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Season 4 Episode 3

The Wicked Day

Aired Unknown Oct 15, 2011 on BBC
out of 10
User Rating
250 votes

By TV.com Users

Episode Summary


While Camelot's citadel is frantic in preparation of Prince Arthur's birthday party, King Odin plots to ensure this is one celebration Camelot will never forget. The prince's old adversary has arranged for a deadly assassin to lurk among the assembling guests with intent to strike.

As a result, the kingdom is left devastated and it comes down to Merlin to set things right again. How far will he be prepared for order to be restored to Camelot? Will he really risk everything and reveal his secret?


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  • Oh dear, there is a cold, cold wind blowing through the halls of Camelot...

    I was somewhat prepared for a sad and very unpleasant ending of this episode, considering the mental state of Camelot's king in the previous episodes, yet Uther's death came as a terrible surprise to me. The very quick and callous death shocked me for it was not what I would have ever expected on a show like Merlin. As if it was not worse enough that a main protagonist had to die, it was also quite astonishing that almost the entire epsiode was about Merlin (Dragoon) and Arthur in mostly quite misplaced humorous scenes while Uther was about to die. Uther, a character that had been built up and developed for 3 seasons, was reduced to a supporting character and being put into the background just for the sake of funny scenes and the usual bromance between Merlin and Arthur. It is even more incomprehensible due to the fact that it was the king's final epsiode and his agonizing death. The very interesting character of Uther deserved much better than this. This should have been Uther's epsiode and not Arthur's and Merlin's.

    There were several things I wondered about when watching this strange and pretty much loveless, almost cold episode.

    Uther is fatally wounded on Arthurs birthday which is also the death-day of his beloved wife. I would have expected a word about Ygraine since her death had caused the whole story around Uther hating magic, and it all repeated itself when the king was killed the same day, even when actually dying a day later.

    Ygraine was completely ignored although she played one of the most important parts in regard to the entire plot that had started with Uther's hatred for magic and therefore Merlin's indispensable presence in Camelot, as well as the necessity to hide his magical powers.

    Moreover, Ygraine as well as Arthur and Morgana played the most important part in Uther's life. This coherence was completely overlooked.

    It was also very disappointing to see Arthur suddenly knowing about the circumstances of his birth when this secret had been an important subject for three seasons. It was one of Uther's worst nightmares to have Arthur learning about what happened when he was born, and now, all of a sudden, he indeed knows. Who told him and when and why wasn't it a subject anymore when it had been an important storyline since the very beginning of this show?

    Another thing that was overlooked was the friendship between Gaius and Uther they had for decades. I was startled at the very fact that Gaius did not seem to care at all about Uther's upcoming demise and his ultimatley death. There was not just one word or sign of grief or sorrow, compassion or sympathy.

    He did not even want Merlin to heal the king although he and Merlin had saved Uther's life several times before, even when risking their own lives.

    Speaking of grief and sympathy, it was very obvious in this episode that no one really seemed to care about Uther's state and death, with the exception of Arthur, at least until the end of the epsiode when he obviously had come over his father's death after just one night of mourning.

    In contrary to Merlin's usual character description, this time he did not want to help a helpless person that was about to die but only himself, attempting to bring back magic to the land. His offer to heal Uther, disguised as Dragoon, was not even a favour to his best friend Arthur who visibly suffered from his father's upcoming death. It was very unlikely for Merlin to tell Arthur just to accept Uther's upcoming demise when he had saved people's lives many times before just by using magic, including Uther's life.

    Aditionally, by disguising as Dragoon and using magic with Arthur's permission, Merlin is directly responsible for Arthur telling Agravaine about it, which caused Morgana's interference by enchanting the amulet and therefore killing Uther. Had Merlin tried to heal Uther secretly, Arthur would not have known and would not have told Agravaine who would not have told Morgana. Uther would still be alive.

    Since Merlin and Gaius had already been aware of the fact that Agravaine is conspiring with Morgana but has Arthur's unconditional trust, Merlin should have known that Arthur would tell his uncle about his plan. By trying to take advantage of Uther's upcoming death when literally blackmailing Arthur, Merlin presented an unsusual sudden coldness and also wasted precious time and gave Morgana every chance to defeat the plan.

    This was not only callous and out of character but also not very clever.

