Season 1 Episode 1

The Dragon's Call

Aired Unknown Sep 20, 2008 on BBC

Episode Fan Reviews (8)

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out of 10
307 votes
  • An almost magical start

    Essentially this is the latest contemporary reworking of a classic fantasy tale/fable - this time of Arthurian legend. As you may expect this first episode introduces the setting and main characters; and sets the general mood of the show. Props are also first class - for the small screen. To that end its a fine start giving enough coverage to each one.

    The episode uses a fairly basic plot that is adequate to generate enough action and intrigue providing a good idea of the sort of drama that the show promoses. The evil witch causing havoc is always a safe bet. It does the job. Though its quite ironic that Merlin finds himself in the very place he is to find supposed sancturary, as it turns out to be vehemently anti-magic and purposely so!

    The use of standard dilemmas devices add to the intensity of the situations each character faces. With Merlin's doubt in his own abilities and his constant guard against being discovered being ones that will no doubt return throughout the series.

    Each of the characters is different enough to provide a interesting plaform which I imagine is intended to show Merlin in a different light. This episode shows Merlin's affinity towards Arthur and demonstrates the beginning of their deep connection.
    Gaius' and Uther Pendragon's are great shepherds of the plot, often providing assistance or hinderance to plots and subplots alike. The two sides of wisdom no doubt. The mentor and the discipliner.

    The script was functional, though it allowed the characters enough time to establish more of themselves. The basic essence of the show has been plucked from the concrete foundations of the well known tale and remixed for younger auidences, with alot of the "truths" and the timeline hacked off and reattached elsewhere to make it fit this new format. Whether it will work remains to be seen. Defenders of the true faith may find it difficult to accept the liabilities that the writers and production team. As for me, I found it novel, entertaining, above average for a BBC production (points to Dr. Who, Torchwood, Robin Hood etc)

    Key concepts good and bad to get your head around are: Merlins connection with the dragon and the beginnings of their mysterious relationship with each and magic. Guineviere role has a nice twist to it, her being involved with Merlin rather than Arthur. While Prince Arthur being a prat is a complete role reversal what my idea is (after seeing the film Excalibur).

    At first I was shocked at the total rework of some elements of the story, but Im of the mind to give it a chance and cant wait for the next episode. Its fun and interesting and one must remember its aimed at todays younger generation.

    Roll on next week.
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