BBC (ended 2012)





Merlin Fan Reviews (188)

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4,082 votes
  • Cant wait to see merlin use his power for real as at the moment he has to hide the fact that he has "powers" or he will be killed, this is all explained in the first episode.

    Merlin is simply fantastic! I have been waiting for another series like this to come on tv for some time, ( a movie of this nature would also be great! ). From the first episode this seems to be a very decent series, egerly awaiting the next episode to see how the story continues. The story line so far is a very modern way of showing how merlin and the Knights of the round table were formed and how Merlin became to be the powerful being he is known as.

    Cant wait to see merlin use his power for real as at the moment he has to hide the fact that he has "powers" or he will be killed, this is all explained in the first episode.
  • Great

    It's great .You fell really captured and you want to keep watching.It was about this guy with big ears who has magical powers coundn't stop watching don't know Overall, the narrative was fairly pedestrian until the final quarter, but interest was sustained through a range of appealing performances from an excellent cast that were given little more than bog-standard dialogue.There was one moment that left a sour note though, when Merlin took a swing at Arthur after some baiting. This wasn't ideal behaviour from the supposed hero in a family show, using his fists ahead of his brain. Yet it may ultimately work in the show's favour in future episodes should the character experience a 'passage of rites' and move away from any more bouts of aggression.
  • Why didn't I watch this instead of X-Factor?

    The BBC had been advertising this show like crazy and I didn't take any notice partly because it clashed with X-Factor and partly because I still have very fond memories of the Channel Four version of Merlin starring Sam Neill which aired a few years back. So I declined watching this when it was broadcast in favour of X-Factor. Well that was a bloody mistake I can tell you and I had to instead watch this on the BBC's iPlayer service.
    The BBC have clearly spent a lot of money on this show clearly designed to fill the Dr Who sized void left until Christmas.
    Whilst the plot is a little predictable it does nothing to detract from the excellent casting, most notable being Antony Head as King Pendragon, Richard Wilson as Gaius, and handsome newcomer Colin Morgan as Merlin. The visuals and music are stunning I especially loved the attention to detail in the animation of the dragons dialogue; it was faultless. The score which accompanied the Witch's lulling to sleep of the court was breathtaking sung in Welsh.
    I found the multi ethnic supporting cast refreshing and those poo-pooing this move may want to bear in mind that dragons and magic are hardly historically accurate..
    When it comes to Saturday evening family entertainment the BBC has always come up trumps I still have a place in my heart for their productions of The Borrowers and The Chronicles of Narnia and this is no exception.
    A beautiful program delightful to watch intriguing and engauging I will certainly be giving X-Factor a miss from now on.
  • Whan i watched the first 2 episodes

    I was just surfing the internett to find a replacement for another tvshow whan i found this. i watched the trailer on youtube, and the show dident get any points for the trailer. but iven do i gave the first and the secend episode a chance.
    Whan i watched the first 2 episodes i was sockt,
    this show us merlin in the early age(whan he was young.
    People dont hear mutch about merlin, only artur so i think the ide for this show was great...
    Its far from the best show i have seen but its good enugh to replace some of the shows still airing today
  • Not perfect, but I like enough.

    I really like scifi/fantasy, so naturally I fell in love with this show. I think that it is appropriately cast - the kid who plays Merlin is nerdy enough and attractive at the same time. Merlin's love interest (the lady-in-waiting to the princess) is cute as well. Arthur's character is a good contrast to Merlin, but wasn't Arthur supposed to be a weakling when he was young per The Sword in the Stone? The first episode was more engaging than the second, but both are entertaining enough to make one look forward to the third episode. I have nothing else to say for now!
  • Merlin, ,Merlin, Merlin.

    Merlin, ,Merlin, Merlin. Fortunately he is not the Joker, but a do gooder magician. Although I take interest in finding out about Merlin's history, this was not exactly the history lesson I was hoping for, sure the storyline were good, the magic was great which there was not a lot of so we can savor the moment, but the actors(sigh),well they have to lot to do. One thing I feel the show (Merlin) is good at is suspense and making you think twice. However the weird thing i seem to find in me is I actually thought the episode 1 & 2 were great, well maybe its just me or my extreme interest in the old-aged times.
  • A wonderful reminiscence of the mystical and fantasy kingdom!