    Suddenly Merlin's character as well as the show's message have completely changed.

    Except for a vigil in the courtyard and Arthur's unnatural short grief, Uther's death seemed to have not touched anyone, not even his loyal knights.

    Instead of showing the funeral for the king and one of the main protagonists, we got to see Arthur's extremely rushed and vapid coronation right after the mourning scene that was instantly crushed when Arthur opened the door of the throne room to be surrounded by bright sunlight and obviously being in the mood for some breakfast with a smile on his face. It's somewhat weird that the sunrise suddenly washes away the grief over the loss of a beloved person after just a few hours of mourning.

    The 'new day' and coronation scenes left no room and time for the viewers to say good bye to a main character that played one of the most important parts of the entire show. It almost seemed as if the audience should be convinced that Uther's death was about time and a relief for everyone, not worth to be dealt with in a sensitive way.

    The lack of care and sympathy for Uther's mental and physical state that had already be shown in the previous 2 episodes reached its climax in The Wicked Day.

    Not only the cold behaviour was shown but too well but also the sudden total ignorance for a character and his storyarcs that have given the most important aspects to the show.

    It started with Uther's total destruction and despressions that left him a shell of his former self and continued with a coincidental injury by some random guy of which his own daughter took advantage of to end his life and therefore all his storyarcs once and for all, on the day of his wife's death, surrounded by reserved people who could not care less.

    Another weird thing was Odin's assassin saying that he would create a birthday for Arthur that he will never forget when actually Arthur was the one he wanted to kill. It hardly needs mentioning that a person who gets killed will indeed forget about what happened.

    That sentence would have made sense if it had been the assassin's intention to kill Uther but not Arthur.

    I wonder why on a show like Merlin a main character had to suffer like this. If the assassin had succeeded in killing Arthur, Uther would not only have lost his beloved wife on Arthur's birthday but also his son. The day that had changed his whole life and caused the hatred for magic in the first place, out of grief and despair. It's quite cynical to give a character final peace by choosing that special day and those special circumstances that did not only include his death by magic, the one thing he had feared and that had tormented him the most, but also by being killed by four people, among them his own beloved daughter who had managed to destroy him completely.

    Another thing that made no sense was the fact that Gaius and Merlin did not tell Arthur about the enchanted necklace, neither did they tell him that it was Morgana who finally killed Uther and Agravaine who obviously conspired with her.

    Inconsistency in storylines were shown when Arthur told Merlin that Uther had fought magic for 20 years although it had been 20 years in the very first epsiode of season 1 already.

    Furthermore, it was odd that Gaius said to Merlin that now with Uther gone, Camelot would hopefully become a place of stability and peace when Gaius himself told Merlin in season 1 that he found Uther to be a good king due to the very fact that he brought peace and prosperity to Camelot.

    The viewer might wonder why Morgana killed the only one standing between Gwen and the throne when she says that she would rather drown in her own blood than letting Gwen become queen, although she mentions her vision about Gwen on the throne in the very same scene. By killing Uther, she did not only blaze the way for Gwen but also, as she herself noticed, helped Arthur becoming another 'Uther' because of his new hatred for magic. How come that she hadn't thought of it before carrying out her evil plans, despite the fact that it was all so very clear? And I still wonder why it was necessary to make Arthur king already.

    In this epsiode, there is a person suffering beyond imagination on one side and two protagonists in slapstick situations on the other side. Two extremes that are just not compatible.I have never seen a more insensitive, meaningless and thoughtless death of a character on TV before, something that really doesn't match with 'Merlin' at all.

    The worst thing is that especially this happening and this epsiode was the start for the total change of the entire series. Not for the best, I have to say.

    It is indeed strange that this show is supposed to mature by parting with the very characters that brought maturity and gravitas in the first place, namely Uther and Lancelot. With those characters gone and the incomprehensible plot holes and Inconsistency, the show now has become a children's's series. Merlin and Arthur are grown-up men and somewhat around 30 years old, yet they behave like teens but certainly not like men who carry so much responsibilty. A waste of their potential.

    And the death of characters never make a show mature.

    There is only one good thing to say about 'The Wicked Day', and that is the great acting performances of the entire cast. Thanks to Anthony Head's great and realistic performance, Uther was not a total waste on this terribly disappointing and cold epsiode.

