditional versions in many ways. The show was influenced by the U.S. drama series Smallville, about the early years of Superman, and was produced by independent production company Shine Limited.
The show was first greenlit by the BBC in 2006, after a number of unsuccessful attempts. The series premiered in 2008 to mixed reviews but decent ratings, and also proved popular on the BBC's digital catch-up service, iPlayer. Based on the popularity of its first series, it was commissioned by the BBC for a second series, and was picked up in the United States by one of the main broadcasters, NBC, though it later moved to the cable network Syfy due to low ratings. In 2012, the show's producers announced that its fifth series would be its last, with a two-part finale finishing the show on 24 December 2012.
Series overview 
Merlin is a young wizard who arrives in the kingdom of Camelot after his mother arranges for him to stay with the court physician, Gaius. He discovers that the king, Uther Pendragon, has outlawed magic and imprisoned the last Dragon deep under the kingdom. After hearing a mysterious voice inside his head, Merlin makes his way to the cavern beneath Camelot where the Dragon tells Merlin that he plays an important role: to protect Uther's son, Arthur, who will bring forth a great kingdom. When Merlin meets Arthur, he believes that he is an arrogant bully and Arthur, likewise, has a less than stellar opinion of Merlin. After saving the prince's life Merlin becomes his servant and the two eventually become friends. But when Uther's actions cause his ward Morgana to turn against Camelot, Merlin must ally himself with the Once and Future King to save the kingdom of Albion.
Main cast 
- Colin Morgan as Merlin
- Bradley James as Arthur Pendragon
- Angel Coulby as Guinevere "Gwen"
- Katie McGrath as Morgana
- Richard Wilson as Gaius
- John Hurt as the voice of The Great Dragon
- Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon (Series 1-4, guest in Series 5)
- Nathaniel Parker as Agravaine de Bois (Series 4)
Production history 
The programme was conceived by Shine producers Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, who had worked together on Hex, a fantasy series produced by Shine for Sky One. The BBC had been keen on showing a drama based on the character of Merlin for some time; a little over a year before the Shine series was initiated, writer and producer Chris Chibnall had been developing a project aimed at a BBC One Sunday night slot, but this was ultimately not commissioned. The Shine version of the project was put into development in late 2006, commissioned by Controller of BBC One Peter Fincham and BBC Head of Fiction Jane Tranter, with Fincham keen on having more series on his channel which embodied "three generation TV – that's TV you can watch with your grandparents and children. There's not enough of that about."
Merlin is influenced by the U.S. show Smallville, about the early years of Superman, according to Shine producers, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, who said that Smallville helped provide the idea that Merlin would see a "Camelot that existed before its golden age". Caps said: "Just as in Smallville we wanted to subvert expectations. Camelot is a land where magic is banned [and] Merlin ... is a young boy who works as Arthur's manservant and has to hide his abilities."
The series went into production in March 2008, with filming taking place in Wales and France (at the Château de Pierrefonds). The series was produced by Shine in association with BBC Wales, whose Head of Drama Julie Gardner served as executive producer for the BBC. Doctor Who's chief writer Russell T Davies had been an important influence on the tone and style of Merlin. CGI special effects for the series were provided by The Mill. The Old English dialogue used for spells was written by a university scholar[who?] and later the script editing team. Consisting of an initial series of 13 episodes, Merlin began transmission in the UK on 20 September 2008. In advance of this, a special trailer was prepared for release on television, in cinemas and online.
After Series 1 was successful, U.S. broadcaster NBC began airing it on 21 June 2009; but, after a decline in viewers, it was moved to the cable network Syfy, where it began broadcasting Series 2 on 2 April 2010. On 19 September 2009, Series 2 began airing on BBC One. On 5 September 2010, BFI Southbank in London previewed Episodes 1 and 2 of Series 3 for its September Film Funday programme. A ten-episode fourth series was confirmed on 25 October 2010 (though it was rumoured to air in early 2012, later than its usual slot in autumn) so that it would not clash with the BBC's other prime time drama Doctor Who which would possibly run during the same period. In March 2011, this was revised, and the fourth series was extended to the standard 13 episodes. It was confirmed at the 2011 Comic-Con in San Diego that the fourth series will again be broadcast in the United States on the Syfy Channel "in early 2012." In UK, the fourth series began on Saturday 1 October 2011.
Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, Executive Producers for Shine TV, confirmed on 24 July at the 2011 Comic-Con Merlin panel that BBC had commissioned a fifth series. Filming for the fifth series began March 2012 in Pierrefonds, France and near Cardiff, Wales. 13 episodes were ordered. Series 5 started broadcasting on 6 October 2012. On 26 November 2012, it was announced that the series 5 of Merlin would be the last, with a two-part special concluding the series over Christmas.
A documentary series called Merlin: Secrets and Magic explains how the series was created. Apart from the initial 50 minute special, which was broadcast directly after the series two premiere, and the first episode, shown first on the Sunday repeat, all new 15 minute episodes were shown after each Merlin episode repeat on Saturday, Sunday, Monday or Friday evening on BBC Three. The show is also frequently shown on CBBC.
In April 2008, U.S. broadcasting rights were purchased by NBC, where it was shown on Sundays at 8 pm (EST), starting 21 June 2009. This made it the first British drama in over 30 years to be shown on US network television, as opposed to PBS or cable. The programme moved to Syfy, a cable channel also owned by NBC, for the second series, which premiered on 2 April 2010. Syfy aired the third series in early 2011, after the conclusion of the initial broadcast on BBC. It was later announced the series would air after Friday Night SmackDown beginning 7 January 2011 at 10 pm (9 pm Central). The distributor, FremantleMedia Enterprises, also sold broadcast rights to CTV in Canada and Network Ten in Australia. The series was broadcasted in 183 countries.
DVD releases 
Series one and two were released on DVD in the United Kingdom, the United States and Australia. Series three is currently available in the UK, and was released in Australia on 4 August 2011. Accompanying all box sets are featurettes, video diaries, and commentaries. Behind the Magic, a two-part overview of making Merlin is included with the UK series one box set, while the documentary series, Secrets and Magic, is included with series two.
In Australia Series 1 was released on DVD and later re-released in new packaging on 4 August 2010. Series 2 was released on 22 July 2010 and then re-released in new packaging on 6 January 2011. Series 3 was released on 1 August 2011. Series 4 was released on 1 March 2012. Series 5 was released on February 13, 2013.
|Complete Series||Release dates|
|Volume 1||Discs||Volume 2||Discs||Complete Box Set||Discs||Complete Box Set||Discs|
|1st||24 November 2008||3||9 February 2009||3||5 October 2009||6||20 April 2010||6|
|2nd||23 November 2009||3||8 February 2010||3||8 February 2010||6||18 January 2011||6|
|3rd||15 November 2010||3||24 January 2011||3||24 January 2011||5||17 January 2012||5|
|4th||28 November 2011||3||23 January 2012||3||23 January 2012||5||15 January 2013||4|
|5th||26 November 2012||3||21 January 2013||3||21 January 2013||5||23 April 2013||4|
A soundtrack for the each of the first two series, featuring music from selected episodes, has been released on the MovieScore Media record label. Merlin composer Robert Lane was nominated for Best Original Score for Television for the 10th annual Movie Music UK Awards (2008), the 8th edition GoldSpirit Awards (2008), and the 5th annual International Film Music Critics Association (IFMCA) Awards (2008). In early October 2012 MovieScore Media released the soundtrack from the third and fourth series along with that from the start of the fifth series.
|Series||Release Date||Catalog Number|
|Merlin Series 1||4 November 2008||MMS08021|
|Merlin Series 2||17 November 2009||MMS09027|
|Merlin Series 3||2 October 2012 (digital)  / 12 November 2012 (CD)||MMS12010|
|Merlin Series 3 & 4 Best Of||2 October 2012 (digital)  / 12 November 2012 (CD) ||MMS12011|
Official magazine 
UK publisher Attic Brand Media launched an official magazine for the show in September 2011 featuring articles, puzzles and a comic strip written by Damian Kelleher and drawn by Lee Carey. The monthly magazine cost £3.20 per issue and was distributed in UK newsagents.
