BBC (ended 2012)





Merlin Fan Reviews (189)

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out of 10
4,083 votes
  • merlins last show was as bad as it gets!

    I loved this series and was sad,but anxious to see the final show. What were they thinking. The worst final show I have ever seen. Soooo disappointed that I going to have a cocktail. Thanks a lot for ruining five years of good work. The writers should not be allowed another final show to write. Why ruin something else . Just so disguised after do many years following this show. I give the final show a zero.
  • Bad Ending

    Please Merlin fans, join 2return, Twitter: @merlin2return. We are a real group working together for a single purpose. Bringing Merlin back. We can do it if we have the numbers and work together. Come on people, Merlin needs us.

    The ending ruined the show for me. Short battle. No epic fight between Merlin and Morgana. Arthur dies, Merlin is a total failure and goes off to be alone forever. Why would they have Gaius tell Gwen that Arthur was in good hands? He wasn't. Why didn't the dragon save Arthur? Gwen has to rule alone. Her and Arthur were barely together. What about Merlin's mom? The ending just fell apart. All they had to do was: 1) Merlin arrives at the battle as himself on the back of the great dragon. 2) Merlin has epic battle with Morgana and wins. 3) Arthur and Mordred fight and Arthur wins, but is hurt. 4) Dragon heals Arthur. 5) Arthur tells the dragon he was wrong. 6) Arthur & Merlin ride the dragon back to Camelot 7) Arthur tells everyone about Merlin and how magic isn't evil, only some who use it for evil. 8) end with Arthur and the knights at the round table and we see Merlin sitting at Arthurs side, dressed in red. Arthur then says this is a new beginning. The ending the writers made was garbage. Every season, Merlin was told to protect Arthur because one day he and Merlin would rule together and bring about change. The bad ending made the whole show pointless. I used to watch this show all of the time, it was fun. I loved this show so much until the ending. Now I'll never watch it again. You can't make a show with so much heart, have a sad and hopeless ending. Bad move writers. This is a family show? All this shows kids is no matter what you do, how hard you try, evil always wins in the end, so why bother. One man can't make a difference. I can't believe the cast agreed to film this horrible ending. I wonder what their feelings are about it.

  • Worst Ending Ever....

    Speechless. Felt like wasted my whole time watching it.
  • Lacking good acting, especially serious acting

    just to be short I love watching series and when I start to watch I normally finish it till the end of the season. There were just 2 series which I didn't/couldn't finish beyond the first few episodes. These were Merlin and Robin hood from BBC. In my opinion the acting is bad, the whole sphere is like not serious acting, but more like childish and you can guess everything that will happen from start to end. It just doesnt deserve anything more than a 1. It's not the worst serie but it shouldnt be compared or put in the same charts as Game of thrones, Spartacus, supernatural and a few others.

    It's an oke show for people under 15 years I guess.
  • New Watcher oppinion - Bad show for now

    SPOILER for those who have seen the first 3 episodes

    Because I heard so many good reviews about the show I started watching it. I go on, interesting pilot, the confrontation between the bully Arthur and Merlin was the best part of the show , and what do you know, after Merlin becomes the servant/slave of Arthur (cause that's what he deserves for saving him in the first place), they suddenly are best friends. No more witty remarks, jabs one at the other, nothing else beside friendship and respect and most importantly trust that bloomed from nowhere. Ah btw, whatever happened to Arthurs gang of bullies, he's shown in the pilot all the time with his gang right behind him , laughing at the people Arthur mocks. I reckon with Merlin in the picture, there was already too much guy love to add more dudes in Arthur's inner circle.

    Oh btw, the show has dragons, nice idea, bad thing the writing is really bad. I would've expected, if all the dragons had been killed by Uther, that the last one would bare a little grudge for humans, and Merlin because he is such a nice warlock would gain the dragons respect, but no, the dragon is in chains but very wise and polite and full of riddles it seems, ah and he helps Merlin with no ulterior motive, just because he is the Chosen One Hey there Neo. Also, 2 guards posted on the entrance that follow a pair of dices to a far far away place in a distant galaxy was also real smart , I think they never came back from star wars universe , cause now Merlin can go whenever he pleases to see the old dragon and ask for advice. And why just two guards, if dragons are suppose to be so dangerous that Uther had them all slaughtered, I reckon he would take real care of the last one. Ah I remember, when Merlin saw the dragon the 2nd time, the dragon finally told his first riddle, and Merlin's line was" Oh great, another riddle" told with an unsatisfied tone- . Nice episode awareness. I think they decided after the pilot to add a quirk to the dragon to speak in riddles and forgot they just thought of that, real smart.