  • Epic!!!!

    An epic Merlin episode full of great performances by its lead actors. Touches of humor helped relieve some of the tension, but altogether it was a heart wrenching storyline for both Merlin and Arthur in the end. Merlin had one of his best opportunities to share his magical secret to Arthur, but after the episodes events he is leftfelling aloneand needing to keep his secret now more than ever. It is also the first episode in which Arthur actually calls Merlin a 'friend'. I enjoyed this one so much that I can't wait to watch it again!

    Long live the King! Long live the King!moreless
  • Merlin loses another principal character, another honorable sacrifice... (SPOILERS)

    After teasing us over the last season in a half, the King has finally passed on. As a father, I couldn't think of a better way for Authur's father to meet his maker, defending his son from a would be assassin. The writers made him go out well, kicking ass and showing his son how things are done.

    I liked the story with Merlin trying to help Authur's father, but didn't like how it ended. It would have been more fitting had Authur at the last moment refused to use magic and respect his fathers wishes rather than turn Authur against magic again, which is clearly not what the fans want to see. So while there was hope in this episode that Merlin could 'come out' it was just a tease...

    Still didn't change the fact that this episode was really good, so far season four has been killer, literally!moreless
  • The Wicked Day

    The Wicked Day was a superb episode of Merlin and I really enjoyed watching this episode because there was a lot of action, drama, intrigue, along with character and plot development. It was fun to watch Arthur accept the challenge at his birthday festivities. Morgana continues her plotting and pulls a magical feat under Merlin's nose which leads to a sad outcome for Uther. The episode was very entertaining and I look forward to watching what happens next!!!!!!!!moreless
  • This is one of the hardest ones for me to review. I havn't been this emotionally drained watching an episode since 3.05

    t was brilliant from start to finish and, even though I knew a little of what was coming from spoilers it still kept me glued to the screen from beginning to end. Just watched it for the third time and it is rare indeed for me to be totally focused and not even be tempted to fast forward a single scene.The acting was superb, ASH, of course but especially Bradley and Colin - wonderful. Uther's slow awakening and his heroic sword fight were great. Yes,it would have been nice for him to have had the totally heroic death there and then but, if that had happened we'd have missed all that wonderful tension and drama as Merlin takes charge and decides to take control of his own future. Perhaps that's why this and The Crystal Cave are my favourites ... there's something so fascinating about the idea of pusing so hard to make something happen that you actually cause the opposite. Poor Merlin but ... wow, seeing the look on his face when Arthur tells him that 'magic is pure evil,' and when the blame is laid at Morgana's feet and the look of disgust on his face.Again Merlin excels in adding delightful light moments into dark episodes and I am thorougly enjoying this year's new format which mixes both into each episode rather than the stand alone comic episodes which I've never liked as much. Dragoon is always a treat - especially here where he quickly switched between moments of pure silliness and deadly seriousness.Standout subtle acting moments include Morgana's surprise at feeling Uther's death, Colin briefly breaking into his 'Merlin' voice whilst playing Dragoon when in shock at Uther's bedside and Bradley's playing of that penultimate scene after the vigil.

    In fact, that scene has to be my favourite in many ways. The wonderful shot of the stairs and Merlin sitting at the bottom, Arthur opening the door with the sun behind but Merlin not turning until he's called. The looks they exchanged then - beautiful & Arthur called Merlin a loyal friend without hint of hesitation or embarressment. That, for me was even more surprising this early on in Series 4 than Uther's death was!So, to the 'plot holes' I also was stunned on first watching to hear Arthur calmly quote that his mother died through magic but, this time I paid more attention to the scene when he tells Agravaine of his plan (was too busy shouting 'don't do it' at the screen last time) and his uncle also says this in a way that shows the information is not new. So, this was something he told Arthur shortly after he arrived - in the year gap but again the writers are assuming we would understand - just as they did with Morgana being turned by Morgause in the gap between S2 - S3. They really shouldn't assume!As for Morgana's pendant and why Gaius didn't say anything. Yes, it's a bit of a hole. One could argue that it was still magic that hastened his death so, in some ways it wouldn't have helped the cause - but having Morgana take the blame rather than Dragoon would have made sense - even if the still don't dare hint at Agravaine's possible involvement. Then again, they have no actual proof about any of this. I would have liked to have seen Merlin make more of the fact that Uther was dying anyway; both as Dragoon and as himself but then, it appeared he was in shock.Some have commented on the crowning being 'too soon' but we actually don't know when that happened. The Coronation could have been days or weeks afterwards, in fact, in those days it usually was. That whole last scene was wonderful!Long Live King Arthur!moreless
Phil Davis

