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Merlin the Television Series - Season 1
Have You Seen the NEW Merlin?
Merlin is a new British TV series from BBC and NBC. Apparently it aired in the UK in 2008 and a second season has been commissioned. NBC commissioned the rights and it is now airing in the US for American audiences and we are thrilled to experience the magic of Merlin, Arthur, and Camelot!! It is the first UK drama series to be commissioned for US prime time television in over 30 years.
Merlin was created to be like Smallville were it tells the story of these fantastical people and places in their younger years. The story begins when Merlin arrives in Camelot for the first time. The king is Uther Pendragon, Arthur's father, and he has outlawed magic and imprisoned the last dragon. Merlin has very strong magical powers but must hide them so as not to be executed. He becomes the apprentice of Gaius and the man servant of the arrogant Arthur. The imprisoned dragon informs him that he has a great destiny in Camelot and that he and Arthur will do great things together. His job will be to protect Arthur so that Arthur can become a great King and so Camelot will become a great and prosperous kingdom. The only problem is that Merlin doesn't much like the arrogant Arthur and how can he use his magic to protect Arthur when doing so could mean his execution?!
Photo Credit: BBC
Merlin - The Dragon's Call - Season 1, Episode 1
This is the first episode of Merlin and it starts with Merlin's arrival in Camelot. He arrives in time to witness the execution of a boy his age. The young man had been found practicing magic and because the King believes ALL magic is evil the boy is beheaded in punishment. Merlin is especially appalled since he has magical powers and did not learn it by memorizing spells and incantations... he was born with magical abilities. This event makes it clear to him that he must be careful not to let his magical secret be exposed. The boy's mother (Mary Collins) witnessed the execution and declares that the King will soon share the same tears she has shed... meaning she will kill Arthur in retaliation.
Despite his knowledge that he must not use sorcery Merlin saves the life of Gaius, the court physician using magic. Gaius, however, promises not to expose him and instead acts as his mentor. Gaius believes that Merlin is special and destined for something great. He gives Merlin a room in his home. Merlin meets and comes to dislike the King's son, Arthur, who seems naught but a bully. Meanwhile Mary Collin's kills a singer who is scheduled to sing at a special event in the King's castle. She plans to kill Arthur while she is there.
Merlin is thrown in jail for a short time for instigating a fight with Arthur and meets the lovely Guinevere, who is Morgana's lady in waiting. Morgana is the King's ward and has an eye for Arthur.
As Merlin sleeps he hears his name being called. Merlin sneaks into the dungeon and finds an imprisoned dragon. The dragon tells him that it is his destiny to protect Arthur who will become a great King. Merlin argues that this cannot be true but the dragon insists that the Kingdom will fall if Merlin and Arthur do not fulfill their destiny together.
Mary Collin's disguised as Lady Helen the singer, sings for the court and causes all of them to fall asleep at their tables. The room is dark and cobwebs overtake them. Only Merlin is unaffected and he puts his hands over his hears to block out her voice. He watched as Lady Collins creeps towards the sleeping Arthur to kill him and he uses magic to drop a chandelier on her. The magic fades and people wake up in confusion to see Mary Collins on the floor. She musters up enough energy to lift her arm and throw a dagger at Arthur. Merlin slows time using his magic and runs to knock Arthur out of the way. The dagger impales his chair instead.
The King is impressed by Merlin and as a way of thanking him for saving his son's life he appoints Merlin to be Arthur's personal manservant. Both Merlin and Arthur are less than thrilled by this idea.
Gaius congratulates Merlin and gives him a forbidden magic book to study in secret.
Merlin - Valiant
Season 1, Episode 2
In this episode the Knight Valiant commissions a magical shield that has snakes on it. The snakes come to life and bite his opponents so he can go in for an easy kill. He plans to win the annual sword tournament in Camelot using this magical shield and this will mean defeating and killing his opponents, including the defending champion, Arthur.
On the first day of the tournament Arthur and Valiant easily defeat their opponents and Merlin is assigned to making sure Arthur's armor is clean and sparkly for the next day's fight. While Merlin is putting away the armor he hears hissing and upon looking at Valiant's shield he sees the eyes of the painted snakes blinking. Valiant confronts him and demands to know what he is doing but Merlin leaves so as not to draw suspicion.
During the fighting that day Valiant's snakes attack his opponent and bite. The injured knight, Ewan, is brought to Gaius and they see the puncture wounds on his neck but are baffled as to how to explain them. Merlin figures out what is going though and decides to investigate further. He spies on Valiant and sees him feeding live mice to the snakes. Gaius tells Merlin that he must not accuse a Knight of a crime without some sort of proof or it will be Merlin in trouble.
When the tournament comes down to just Valiant and Arthur, Merlin knows he must do something to protect Arthur and Gaius agrees. Merlin finds Valiant's shield and provokes the snakes into attacking him. He decapitates one of them and takes the head to Gaius to make anti-venom so that Ewan can be healed and tell the King what how Valiant cheated and used magic.
Merlin tells Arthur about Valiant and Arthur believes him and requests an audience with the king to expose Valiant. However, the King is enraged when Arthur can present no proof as Ewan is killed before he can serve as a witness and his only source of information is a man servant. Valiant implies that perhaps Arthur is scared to face him and wants to withdraw from the tournament. Arthur and his father are shamed and Arthur has no choice but to recant and apologize. Arthur is furious with Merlin and orders him to leave the castle but still believes him. He resigns to the fact that he must fight Valiant and likely die.
Merlin begins practicing a spell that will expose the snakes during the tournament and does so successfully. Arthur and Valiant struggle and finally Arthur decapitates the snakes and kills Valiant. Merlin's aid is unknown and Arthur reinstates him as his man servant.