The Dragon's Call

Season 1, Ep 1, Aired 9/20/08
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  • Episode Description
  • Merlin, a young man with the gift of magic, arrives in Camelot in search of a new beginning only to find himself in a place where magic is punishable by death. Here he meets Gaius, his mentor; the ruthless king of Camelot, Uther Pendragon; his ward, the beautiful Lady Morgana; Gwen, her friendly maidservant; and the arrogant but handsome prince Arthur, upon whom the future of Camelot depends. Desperate to find a purpose for his magic, Merlin is stunned to discover that his destiny is to protect the future king, with whom he does not get along particularly well.moreless

  • Cast & Crew
  • Colin Morgan


  • Richard Wilson (III)


  • Anthony Stewart Head

    King Uther Pendragon

  • Katie McGrath


  • Angel Coulby

    Gwen (Guinevere)

  • Fan Reviews (8)
  • Merlin enters Camelot, meets the arrogant Prince, and learns of the destiny the two of them share.

    By texasislandr, Aug 10, 2010

  • This show doesn't just play fast and loose with the source material, it grabs it by the short hairs and kicks it repeatedly in the groin while screaming naughty words.

    By hiroforce, Sep 23, 2008

  • Merlin is sent to live with Gaius by his mother who is worried about his abilities. On arrival Merlin is witness to what happens in Uther's realm when one uses magic. Arthur is no more than a bully but Merlin finds out his destiny is tied to him.

    By jyarter, Jun 23, 2009

  • A promising first episode.

    By summersnowbiiee, Jun 03, 2009

  • An almost magical start

    By AvatarBlue, Oct 25, 2008

  • Trivia & Quotes
  • Quotes (15)

    • Uther: You saved my boy's life. A debt must be repaid. Merlin: Um... well... Uther: Don't be so modest. You shall be rewarded. Merlin: No, honestly, you don't have to, Your Highness. Uther: No, absolutely. This merits something quite special. Merlin: Well... Uther: You shall be awarded a position in the Royal Household. You shall be Prince Arthur's manservant. Arthur: Father!

    • Gwen: (about Morgana) She looks great, doesn't she? Merlin: Yeah. Gwen: Some people are just born to be queen. Merlin: No. Gwen: I hope so. One day. Not that I'd want to be her. Who'd want to marry Arthur? Merlin: Come on, Gwen. I thought you liked those real rough, tough, save-the-world kind of men. Gwen: No, I like much more ordinary men like you. Merlin: Gwen, believe me, I'm not ordinary. Gwen: No, I didn't mean you. Obviously. Not you. Just, you know, I like much more ordinary men. Like you. Merlin: Thanks.

    • The Great Dragon: How small you are, for such a great destiny. Merlin: Why? What do you mean? What destiny? The Great Dragon: Your gift, Merlin, was given to you for a reason. Merlin: So there is a reason! The Great Dragon: Arthur is the once and future king who will unite the land of Albion... Merlin: Right? The Great Dragon: But he faces many threats from friend and foe alike. Merlin: I don't see what this has to do with me. The Great Dragon: Everything! Without you, Arthur will never succeed. Without you, there will be no Albion! Merlin: No! No, you've got this wrong! The Great Dragon: There is no right or wrong. Only what is and what isn't. Merlin: But I'm serious! If anyone wants to go and kill him, they can go ahead. In fact, I'll give them a hand.

    • (Mary Collins has taken the appearance of Lady Helen and is dining with Uther) Lady Helen: (about Arthur) Poor child. It can't have been easy to grow up without a mother. Uther: No. Lady Helen: Hm. That bond between mother and son, it's so hard to replace. Uther: Hasn't been easy. Lady Helen: I'm sure. Perhaps if you found someone? If you remarried? I'm sure you'd have the pick of any lady in the kingdom. Uther: Well, perhaps I'll find love again, but I'm afraid it's too late to replace Arthur's mother. Lady Helen: Yes. It's certainly too late for Arthur.

    • Merlin: You don't know why I was born like this, do you? Gaius: No. Merlin: I'm not a monster, am I? Gaius: Don't ever think that.

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    Notes (88)

    • A pronunciation guide is included in every script so the cast gets an idea of how to pronounce all the backstory words.

    • Each episode has some 33 minutes of music, way more than most dramas.

    • According to Barney Curnow, VFX supervisor from The Mill, background shots are made so then magical creatures can be put into them later. They use a shiny ball for lighting purposes whenever there's 3D CGI as it reflects the whole environment and so they make sure that the creature they put in that environment is lit exactly as it should be as if it was in the frame when the background shots were filmed.

    • If Bradley James would have to describe Arthur in one word, he would describe him as 'fabulous'.

    • If Colin Morgan could change one thing about Merlin, it would be to have Merlin stop trying to revive Arthur so much. If Bradley James could change one thing about Arthur, it would be to make him be knocked unconscious less.

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    Trivia (25)

    • Goof: Arthur can be seen falling asleep before Uther does, but right after Uther has fallen sleep himself, Arthur can be briefly seen still awake.

    • Goof: Merlin never gets to give Gwen the remedy for Morgana's nightmares.

    • Goof: Hunith's house, as we see it in this episode, is not consistent with her house in episode 1x10 The Moment of Truth.

    • Goof: When Gaius looks out of the window he gets a really close view of Merlin and Arthur fighting; the market appears to be way closer to his chamber than it actually is.

    • Goof: Merlin is sent to deliver medicines to different people and even though he is new in Camelot, he doesn't even ask for directions.

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    Allusions (1)

    • The Great Dragon: Arthur is the once and future king who will unite the land of Albion. 'The Once And Future King' is a title often ascribed to Arthur, taken from the supposed inscription over his grave HIC IACET ARTORIVS REX QVONDAM REXQVE FVTVRVS (Here lies Arthur, the once and future king). It is also the title of an Arthurian fantasy novel written by T.H. White published in 1958.

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