The fourth series of Merlin, the BBC's subtly and strangely homoerotic "re-imagining" of Arthurian legend, premieres tonight (Oct. 1, 2011) in the UK. SyFy will probably be airing the series in the US sometime in January 2012. But if you manage to catch the series in the UK or online, feel free to discuss.
An extended trailer for the fourth season is below; apparently there's a lot more involvement from the (beefcake) knights, and Morgana's gone full villain. The awkward romance between Arthur and Gwen continues, and "magic" continues in large part to involve people flying through the air backwards. But I still love the cheesiness of it all, and of course the random moments of shirtlessness (and the Bradley James anti-shirtless troll).
Damn, why don't I live in England. I really want to see the new season now, and I can't find this new ep of season four anywhere online.
Did anyone in the UK watch this? Details and opinions, please.
I caught the first episode online (R1, if you just search for something like "Merlin S04E01" it's easy to find online sources). I enjoyed it - the "tone" of the show seems a bit different now that things are more established - a bit more action-y, a little less character development than I'd like (especially since there are SO many characters - all the knights were in this one). But the scenes bewteen Arthur and Merlin were nice, if a bit repetitive of previous seasons. The scene between Arthur and Uther was great - seems like they're doing a bit to rehabilitate Arthur this season and make him more noble, since he was kind of an ass last time around.
Arthur / Bradley James was shirtless within the first fifteen minutes. Nice to see some things don't change.
With Morgana, there was a moment in the episode where I thought they might try to return her to being 3-dimensional and having a conscience - but nope, she's still in cartoon villain mode.
Gwen looks a bit better with longer hair, but wow they really flaunted her boobs. And they're still running with the Lancelot love triangle angle, and only had her hugging Arthur - interested to see how they play that out.
Cliffhanger ending was a nice moment for what it represented about Merlin's relationship with Arthur, rather than for being suspenseful (the previews for the next episode already show it's resolved early). Overall, looking forward to the season - hopefully there'll be stronger writing and less dud episodes than there were in Series 3.
I like the goth darkness of the first episode. The drama sacrifice, the broken King, the unbeatable hordes of screaming ghosts, the abandoned castle set, the knights together, etc .
Did Gwen always have such big boobs? They practically attacked me through the screen last night (and maybe in my nightmares *shudder*).
R3, whenever Gwen was on screen I was distracted by thoughts of whether she was just wearing very generous padding and duct tape, or whether she'd gotten a boob job between seasons. I mean, she DID look prettier than in previous seasons, but I think a lot of that was makeup and hair, and maybe they're doing a gradual transformation on her from maid to queen.
I also got distracted by Tom Hopper's (Percival's) arms whenever they appeared on screen - so nice of the producers to have him wearing unrealistic armor that leaves his biceps completely uncovered. But no complaints from me. Gwaine looked a bit tired, though, and not his usual dapper self - hopefully there'll be more fun episodes with him.
I saw an earlier thread here about a shirtless photoshoot Tom Hopper (Percival), Eoin Macken (Gwaine) and Rupert Young (Leon) did for the Gay Times (below). Even though the photos themselves seem a bit awkward, it's nice to see a little acknowledgment from the PR department about some of Merlin's audience.
Thanks for the new thread,OP.
I'm optimistic for the new series. I like that Lancelot has this secret bond with Merlin because he knows Merlin has magic, and I hope Gwaine gets to goof off with either of them again soon (triangles, quadrangles, pentangles?...)
I noticed that John Hurt's spoken intro now describes Merlin as a "young man" instead of a "boy." About time.
And yeah, another shirtless Arthur in bed scene. Plus another where Merlin, with laundry, walks in on the prince and says, surprised, "oh, you're already dressed."
Here's to another few months of good fun.
(Link back to the series 3 thread)
Oh and if I were mamma, that Tom Hopper would have my mussy M.O.I.S.T!
There is another extended trailer online for episode 2 and some plot points for the rest of the season. Don't watch if you don't want to be spoiled, but it hints at some good ones involving the Dragon, Gwen, Lancelot, etc.
Colin Morgan is the only reason any gay man would watch this show.
I disagree, R9.
Look at Tom Hopper flex his fucking arm muscles at the video below - it's an interview at the photoshoot they did for the Gay Times.
Skip to 2:55 in the video - I mean, GOD DAMN.
I give credit to Merlin's producers for filling up the cast with pretty, pretty men.
Bloody hell, r10. Thanks for posting that! I have to admit Eoin Macken sitting there with his fly open was pretty darn hot!
I liked this first episode.
I agree that the secret bond between Merlin and Lancelot is very watchable. The plotline was good, if similar in concept to the Harry Potter screamers - but the interplay of relationships, scenery and acting were all first rate, as ever.
I enjoyed the part where Uther suddenly flickered back to life again and also really hope Arthur gets to face his real challenege which (to me) would be standing up to Uther in the full knowledge Merlin is magic and that he himself may have some magic background. Or maybe magic will save Uther too.
Macken has those fucking unbelievably aureole!
Wanna chew 'em like caramels!
[Been here long enough to know the difference between a nipple and an aureola.]
Starting in the first episode of Season 2, this show began to throw in silly, random and unnecessary scenes of Bradley James shirtless. It continued throughout season 2.
Then in the first episode of Season 3 they AGAIN started the show with a shirtless scene of Bradley James. At the end of last season I decided that if it happened again in Season 4, I would stop watching the show.
Well, Season 4 started last night, and what do we have? Another shirtless scene of Bradley James in the first episode. I've decided to stop watching the show now.
You expect this sort of antic on a daytime soap opera, but I was hoping that a show like "Merlin" would be above it. Several people I know even wrote to the BBC to tell them to quit with the silly shirtless scenes, but I guess Johnny Capps and his colleagues are too obsessed with it to stop. I have also lost respect for Bradley James for agreeing to go along with this. Why doesn't he do what Jensen Ackles on "Supernatural" did, and tell the producers he won't do any more shirtless scenes?