Phil Davis

The Gleeman

Guest Star

Phil Holden

Phil Holden


Guest Star

Kyle Lima

Kyle Lima


Guest Star

Rupert Young

Rupert Young

Sir Leon

Recurring Role

Eoin Macken

Eoin Macken

Sir Gwaine

Recurring Role

Tom Hopper

Tom Hopper

Sir Percival

Recurring Role

Trivia, Notes, Quotes and Allusions


  • TRIVIA (13)

  • QUOTES (39)

    • Merlin: What's wrong? It's your birthday. A huge feast is being held in your honour. You've got dancers, jugglers and acrobats to entertain you. It must be a terrible burden!
      Arthur: Perhaps I'm less easily impressed than you.
      Merlin: I'm really looking forward to it.
      Arthur: Because you have the mind of a child.
      Merlin: And yet I'm still more intelligent than you.
      Arthur: I heard that!

    • The Gleeman: You have misplaced something, Geldred?
      Geldred: Our special gift to the Prince. I cannot find it anywhere.
      The Gleeman: Geldred, I took the liberty of ensuring their safe passage myself (Opens a box containing three knives) We must make sure that this is a celebration the young Prince will never forget (Throws one of the knives against a board)

    • (Arthur is filling Uther in about the annual levy)
      Uther: We should not talk about matters of court today.
      Arthur: Father?
      Uther: You think I would ever forget that today is the anniversary of your birth?
      (Arthur looks positively surprised)
      Uther: I take it there are plans for suitable celebrations this evening?
      Arthur: A feast and, erm... some entertainment. I'll tell you about it tomorrow.
      Uther: Nonsense. You think I would miss my son's anniversary?
      (Arthur laughs quietly and pleased).

    • The Gleeman: I require a volunteer. Prince Arthur. What better or more fitting occasion for you to demonstrate your legendary bravery? Do you accept the challenge?
      Arthur: Of course.
      Merlin: Is this safe?
      Arthur: It's knife throwing, of course not. I could hardly refuse.

    • (After Arthur has volunteered for some knife throwing)
      Merlin: You're telling me you weren't even a little bit scared?
      Arthur: Of course I wasn't. I am a warrior. You learn to control your fear. To channel it.
      Merlin: You looked scared.

    • Merlin: You can barely stand up.
      Arthur: Are you saying I'm drunk?
      Merlin: No, I'm just saying I don't think you should be wandering around the palace.
      Arthur: And why is that?
      Merlin: You're not wearing any trousers!
      Arthur: (Looks down to his trousers that are rolled down and resting on his ankles) Good point (Pulls his trousers up).

    • The Gleeman: (Ready to run Arthur through with his sword) Goodbye, Arthur Pendragon.
      Uther: (Cutting The Gleeman's move with his sword) It will take more than a coward like you to kill my son.

    • (After Uther has been mortally wounded saving Arthur's life)
      Arthur: I'll go and get help.
      Uther: Stay with me.
      Arthur: I'm here, Father. Guards! Someone! We need help!
      Uther: It's my time.
      Arthur: No. You can't die.
      Uther: I know you will make me proud, as you always have. You will be a great King.
      Arthur: I'm not ready.
      Uther: You have been ready for some time, Arthur.
      Arthur: No. I need you.
      Uther: I know I've not been a good father. I put my duty to Camelot first. I'm sorry.
      Arthur: Don't say that.
      Uther: But know this, Arthur. I've always loved you.

    • Arthur: Gaius. Can you treat him?
      Gaius: The blade has touched his heart. He is bleeding inside.
      Arthur: There must be something. There must be something you can do. Please, Gaius.
      Gaius: It's only a matter of time, I'm afraid. I'm sorry, Arthur.