    Loves the series so much after watching the first 2 series! The world surrounding Camelot, the essence of magics and wonderfully created characters, mystical creatures and beast, fantasy realms of Camelot and its settings, which includes the costumes, animations, the casts in their suits of princess, prince charming, evil sorcerers, magicians, peasants, Camelot castle, the wonderful and picturesque scenes (that makes one wonders) really gives an exciting and novel refreshments to viewers whom fancy the classics and the magical arena of Camelot!

    With valiant heroes, the guardian Great Dragon, the king and his court of knights, magicians, books and potions and incantations, evil menace, mythical folks and unexpected plots ahead, I am so enticed to sign up with and write my first review for Camelot! :) So happy and hope to see more twist is portrayed in the show! What about Lancelot? And I thought Morgana was Merlin's nemesis! haha...Looking forward to the new episodes soon.

    Truly a classic masterpiece and great settings and props in the production. Kudos to the cast members too and the animation team for bringing the show to the viewers! :)

    Best regards,
    Chee Leong
    KL, Malaysia
  • It's growing on me. Will it become a BFF?

    I'm doing my best to stay "open" to this show. Will it be as interesting as, say, Dr Who? Likely not. The fiddling with "Arthurian legend" canon is a little off-putting. Merlin was supposed to be a very, very old man at Arthur's birth and Uther was supposed to give the prince to Merlin to be raised. Guinevere isn't do for a few years at least and don't even get me talking about Morgana la Faye! I'm going to hang in there - it's very rare a show is good in its first season. (Heck, I still cringe when I see S1 of BTVS.) Let's let Merlin go for a bit, shall we?
  • Like the show, bud hate the fact that everything is the off beat. I mean Arthur and Merlin are of the same age. Something I think in the legend is not true. And that's just one thing that's wrong. Bud nevertheless Fun to Watch. Sorry for bad English.

    If you set aside every thing you know about the legend of Merlin and Arthur and let's not forget Camelot. You would verymuch like this show. I my self life in the Netherlands and watch this show on the BBC. And along with my girlfriend I really like this show. The maine thing about the show that makes it funny is the fact that you can watch arthur and merling getting along. Merlin is still in his teens and just begining to understand wath he can do. And that's off course doing magic without using a spellbook. The relm of Camelot is in a state of Dislike of magic. The king (Arthur's Father) succeeds in the fact to outlaw everything that has anything to do with magic. And at a time of merlin that's a bit of a problem.
  • Nostalgic, though a league away!

    Something about this show strikes my central core. I don't know why but it digs deep to the very spirit of my being. There is nostalgia that awakens my senses, even though the show has flaws, I look beyond that. Merlin has become one of my favorite shows, despite the obvious shortcomings. This show has Heart, and the characters make you feel like you are right there next to them, evolving with them. There is a innocence to Merlin, a sort of magical feeling that I get when I watch each week. I only hope that it will take root in the states and can be shared with those people that need a upliifting experience.
  • This is a prequel to ANY Camelot movie or show ever. Clever to do a Merlin Begins concept!

    This TV series seems to be made by the same people that made the Robin Hood series, and the opening reminds me ALOT of Stargate Atlantis. The MERLIN of this series is not at all old, it's about the teen Merlin before he becomes part of our normal fiction we read about. This is like a prequel to ANYTHING ever made about Camelot. Arthur is a prince, The King has a strict law against Magic, but that only makes magic something that the outlaws use, and the knights of Camelot have no power against. Merlin wants so badly to solve everything with magic. But he is learning that magic can't solve everything, and can even make things worse.
    Merlin starts off as a rival of Arthur, who is a spoiled brat teen, but wins him over, and will continue to shape Arthur's life thru-out the series. The first episode has such great music, i totally wish there was a soundtrack to it. The evil sorcerous that sings a spell over the court has an AWESOME song!
    Gwen(Gweniviere) is a maid and servant of Margana, who at this time knows no magic. Gwen has no desire for Arthur(yet). She does have a desire for Lancelot, but he only appears in episode 5, and is banished from the kingdom, which maybe why she will break her vows in the future for him(as adults).
    Merlin was born with a special gift, but can he keep it a secret?
  • This is exactly what Smallville should have felt like. I know they are screwing up the legend, but I want to know how and why.

    The kid feels like Clark Kent and Giaus is what Pa Kent should have been. Arthur is the hero and comes off like a competent warrior in one episode and a college jock in others, but that's to be forgiven. Anthony Head is Brilliant! He's like Ripper gone monarch. There is a lot to be said negatively about the show, but I enjoy the charm of it so much that I can forgive the goofy anachronisms (similar to Robin Hood's Gap sweaters) and a period piece with racial tolerance. It's Camelot, I'd be suprised if I didn't see gnomes and a deeprun tram somewhere in Camelot.