Anyway, I've had it with this show. Anyone else feel the same way? Don't you feel it is insulting to the viewer's intelligence?
Bradley James anti-shirtless troll at R14, we've missed you.
Maybe the Series 4 opener will give birth to a new troll, the "Angel Coulby anti-booby troll" or something.
For the record, I'm part of the "bring on the beef!" camp. Would it make sense for a medieval knight to wear tanktop armor that leaves his fighting arms completely exposed to attacks? No. Does this matter to me when I see Tom Hopper's bulging biceps? Also no.
Ok. There was so much chemistry between Arthur and Merlin that it CAN'T be unintentional any more. Either those two men fancy each other, at least there's a crush on Colin's part, in real life or the writers are trying their damnest to please us gay folk.
There was NO spark in the Gwen / Arthur love story, so I say let Lancelot have her and her newly formed huge boobs and let Merlin finally get his wish and get Arthur fall passionately in love with him. I know they want to.
Did you, for example, see Arthur's amused chuckle when Merlin was adamant to go with him to collect firewood. You can read SO much into all of that that I am no longer surprised that there is such a vast collection of Merhur slash fic and slash fans out there.
I wonder if Colin Morgan is really prissy in person? That would be hot. Prissy guys with huge ears are HOT!
R16, there's a preview clip online (below) of next week's episode that spoils the first few minutes and resolves last week's cliffhanger, and the slash fangirls have been going gaga over it - it definitely is an intense bond (and I'm glad to see Arthur is on better behavior this season). So I'm looking forward to it.
I was really hoping they would get back to a proper show this season and that we would finally see an end to the stupid shirtless scenes.
Is it meant to distract attention from the fact that Bradley James is one of the worst actors on British television?
Bradley James does not need to be a RADA alum. He is quite sufficient as he is.
Bradley is just such an asshole off screen also.
He's a total jock and all he does is talk about sports.
He's like Bush and Palin and revels in his own ignorance and brags that he doesn't read books.
Thank you, R18. I liked that a lot *grin*
Ah, I'm so in love with Bradley! I don't care if he's a jerk. I'll just wear ear plugs and stare at that face and into his eyes.
We could have a threesome with Gwaine, once Bradley's too drunk to remember.
Dear god, please let me have Bradley. I promise to be a nice person on Datalounge and never insult celebrities any more. Please, god...
R21, Bradley's never come off that bad to me in interviews - funny, a little awkward at times but self-aware and poking fun at himself about it. I think he has a tongue-in-cheek, self-deprecating sense of humor, so he might make statements about not reading books as a sort of joke about his jock image. Or, maybe he just doesn't read books, but he doesn't strike me as some proud oaf.
Looking forward to tonight's episode - apparently Merlin has a different time slot this season that's an hour later than its previous time slot? I guess it fits with them going for a darker tone, but apparently it's more challenging because it's directly against X-Factor?
In any case, Series 5 has already been ordered so I'm not worried that dips in ratings will lead to premature cancellation or anything.
Enjoyed tonight's episode (it's already online) - lots of plot twists that you just can't anticipate from Arthurian legend. People had guessed at the death from previews (and previews also show that there'll be more to the story in the season), but it was still surprising, and the theme of self-sacrifice and nobility was nicely done.
Er, there were some pretty slash-tastic moments this episode, and you can't tell me the writers and director don't know exactly what's going on. The brief moment with Gwaine and Percival was the most obvious (maybe too obvious). But Merlin's line about having a reason to die: "something you care about, something that's more important than anything", when he's discussing dying for Arthur? I mean, wow. Their fireside chat, lying down next to each other, was pretty intimate. And it seems the show enjoys teasing Merlin and Arthur hugging - people like Gwaine hug freely, but Merlin always gets a manly pat on the shoulder.
Next week's episode looks pretty fun, and it seems maybe they're trying to evolve Arthur's character this season in preparation for an eventual magic reveal.
Bradley James is such a prick off-screen. He is a total sports jock whose only interest is football. And like Bush and Palin, he revels in his own ignorance by admitting he doesn't read books.
He's kind of a bully and probably bashed gay guys in high school.
R26, you said the exact same thing at R21 - I mean, do you even know Bradley personally and have a grudge against him, or do you just not like his public persona for some reason? Because saying stuff like he "probably bashed gay guys in high school" is pretty low otherwise. Also, I haven't seen any evidence of it in interviews, where he comes off as pretty charming, goofy and self-deprecating.
One thing that was funny about this episode was the continuing willful ignorance and stupidity of everyone around Merlin (except Lancelot). No one questions that he's the only person to live after an attack that "no mortal can survive"? And that he shows up nice and cheery a few days later? And poor Arthur, continually getting knocked out whenever the real action happens - after so many years, he must question why he's always missing the important stuff.
This weird poster is clearly an American troll and knows absolutely nothing about Bradley James.
Who is the actor who plays the guy Arthur put in charge of Camelot while he's gone chasing the dead folk?
Colin Morgan (Merlin) is the only seriously good looking guy on the BBC today. BBC loves fug actors because they are so real.
Sounds like the other male actors are doing their Tom Cruise routines, to hype their public image of heterosexuality.
R24, that's because r21/26 does not know Bradley. Nobody here does. I have no idea what gets into these trolls except they are probably fangirls who want to dissuade icky, dirty gay people from talking about Bradley James and spotting any chemistry (real or imagined) between him and any other man standing within three feet. It's like that troll that appeared on another thread and tried its best to make Johnny Depp (of all people) out to be an avowed redneck/rethug hick.
He is a bit jockish offscreen, and he also comes across as fun, lighthearted, funny, engaging and curious/playful. He and Colin Morgan clearly have a very good friendship and appear to get along very well.
I don't believe there are any divas on that cast but I did enjoy the Bradley James Anti-Shirtless Troll reappearance and s/he can definitely stay. There is a place in our hearts always for him/her.
More shirtless Bradley James!