    • Agravaine: We traced the assassin to the town of Wenham. It's in Odin's land. It seems he hired him to kill you, to avenge the death of his son. Our thoughts are with you, Arthur. But if there's anything I can do...
      Arthur: Your support means a great deal to me. Thank you.

    • Arthur: What news of my father?
      Merlin: There's no change.
      Arthur: Why isn't Gaius doing something, then?
      Merlin: Because there is nothing he can do.

    • Agravaine: I bring good news. Better than we could have hoped for.
      Morgana: What is it?
      Agravaine: Uther has been mortally wounded. He's on his deathbed. Gaius says he only has a few days to live.
      Morgana: I hope the image of my face haunts him. How is Arthur?
      Agravaine: Devastated. The poor boy can't think straight.
      Morgana: Then we must strike while he is vulnerable (She motions to get on but Agravaine holds her arm stopping her).
      Agravaine: When Uther dies, the kingdom will be weak (Morgana addresses him a glance that makes Agravaine let go off her arm) We must choose our moments carefully. Who knows what opportunities the coming weeks will hold?

    • (Gwen is just done tending to Uther's wound)
      Arthur: I appreciate your kindness, everything you're doing for him.
      Gwen: I do it for you.
      (Arthur stares at his father, obviously distressed)
      Gwen: (Feeling his pain) Arthur...
      Arthur: I can't watch him die. There's still so much I want to say to him. He cannot die.
      (Gwen tries to say something but she is unable to find the words).

    • Arthur: What's going on?
      Merlin: It's a vigil for your father. The people wish to share their grief.
      Arthur: Why are they behaving like he's already dead when there's still life in his body?
      Merlin: They're preparing themselves for the worst.
      Arthur: They can give up hope, but I won't.
      Merlin: I know. It's hard to accept. I wish it wasn't so, but... there really is nothing that can be done.
      Arthur: There is a way to heal my father.
      Merlin: How?
      Arthur: With magic.

    • Gaius: Arthur's planning on using magic?
      Merlin: He's desperate. He knows it's his only hope of healing Uther.
      Gaius: Merlin, please tell me you're not going to do this.
      Merlin: I'd be lying if I said no.
      Gaius: You can't risk exposing yourself like this. It's too dangerous.
      Merlin: Arthur didn't recognise me last time, when I was 80 years old, there's no reason why he should this time.
      Gaius: Need I remind you, the last time you used an ageing spell, you were nearly burnt at the stake.
      Merlin: It's worth the risk.

    • Gaius: You think Uther is going to thank you for healing him with magic? He's more likely to have you hanged.
      Merlin: Uther will never change his attitude towards magic, I know that, but if Arthur allows it to be used to heal his father, his attitude will be changed forever. He'll see magic can be a force for good.
      Gaius: You of all people should know that the use of powerful magic is fraught with danger.
      Merlin: If it works, I won't have to hide anymore.
      Gaius: And if it doesn't? I can't stand by and watch you do this, Merlin.
      Merlin: Well, don't try and stop me, because... you can't.
      Gaius: You are playing a dangerous game, Merlin.
      Merlin: I've been playing a dangerous game since the first time I set foot in Camelot. Maybe this is my chance to change that.

    • Arthur: If you were me, if it was your father... would you use magic to save his life?
      Merlin: Yes. I would. I'd do whatever it took.

    • Arthur: I have decided to use magic to heal my father.
      Agravaine: I'd strongly advise against such a course of action.
      Arthur: There is no other way.
      Agravaine: Magic caused your mother's death, Arthur. If you respect her memory, you cannot do this.
      Arthur: Would you see my father die?
      Agravaine: Perhaps it is his time.
      Arthur: Look, I know we have both suffered because of magic but I can't stand by and let my father die. My mind is made up.

    • Arthur: Are you sure this is the right place? It looks like a charcoal maker's hut.
      Merlin: The old man can hardly make a living practising magic. I think that a lot of sorcerers are in the... charcoal business.
      Arthur: Are you joining me?
      Merlin: We don't want to overwhelm him. He probably doesn't get many visitors. I'll stay out here and watch the horses.
      Arthur: I have never met anyone who is so scared so often. Scream like a big girl if there's any trouble.
      Merlin: Don't worry. You'll hear me.

