• Publication date: October 14, 2011

A Fifth Century Tale in a Twenty-First Century World The Adventures of Merlin: Join the Magic

Inspired by Smallville, the BBC's Adventures of Merlin puts yet another spin on the classic Arthurian tales. Audiences meet a young Prince Arthur (Bradley James), still under the tutelage of his father, King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head). The tales are told from the vantage point of a young Merlin (Colin Morgan) however, whose mother just sent him to Camelot.

Inspired by Smallville, the BBC's Adventures of Merlin puts yet another spin on the classic Arthurian tales. Audiences meet a young Prince Arthur (Bradley James), still under the tutelage of his father, King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head). The tales are told from the vantage point of a young Merlin (Colin Morgan) however, whose mother just sent him to Camelot.

Immediately after his arrival, Merlin encounters Arthur pummeling another youth. Enraged, the newcomer fearlessly approaches the prince and ends the beating. Onlookers assume that Merlin has no idea who the bully is; the opposite is true though, exemplifying the young wizard's bravery. Despite their unfortunate introduction, Arthur and Merlin eventually befriend one another. To some extent this is not willingly, since Uther appoints the outsider to be Arthur's manservant. While Merlin often despises the prince's arrogance, they nonetheless have saved each other's lives in numerous skirmishes and rely upon one another.

As a practitioner of magic Merlin must keep a low profile. For the past 20 years King Uther ruthlessly executed any suspected magicians, and even those whom he believed associated with them. His hatred of the profession stems from death of his son, who was conceived with the help of sorcery; since then he has been convinced that no good can come from the craft. Arthur, on the other hand, is more lenient about this perceived evil. Rather than kill sorcerers he prefers to give them warnings or expel them from Camelot; death is used only as a last resort.

Underneath the King's castle lurks the Great Dragon, Kilgharrah (voiced by John Hurt). Merlin often seeks Kilgharrah's advice when in trouble, and prophesizes Arthur's ascension to the throne and its associated blessings. With that in mind, the dragon usually advises his young friend to protect the prince by any means, and never hesitate to use his powers to keep Arthur out of harm's way.

Merlin has other companions in Camelot as well. Gaius (Richard Wilson) serves both as the King's physician and the young sorcerer's surrogate father. He is among the few aware of the boy's powers. Also a case of puppy love seems to exist between Merlin and Morgana (Katie McGrath), an unacknowledged, illegitimate daughter of Uther with the power of prophecy. In order to protect Morgana from the King's wrath, Gaius concocts a sleeping potion that dulls her prophetic abilities.

Together these young girls and boys will go through events that shape their legendary destiny. The Adventures of Merlin follows the rise of King Arthur and his associates just as Smallville followed the evolution of a young Clark Kent. With a twist of witchcraft the program is sure to appeal to the Harry Potter generation.

Year: 2008-Present

Duration: 45 minutes

Genre: Adventure, Drama, Family, Fantasy

Starring:

Colin Morgan

Bradley James

Anthony Head

Richard Wilson

Katie McGrath

Angel Coulby

Created By: Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy

Rating: TV-PG