WTF? Oh, god no!! I just watched the episode. Have we really lost Lancelot?! We cannot have! How will they bring him back? They HAVE TO bring him back. How else will we get rid of that damn Guinevere and her humongous breasts flapping all over Arthur all the time and get Arthur to finally fall into Merlin's arms.
Honestly, I can't bear losing Lancelot. He's one of the MAIN main characters in the Camelot world and the BBC cannot have done such an uppity thing to have thrown aside such an important plotline.
Slashy moments were to be had here but so subtely done that dimwitted middle-aged straights (my parents) would basically think nothing of it, it'd fly over their heads as 'guys being loyal buddies' and only the slashfangirlz/The Gays and some clued-in straights would go: 'Whoa, Arthur and Merlin are sitting really close tonight baby!'
There was some nice chemistry between Merlin and Lancelot too. I do think Lancelot will reappear, can't imagine we've seen that last of him. It also seems to be that in this series Arthur is moving away from being romantically inclined towards Gwyn so perhaps this leaves a new opening for Lancelot to return and a romantic plotline to play out between Gwyn and he. I don't think she's had a boob job more a great push up bra and the type of dress that brings the cleveage higher.
I also noticed the line from Merlin about giving your life for something so important. That struck me as quite deep and potentially romantically motivated but the show will only hint around it, and it's this mystery which is its strength. The action with the knights was hilarious and they make a good team. Really enjoyed last night's episode.
Don't worry r32, I am sure he will reappear. He looked pretty smirkingly confident as he entered the Veil.
He'll find a way back. He's Lancelot!
I really like how the magic world protects Merlin, especially the water spirits. The girlfriend he lost who returned Excalibur from the lake, and now the river/stream spirits who healed him. A nice touch in this episode was Merlin as the last Dragon Master, the gift from his father.
A very satisfying episode.
Am I remembering correctly that Arthur's mother is of the magic persuasion and Arthur isn't excatly a full-on muggle, to use a phrase?
Taking this off the internet:
In the BBC series Merlin, Ygraine is the wife of Uther, but dead for many years by the time the events of the series begins. She could not conceive, and so Uther asked for the help of the sorceress Nimueh so that they could have a child. Igraine gives birth to Arthur, but because magic was invoked in his conception, Uther had to pay the price of asking for a life from magic—that of losing the life of someone he treasured equally, his wife. It is Igraine's death that sparks Uther's hatred and persecution of all magic users within his kingdom.
And by far Nimueh, played by Michelle Ryan, was the most glam of all the antagonists in this series.
The Vilia not only healed Merlin but, while Merlin and Lancelot slept, The Vilia engulphed both of them for protection. Why couldn't they have given Lancelot some sort of inoculation as well?
This may be the key to his return.
And it's superb that Gemma Jones is both Harry Potter's Madam Pomfrey and Merlin's Calyx/Cailleach.
Are there any other duals?
R39, last season Miriam Margolys (?) who played Professor Trout was on, as well as Warwick Davis (Prof. Flitwick) and Harry Melling (Dudley Dursley). Harry was actually pretty great in his episode (The Sorcerer's Shadow).
Oops, I mean Professor Sprout, not Trout at R40.
[quote]Don't worry [R32], I am sure he will reappear. He looked pretty smirkingly confident as he entered the Veil.
I agree, and am also guessing it was the good girl spirits of the "brooks and springs" that counseled Lancelot and healed Merlin who may be the means of his return. I also would expect they enjoyed some spirit dream sex with him as he slept on the bank; who wouldn't?
That actor is so much sexier as Lance than he was as the tortured artist in "Heroes."
What about Emilia Fox as Morgause? Thought her departure scene was a bit quick given her character's history (and I'll miss her being kind of a badass complement to Morgana's cartoonishness), and if Lancelot can come back from the veil...
Though someone pragmatically pointed out the reason Lancelot and Morgause had to go away for at least a while was that the producers couldn't afford to have them as guest stars every episode.
And R29, the actor playing Agrivaine the uncle is named Nathaniel Parker, I think. Haven't seem in anything but he seems pretty established. He reminds me of a younger Ciaran Hinds.
I totally agree r42!
I see that the pro-Merlin troll is back again this season posting up a storm on a new thread trying to publicize its show and its B-rate actor Bradley James.
Bradley is a total jerk. He is a sports jock whose only interest is football and who revels in his own ignorance like Sarah Palin and George Bush by bragging that he doesn't read books.
He is also a gay basher and spent part of his youth in Florida, surrounded by conservative rednecks. Anti-gay Chuck Norris is also one of his idols.
This is getting surreal.
Can we give a name to the weird anti-Bradley troll at R21, R26 and R45? Maybe the "Bradley is a total jerk" troll, or the "Bradley is a gay-bashing jock who doesn't read books" troll.
There's an interview online with Colin, Katie and Eoin on an Irish chat show (dated October 14th, interview with them starts about 1 hour 10 minutes in), in which the interviewer brings up the photoshoot for the Gay Times, and the "strong homoeroticism" on the show. Eoin (who looks pretty hot with short hair) says to "ask Colin about that" because he "has a lot of scenes with Bradley where they kind of do that".
Colin replies "cheers, Eoin", and then says they get asked about it a lot, and he always responds the same way, that it's a show where you can draw a lot of different connotations, and people can come away with completely different things from it - sort of a diplomatic non-answer, but funny how often it comes up and how everyone on the show is aware of it. Question is about 1 hour 17 minutes in.
By the way, there have been some advance reviews for tomorrow's episode (episode 3, "The Wicked Day") calling it one of the strongest in the series, with an emotional story and compelling performances. I was actually expecting something a bit lighter after the darkness of the first two episodes (like last year's comic goblin episode, to balance things out), so I'm pleasantly surprised and am really looking forward to it.
Ok, so I can search Merlin 04 03 on Sundays?
So far on Friday NADA.
I am starting to love fileserve.
R49, Merlin airs on Saturdays around 8PM in the UK, done by 9PM. The episodes usually start appearing online an hour or two after they've aired.
UK is about 5 hours ahead of the US East Coast, so earliest is usually Saturday around 5/6 PM Eastern, 2/3 PM Western.
