Merlin (series 4)
|Merlin (series 4)|
Complete DVD set box art
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||13|
|Original release||1 October– 24 December 2011|
The fourth series of the British drama series Merlin began on 1 October 2011 with the episode "The Darkest Hour - Part 1". It consists of 13 episodes originally shown on Saturday evenings on BBC One and BBC One HD (repeats shown on BBC Three). The series producer was Sara Hamill, and executive producers were Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy. The directors of the series include Alice Troughton, Alex Pillai, Justin Molotnikov and Jeremy Webb. Writers include Julian Jones (head writer), Howard Overman, Jake Michie, Lucy Watkins, and Richard McBrien.
Series four stars the regular cast from the previous series including Colin Morgan, Angel Coulby, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, and Richard Wilson. Credited as a regular, Anthony Head left the series after his character was killed off in "The Wicked Day". Nathaniel Parker joined the regular cast in this series (credited as such for the first time in "Aithusa") and John Hurt returned as the voice of the Great Dragon. Supporting cast members include Adetomiwa Edun, Eoin Macken, Tom Hopper, and Rupert Young.
Notable guest actors include Santiago Cabrera, Emilia Fox, Gemma Jones, Phil Davis, James Callis, Lindsay Duncan, Gary Lewis, Charlene McKenna, Janet Montgomery, Terence Maynard, Ben Daniels, Miranda Raison and Caroline Faber.
It's been a year since Morgana turned against Camelot and went on the run with a dying Morgause, and things have changed in the kingdom. Arthur is now acting as king, assisted by his uncle Agravaine, whilst King Uther is a lost soul, broken by his daughter's betrayal.
Merlin, Guinevere and Gaius continue to act as Arthur's ever faithful servants, but with another traitor now living in the heart of the castle, it seems each of them must prove their loyalty like never before. A dark cloud has been cast over Camelot and as Uther Pendragon breathes his last breath, tight nets close around Arthur. The kingdom's darkest hour has arrived, and to survive, Arthur and Merlin must put their trust in each other completely as the line between allies and adversaries is tested to the limit.
- Colin Morgan as Merlin
- Bradley James as Arthur
- Angel Coulby as Gwen
- Katie McGrath as Morgana
- Nathaniel Parker as Lord Agravaine
- Richard Wilson as Gaius
- John Hurt as the Great Dragon (voice)
- Anthony Head as Uther Pendragon
- Santiago Cabrera as Sir Lancelot
- Eoin Macken as Sir Gwaine
- Rupert Young as Sir Leon
- Tom Hopper as Sir Percival
- Adetomiwa Edun as Sir Elyan
- Gemma Jones as The Cailleach
- Emilia Fox as Morgause
- Phil Davis as The Gleeman
- James Callis as Julius Borden
- Charlene McKenna as Lamia
- Janet Montgomery as Princess Mithian
- Lindsay Duncan as Queen Annis
- Steven Hartley as King Caerleon
- Zee Asha as Audrey
- Sarah Beck Mather as Vilia
- Gary Lewis as Alator of the Catha
- Terence Maynard as Helios
- Miranda Raison as Isolde
- Ben Daniels as Tristan
- Caroline Faber as Hunith
|Title||Directed by||Written by||Original air date||UK viewers
|40||1||"The Darkest Hour - Part 1"||Alice Troughton||Julian Jones||1 October 2011||6.40|
|Merlin faces his toughest challenge yet when Morgana's blinkered determination threatens not only Arthur's future, but the very balance of the world. With her magic stronger than ever, the sorceress summons the mighty Callieach to tear open the veil between the worlds. Hellish creatures pour forth, killing any who succumb to their touch. It falls to Arthur and his loyal knights to protect the kingdom. But it will take more than just swords to vanquish their enemy and Merlin is shocked to the core when he discovers the only way to restore the equilibrium requires a sacrifice of unimaginable proportions.|
|41||2||"The Darkest Hour - Part 2"||Alice Troughton||Julian Jones||8 October 2011||6.80|
|The kingdom is on the brink of collapse, with Morgana poised to strike. As Lancelot races back to Camelot with the dying Merlin, Arthur must continue on his mission to vanquish the Dorocha without them. Though the Knights know their journey to the Isle of the Blessed is fraught with danger, none could anticipate the sacrifice Arthur intends to make there. Friendship and loyalty are tested to the limit, but in the end, it is the power of love that changes all their lives forever...|
|42||3||"The Wicked Day"||Alice Troughton||Howard Overman||15 October 2011||7.04|
|The mighty citadel is buzzing in anticipation of the prince's birthday celebrations. But Arthur's old adversary, Odin, promises to ensure this is one party Camelot will never forget. For amongst the assembling guests lurks a deadly assassin, set to strike. As the dust settles, Camelot is left devastated. But just how far is Merlin prepared to go to put things right? Would he really risk everything and reveal his secret?|
|43||4||"Aithusa"||Alex Pillai||Julian Jones||22 October 2011||6.96|
|The mysterious Julius Borden arrives in Camelot with news of a magical secret that threatens to change the landscape of the kingdom forever. He has located the final part of the key to the tomb of Ashkanar, an ancient mausoleum which holds a very special treasure: the last remaining dragon's egg. Merlin is understandably drawn in by Borden's news, and promises to help him. But just who is the enigmatic stranger and, more importantly, why does he really want the egg?|