    About knight Vali-something, the actor was great, for me I really felt sorry the character didn't receive a better development and maybe a more stable position. We don't know motives, why he wanted to kill Arthur, where he came from, nothing, we just know he has a magic shield, but hey, that's the whole point of the show, Magic, so nothing else matters, just cool magic ideas. WAIT!! I know how about a cursed toenail that does something to kill Arthur of course.

    So I make my way to the 3d episode, a plague, nice. The episode had potential, but it failed to deliver a satisfying show. Something made out of clay and water surely has weakness to fire. Made of water I first would think to freeze it or something, but hey if the writers say u could burn a creature made of water and earth, so be it.

    Ok now , I am off to watch the 4 episode to give this show one last try . Cheers and Happy new year to all

  • Merlin? You must be joking!

    Are the writers of this actually familiar with the Arthurian legend? Do they think their 'new spin'; is actually a modern interpretation? Because if theuy do then they are seriously deluded. The names are the same, but that is the only thing that is. This series is so full of inaccuracies with the character portrayals bearing very limited resemblance to their traditional selves, that I can only assume some wonderful new historical source has been discovered by the writers -and completely ignored by academia. Like so many recent so-called 'historical' dramas (like The Tudors), the makers are more intent on pandering to rating ploys than established history - albeit mythological.
  • Winter must be coming

    Is it me or have they simply nicked the sets from Robbin Hood, and brought in a bunch of new awful actors? Typical BBC to rehash something. The use of modern language and political correctness got tedious. None of the seasoned actors like Anthony Head gave a particularly stunning performance and I though Richard Wilson was too out of his league, talk about a fish out of water. After seeing Gwent From Torchwood I was kind of hoping captain Jack would show up for a bit of comic releaf, No such luck though. Reckon the critics will hammer this one.
  • Butchered the mythology

    I'm not going to go long.. but once I hit the 3rd season and they were still pulling the trite and unskilled "o look, somehow no one notices anything" BS I finally had to spoil myself and then laughed before getting pissed that a bunch of hacks were allowed to butcher the mythology of Arthur and Merlin... two years of the games I could take, but when it just kept going and keeps going til the bloody end of the normal myth then it's just time to admit it's utter crap by any standards. There is no defending this show at this point... too many screw ups with the major points of mythology and characters, especially the bond and understanding between Merlin and Arthur... and I thought the more equal friends route could be good. Too bad they hired a bunch of idiots that couldn't actually understand the mythology at all.
  • I wanted to like this show so badly

    I wanted to like this show, I honestly did. It has all the stuff I could have wanted: magic, dragons, fights, comedy, and more... so why did I rate it so low?

    First it was the acting - The actors just don't seem to fit their roles, personality wise. They are way to stiff, and are obviously acting, they don't seem to feel right in their roles. Their lines are delivered pretty poorly, or overly dramatically. Next was the CGI dragon - this has it's own special place because I really hate everything about it. If you can't use good cgi, don't use any. I also don't like how Merlin keeps running to the dragon to get tips on his destiny and what he needs to do every. step. of. the. way. Every new development doesn't need this seemingly all knowing dragon's help. Third - I can deal with the lack of magic for now, so while it does bug me that the magic used is pretty petty, I can deal until his mentor stops telling him not to use magic, but to fullfill his destiny as a great Warlock...