Thanks, r43. This Nathaniel Parker is hot death! There are so many hot guys in this series there's starting to be a problem. It's hard to decide on whom to direct your gaze during all this action! Though if I'd have to choose right now it'd be Bradley first, then (I have to admit) this Nathaniel Parker (even though older than me), then Gwaine, then Lancelot, then all the rest of them all wrapped up in a nice little bouquet, smiling at me as I approach them.
That was a cool interview linked at r48, thanks. Irish chat show with the three Irish cast members representing, I guess.
I liked when the host had pulled out action figures of Merlin/Colin and Morgana/Katie but didn't have one for Gawain. Eoin said, "I don't have one yet, these guys have been on for like fifteen years and I only came on last year"
WOW at tonight's episode - was not expecting that at all. Definitely one of the strongest-written episodes, and some of the best acting the show has seen in a while, especially from Bradley James.
I wasn't expecting them to get this far in the plot so soon in the season, with the rest of this series and the fifth series still left. Is the character death... permanent? It seems like so many established characters have died in the past few episodes - maybe the writers took to heart the complaints last season that the plot wasn't going anywhere, and decided to shake things up a bit? I'm also surprised given the actor's contract... since the previews already indicate one character will return from the dead, maybe another will as well?
In any case, definitely a great episode that went to unexpected places, and really makes me look forward to the rest of the season if they can keep up the general level of quality of the first three episodes this season.
As an aside, the slashy winks and nods keep on coming, especially when Arthur asks Merlin why he'd want to see him peeing. The last scene after the vigil was also pretty intense.
Well, well, 4/3 was the end of the beginning and the restart of the series with 21 more episodes to go.
When is Mordred returning? Didn't he originally live in the place Morgana now inhabits?
Loved last night's.
I thought it was going to start as one of those X Files-ish interim sometimes comical, light-hearted one-offs but it got so dark.
I think Colin is playing a blinder. The episodes have so far focussed far more on Merlin and Arthur rather than Gwynne. Which is great imo!
The way they are doing this suits everyone from straights who just see a 'friendship' to slash writers and those that can see the subtle/not so subtle! body language at times.
I was surprise Uther got killed off so soon but it was interwoven brilliantly and has made for the most mature series so far.
Sorry folks, I unwittingly gave away Uther's demise (UK time) so now you know.
But, you never know, he could come back. This is magic after all.
Sorry about that. I should have bunged a spoiler alert next to it.
Ep 401 : Overnights 5.20m - Share 22.70% - AI 89 - Finals 6.40m (25%)**
Ep 402 : Overnights 5.54m - Share 20.90% - AI 90 - Finals 6.80m (23.40%)**
Ep 403 : Overnights 5,71m - Share 22,60%
(**iPlayer not included)
Merlin ratings troll
Oh fuck. I honestly hated to see Uther go. Anthony Head is a brilliant actor and a hot daddy.
I HATE Morgana! Really HATE her! She looked damn gorgeous as an evil goth homeless person, but I still HATE her!
Something I loved though, and that's how they show less Gwen now. It's Arthur and Merlin all the way.
I can't wait for next week!
I thought Anthony Head had a five-year contract and would stay with the show through the end (and I guess he could always reappear, or show up as a ghost or in flashbacks or something), but I saw on his recent appearance on Craig Ferguson that his main show noawadays seems to be "Free Agents" (though it just got cancelled in the US?). So I guess they allowed him to get out early, which also would help move the series plot along. Also, his character has been pretty static throughout the entire run, so it's nice he got to go out by showing a bit of Uther's softer side.
Still, surprising it happened this early in the fourth series, with him only appearing briefly in the episodes - same with Morgause and Lancelot. Even though I think the episode was well-done, I wish the show was a bit better about developing story arcs rather than hitting you with stuff in single episodes. Also, this only makes more apparent how much of a wasted opportunity Series 3 was - this is the sort of thing that probably should have ended that series off, after an extended buildup and conflict.
OK, a little clarification here:
In this incarnation of the Arthurian Legend, who are Morgana's, Morgause's and Arthur's bio parents?
Is this one big dysfunctional Brady Bunch with magic?
So Merlin is Alice?
R61, Arthur is the son of Uther and Igraine.
In this version Morgana is the daughter of Uther and Vivian(?), wife of Gorlois, through adultery. It was previously believed she was the daughter of Gorlois and Vivian.
Before it was revealed that Morgana was Uther's daughter, Morgause was believed to be Morgana's half-sister - i.e., either Gorlois or Vivian was a shared biological parent, with some unknown other parent. After the reveal, I think they still call each other sisters, so maybe they share the same mother (Vivian), which might also explain them both having magic.
In which case this Vivian really got around - having Morguase with one unknown father (I think after her birth she was spirited away by Gaius, suggesting her birth was illegitimate), and having Morgana with Uther while married to Gorlois.
So Vivian possessed magic if Morgana has magic and if she and Morgause call each other sister and we know that Uther isn't her father as well, then Vivian would be her magic mother too.
Has Vivian made an appearance in this Merlin saga?
R63, Vivian (Vivienne?) has never appeared and is presumably dead; she was only mentioned by Uther once in the episode where he revealed he was Morgana's father.
It's also not clear in the show's universe that magic (necessarily) passes down by blood, but that's the most likely explanation given the magic users they've had (Merlin and his father, the sorcerer "Gilly" in "The Sorcerer's Shadow" and his father, etc.)
Igraine has made at least one one appearance from beyond the grave. Ultimately, isn't this entire epic based on what happened to these two women and the ramifications?
Tonight's episode was okay, though obviously not having as much dramatic impact as the first three episodes. There were some cute moments highlighting Merlin's relationship with all the knights.
I was surprised to see that they've replaced Anthony Head's name in the credits with Nathaniel Parker's - so I guess Agravaine is now filling the role of "older antagonist" or something, at least for the season.