    • Arthur: Are you sure this is the right place?
      Merlin: I'm absolutely certain of it. I'm sure he'll be back soon.
      Arthur: Well, how do you know?
      Merlin: He's a doddery old man. He can't have gone far. If you want his help, you'll have to just wait for him inside.
      Arthur: Where are you sneaking off to?
      Merlin: I have to pee. So unless you want to come and watch me, you should wait for him inside.
      Arthur: Why would I want to watch you?

    • Old Merlin: So, we meet again, Arthur Pendragon. You have come to kill me?
      Arthur: No. That wasn't my intention. I broke a pot.
      Old Merlin: You always were a clumsy fool.
      Arthur: Excuse me?
      Old Merlin: So if you haven't come all this way to kill me, why have you come here? I take it you didn't come all this way just to smash my favourite pot?
      Arthur: If I'd known who you were, I wouldn't have come at all (Heads for the door).
      Old Merlin: I thought you may have come to ask me to use magic to heal your father.
      Arthur: How did you know?
      Old Merlin: I know more than you could possibly comprehend.
      Arthur: Given your hatred for my father and everything that he stands for, I've clearly had a wasted journey.
      Old Merlin: Do not suppose that you know my mind.

    • Arthur: Will you help me?
      Old Merlin: You are asking me to save the life of a man that would have me executed.
      Arthur: I know what I am asking of you, you have no reason to help me, but you are my father's only hope. I'll give you anything you ask for... land, gold. Name your price.
      Old Merlin: I do not want your gold! All I have ever wanted is that people like me can live in peace. That those who practise magic are accepted, rather than hunted. That is all I ask. That is the price of your father's life.
      Arthur: You have my solemn word, when I am King, things will be different. You won't have to live in fear.
      Old Merlin: Then... I will help you.

    • Arthur: We must ride for Camelot immediately.
      Old Merlin: Now?
      Arthur: My father weakens by the hour.
      Old Merlin: But I have... no horse.
      Arthur: You can use Merlin's. He'll just have to walk back.
      Old Merlin: You would make your servant walk back to Camelot? I have a good mind not to help you!

    • Old Merlin: Now, just wait here one moment.
      Arthur: Why?
      Old Merlin: Questions. So many questions. For once in your life, would you just do what you're told?
      Arthur: All right.

    • Arthur: Merlin? What were you doing?
      Merlin: Peeing.
      Arthur: You mean to say you were peeing all the time I was in there?
      Merlin: I really had to go.
      Arthur: There is definitely something very wrong with you.

    • Gaius: Merlin. I was worried, I thought something had happened.
      Merlin: Apart from Arthur thinking that there is something very wrong with my bladder, everything went to plan.
      Gaius: I take it that this means you're going through with it?
      Merlin: If I can heal Uther, Arthur has given me his word that, when he is King, magic will no longer be outlawed.
      Gaius: And what if something goes wrong? What of Arthur's attitude then?
      Merlin: I live with the risk of exposure every day. If I don't take this opportunity, I'll spend my life having to hide who I really am. Everyone's tells me I have this great destiny... maybe this is it. I have to try.

    • Agravaine: Arthur has gone to consult with a sorcerer. He intends to use magic to heal Uther.
      Morgana: Then we must see to it that he fails (She casts a spell on a charm that is put in the fire).
      Agravaine: (Holding the charm) It's cold.
      Morgana: I have bound it to the left-hand path. You must place the charm around Uther's neck.
      Agravaine: What will it do to him?
      Morgana: The force of any healing magic will be reversed and magnified tenfold. By trying to cure his father, Arthur will seal his fate.
      Agravaine: Arthur will never forgive himself. He will be destroyed.
      Morgana: And a broken Prince will make a terrible King.

    • Agravaine: (Hanging around Uther's neck the enchanted charm that will eventually cause his death) Finally, you will get all that you deserve, old friend.

    • (Arthur is calling out for Merlin)
      Merlin: (To Gaius) You have to get rid of him.
      Arthur: Merlin! (Opening Gaius' chamber door) Gaius, have you seen my useless toad of a servant?
      Gaius: I'm afraid not.
      Arthur: Where on earth is he?
      Gaius: Have you tried the tavern?
      Arthur: The tavern. Of course. I am going to make him wish he was never born (He leaves and closes the door, revealing that Merlin was hiding behind it).
      Merlin: Why did you tell him I was in the tavern?
      Gaius: It was the first thing that popped into my head.
      Merlin: Next time, go for the second or third thing... just anywhere but the tavern.