    So all in all, it's a guilty pleasure.
  • One of the programe on t.v at the moment.

    I am loving this show it is very much like the updated version of robin hood on BBC1, All the actors play their parts well and seem to fit their characters perfectly.The humour sets it all off and the special effects make you believe in all the magic.I hope that there are more seasone to follow afterthe first and I can't wait to see every episode,keep up the good work and hope to see more shows like this in the future.It is graet to see some well established actors and even better to see a few new young actors who have taken to their parts perfectly.
  • Not a bad way to waste a little time but I do have a big problem with it.

    This is an ok show as long as you're not expecting too much but mindless entertainment. After two episodes, it has the right setup and potential to go a long way. Like Xena or Hercules. My biggest problem is: with the exception of Morgana, all the women on this show so far are freaking hideous. Not exactly 'escapist' entertainment. For a show of this type, I expect the women to be hot. I know, it's shallow, but there you are. I mean Gwen is supposed to be incredibly beautiful. No offense, but in this show she is somewhat plain looking. Mighty unattractive in my opinion. UGH!! So, for that reason alone, I guess it's a good thing it only goes for 13 episodes.
  • The depths of this show keep getting better and better - plots and character development are brilliant. A great watch.

    The name of the episode 'Excalibur'would seem to have you ready for the typical finding of the sword and its retrieval by Arthur. But the writers of this show add depths, twists and turns and a real grasp of building on a legend. A black Knight appears oozing malice and throws down the gauntlet wanting Arthur to retrieve it,the Knight is invincible. Merlin sees him stabbed but with no effect, he suspects sorcery , learning that the Black knight is not only invincible but dead and unable to be killed by mortal means.
    Merlin persuades the Dragon to forge a sword that will only be used by Arthur and will guarantee the end of the Black Knight. But unknown to Merlin, Uther drugs Arthur and takes his place against the Knight and using Arturs special sword vanquishes the long dead Knight. The Dragon is furious and makes Merlin promise to put it somewhere no one can ever find it. He throws it into a LAKE...plot thickens.
  • Charming, moving, and highly entertaining despite its flaws.

    This show is definitely not perfect. There are plenty of plotholes and parts that don't make much sense and scenes that look unintentionally silly. And some people may be bothered by how loosely it follows the actual Arthurian legends and how historically inaccurate it can get setting-wise (though I'm not one of them).

    But the acting is great, and there's plenty of chemistry between the characters (especially Merlin and Arthur). And I love that while the show does get rather dark and serious at points, it doesn't go overboard on the drama. That it's full of amusing exchanges and touching moments, and for the most part stays light and exciting and fun.

    So while it's not perfect overall, it is perfectly engaging and entertaining.
  • I must say, that thought I am not a teenager, I love this series, because it gives a new perspective to myth of king Arthur. Some say it is not accurate, but it is a myth.

    I must say, that thought I am not a teenager, I love this series, because it gives a new perspective to myth of king Arthur. Some say it is not accurate, but it is a myth. And the lovely fresh interpretation dose justice to tv watchers, and to the story. Of course it is a show for younger audiences, so that means no onscreen slash, at least not direct slash, but more like a platonic and strong relationship between to guys. I think actually that platonic friendship gives the show a stronger and deeper meaning. Of course I wound not mind seeing a development in Arthur and Merlin's friendship, into something even greater that we saw on the first season. Must say that the acting is excellent, convincing, Arthur being strong and yet considerable, and Merlin being so wise young and committed. The directing is marvelous, and the location of the filming (castle) makes it look very authentic. And of course who in these days done not need a great human leader?
    Thank you bbc for this show.
  • Love it! It's one of my favourite shows, funny, action packed and good Saturday night television!

    I watched the first episode because it was on TV. I'd been out the country all summer and had returned expecting the new series of Robin Hood so was disappointed to here it was some show called Merlin instead based on old Arthurian legends which I know very little about. But never the less I was willing to give it a go. I found the 1st episode funny and entertaining; perfect in fact for those lazy Saturday nights I always end up having. I found Colin Morgan as Merlin brilliant and engaging to watch but was unsure about the arrogant Arthur. Decided to give episode two ago then just kept watching week on week as each episode got better than the previous one it got me hooked!! It's introduced us the Lancelot, Excalibur and Mordred each key character which they've set up to return at some point. One of the major strengths of this series has been its characters. Each has flaws and even the good guys have a dark side! Take Antony Head's character Uther technically a good guy but has been seen to execute several people for just using magic! But the show has offered explanations for this which is excellent. Arthur, played brilliantly, by Bradley James, has really changed, from being arrogant and hating Merlin through to being good friends with him considerably less arrogant and I now love him! Lol!