The slash baiting continues - Merlin pulling down Arthur's pants and wrestling for the key, Merlin finding himself on top of a shirtless Arthur in bed, with Arthur waking up awkwardly... well, I guess the show knows its audience, I can't complain about blatant fan service.
I mean, seriously with this scene? GAY. Merlin looks like he's going in for a rim job or something.
I loved the little dragon baby!! I can't believe it, but I had tears in my eyes when it hatched. Damn me.
I also loved the slash baiting (a phrase r66 aptly used). My god, Merlin jumping on the trouserless Arthur like he couldn't contain himself any more... I'm amazed that there hasn't emerged a porn version of Merlin yet in the adult entertainment industry!
Nathaniel Parker is hot. And so is Gwaine. Love the long hair and the care-free attitude.
It was nice to see Gaius from BSG. Now, if they bring a shirtless Jamie Bamber...
Thank you, BBC, for this series. It's so much fun and so well made. Love it and love you.
Liked the trouser drop, liked the tower, loved the "I am the last Dragon Lord" reaction and the white dragon hatchling summoned forth.
Love how all the knights like to touch Merlin.
Now if Merlin could only give Arthur a sponge bath and talk about oysters and snails...
They do scenes like that, and yet Colin and Bradley get mad when people ask about the gay sub-text.
I don't think Bradley and Colin get "mad", R70 - they've joked about it going back to Season 1, and Bradley has laughingly acknowledged in interviews that his "bromance" with Merlin is stronger than his "romance" with Gwen, etc. I don't think Colin's recent interview quote about people seeing what they want to see was meant to be dismissive or angry either.
I do think, however, that they (Colin especially) are sensitive to the fact that the producers are trying to market this widely in many countries, to all age groups, and that they can't directly acknowledge that they're (intentionally) introducing elements of homoeroticism, for fear of inviting media attention about how there's so much gayness going on in a "family-friendly" show.
So the writers (and I guess the actors now) have gone the "wink and nod" route - in public, they say nothing's going on and the show's open to many interpretations, etc., but they'll also introduce scenes with either double innuendos or intimate, emotional moments between the characters that will set slash fangirls flailing, but will go over the heads of most children and older viewers. If the Focus on the Family / "protect the children!" types call them on it, they say it's just viewers seeing what they want to see, and the story's really just about two very good friends, etc.
However, I think the slash has been a bit more noticeable this series than previously - really, there have been at least a few moments every episode so far. Maybe at this point the writers and actors are more comfortable having moments of fan service, since slash fangirls (not gay men) have been some of Merlin's most dedicated and vocal supporters.
Also, maybe it's not a coincidence that there have been so many slashy moments this series, and the show has also taken a darker and more mature tone with character deaths and horror elements - maybe the move to a later timeslot in the UK has given the writers more leeway with introducing more "adult" themes.
Do you not think that Bradley James and the producers have lost their self-respect though?
Not only are there random unnecessary shirtless scenes thrown in, but now we have Bradley's pants falling off too.
This is supposed to be a family magic show, not some sort of forum for producer Johnny Caps to get his fantasies off about Bradley.
And why wasn't Arthur wearing long underwear? That's what they wore in those days isn't it? It looked like he hardly had anything on underneath. Was he wearing briefs?
No, they didn't wear long underwear in the never-existed fantasy world of Camelot becasue it, you know, never existed; nor did they in the actual Dark Age and medieval worlds, since underwear hadn't been invented, so don't get your gusset in a twist, Shirtless Bradley Troll. And I think we can safely say shirtlessness is here to stay, as it has been pretty much from episode 1.
R74, there was virtually no shirtlessness in Season 1. It only began in Season 2 because producer Johnny Capps has an obsession with Bradley James.
I thought that after the complaints they were going to reduce it this year, and hopefully that will happen. Don't you think it's gotten ridiculous when all they can do for ratings now is have Arthur's pants fall down?
This is supposed to be a magic show and one of the BBC's leading family dramas. Why has it degenerated into this nonsense?
Do you agree?
It's a magic show and the shirtless Bradley James is magic. So it fits perfectly.
I hope we get to see more of the trouserless Bradley from now on ass well.
r77, at some time those knights HAVE to bathe in a stream, lake, waterfall or two.
It would have been so nice after they emerged from the cave tunnel and went through he water-fall, if they had take a moment to dry off their clothes and romp naked in the pool.
I assume that Medieval naked rompings were quite ordinary...
As if you need telling, trolldar highlights the whiny, perennially anti-fun r70/73/76 as being r45, the crazy fool trying to convince people Bradley James is some Palin-supporting, redneck gay basher.
I can only hope this individual IS Bradley James, come to wind everyone up and run off laughing, since if not, this person has some issues and we are being used as its soundingboard.
For the last time, Bradley James is not some rethug-supporting gay basher. He's English for fuck's sake - he's likely to be more interested in Pot Noodle and Wimbledon!
Now go away, you joyless, conservative, gun-loving harridan.
Plot twist! Never did I suspect that the Bradley James Anti-Shirtless Troll was ALSO the Bradley James Is a Gay-Bashing Palin-Loving Redneck Jock Troll.
Dun dun dun...
(Really, methinks the troll has some unresolved issues over his attraction to Bradley James and Bradley's willingness to put his body on display for others or something. Or else is a crazed fangirl trying to convince gay guys he's not for us. Or, again, maybe both...)
Yes R80, he used to post as Canadian Gay around here but seems to have caught up about troll-dar and reguarly switches his IP now so he is more difficult to follow.
He also posts as RyanOConnor1 on IMDB and
TroyMorgan 1977 and sockpuppets RosannaLopez101 and VickiDavidson1 on Twitter.
Check it out, all the same posts, same words and way of phrasing things.
Just let him rant. He seems to hate B. James for some reason or another but it's just a troll. Don't feed it!
r81, please let me know if I EVER piss you off:)
great site for movies and TV
The Merlin link is right up to episode 4 season 4
In the US here, looking forward to tonight's episode (tomorrow, probably).