    • Old Merlin: I am led to believe that the King's palace is that way.
      Arthur: I can hardly be seen walking through the main gate with a known sorcerer.
      Old Merlin: So you are already going back on your word. You promised that I would no longer have to live in fear.
      Arthur: You're forgetting that you are yet to heal my father. When you have, I'll give you everything I promised.

    • Arthur: Is this really as fast as you can walk?
      Old Merlin: When you are as old as I, we will see how fast you can walk. I need to rest a moment.
      Arthur: There's no time.
      Old Merlin: Then perhaps you should carry me.
      Arthur: Fine. If it means we get there quicker, I'll carry you.
      (Old Merlin climbs into Arthur's back and Arthur gives him a piggy ride. Old Merlin kicks him).
      Arthur: (Stopping on his tracks) Did you just kick me?
      Old Merlin: Now who's wasting time? (Kicks him again) Faster! Faster!

    • (Old Merlin is about to use magic to heal Uther)
      Arthur: Wait!
      Old Merlin: Is something wrong?
      Arthur: My father has taught me never to trust magic, and now I am using it to save him.
      Old Merlin: Your own life has been saved using magic, more times than you can possibly imagine.
      Arthur: What on earth are you talking about?
      Old Merlin: I merely mean to say that magic is all around you. It is woven into the very fabric of the world.
      Arthur: How can I be sure it's the right thing to do?
      Old Merlin: I know you have suffered because of magic... as many have. But not all magic and not all sorcerers are the same. I wish only to show you that magic can be used for good. I hope one day you will see me in a different light.

    • (Uther falls dead after having briefly regained consciousness)
      Arthur: What's happening?
      Old Merlin: I don't know.
      Arthur: Do something!
      Old Merlin: (Checking Uther's pulse) He's dead.
      Arthur: No. He can't be. Father. Father! (To Old Merlin) What have you done?
      Old Merlin: This was not supposed to happen.
      Arthur: You gave me your word. You have killed him. You killed him!
      Old Merlin: No!
      Arthur: (Goes for Old Merlin sword in hand) You will die for what you have done!
      (Old Merlin casts a spell andthrows Arthur backwards against the ground).

    • Merlin: The spell was working. I'm sure of it. I've done everything right. I don't know what happened.
      Gaius: I think I do (Shows Merlin Morgana's charm) I found it round Uther's neck. It's been enchanted, and such an enchantment would reverse the effects of your healing spell. Uther didn't stand a chance.
      Merlin: Morgana.
      Gaius: I believe so.

    • Morgana: Uther's dead, isn't he?
      Agravaine: How did you know?
      Morgana: I felt it. I felt his pain.
      Agravaine: I thought Uther's death would be cause for celebration.
      Morgana: Arthur will replace him. There'll be no celebration until I take my place upon the throne.
      Agravaine: That may be sooner than you think. Arthur is young, untested. He will look to his trusted uncle for counsel, and I will ensure that he fails.

    • Merlin: I am so sorry. I wish that there was something I could have done.
      Arthur: Merlin, no one but me is to blame for this.
      Merlin: You're not to blame. This isn't your fault.
      Arthur: I'm entirely to blame. My father spent 20 years fighting magic. To think I knew better... I was so arrogant. That arrogance has cost my father his life.
      Merlin: You were only doing what you thought was right. I'm sure that old sorcerer meant no harm. Perhaps the spell went wrong. Uther was dying. Maybe nothing could have saved him.
      Arthur: We'll never know. All I know for sure is that I have lost both my parents to magic. It is pure evil. I'll never lose sight of that again.

    • Merlin: This is all my fault. I killed him.
      Gaius: You did not kill Uther. Morgana did. Uther's spirit died when she broke his heart. We must look to the future. Uther's death will allow Arthur's progression to the throne. We must hope it brings peace and stability to the land.
      Merlin: Magic will still be outlawed. I have turned Arthur against it for ever. He'll never know who I really am.
      Gaius: That time will come. I'm sure of it. Arthur will be under even more pressure now that he is King. He will need you more than ever. There is nothing more to be done. Let's go and have some supper.
      Merlin: I think I'll wait here.