    Yeah I admit it's not flawless, some of the cgi is a bit off, but forget about that! It is good family viewing with a fantastic cast and some really good stories each week and I am so glad it's coming back for a second series; I need my weekly fixed of Arthur and Merlin! Mmmmm!!!!!
  • Good show with some flaws.

    I was somewhat excited about this series when I first heard of it. I was hoping for something like this Robin Hood series that I learned to love very much. It has some similarities in its looks and how the episodes are done and that is a good thing. I like the actors and how they do their parts even though I think the King needs some more finetuning. Sometimes I lack to see why he reacts like this. I like the stories so far. A good balance between action and storytelling. And now for the flaws. I know that there is no 'the real' version of the Arthur/Merlin legend and I have gotten used to Merlin being used as a name instead of the title as the highest among the druids. Excalibur was given to Arthur by he Lady of the Lake. Ok, they ignored that, and then they did not when Merlin was asked to get rid of the Sword. Not that there is not a massive cave that hardly anyone knows about with a dragon that could be used to hide the sword. No, he throws it in a lake. Considering that people from villages might go for a bath and how far a normal person can throw a sword. Maybe not that clever. Having Gwenhwyfar, or Gwen, being a maid only adds to it.

    All in all they butcher the legend of Arthur too much for their own needs. Yet the series can be enjoyed as the characters are very likable. And I am interested where they are going with the global story.
  • Excellent Idea, a very nice tail regarding the youth of the two Heroes Merlin and Arthur.

    I watched the first episode by accident (I visited a friend in the UK) and I was very intrigued by the story.
    My friend had to record the next episodes and mail it to me - thanks for that btw. - and the show started to really catch up.
    All the good stuff about myths, religion, dragons and other monsters. I now love the show very much and can't wait to see the next season of it.

    In the beginning the animations and stunts needed some fine tuning but they kept getting better and better, so there's nothing to complain about that.

    The stories are nicely written, sometimes very dramatic but it fits in the show.

    All in all one of my favourite new shows.
  • A fascinating show, a new and fresh look at the world of the legendary Merlin

    I just love it! The acting is so good, the characters has been brought to life. It's so amazing, I especially like the character of Merlin, Gwen, and Gaius. They are so genuine and add zest to the show. The show is both funny and absorbing. I enjoyed every single episode...:)and I simply cannot wait for the next season. It is definitely my no.1!
    By the way, somewhere here at I saw an opinion that the actoress that personated the character of Gwen is not pretty enough to play her...hmm... I believe it is bad to judge people by their's so shallow. I think she's perfect for this role.
  • Intellingent take on the myth.

    Although it goes against everything ever written about the tale of Arthur, it is so well written that it has me hooked, waiting impatiently for the next show.
    ALthough I read it was only intended as a 13 part mini-series, I hope I read that incorrectly or that they reconsider and resume the show.
    I particularly enjoy the performances of Richard Wilson and Colin Morgan, although this in no way means I don't enjoy the rest of the cast as well.
    If I have any complaints it is with the part of Guinevere, played by Angel Coulby. Guinevere should not have been made a servant, but if you're going to go against story, this is not surprising.
    For those that enjoy tales of Arthur, I highly recommend The Warlord Chronicles by Bernard Cornwell.
  • A pretty good family show but not as good as it could have been.

    The premise for this show is simple. It is a reworking of the King Arthur legend but set when Arthur and Merlin are both still in their teens and Arhurs father Uther is King of Camelot.

    As you can probably tell they have taken more than a few liberties with the story in particular the age of the characters and their group dynamics - for instance Quenevire is a servant.

    The acting is what you would expect from a family drama such as this and is watchable if some what melodramatic in places. The special effects are however extremely well done and one of the highlights of the show.

    All in all it is a good solid family show but nothing to write home about.
  • I do agree it needs fine tuning, and there are some parts that are a bit... hu?!?!? But ...

    I do agree it needs fine tuning, and there are some parts that are a bit... hu?!?!? But ... the show is so amazing, its just sucks you in, and you can see its filled with potential.. I just wish they took the budget from legend of the seeker and put it in here, the book was by all time favorite book, the show... all times worse. Merlin, just has that unique, personal, and most importantly (i think) innocence to it, it just enchants you to LOVE the characters. they look so honest, the are versatile and filled with good intentions.. plus, its not filled with noways all about sex\stunts\reality all other shows are about, and the chapters usually have a manning and a moral lesson to tell you. I really do wish it will return.
  • Though it could have been better, I can't bear NOT to watch.

