Merlin: Secrets and Magic

Season 1 Episode 7

Con-troll Freak

Aired Monday 7:45 PM Nov 02, 2009 on BBC Three
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Episode Summary

Con-troll Freak
The sixth episode of Merlin Secrets and Magic focuses on Camelot's odd couple, King Uther Pendragon and his troll wife Catrina, and on what Anthony Head has brought to this regal role, as explained by the actor himself together with other cast and crew members. Rupert Young also reflects on his character, Sir Leon. The episode goes behind the scenes to offer exclusive backstage footage, production details and on-set cast and crew interviews from the filming of Merlin's episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast – Part Two.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (7)

    • QUOTES (25)

      • Sarah Parish: (About the prosthetic job) It takes about two and a half hours in the morning and it's a big, big prosthetic head and a big fat suit and big tusks and contact lenses and a horrible wig.

      • Katie McGrath: (About the prosthetic job on Sarah Parish) It was a long, long process cause I mean I'm always moaning about how much time I spend in hair and make up cause I'm not good at sitting still but usually I'm the first in and when I turned up on set she had already been there for two hours.

      • Anthony Head: (About Sarah Parish) She is great. When she was in the suit it was quite a struggle and she was in full head to the shoulders make up and then on top of that she had the fat suit. So I was acutely aware of her struggle. But she went right away through it without a murmur, without a moan.

      • Sarah Parish: (About her troll costume) Hopefully I would say I'm totally unrecognisable and if anybody does say they knew it was me I'll kill them.

      • Anthony Head: I have to say Sarah Paris deserves a medal for the moulge that she ate. It was black goo, I think it was bananas and chocolate and stuff.

      • Colin Morgan: I saw the plates of food going through, they've put apples and pears and things in the microwave to make them more soggy and grotesque and I think she had to eat from a plate that actually had maggots on the other side of it as well so I really didn't envy her at all.

      • Katie McGrath: (About episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast – Part Two) You think that it can't get… they can't push the joke anymore and then the second part just gets hilarious, it was brilliant.

      • Colin Morgan: (About episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast – Part Two) Yes, there is some troll loving going on.

      • Angel Coulby: (About episode 2x06 Beauty and the Beast – Part Two) There's a bit of troll love which is really disgusting but really funny as well.

      • Rupert Young: (About his first scene in Merlin) It was kind of terrifying. This beautiful scene that Colin [Morgan] and Richard [Wilson] had been doing and then I had to interrupt with a knock on the door and come in and deliver this line and so on my first scene I opened to line and managed to forget what my line was even though I had been practicing for many days. And then I thought: 'that's it, I'm gonna be cut'.

      • Rupert Young: (About Sir Leon) I'm the dogsbody of Camelot. I've got to kind of stand up for the people of Camelot and when Uther kind of gets under a spell it was nice to be able to actually kind of put myself out there a little bit.

      • Rupert Young: It's just the weirdest thing in the world meeting for the first time an actress who has a troll head [Sarah Parish], she was so realistic it was quite bizarre. So that was kind of fun.

      • Rupert Young: There's a little comedy scene with Richard [Wilson] and I as we say to Uther. Being in a scene with these incredible actors that you've kind of always looked up to, hoped you'd one day have the chance to meet and then you are working with just not one but two or four of these guys. I've just really enjoyed. I love learning so much from people and watching people work and to be able to do a little comedy scene with Richard and just to be able to do that it was fantastic it was just amazing.

      • Anthony Head: There were magical times in Camelot and I [Uther] put an end to that because as far as I'm concerned no one can deal in magic without being drowned to the dark side.

      • Johnny Capps: It's a tricky part for Tony [Head] because it'd be very easy to play Uther on just one note and be sort of the Queen of hearts, he is the threat of the series really and he is a very important part of the show because he is the one who has vanished magic.

      • Colin Morgan: (About Uther) And you can see why he believes magic is so dark and so wrong and it is for his own reasons in a way and we discover it is kind of his own fault. His wife who could not have children, Uther did a deal with Nimueh so she would have a child [episode 1x09 Excalibur].

      • Anthony Head: I think like all bullies, it stands out of insecurity. And Uther is insecure. He thinks by wiping out anybody who is practising it that he can eradicate magic from the land but of course he can't, it's deeply ingrained.

      • Katie McGrath: As time goes on and Morgana starts to realize what she is, and what she is is in direct violation of every thing that Uther holds dear. Morgana feels that he is opposed to her. It's a ticking time bomb.

      • Angel Coulby: (About Uther) He killed my [Gwen's] dad in last series [episode 1x12 To Kill the King] so I don't care about him much, obviously so I think Gwen kind of keeps away from him but Anthony Head is absolutely lovely and we get on really well.

      • Johnny Capps: For the part of Uther we always had Tony Head on our casting list. I was a huge Buffy fan so for me he was perfect casting as Uther and I remember the first day I met him I was completely star-struck, I was so kind of thrilled that he was playing the part. The great thing about Tony having done Buffy is he understands the world of high concept acting in which it is not just about being naturalistic it's about finding the reality and the truth of this fantasy world. And also at the same time sort of slightly tipping a wing to that and enjoying that performance and not taking it too seriously sometimes. By having that kind of wealth of experience doing Buffy makes Tony [Head] a very valid member of our ensemble.

      • Bradley James: First day I met Anthony [Head] I said: 'by the way, you are probably going to want to avoid me cause I've been kind of a closet Buffy fan'. The image I had of him of sort of a stiff librarian disappears and he is this warm, warm man who just kind of makes you feel quite comfortable.

      • Anthony Head: Bradley [James] is very funny. He has a very dry humour. His relationship with me off set is very funny. We always call each other father and son. Our relationship on camera has changed as well because Arthur is growing, he is a man and Uther is sort of beginning to feel a bit wobbly I think in one way or another.

      • Anthony Head: Maybe season 2 they might back off Uther, they might be bored of his own rant but actually no, we have more life yet.

      • Bradley James: (After starting an argument about the colour of Anthony Head's coat) I'll get over it. I'm sure like in about five minutes time I'll come up with a new argument to have.

      • Bradley James: Anthony [Head] and I have been working on a father son dynamic off screen largely due to the fact that he'll have something and I'll borrow it often and then he'll say: 'you'll give me that back' and I go: 'yeah, yeah' and then not give it him back at least for a while.

    • NOTES (5)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Johnny Capps: I was a huge Buffy fan...

        Johnny Capps: The great thing about Tony having done Buffy...

        Bradley James: I've been kind of a closet Buffy fan.

        Buffy the Vampire Slayer is an American supernatural television drama that run for 6 seasons between March 10, 1997 and May 20, 2003. Anthony Head starred in the show.