Merlin: Secrets and Magic

Season 1 Episode 13

The Dragon's Den

Aired Monday 7:45 PM Dec 13, 2009 on BBC Three
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Episode Summary

The Dragon's Den
The twelfth episode of Merlin Secrets and Magic goes behind the scenes to show how the sequences with the Great Dragon were filmed and how much the very talented John Hurt adds to its characterization. It also offers exclusive backstage footage, production details and on-set cast and crew interviews from the filming of Merlin's episode 2x12 The Fires Of Idirsholas.moreless

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    Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


    • TRIVIA (6)

    • QUOTES (16)

      • Colin Morgan: It's a huge epic finale. When you first read something like that, you think: 'wow'.

      • Katie McGrath: Morgana has finally decided that she's had enough of Uther, that she can't live with the way he is anymore and she has decided that the time has come for her to do something about it and Morgause comes into the episode and facilitates this but in a way that Morgana isn't really aware. Morgana agrees to something, agrees to a plan without truly understanding what it is.

      • Colin Morgan: We see Morgana become so impassioned and so against Uther that she's actually becoming quite dangerous and very worrying.

      • Katie McGrath: She becomes a vessel for a spell that is cast over all of Camelot.

      • Jeremy Webb: I wanted the knights of Medhir to wear cloaks, dark cloaks and we spent quite a lot of time thinking that maybe they should have skeleton faces but then I thought again that maybe they should wear masks cause they're supposed to be knights but I didn't want them just having bits of armour I wanted them to have cloaks that would move nicely in slow motion and would be quite menacing and dark. Sort of like Grim Reapers. So we get a really good mask maker to respond to some of the pictures that I've seen around but after that she sort of drew her own ideas. They are really, really strong visually.

      • Colin Morgan: He is put in a position where he has to make a decision which is very out of character. He has to literally poison a friend, kill a friend but for the greater good. It's not an easy decision. It was important to get that right and Jeremy Webb, the director, was great because he completely pushed us and spent the time on it.

      • Katie McGrath: He can either save Camelot or let me live so in order to save Camelot and Arthur and the once and future king he has to kill Morgana.

      • Johnny Capps: Does he poison somebody that he in a way cares about but he's suspicious of or does he let her live and therefore le the rest of Camelot die? Either decision is really difficult for Merlin.

      • Katie McGrath: He kills her because he believes he had to and he kills her because Morgana's magic has taken her somewhere that his magic never would and Merlin and Morgana can't be friends because of that. They started off from the same place but they've gone in completely opposite directions and their friendship isn't going to come back from that.

      • Johnny Capps: Let's push Merlin into making a very, very difficult decision and it's an awful decision that he has to make but there is hope there for Morgana because Morgause takes her away and there's absolutely a sense that Morgause will save Morgana. And that creates for us a delicious dilemma because when Merlin gets to meet Morgana again what will her attitude be towards Merlin, what will her attitude be towards Camelot and what has Morgause been telling her?

      • Katie McGrath: I hope I never have to do it again, it was horrible, horrible. I made Colin [Morgan] cry. Well, I made Merlin cry but it's the same thing.

      • Colin Morgan: (About shooting scenes with the dragon) I'm purged on a ledge which is looking like a cave but about the size of a living room and looking at a green screen that'll have a mark on it or sometimes it's just a wall with a mark on it which is my eye line for the dragon and then it's just down to using your imagination and imagine what it'd possibly be like to talk to a thirty foot dragon.

      • Jeremy Webb: The voice of the dragon is provided by the very famous John Hurt. We always try to record John's voice before Colin [Morgan] shoots his scenes with the dragon just to give him something to work with so we're playing John Hurt's voice. Colin and I talk about the scene and how the dragon is gonna be reacting to him and what his looks are gonna be and then we shoot the scene with Colin against the green screen hearing John Hurt's voice within the scene and I think that helps Colin quite a lot.

      • Colin Morgan: Which is great is that in this series we actually got the chance to record scenes with John [Hurt] in a studio in London and that was a real experience because he is such a legend and such a lovely guy that it was great to get a chance to be in the studio with him.

      • Johnny Capps: No matter how good the CGI of the dragon is and how real the audience thinks it looks it needed to have the weight and the authority and the emotional experience of a very good actor and to have John Hurt changes that animation hugely and creates this dragon that now has become a very important character to the show. What we decided early on was that the dragon says: 'you have to release me'.

      • Colin Morgan: (About Merlin promising to release the dragon) He knows at some point that promise is gonna be called forward. This big chain here is what has been rooting the dragon down in these depths for all these years and this is the big moment Merlin is about to keep his promise. I think Merlin believes that the dragon is gone, he's free, he's gone off but I don't think we realize the implications of what the dragon can have going on in his head and I think Merlin perhaps is a little bit worried about setting him free but he's keeping his promise.

    • NOTES (2)

    • ALLUSIONS (1)

      • Katie McGrath: He can either save Camelot or let me live so in order to save Camelot and Arthur and the once and future king he has to kill Morgana.

        It is a reference to the supposed inscription over King Arthur's grave: "HIC IACET ARTHURUS REX QUONDAM REXQUE FUTURUS" (Here lies Arthur, the once and future king).

        Also, T.H. White wrote an Arthurian fantasy novel published in 1958 and entitled The Once and Future King.