    • Arthur: (Coming out of the throne room where he's been mourning his father's body all night, he finds Merlin sitting outside) Merlin. It's a new day. Have you been here all night?
      Merlin: I didn't want you to feel that you were alone.
      Arthur: You're a loyal friend, Merlin. You must be hungry.
      Merlin: Starving.
      Arthur: Me too. Come on. You can make us some breakfast.

    • Geoffrey of Monmouth: Will you solemnly promise and swear to govern the peoples of Camelot according to their respective laws and customs?
      Arthur: I solemnly swear so to do.
      Geoffrey of Monmouth: Will you to your power cause law and justice in mercy to be executed in all your judgements?
      Arthur: I will.
      Geoffery of Monmouth: Then by the sacred law vested in me, I crown you, Arthur, King of Camelot. Long live the King!
      All: Long live the King!

  • NOTES (15)

    • According to Bradley James, finally finding himself with the King's crown on his head was a really nice moment and as a consequence, he had a big inner smile.

    • According to Colin Morgan, seeing himself on the screen (even more so as Emrys) is as awkward as for anybody listening their voice recorded: it does also take a while to recognize oneself.

    • When Colin Morgan read the script for this episode he wished he could do the spinning wheel scene. However, when he realized what it involved, he was grateful that it wasn't the case.

    • It took 3 different directors and 3 months to complete the scene with Uther's swordfight. Part of it was a homage to Robin Hood.

    • Director Alice Troughton thought that the bit where Arthur's hand is stained with Uther's blood woudn't be left in the final editing of the episode because there are strict rules concerning the amount of blood that can be seen in a family show.

    • Nine takes were needed to get right the scene where Agravaine and Sir Leon address Arthur because Nathaniel Parker and Rupert Young couldn't hold their laughter.

    • Alice Troughton (episode director) and Colin Morgan recorded an audio commentary for this episode.

    • This episode is Julian Murphy's favourite of series 4 together with 4x09 Lancelot Du Lac.

    • According to Alice Troughton, the episode director, it was her and Dale McCready's (Director of Photography) idea for the scene where Arthur comes out of the throne room after mourning his father all night long to have Merlin focus on Arthur's shadow until he is spoken to as a way to convey the idea of Arthur being something like Apollo, the Sun God, and also stress the fact that 'it's a new day'.

    • According to Colin Morgan, the most surreal moment in Merlin is the one where Uther dies and his favourite one of the series is Arthur's coronation.

    • Also Known As:
      France: Un Jour Funeste.
      Germany: Tödlicher Geburtstag (meaning 'Deadly Birthday').
      Italy: La Maledizione Di Morgana (meaning 'Morgana's Curse').
      Poland: Z�y Dzie� (meaning 'Bad Day').
      Portugal: O Dia Perverso (meaning 'The Perverse Day').

    • International Airdates:
      Australia: October 30, 2011 on Ten.
      Canada: January 22th, 2012 on Space.
      France: March 9th, 2012 on Canal + Family.
      Germany: January 18th, 2012 on Super RTL.
      Italy: September 12th, 2012 on Italia 1.
      Sweden: September 23nd, 2012 on SVT2.
      Turkey: March 4, 2012 on CNBC-e.
      USA: January 20th, 2012 on Syfy.

    • The Great Dragon does not appear in this episode, but John Hurt is credited (for the voice-over at the beginning of the opening credits).

    • Filming locations:
      Château de Pierrefonds, Pierrefonds, Oise, France (Camelot).
      Cardiff, Wales, UK (Studio sets).
      Clearwell Caves in the Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire (Old Merlin's hut).
      Puzzlewood, Forest of Dean, Coleford, Gloucestershire (Morgana's hut).

    • Broadcasts:
      Sat 15 Oct 2011 at 20:15-21:00pm on BBC One and BBC HD.
      Fri 21 Oct 2011 at 19:45-20:30pm on BBC Three.


    • The title of this episode The Wicked Day is actually the title of a book by Mary Stweart, published in 1983 which storyline focuses on Mordred and how he is more a pawn of fate than a real villain. It's actually the fourth in a quintet of books by the same author, based on the Arthurian legends.