I'm with the consensus that the first few episodes of season 4 are easily some of the best ever. The plot is moving; Arthur is king; everything looks gorgeous (compared to past seasons' cheesiness).
I just wish they'd let Merlin change his clothes once in a while. Does he really own only one tunic and scarf? Couldn't he whip up a new shirt by magic, maybe something sheer?
OK that last part was just for the troll
Saw tonight's episode, really enjoyed it - the quality of season 4 episodes has definitely been higher so far than in season 3.
I like that it wasn't just a monster of the week but more of a character study that managed to flesh out all four main characters and their relationships with each other (which was largely absent last season). It actually spent screen time on Morgana's bitterness, Gwen's inner strength and convictions, Arthur's self-doubt, and Merlin's loyalty.
The slashy moment about being in bed with Merlin was awkward (as it was probably meant to be) - funny how the show winks at the topic constantly now. Also, was surprised that they spent so much time on Arthur's surprised reaction after the fight - is that a preview for him finally realizing that someone's been helping him magically all this time?
Next week's episode seems set to get the kinky fangirls going all over again - not only is Merlin bound in some weird S&M scenario with Morgana, but Arthur talks about trusting only him, etc.
Hmm, never mind, I think Arthur's pause during the fight wasn't meant to be his confusion about magic being done, but rather him looking back to Merlin / his people about the right thing to do, and deciding to end the fight peacefully.
Well done, R81; I assumed it was just someone trying lamely to be funny, but it turns out the troll is a total wacko and freak.
Good episode last night and less about magical escapades than morals/self-confidence and inner right/might.
There were a few elements of LoTR-style I spotted in the dialogue and gathered ranks of battle scenes, or Morgana slinking away at the end of the fight like Grima Wormtongue. Gwen/Gwyn was to the front as a principled reminder of 'doing the right thing' and looking sweet and there was a nice moment in battle when Arthur glanced back for the last time - mainly at Merlin - with a look that would keep the fangirls in clover for awhile. There were a couple of hinted at slashy moments as people have mentioned (always welcome!).
It was a character building episode for Arthur by setting him up for what he would do as future king and making his own decisions.
Effectively there was not THAT much Merlin could have done for Arthur this episode. It really was all about Arthur's very unmagical personal choices and decisions. Good solid episode and as ever the regular bunch of Knights were great to see, offering up their services to fight and die for Arthur/Camelot. This has definitely been the strongest series so far and has brought in new players and relationships very well.
I really love this series! (And the internet (torrents) for making it possible for non-UK people to be able to keep up with it as well.)
Too much Gwen lovey dovey in this episode though, but I know it is, and is going to be, unavoidable. But as I've been brainwashed by the fangirls who make cute slashy YouTube videos of Arthur and Merlin, I keep wishing those two guys would end up together. I've fallen in love with the idea of Arthur and Merlin in love with each other. Damn.
Ah, I really hope we get to see the knights bathe together, r78. There's not a knight in that bunch who is unattractive.
Morgana is gorgeous. I love her evil persona even though at the same time I hate her for bringing up bad things for Arthur. And Agravane, damn. I would ALMOST give up Bradley for that man...
I miss Lancelot. Honestly, they'll have to bring him back!
The character devopment this season is a much better thing than bringing up evil magical creatures every other episode to fight against. But tell me, why are all the men and women from other places than Camelot always a lot grittier than the Camelot citizens?
Too true, r84. Doesn't Merlin have any other outfits?
Good thoughts about the episode, r85 and r88.
And if there are any writers, producers or other staff of the Merlin show just happening to be here on Datalounge - please, keep the gay hints coming.
The behind the scenes stuff is priceless. It's a real hoot trawing through the YouTube vids of bloopers, quests and challenges. One of my favs was when Colin and Bradley had to challenge each other to decide which 'fruit' they were! (Linked.) Oh how we laughed! ;)
The whole cast seems to spend much time giggling and fluffing their lines.
Anthony Head (Uther) giggles a lot and when it happens suddenly his crown is nothing but paper mache with some gold spray paint on it as he fluffs his lines and looks less kingly than ever. But the finished outcome is very professional and polished, so you wouldn't know all the mistakes and gaffs they make. It's a nice contrast. They seem to have a lot of fun.
episode 5 was very good. I Really liked Queen Annis. And as much as I like the character development, I prefer the magical to the mundane.
If they were ever to bring back a character, with so much Lancelot love going on, I would rather like to see Nimueh brought back to eat Morgana alive.
Somewhere down the pike, near the end of the series, Arthur's reconciliation with what Nimueh did to bring him into this world has to be addressed. I look forward to the reconciliation with the magical.
I appreciated that there were a lot of exchanged glances this episode, what I guess the fangirls call "eyefucking".
The little heart-to-heart in the tent before Arthur went off to battle was particularly nice.
Actually r92 I think a lot of the appeal for the slashers and also the general viewer is that the two leads in this case genuinely seem to have a chemistry.
I'm not into looking for subtext that isn't necessarily there and can appreciate Merlin as a non-sexual/non-romantic fiction involving magic plots (which for a Who fan is the total dog's bollocks) but in this case it's pretty obvious that these two really like one another.
One of the other actors, maybe Anthony Head, described them as 'inseparable' so I don't know whether it's brotherly affection or a great friendship but the time these two spend together away from filming just having a glance through the numerous vid and YouTube clips is quite impressive. Whatever it is there's a very real charm about the pair. They just click. That is helpful for filming if these actors get on well offscreen as well even though there is quite some age difference between the two.
They are the opposite of their characters in real life I think. Morgan comes over as shy, introverted, a bit dark/wry and sharp. James comes across as fun, puppyish, playful and cheerful; both of which are in total contrast to their TV characters main traits.
(I)can appreciate Merlin as a non-sexual/non-romantic fiction involving magic plots
So you have forgotten about Freya?
I cried when she died, I cried when she retrieved Excalibur.
No what I am saying is I can appreciate it as a straightforward tale of myth and magic with NO romantic subplots or hints IF that were the case. It wouldn't bother me if I just watched Merlin casting spells all episode.