    Last, and wrapping it all up, is the writing. This goes hand in hand with the casting. I believe the lack of good writing and trying to make it way overly dramatic, have helped this less than great cast fail even more so. The scenes where Merlin (the servant) keeps running to the dungeon to tell Gwen that "He won't let her die... " because he has all the mighty powers of a useless, unheard servant. Woohoo. I also don't care about the legends as much, since there are hundreds of retellings of them, so the lines can be crossed a little bit I guess. So just all in all, I can't stand watching it. The acting is really, at this point, so bad that it makes my skin itch for all the bad drama, and the lame jokes and pretense which the characters use just really make my head hurt. I might watch it again in a few seasons if it somehow gets past, because I really do wish I could have watched this series. I honestly hope that I can turn into it in 2 seasons or so and say "Wow, this is awesome." Right now though, it is far below that point.
  • A lot of potential... but lack of imagination

    Merlin had a lot of potential. But very poor production and plot. A "great" wizard who's "greatest" ability in all four seasons is pushing people over. Every time. Pushing people over with telekinesis. That's all he can do. Plus he can crush some leaves and bake a cake. That's about it. I was very disappointed and stopped watching it after the last season ended. Good thing Morgana was hot.
  • Can't wait !!!!!!!

    It seems looks to be good from the trailer and I hope to see the complete sooner.
  • The high score this show has achieved at baffles me. The show is mediocre at best. Too many flaws across the board makes this show a near miss.

    During the first few minutes of the pilot it becomes obvious that not much money have been put into it - if money could be used as a measurement of quality that is.

    My first observation, and the most prominent, is the lack of depth, or detail if you will. The show does not feel real, by far. It's supposed to have a medieval feel to it (or I'd like to think that was the intention) but it comes across way too "modern".

    The dialog is terrible, and I mean REALLY terrible. There are only sporadic intelligent dialog that mostly gets obscured by bizarre interpersonal relations.

    Most of the special effects looks like they are made for a computer game. Nice to look at but feels unnatural. Some are just plain bad.

    I can't blame the actors. I believe they have talent, doing a good job, taking into account the unintelligent script they have to work with.
  • Merlin ended with out a real ending : That will change :)

    But unlike most ppl who say how sad they are there is a group of over 6500 ppl from all over the world who are doing a lot of things no just petitioning to change the ending of season -5 and get a season 6 i find them all to be nice , kind ppl , they come from all over from age 13 to 68 they work hard and they are making a change i joined them and i invite you 2

    Do remember unlike Fan pages This is an action page :)

  • Laughably generic, annoyingly goofy. Quality costumes and sets can't save it from terrible writing.

    I keep expecting the main antagonist sorceress to scream "next time, gadget!" at the end of each episode.
    It's called "Merlin" but it seems that the only spell anyone seems to know is basic telekinesis. The characters make pretty much zero sense, endlessly "owing each other their lives" and trying to sacrifice themselves for each other. The "romance" or whatever their trying to have between Merlin and Gwen is completely juvenile and extremely annoying.

    Last but not least, are the "comical" portions of the show. Where, for whatever reason, they try and make the show seem wacky. They then proceed to play sound effects that sound straight out of loony toons. It's jarring at best.

    The dragon makes no sense at all. He's mysterious for the sake of being mysterious, to the point of being confusing.

    Ultimately, the show might entertain you if you're looking for some generic fantasy.. stuff. It's got some good sets/costumes at the effects are passable, but the writing makes this show pretty hard to bear.
  • No...

    It broke my heart to watch this show end this badly. At this point, I would buy, accept, and even applause if producers (current or new ones) would use the despicable "it was all a bad dream" technique and fix this awful ending to open another season. Really, I am more than ready to leave this as a product of Merlin's fainting at the cavern, some sort of "this is what will happen if you don't go for Mordred first". I'm sure fans will forgive poor scripting if we can have our characters back. Oh and by the way DO NOT RECAST, you'll kill the movies too,. Re-casting is BAD.
  • Laughably bad.

    Where to begin?

    If the creators of Merlin had put a third of the care they devoted to the sets, costumes, and props into the writing instead, they might have had a decent show on their hands. Instead we get another half-hearted attempt at fantasy that assumes (yet again) that all it has to do to sucker an audience in to watching is display a bunch of fantasy accoutrements. I dearly hope it is wrong.