    Casting is close to perfect and though I am a Terence White fan, I like this shuffle of the deck that makes up White's classic telling of the tale. The ingredients are all there, but with a twist. Perhaps every now and again the the twists are too 'constructed' and Twist For Twist's sake, but the show still delivers the drama that White displayed so beautifully. Costumes can be a bit too much (Morgana in battle dress is a bit of a fashion statement), but not to the point where I need to avert my eyes. Maybe a bit too clean costumewise, but not annoyingly so.

    Magic being forbidden, Arthur and Merlin both being young, the dragon advising; these are in retrospect welcome additions to the Arthurian legend. The classic ingredients all still in place, but have been given a new place as link in the chain that makes up this legend. I find myself being taken back to the take on Robin of Sherwood with Michael Praed. New format, but essentially the same tale as has been told for hundreds of years. Welcome, Merlin!
  • My possible new favourite show. Quite a few inaccuracies though (just like my spelling!!). But i still love it!!

    I have been going through an Arthurian Legend craze. I've read Once and Future King, Crystal Caves, Seeing Stone and many many others. And when i heard about this show i got excited. Now i have only seen one episode (as our tv people loves to get kicks out of torturing us with our shows) so i cant really judge it yet. But i do like what i see. It's fast paced, funny and a new look on the concept that hasn't quite been done before. I do though have a few things i was surprised about. Merlin and Arther the same age? Arther being a d!ckhead? Giles being Uther? And is there a relationship brewing up between Merlin and Guinevere who seems to be a common, isn't she supposed to be a princess? Back to the relationship, she marries Arther then she gets it on with Lancelot, you know what before we know it that kid with the shield in the first episode was probably Lance. Anyway despite it's inaccuracies it does have a potential to be one of my favourite shows. Thanks for reading. My mum and brother liked it too.
  • great sets, costumes, acting, storylines - surprisingly good!

    I didn't expect to like this show but it won me over within the first few episodes. The sets and costumes are great. The cast is wonderful and they really grow on you as it goes along. I didn't think I'd be able to tolerate the way they made merlin and arthur into youthful pals but the writers, directors and cast make it all work. Colin Morgan who plays Merlin is a very strong lead and Anthony Head (Rupert from Buffy TVS) is excellent as Arthur's father while the actor playing Arthur is good as well. I think the actors have really good chemistry together. I also like the actress playing Morgana. Oh - and Richard Wilson as Gaius is essential to the show and great chemistry - his dry humour is funny. I was happy to hear it is getting a second season (or 'series' as they say in the UK).
  • merlin....funny?

    i came to watching this shoe because i love both Robin Hood and Legend of the Seeker..i heard that this show was kinda like both. I started watching it and ended up enjoying it, the one thing that i didnt expect from it at all was that the show was funny.
    The dialogues and character quotes have such humor in them in certain episodes that i found myself laughing hysterically. Merlin is a very interesting series, i can't wait until it comes back for another season. It was much more then i expected. I especially love that for once the king isn't evil...nobody in the show is considered evil they just highly disagree with each other, and dont see the others point of view.
  • Love it, so refreshing to have something so different and captivating.

    I just recently started watching Merlin, and I got hooked right in! The show perfectly incorporates the Arthurian legends so that audiences can understand the show and enjoy the history. It is a very different type of show that has aired in our modern time, that makes British history so interesting. I never really thought that this show would be so engrossing, but now I can't wait till the second season! The dialogues are quirky and fun, but also serious and sometimes dark. I end up laughing hysterically for ages!The friendship between Arthur and Merlin before they become influential and distinguished, is intriguing. It gives you a real insight to what it would be like for them.
    Watch the show and you'll get hooked!
  • I love this show! It has been a while since there has been a good fantasy series on TV! and the way they've made the characters the same as the books but with a little more zing is fantastic!

    I love this show! It has been a while since there has been a good fantasy series on TV! and the way they've made the characters the same as the books but with a little more zing is fantastic! The show will keep you entertained and enthralled from one episode to the next, you just cant wait, so my advice if you can watch it all in one hit. If there is a season 2 to be released i hope it will be as fantastic as season number one! Merlin is a great show for any age group tho some kids may find it a little scary, so perhaps watch it with a adult or during the day :)
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