But I think it is richer for the hints and playful asides between the leads, both male and female. Especially the two guys.
[quote]I cried when she died, I cried when she retrieved Excalibur.
Aww, you big softie! :)
R79, R80 & R81, you are nuts.
There is more than one person who does not like Bradley James. If you go to YouTube, IMDB or other forums you will find other people who don't like his bad acting or the stupid shirtless scenes.
You must be the pro-Merlin troll or the pro-Bradley James troll since you are constantly shilling for this show here and for Bradley. Do you work for him? How do you know what people are saying about him on Twitter and on other places? Are you monitoring the Internet?
That proves that you are a PR person desperate to promote his career and distract from his bad acting and the fact that he hasn't gotten a single acting job since he has been on Merlin.
"For the last time, Bradley James is not some rethug-supporting gay basher. He's English for fuck's sake"
R79, you sound the most nuts of anyone here (except R80, who seems to stock anyone on the Internet who doesn't like Bradley James).
You think being English means you can't be anti-gay?! Haven't you seen all the threads here by Brit posters about all the anti-gay people in England? What does being English have to do with anything?
Do you deny that Bradley spent 3 years in Florida growing up? He has talked about it. And do you deny he talks about how much he still goes there and likes it?
And he happens to be a sports jock who is obsessed with sports and who says he doesn't read books. It's in interviews all over the Net.
Why did you attack the poster who said Bradley seems conservative and anti-gay by calling that poster conservative? It was that person who was attacking Bradley for being a redneck. Idiot.
R98, I just fail to see how it's any of your business what me and trolly mctroll were discussing. What do you even care? It's not your argument.
We all know it's a troll and you're now a troll endorsement. I'm not explaining myself yet again. My opinion stands and you'll just have to get over it and move on with your life.
[quote]And he happens to be a sports jock who is obsessed with sports and who says he doesn't read books. It's in interviews all over the Net.
Just to clarify the reasons for you having a go at me.
How does liking sports and not being a great book-reader equate to being a Palin-supporting gay basher as originally suggested and which I called out?
[quote]Why did you attack the poster who said Bradley seems conservative and anti-gay by calling that poster conservative? It was that person who was attacking Bradley for being a redneck. Idiot.
No. This always happens here. Someone comes on here and cobbles together a scenario of their own making that involves a person being something so extreme when there is no evidence for that, especially as tey work with gays daily on their filmsets. Then someone else calls the poster out and then finds they get attacked by a loony tunes that comes to the aid of the original nutcase. Whatever fits.
Again, if you can prove to me Bradley James is an anti-gay, redneck Palin-supporter by want of spending a few years in Flordia (and that is the basis of YOUR argument) then by all means flood the board with your greater wisdom.
To the weird, weird troll who goes on and on about how Bradley's interviews reveal him to be a sports jock who doesn't read books and who is therefore some gay-bashing Palin-loving conservative, please just link to an interview. If they're all over the net, shouldn't be hard to find one.
And R98, don't you find it a bit hypocritical for calling the previous poster to task for assuming the English can't be anti-gay, but then implying that because Bradley James spent three years in Florida and likes to return there (I'm assuming because he has family) he must therefore be homophobic?
Below is an interview, infamous among fangirls, that Bradley provided before Season 3. He comes off as charming, a little awkward but self-deprecating, and when asked at the end about whether Arthur's "bromance" with Merlin or his "romance" with Gwen is stronger, he replies without hesitation that the bromance is far stronger. I find it hard to believe he's homophobic given his quick and easygoing response to the question (i.e. he didn't get offended or defensive), since the entire cast has known since Season 1 about the slash fandom for the relationship between the two main characters.
So provide an interview showing otherwise.
Anyway, back to the show, really looking forward to next week's episode - has the classic "evil version" trope, which is always fun, and another reappearance of Dragoon, who is consistently hilarious (loved his scenes in episode 3).
R99/R100, you don't appear to just be a casual viewer of this show who is interested in just enjoying it or accepting difference of opinion. Why are you researching IMDB and Twitter to see which people are saying what and attacking people who don't like Bradley? You remind me of the Rob Pattinson fangirls who lash out at any criticism of him.
I went to Twitter to see what you were talking about, and from what I can tell, TroyMorgan has only complained a few times about Bradley. It seems to be VickiDavidson who bashes him the most, with Rosanna Lopez coming in second. So it doesn't look like Troy is the 'ringleader'. Did you also notice in his profile that Troy is a lawyer? I think one of the other women is too. So perhaps you should not trash them or pick a fight with them.
I don't get why you take criticism of Bradley so seriously. Many reviewers have commented on the fact that he is not a great actor. Do you really think he will be the next Colin Firth?
Who cares if people want to complain about the actors on this show? How is that different then the nasty stuff said about every other actor on this board? And I don't think Bradley is rabidly anti-gay, but the fact that he agrees Merlin and Arthur have a better bromance than Gwen and Arthur doesn't mean much since he doesn't like the romance storyline anyway. He says he prefers the sword-fighting side to Arthur more.
He says he prefers the sword-fighting side to Arthur more.
Isn't that what the slash-bois are waiting for?
A la recherche du temps perdu!
Aaah, I love Bradley.
About Colin / Merlin. When the show started I found him ugly and totally unappealing, and wondered what the heck had the producers been thinking hiring him. But as the show has progressed I have began to see the beauty in him that is very obviously there. Like there is magic inside of him. He's delicately gorgeous.
Bradley on the other hand *sigh*... He can do no wrong.
Surprisingly I found Anthory Head hot.
Such a fun episode tonight - really enjoyed it. It managed to give screen time to all the main cast members, made Gwen a little awkward and fun again (like she was back in Season 1), had some great humorous moments, and had a nice confrontation near the end.
And um, it was seriously like they brought someone's fanfiction to life - not only slashers, but also people who are into Merlin and Morgana (their scene together was kinda kinky). Otherwise this was almost the most explicitly gay episode yet between Arthur and Merlin, with tons of moments revealing how much Arthur cares for him, trusts him and values him above others. Somehow they've been increasing the gay quotient with each episode this series.
