The Darkest Hour Part 1

Season 4, Ep 1, Aired 10/1/11
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  • Episode Description
  • Merlin is to face his toughest challenge yet when Morgana's blind determination puts at risk Arthur's future as well as the very balance of the world. With her unbounded powers at their highest, the sorceress uses powerful magic to tear the mystical veil between worlds making the mighty Cailleach to come forth. Hellish creatures are released and wander around, killing everyone who succumbs to their touch. With Uther but a mere shadow of his former self, it comes down to Arthur and his loyal knights to safeguard the kingdom. However, swords won't be enough to vanquish the newest threat and Merlin is utterly shocked to find out what it'll take to restore the equilibrium of the world: a sacrifice of unimaginable proportions is required.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Colin Morgan


  • Katie McGrath


  • Bradley James (II)

    Arthur Pendragon

  • Anthony Stewart Head

    King Uther Pendragon

  • Richard Wilson (III)


  • Fan Reviews (4)
  • The Darkest Hour Part 1

    By TrueTvWatcher, Oct 02, 2011

  • An epic start to Series 4 has Arthur firmly in charge, the Knights well established and Morgana coming into her own. A few minor contrivances are not enough to mar a thrilling season opener.

    By SVFancross, Oct 04, 2011

  • Perfect season 4 start up!

    By texasislandr, Oct 09, 2011

  • The show comes of age

    By zeroherrera, Oct 04, 2011

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (33)

    • (The shirt Merlin is bringing to the prince gets stained with wine that a passing servant is carrying).
      Merlin: Arthur is going to kill me!
      Sir Lancelot: Let's see. You've faced far worse, Merlin.
      Merlin: He needs it for tonight.
      Sir Lancelot: I'm sure a man of your talents can think of something (He raises his eyebrows suggesting magic).
      (Merlin cleans it up using a spell, then he shows it to Sir Lancelot who raises his arms approvingly).

    • Merlin: You're dressed!
      Arthur: Yes, Merlin. I'm not an idiot.
      (He turns around and his shirt isn't properly done at the back)
      Merlin: (Laughing) Are you sure about that?
      Arthur: I beg your pardon?

    • Arthur: I'm trying to write a speech!
      Merlin: Do you want help?
      Arthur: No.
      Merlin: You won't want this, then. I spent all night working on it (Offers Arthur a scroll that he reads) What do you think?
      Arthur: (Returning it to Merlin) It needs a polish.
      Merlin: I'll add it to the list.
      Arthur: Merlin, there aren't many servants who get the chance to write a prince's speech. Obviously it would be too much for you to say 'thank you'.
      (Merlin doesn't say a word and Arthur smiles).

    • (About Uther)
      Gaius: It's been a year since Morgana betrayed him. His heart is broken and his spirit is gone. Are you joining us for the feast tonight?
      Gwen: I don't think so. I need to stay with the King.
      Gaius: You're very good to him, Gwen.
      Gwen: I don't do it for him. I do it for Arthur.

    • (After he's received news of Morgana)
      Arthur: For months, nothing. Why now?
      Agravaine: We knew she couldn't stay hidden forever. Today, tomorrow, does it matter? We mustn't live in fear, Arthur. Camelot is strong. If Morgana were to act, we'd be ready for her.
      Arthur: You're right, of course. I don't know how I'd've got through these last months without you. Thank you, Uncle.
      Agravaine: I made a promise to your mother. I'll always be there for you.

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    Notes (17)

    • It was Bradley James' idea that Arthur throws away the speech he had been working on after reading Merlin's.

    • The scene where Morgana sacrifices Morgause took 6 weeks to be filmed but Emilia Fox could only be present for 3 days due to her commitments with Silent Witness.

    • Colin Morgan improvised the bit where Merlin looks back over his shoulder as Drea is explaining to Arthur what happened in her village.

    • Her role of Drea was actress Katie Moore's first tv role after graduating from drama school.

    • Andy Bennett, Merlin stunt coordinator, has a small part in the episode as the knight who gets frozen in the castle hallway despite Gwen's efforts to save his life.

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    Trivia (17)

    • Goof: In the scene where Gaius is in his chambers and a gust of wind blows his candles out, we can clearly see that the top candle (the one highest on screen) is blown out. In the following shot, three candles, including the top one, are lit.

    • Goof: When Sir Leon and Sir Elyan come back to the castle and tell Arthur about Morgana's return in the Council Chamber, Arthur's hair style keeps swtiching between a perfectly combed fringe and a slightly less perfect one.

    • James Greene, who is credited as the ferryman, has no lines in the episode.

    • A little vaulted niche can be seen on the wall to the right of Merlin's bed that wasn't there before.

    • Camelot's royal seal depicts a wyvern, the Pendragon device.

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