|44||5||"His Father's Son"||Alex Pillai||Jake Michie||29 October 2011||7.40|
|For the first time since his coronation, Arthur finds out what it's really like to be King. Arthur faces his first true test as King when he incurs the wrath of the formidable Queen Annis. With the lives of thousands hanging in the balance, Arthur must find the strength to be his own man and become the leader Camelot so desperately needs.|
|45||6||"A Servant of Two Masters"||Alex Pillai||Lucy Watkins||5 November 2011||6.94|
|When Merlin falls into Morgana's hands, he becomes a deadly weapon in her fight for supremacy. Using ancient magic, she pits friend against friend and creates the perfect assassin. An oblivious Arthur is in great danger. Will anyone notice Merlin's unusual behaviour before it's too late?|
|46||7||"The Secret Sharer"||Justin Molotnikov||Julian Jones||12 November 2011||6.72|
|Morgana joins forces with an enigmatic wizard named Alator to uncover a secret that could change the course of destiny: the identity of Emrys. With allies on both sides of the walls of Camelot, can anyone stop her before Merlin's secret is revealed?|
|47||8||"Lamia"||Justin Molotnikov||Jake Michie||19 November 2011||7.00|
|When the menfolk of Guinevere's home village fall victim to a mysterious illness, Gaius sends Merlin, along with Guinevere and the Knights, to cure them, but they are side-tracked by a waif-like girl, Lamia. Only Merlin and Guinevere suspect, rightly, that she is responsible, and soon the Knights fall under her spell, succumbing to the same sickness. Arthur rides out with Gaius, who has realised the girl's secret, but will they rescue Merlin and Guinevere or can Merlin defeat Lamia without revealing his magic powers?|
|48||9||"Lancelot du Lac"||Justin Molotnikov||Lucy Watkins||26 November 2011||7.32|
|When Sir Lancelot returns, old feelings reignite. Gwen must fight temptation before she commits an unspeakable act of betrayal, one that would destroy the legacy of Camelot forever. With heads and hearts thrown into turmoil, Merlin becomes suspicious. Can a man really defy death, or is there something more sinister at play?|
|49||10||"A Herald of the New Age"||Jeremy Webb||Howard Overman||3 December 2011||6.90|
|The Camelot Knights stumble across an eerie shrine deep in the forest, its chilling atmosphere betraying a dark history best left undisturbed. But when Elyan ignores Merlin's warning, his actions spark a chain of events more frightening than anyone could possibly have imagined.|
|50||11||"The Hunter's Heart"||Jeremy Webb||Richard McBrien||10 December 2011||7.12|
|Morgana finds a powerful ally in the Southron warlord Helios. Together they hatch the perfect plan to force Camelot to its knees... With the Kingdom - and Arthur - preoccupied by the arrival of the beautiful Princess Mithian, it falls to an absent friend to raise the alarm. But with past wounds still raw, can love really conquer all when Guinevere returns? Or is a deadly arrow destined to fly straight into the heart of Camelot?|
|51||12||"The Sword in the Stone: Part 1"||Alice Troughton||Jake Michie||17 December 2011||8.39|
|With Morgana at the head of a vast Southron army, a deadly net is closing in around Camelot. When the sorceress strikes, the ferocity of her attack forces everyone to run for their lives - even Arthur. But Morgana won't let him escape that easily. And so begins a chilling hunt. Can Merlin save the King from Morgana's clutches? Or has Arthur's luck finally run out?|
|52||13||"The Sword in the Stone: Part 2"||Alice Troughton||Julian Jones||24 December 2011||8.18|
|Helios and Morgana have successfully captured Camelot, while Merlin, Arthur, Gwen, Tristan and Isolde are outlawed and on the run. To prove that Arthur is the rightful heir to the throne, Merlin makes Arthur draw an ancient sword out of a stone. Finding his courage, Arthur strikes Camelot and overthrows Morgana. Arthur takes his crown back and marries Gwen, who finally becomes Queen of Camelot. Wounded and banished, Morgana almost dies, but at the very end, the little dragon Aithusa heals Morgana before flying away.|
The production of a fourth series of Merlin was confirmed on 25 October 2010. Anthony Head confirmed that the show will air in September 2011. Series 4 will consist of 13 episodes. Colin Morgan said episodes would no longer be as stand-alone, "Each episode takes a progression as a piece of a jigsaw that has to be completed. There's no reverse going on." Due to the popularity of the show, Merlin has been renewed for a fifth series.
Three days before the series finale Julian Jones the series creator stated that Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby, Anthony Head, and Richard Wilson are all contracted for multiple season and they would return as series regulars. John Hurt who narrated the show and plays the voice of the great dragon would also be upgraded back into a series regular after having a recurring role in season two. On 19 August 2011 Phil Davis was cast as the Gleeman. Nathaniel Parker and Charlene McKenna  would also join the casting playing Agravaine and Lamia. James Callis joined that casting for the fourth episode as Julius Borden. Gemma Jones will play Cailleach the gatekeeper to the spirit world. Lindsay Duncan will appear in one episode playing the Queen of Annis. Steven Hartley also joined the casting as King Caerleon. Rupert Young will also return. Tom Hopper and Adetomiwa Edun confirmed that they will also return on their roles.
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