- "The Adventures of Merlin". Freemantle Media Enterprises. 2009. Retrieved December 1, 2012.
- "Merlin's Secrets Revealed" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 23 July 2008. Retrieved 23 July 2008.
- Sweeney, Mark (29 August 2008). "Merlin: BBC cues up TV and cinema ads". The Guardian. UK: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- Deans, Jason (7 December 2006). "BBC1 seeks magic touch for Merlin drama". The Guardian. UK: Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 30 August 2008.
- "Richard Wilson and Anthony Head lead cast in Merlin, a fantasy drama for BBC One" (Press release). BBC Press Office. 17 March 2008. Retrieved 4 April 2008.
- Alice Troughton, Dave Moore, Jeremy Webb, Metin Hüseyin (8 February 2010) (in English). "The Making of Merlin" from Merlin: The Complete Second Series (DVD). United Kingdom: 2entertain.
- "Network TV BBC Week 38: Saturday 19 September 2009". BBC Press Office. Retrieved 9 September 2009.
- "Film Funday TV Preview: Merlin". BFI Southbank. 10 August 2010.[dead link]
- Published Monday, 25 October 2010, 01:17 BST (25 October 2010). "'Merlin' renewed for fourth series – Merlin News – TV – Digital Spy". Digitalspy.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Colin Morgan ('Merlin') interview". Cultbox.co.uk. 28 March 2011. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Merlin series four on Syfy". Tvseriesfinale.com. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Keisya Prasetyawan (28 July 2011). "Merlin renewed for fifth season by BBC". Atvtoday.co.uk. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "Merlin commissioned for fifth series | TV: Latest News | STV Entertainment". Entertainment.stv.tv. 25 July 2011. Retrieved 2 August 2011.
- "BBC OneMerlin, Series 5 - Episode guide". Retrieved 29 September 2012.
- "Merlin to cast final spell as creators reveal that current series will be the last". 26 November 2012. Retrieved 26 November 2012.
- Holmwood, Leigh (3 April 2008). "NBC buys BBC family drama Merlin". The Guardian (Guardian Media Group). Retrieved 4 April 2008.
- "Merlin". NBC. Retrieved 25 April 2009.
- Holmwood, Leigh (6 June 2009). "BBC drama Merlin to air on NBC". The Guardian. Retrieved 13 June 2009.
- "Breaking News – "Dinoshark," "Merlin" Among Syfy's Latest Acquisitions". TheFutonCritic.com. Retrieved 23 March 2010.
- "Exclusive: Syfy Picks Up Season 3 of Merlin – Today's News: Our Take". TVGuide.com. 11 August 2010. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Syfy sets Merlin season 3 premiere date". Daemonstv.com. Retrieved December 2010.
- "CTV secures Canadian broadcast rights to 'Merlin'". channelcanada.com. 19 October 2008. Retrieved 29 August 2010.
- Hurrell, Will (7 August 2008). "BBC's Merlin heading Down Under". Broadcast Now. Retrieved 13 September 2008.
- Clarke, Steve (25 October 2010). "BBC conjures up more 'Merlin'". Variety. Retrieved 19 October 2011.
- "Merlin – Series 1 – Complete [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: Katie McGrath, Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Angel Coulby, James Hawes, Ed Frainman, Jeremy Webb, Stuart Orme, David Moore, Howard Overman, Ben Vanstone, Jake Michie, Julian Jones: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Merlin – Complete Series 2 Box Set [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: John Hurt, Richard Ridings, Laura Donnelly, Richard Wilson, Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Angel Coulby, Katie McGrath, Emilia Fox, Michael Cronin, Alice Patten, Alice Troughton, Dave Moore, Jeremy Webb, Metin Hüseyin, Ben Vanstone, Howard Overman, Jake Michie, Johnny Capps: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Merlin – Series 3 – Complete [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: JColin Morgan, Angel Coulby, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Anthony Head: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 25 January 2010.