    Name-dropping does neither a character nor a story make, and what we have here are a lot of names and a dearth of tale. Save Arthur from the hands of the BBC: avoid this show.
  • Castle backdrops - check. Midly pretty love interest - check. Voices singing in high chants - check. Good looking male cast - check. Boring plot - check. Carts full of hay - check. Fake horse hooves sound - check.

    Well I was all settled for my Saturday night. Robin Hood is back! I mean I was so engrossed by the last series that I made sure I missed every episode, but hey it's bbc one for goddsake! Though something isn't quite right....ah its Merlin! Sorry I was confused for a moment. Okay, bias off for a moment - I want to love this series, as I do Dr. Who and all its niggles!

    The orchestra take their places. That girl offuv torchwood puts in her fake tooth gap, and we're away - transported to wonderful scenery for the first 5 minutes and a fake backdrop not long after. The acting, well, how can I put it, it needed some magic. Sorry. And Richard Wilson was very very weird and creepy. Say no more about that, I will have nightmares. doe shvae potential. Surely the storylines that can be written for this series could be fantastic, and let's hope the acting gets better. Though with Gwen from Torchwood on hand let's hope they ask other seasoned actors for advice.

    Well here's hoping for Merlin magic.
  • A comment from Italy

    I saw just recently this show.

    What I liked very much of this saga is the devised relationship between Arthur and Merlin.

    But apart this the entire epic tale is totally no rhyme or reason:

    For 65 episodes they tell Arthur with Merlin's help will build the Kingdom of Albione and Arthur would

    have been the greatest King that world would be remebered, but I do not know how he can do it being dead. please, at least you could avoid to show us a Merlin dressed like a beggar "to hitchhike

    to Camelot".

    For me it was a great disillusion and I would hope to see it again in a revised adaption

    since the idea was very good.

    My congratulations to all the actors in particular to Colin Morgan and Bradley James
  • The adventures of young warlock Merlin in Camelot, and the story of his friendship with prince Arthur.

    The sad thing is: I really love the idea of a show about the Legend of Arthur and I wish this was the show I wanted it to be.

    But even though it has it´s moments, the show is does not fulfill this wish.

    And even though I love the Saga of Arthur and his knights I wouldn`t even mind all the free interpretations and changes.
    If there were not so much clichee, too much teenage-drama, and a lack of a slightest sense of middle-age customs and habits which most good fantasy-authors have. I don´t know the writers, but apart from Julian Jones, who seems to know what he´s doing (and who we can thank for the better episodes) it never feels quite right to me.

    This show is supposed to be family-friendly, hence the lack of blood (which at times feels like a bad cut-job) and the almost-cute Monsters (which they could have saved until later).
    I get it. Again, I would not mind, but the least I expect is believable Characters-development and a though-through fantasy world.

    I've seen worse fantasy shows, but sometimes "Merlin" reminds me of (imho) horrible shows like "Hercules". Dumbed down legend meets Disney-like medieval-fantasy. Still I will watch a bit more, like "Primeval" (Dinosaurs, yeah!)I can´t stop. It´s sometimes painful but still better then nothing. I can only hope for BBC series of George R.R. Martins "Game of Thrones" to not disappoint for once.

    (P.S. not a native speaker, so nevermind my english)
  • Needs *major* tuning.

    Okay - it is always easy to be harsh on pilot episodes especially of new BBC series. However, this one was utter tosh, with very few redeeming features for such a rich storyline. Given how rare they were, I will list them first:

    Arthur: pitch perfect in his portrayal as a total pillock. One of the very few decent examples of acting here.

    Special effects: of a rather high quality. The budget dragon was not half bad.

    Merlin: a likable chap, except for the major problems in his acting abilities. He simply has none. There were serious issues with his deliveries, and timing, but hopefully they are tutoring him. Fast.

    Then there was the acting of the rest of the crew: utterly lacking. The supporting female role - Merlin's opposite was boring, and plain to look at (superficial, I know, but this is TV after all). The "belle" of the show seems to think that looking pretty is an excuse for having the emotional scale of a lime. The old physician was a little creepy. The king actually seemed like quite a nice chap at times. Lines were not delivered with any sense of timing - by ANY of the supporting cast. Most scenes seemed completely contrived.

