Season 1 Episode 6

A Remedy To Cure All Ills

Aired Unknown Oct 25, 2008 on BBC

Episode Fan Reviews (2)

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  • Morgana falls ill at the hands of a magician. Gaius can't cure her and will not allow Merlin to save her with magic. Edwin Muirden the magician shows up and claims to have a cure for Morgana. Uther replace Gaius with Edwin as court doctor.

    A character who's motives are completely driven by vengeance. Edwin Muirden's goals are to get rid of Gaius and kill Uther all because Uther had his parents killed as sorcerers and Gaius did nothing to stop it.

    Edwin worms his way into the court by getting Morgana sick and then miraculously curing her. He of course has inherited his parents magical skills and figures he can kill Uther and bring back magicians to the world of Camelot. Edwin becomes aware of Merlin's skills and tries to win him over by helping him as a mentor. When Gaius recognizes Edwin for who he is Edwin threatens Gaius with Merlin's life.

    While in the glow of the courts gratitude over saving Morgana, Edwin puts doubt in Uther's mind about Gaius and his competency. Of course Uther seems to have a rather simpletons mind to be King. After 25 plus years of services to the court Uther puts Gaius out to pasture and puts Edwin in as the Court Physician.

    Gaius to save Merlin excepts the release and decides to leave Camelot. Edwin quick to grab power as soon as possible immediately tries to kill Uther. He poisons him with a potion that paralyzes him. Then implants a beetle to slowly kill him.

    Gaius returns to stop Edwin but Edwin is stronger than Gaius. Merlin is stronger than Edwin and when Edwin tries to kill Gaius and then Merlin, Merlin kills Edwin with Edwin's own weapon.

    Merlin saves Uther with magic and of course Uther grants Gaius his job as Court Physician back and gives Gaius a scroll as a free man because he believes Gaius saved him.

    An interesting study in perception is reality. Uther is so caught up in magic=evil that he "realizes that Gaius is the one person he can trust to save Camelot from magic". Ironic!

    Enjoyable episode. Great series. Terribly under viewed. Thanks for reading...
  • 'In life you always have a choice. Sometimes it's easier to think that you don't' (SPOILERS)

    With A Remedy To Cure All Ills, we have the best guest performance of the series so far with a commanding performance by Julian Rhind-Tutt. When Morgana falls gravely ill, Gaius is at a loss to diagnose the illness. However, a scarred and mysterious young man by the name of Edwin Muirden claims to have 'a remedy to cure all ills'. He succeeds where Gaius fails in bringing Morgana back from the brink of death. Uther is overjoyed and offers Edwin anything. However, Gaius is suspicious of the new arrival and goes searching for court records, believing to recognise Edwin. Whilst Merlin falls in with Edwin (and reveals his magical ability to the new physician), Uther makes a decision that has far-reaching consequences not only for Gaius but for both of them... but does Edwin have a more sinister agenda? Of course he does and that's half the fun of the episode. This episode also plays on what is one of my favourite dramatic conceits: that old sins have long shadows.

    Yes, the scarred Edwin is the son of a couple of dark sorcerers that burned to death during Uther's Great Purge of magic- the same purge which saw the Great Dragon chained beneath Camelot. A dark magician himself, he set up Morgana's illness- by placing a magical Alanthia beetle (which can eat into the brain) into a bunch of flowers which then worked its way into Morgana's head- so he could cure her, ingratiate himself into the court and get his revenge on Uther for the death of his parents. Better known for comedic roles such as in Green Wing, Julian Rhind-Tutt gives a nicely sinister turn as Edwin. His clashes with Richard Wilson have real spark to them and he can go from charming to evil in moments. His rather chilling pronouncement over the paralysed body of Uther is a highpoint.

    Of the regular cast, this week gives Richard Wilson a chance to shine as the beleaguered court physician. Wilson is a fine actor anyway and it's a pleasure to see him take a larger role here. He has a series of set-piece conversations throughout which builds the story through and he handles it all with elan. Particular standouts are the confrontation with Edwin- where it is revealed that Gaius turned a blind eye to Edwin's parents' death-; his cryptic conversation with the Great Dragon (finally given more to do than just brief enigmatic statements) and a touching final goodbye with Merlin. Such is Wilson's role that even Merlin takes a bit of a backseat, although Colin Morgan has a couple of great scenes- the temptation Edwin puts in his way about the use of magic, in particular, and the scene where he asks Gaius not to leave. Anthony Head is particularly strong this week. The relationship between Uther and Gaius goes beyond mere employer and employee and that is explored nicely throughout (particularly the hint about 'Arthur's birth and all that entailed'). Uther does seem to be such a remarkably bad judge of character, though. However, it is a pleasure to see Head and Wilson's scenes together, particularly the final scene where Uther states that Gaius is the one person he can trust in the crusade against magic. Oh, the irony. Bradley James and the ladies get short shrift this week too, even with Morgana ironically at the centre of things- although Angel Coulby gets a nice scene with Richard Wilson, even if the moral that 'we always have a choice' is laid on with a trowel- a fault of the writing and not the performance. The script is fairly strong, a few moments threatening to turn into soapy melodrama but luckily the performances bring it from the brink. The direction is pretty slick, even if the slo-mo during the final fight between Merlin and Edwin was a bit too slow. There's good work by the make-up department too with the rather convincing burn on Edwin's face. After a bit of a lacklustre episode immediately before, this is a strong showing as far as I'm concerned.