- "Adventures of Merlin, The — Series 1 (4 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. 2010-08-04. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Adventures of Merlin, The — Series 2 (4 Disc Set) (New Packaging)". Ezydvd.com.au. 2011-01-06. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Adventures of Merlin, The — Series 3 (5 Disc Set)". Ezydvd.com.au. 2011-08-02. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Adventures of Merlin, The: Series 4". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Adventures of Merlin, The: Series 5". Ezydvd.com.au. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Merlin Vol.1 [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Merlin Vol.2 [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Bradley James, John Hurt, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Merlin: The Complete First Season: Colin Morgan". Amazon.com. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Merlin – Series 2 Vol.1 [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Angel Coulby, Katie McGrath: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- "Merlin – Series 2 Vol.2 [DVD] : Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, Angel Coulby, Katie McGrath, John Hurt, Rupert Young, Michael Cronin, Michelle Ryan, Asa Butterfield, Caroline Faber, Jake Michie, Johnny Capps, Julian Jones, Julian Murphy: DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 17 July 2010.
- http://www.tvshowsondvd.com/news/Merlin-Season-2/14621 Merlin – 'The Complete 2nd Season' DVDs for USA/Canada
- "Merlin – Series 3 Vol.1 DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- "Merlin – Series 3 – Volume 2 DVD". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 26 September 2010.
- "BBCAmerica Shop – Merlin: Season 3 – DVD". BBCAmericashop.com. Retrieved 13 October 2011.
- "Merlin Series 4 Volume 1 BBC [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Angel Coulby, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, John Hurt: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Merlin Series 4 - Volume 2 BBC [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Angel Coulby, Katie McGrath, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, John Hurt as the voice of The Great Dragon: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- Moves, Winning. "Merlin — Complete BBC Series 4 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Nathaniel Parker, Anthony Head, Richard Wilson, John Hurt, Santiago Cabrera, Rupert Young, Eoin Macken, Adetomiwa Edun, Tom Hopper, Jeremy Webb, Alice Troughton, Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy, Jake Michie, Lucy Watkins: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 16 May 2012.
- "Merlin Series 5: Volume 1 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Richard Wilson, Rupert Young, Eoin Macken, Tom Hopper, Adetomiwa Edun, John Hurt, Alexander Vlahos, Lindsey Duncan, Justin Molotnikov, Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy, Julian Jones, Jake Michie: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Merlin: Series 5, Vol. 2 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Richard Wilson, John Hurt, Tom Hopper, Eoin Macken, Rupert Young, Alexander Vlahos, Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy, Julian Jones, Jake Michie: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. 2012-11-17. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- "Merlin Complete BBC Series 5 [DVD]: Amazon.co.uk: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Richard Wilson, John Hurt, Alexander Vlahos, Rupert Young, Tom Hopper, Eoin Macken, Adetomiwa Edun, Justin Molotnikov, Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy, Julian Jones, Jake Michie: Film & TV". Amazon.co.uk. Retrieved 2013-01-04.
- Carlsson, Mikael (29 October 2009). "MovieScore Media to release second ‘Merlin’". MovieScore Magazine.[dead link]
- Broxton, Jonathan. "The Tenth Annual Movie Music UK Awards 2008". moviemusicuk.us.[dead link]
- "Premios GoldSpirit – VIII Edición (2008) Sala de Trofeos". bsospirit.com (Spanish language official site).
- "Ubeda 2009 – Palmarès des Goldspirit Awards – Desplat vainqueur !". cinezik.org (French language official site). 18 July 2009.
- "2008 IFMCA Awards". filmmusiccritics.org.
- "Rob Lane: MERLIN Original Television Soundtrack". MovieScore Media.
- "Rob Lane & Rohan Stevenson: MERLIN: SERIES TWO Original Television Soundtrack". MovieScore Media.
- "Merlin: Series Three (Rob Lane, Rohan Stevenson & James Gosling)". MovieScore Media.
- "Merlin: Series Four (Rob Lane, Rohan Stevenson, James Gosling & Michal Pavlicek)". MovieScore Media.
- "New Merlin magazine out today in the UK". downthetubes British Comics news site.
|Wikiquote has a collection of quotations related to: Merlin|
- The Adventures of Merlin, the official global Merlin site
- Merlin at BBC Programmes
- Merlin at the Internet Movie Database
- Merlin at TV.com
- Merlin at Syfy
- Merlin at NBC