    Needs a lot of work to become remotely watchable. I will check out the next one, because the chemistry between Merlin and Arthur was actually well played. Am going to be highly surprised if this makes the cut for season 2.
  • Disapointing, yet haven't missed a show.

    A teen Merlin in a kingdom where magic is banned.

    The premise is an interesting twist on how Arthurian legend is usually handled. A young Merlin easily appeals to the youngsters, but at the same time makes the show slightly bland for the grown ups. The show's biggest problems are the forced conflicts. Magic is forbidden, yet it's the most interesting aspect of Merlin's character. Merlin is destined to be Arthur's friend, but Arthur's character gives him very few reasons to be one. I can't shake the feeling that in Merlin's place, I'd be finding ways to dethrone Arthur's father, King Ulrich, and restore magic. Unfortunately this line of thought is never seriously brought up in the series.

    A significant change in the way the show is written might help it rise to new heights. Most other aspects of it are top notch.
  • Follow the adventures of Merlin as he learns how to control his powers - and decides what his ethics will be.

    Merlin is an interesting show. It is a FAR better show if you DON'T know the Aruthurian sagas. If you do you will go crazy with the mishmash of characters, and their failure to match the established descriptions.

    If you can watch Merlin as simply a show - it is fun. It is a light show, with action, intrigue, love tangles and magical beasties.

    For the most part, at the moment, it is a series rather than a soap opera. YOu DO NOT have to have seen all the shows to understand what is happening in THIS episode. Let's hope they keep it this way.

    Don't expect any deep moral lessons from the show, but for good clean fun...give it a try.
  • Merlin is an interesting show, in the fact that you want to know what they will do next, to try and change the story we know and love. The storylines need some work. Hopefully the show can get better, if renewed for a new season.

    I'm trying to hang in there with this new concept for Merlin's younger days, if you forget that Arthur and co are supposed to be much younger or non-existent. Arthur is already the next in line to the throne and knows it. (Can't wait to see what they do with the Sword in the Stone and how it fits in to the new story). The show is okay, the storylines have generally been interesting, and hopefully it can get better. The show has a really good cast with Anthony Head as Uther (Arthur's dad) and also special guest appearances from established names such as Eve Myles (Torchwood) and Michelle Ryan (Bionic Woman).
  • Loved the show hated the ending

    I loved this show so much. The ending was too much. It was not how I wanted the show to end AT ALL. Yes Arthur dies in the legend but this show is as close to the legend as a needle in a haystack.

    I wanted Arthur to know about Merlin's magic and be ALIVE.

    There was no Albion, and Kilgharrah could've healed Arthur if only Merlin had called him a lot sooner!

    Also, why would you show an ending like that ON CHRISTMAS EVE?! Honestly!

    2012 will be remembered as THE WORST CHRISTMAS EVER!!!

  • The ending and mixed feelings

    I have only just watched the finale of Merlin so I appreciate this subject has been well covered by others but it's helpful to express oneself!

    I was surprised how affected I was I have genuinely experienced a few days of mild grief which is an odd experience for a fictional TV programme.

    I think the reason is the excellent acting of the two male leads combined with the fact that the writers displayed the sadness far too much and uncessarily.

    I have no problem with sadness in programmes but it's best accompanied by a sense of redemption and/or closure neither of which I felt was achieved. Think of The Shawshank Redemption as an example of how to do it well.

    I didn't mind the small plot holes or the artists doing what they want with their medium but the sense of sadness at the end was overwhelming instead of appropriately balanced.

    I think that in the final scene with Merlin in modern times that were trying to convey his love for Arthur, the hope of Arthur's return (because Merlin and Arthur are linked and if Merlin is alive then there's hope for Arthur) and a sense that the mission has in fact been achieved because Arthur has not had to return to re-unite the kingdoms again. They were also trying to convey the hope of magic in the world.

    It was a positive concept however what most viewers received is a sense of sadness as we realise that Merlin has been alive for 1000+ years and has seen all the people he's known and loved come and go with no pending sense of Arthur's return. Also he's know alive in a world where his kind of magic is even less accepted than before. Even if Arthur did return everyone he's known and loved will have been long gone too (other than Merlin).

    Also Arthur's death which was uncessary for the plot. Throughout we were promised that he would bring Albion to the land and yet he dies just at the dawn of that age. In the most traditional view of the legend he dies as an older man, having experienced bad times but also Albion.

    Therefore, we are left with Merlin having partly been involved in the rise of Morgana and Mordred, having failed to save Arthur and wandering the earth without his friends and Arthur having died before he sees Albion leaving Gwen and the Knights to build the kingdom without him. This is not the ending to the series that most fans would have wanted.

    An alternative view is that having won the battle they prevented tyranny and evil from ruling the land and that was the start of Albion but I would have preferred the happier way of presenting that.

    I do console myself with the possibility that all the characters have been talking together in the spirit world so that Merlin hasn't been that lonely (after he did meet Balinor as a spirit).

    Given that the aim of the series was to achieve Albion within the plot lines and to be a type of Smallvile programme in terms of it's aim then it was uncessary for Arthur to die (after all I don't recall Smallville killing Superman off before he became the public superhero).

    A better ending in my opinion would have been to remove that final scene and for Arthur to have been saved, return to Camelot to make a noble speece about building Albion, for magic to have been made legal and to enjoy the reactions of the other characters now that they know who Merlin is.

    I would have counterbalanced this by a scene in which we see that Morded has not been fatally wanted and he telepathically says to Merlin that he will return in the future to seek his vengeance (to which Merlin replies 'not yet' and turns to join his smiling friends). By doing this we would have had a happy ending and a time of Albion all tempered by the knowledge that it's not over. That would have given viewers a sense of closure.

    At the least there should be a Christmas special or film to finish off the loose ends.

    Great acting let down by average writing at the end and too much meandering in series 5.
  • Why is this number one on a Sci-Fi List?

    I have seen this show. It was interesting. My only concern about the show is that it is number one on a list of science fiction show list. This show is very much of a fantasy and is set in the middle ages with wizards and witches, and is a parallel to the King Arthur legend. I do not think that it's even the show's fault for being categorized as a Sci-fi, but is most likely the fault of an inconsiderate website to separate the fantasy category from the sci-fi one.
  • Review of entire Series

    After a good solid 2 seasons it started to go down hill in Series 3. With lazy writing being used with time jumps it has resulted in very poor development of characters on screen. The Series 5 news doesn't really provide positive excitement as it seems that the lazy writing has only begun... Poor use of darkness (they try too hard), bland and repetitive characters (enemies within the walls and Morgana becoming queen in the finale of back-to-back seasons), and very historically inaccurate (people in the medieval ages only lived until 60 and Gaius is far older than that).

    Good characters (excluding Agrapain), but they aren't doing much with them other than expressing what they call 'darkness'.

    I rate it 6 out of 10 because I liked the first two seasons but as the lazy time jumps kicked in, it made me feel like I have missed an episode which has made me slowly tune out...
  • Confused and upset

    Wow I dont consider myself to be a huge fan of the famous story of King Arthur and Merlin. But the TV series Merlin was enlighting, and great to watch except for the last episode. There were countless ways this story could of ended but whomever decided to rush it and let King Arthur die was not very intuitive on what his or her fans really wanted to see. In fact the stories I have either read about or heard all indicate that King Arthur and Merlin did so much more together. It was very upsetting to see after 5 seasons I felt like I wasted my time and will not recommend anyone to see this. I'm not expecting a fairy tale story I know Arthur dies before Merlin, but to show his death and than see Merlin walk like a hobo in the future just to stop and think of Arthur was ridiculous and just sad ending.
  • Bad! bad! ending

    the producers could have done so much more with those last episodes.. but killing people off like that.. that's not cool
  • Merlin - Why!?

    Merlin is a wonderful show and my husband and I always looked forward to watching it. When will they finally kill Morgana, we would wonder. When will Arthur learn of Merlins magic, we would wonder. When will magic finally be accepted into the kingdom, we would wonder? We were HIGHLY disappointed they decided to include everything with the exception of legal magic in the last episode. It is almost as if someone walked in the studio and said, "I don't think I want to do this anymore" and they finished the series and everything interesting about it and sliced it to bits in the last episode. How sad!
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