The only part that seemed a little out of character (unintentionally) was Dragoon's confrontation with the knights (there was a little moment there where he brought the knights together which I'm sure the fangirls will play ove and over again), but otherwise the episode just a lot of good fun.
I tried to tally up all the slashy / "gay" moments this episode but lost track after a while.
- Arthur tending to Merlin's wounds, telling him he's truly brave, that he'd lay down his life for him, etc.
- Arthur being worried and going out on a search himself, and ordering his knights and patrols to search as well, all for his manservant
- Arthur not being happy with a competent servant, because he wasn't Merlin
- Arthur giving Merlin a hug with a huge smile on his face upon his return
- Arthur being surprised while naked and preparing for his bath and saying "you're not Merlin" to Gwen (so I guess Merlin regularly sees Arthur naked for his bath)
- Merlin / Dragoon causing Percival and Leon to run into each other, into an almost-kiss
The episode even brought up a bit of "competition" between Gwen and Merlin over being Arthur's favorite (yet it was probably the most fun / sympathetic Gwen has been for a while - all the speeches about how Arthur would be a great king, with violins in the background, were getting old).
So yeah, fun episode, with plenty for slashers and general viewers alike.
Did you see how Arthur pressed his face against Merlin's neck when they hugged. That hug was more intimate than the ones the knights have been giving Merlin so far.
Damn. I think I need to become a slash fangirl.
Agravane is like a Puppy over Morgana. What is is about people that when they are in lust or whatever over someone they become idiots.
And damn you, Merlin. If you hadn't been under the spell this time you would've gotten some sweet Arthur love. Arthur was ready to show you he loved you. But you had to go and want to kill him and spoil everything. Think of all the sexytime you would've had with Arthur in the bath. And we could've watched. Damn.
I didn't dislike Gwen this time. And Gaius is such a good person I want good things to happen to him.
I seriously like all of the knights. I would gladly have any one of them as a boyfriend for the rest of my life.
Ahhh, I can't wait for next week. Why couldn't they air a new episode every night?
I liked the naked Bradley very much.
My fave part was the SECOND time Gwen smacked Merlin with the jug.
She looked like she knew she was clocking the competition.
Not a great but a good episode.
I love it how Arthur didn't give a shit that Merlin was covered in Mud or whatever dung of whatever forest animal but went straight there and hugged Merlin. Even pressed his face against Merlin's neck.
You can find the new episode of Merlin season 4 episode 6 on kickasstorrents.com. Just be sure to search Merlin and not the actual season. It should be the first to come up.
This week's episode was probably the most blatant example yet of gratuitous shirtless scenes of Bradley James. Not just once, but on two occasions they had him parading around shirtless before the cameras. WHY?! For what purpose?
Seriously, what is up with that? This is supposed to be a family magic show, not a 'Night At the Chippendales'. Why did this become a major part of this show? Who or what convinced the producers to do this?
As a few of us said earlier this month, it is insulting to the audience's intelligence. Some viewers have complained to the BBC about it though, so perhaps next season they will cut these stupid scenes out and get back to some good writing.
r111, madame, release your pearls!
As the Beeb has announce many times, ALL of their programming gets viewer's complaints about appropriateness. They cited the Antiques Road Show. It is not about the shows, but the people who voice their 'antiquarian' opinions.
One wonders if you are worse than the Bradly Hater Troll.
R112, as revealed earlier in the thread, the Bradley James anti-shirtless troll IS the Bradley James hater troll. It's quite bizarre.
Also, I notice that even though s/he claimed at R14 that s/he was "done with the show" and would stop watching it this season, because it was so insulting to the viewers' intelligence, s/he still chimes in religiously every week to complain about Bradley's instances of shirtlessness in the most recent episodes. Guess the allure of seeing Bradley's chest each week (and the opportunity to complain about it) is too hard to resist. So the producers must be doing something right by featuring it so prominently.
Given that the show is getting better ratings and wide international sales, I doubt we're going to see Bradley covered up any time soon.
I'd never heard about this show until I read about it on DL. I don't think it's a very well-known British t.v. show since most people don't seem to have heard of it. I don't think it gets the ratings that Doctor Who or some of the other British shows do.
So are you admitting that the anti-shirtless troll is right? They DO have to rely on these shirtless scenes in order to get ratings?
r115, no they don't but it is nice that they are there.
Fer fuck sake, ya gits, it's in its 4th season!
R115, Merlin actually gets about equivalent ratings to Doctor Who in the UK (around 7 million a week), though I think Doctor Who is slightly stronger (8 million average?), and pretty much shares its timeslot - i.e. when Doctor Who's series end in the fall, Merlin replaces it in BBC1's lineup.
It's true it doesn't have nearly the recognition in the US that Doctor Who does, but it's a 4-year old show, vs. Doctor Who's long, long history and familiarity with sci-fi audiences (nor does it air on BBC America, though it's an open question whether it gets more of an audience by airing on SyFy in the winter). It also airs in several international markets besides the US, so it's been doing pretty well for itself.
I'm sure Bradley's shirtlessness doesn't hurt, but it's silly to pretend that shirtlessness in and of itself is a draw, since there are much more explicit offerings elsewhere. Though in general there's no denying the show has lots of pretty, pretty men (and occasionally pretty women), so eye candy is definitely part of its appeal.
"It's true it doesn't have nearly the recognition in the US"
But there are rabid fans here in America for Merlin and the Knights. Rabid.
I simply HAVE TO post this (and a couple of others, maybe). But this one is fucking hilarious!
HAHAHAH! Which one of you bitches (this is an endearment) posted on YouTube the video in which Bradley James is the Cool Rider (Grease 2 style) on a horse!?
Coo-oo-oo-ool rider, a coo-oo-oo-ool rider...
The opening scene for this week's episode, "The Secret Sharer". Definitely an old married couple...somehow each episode valiantly attempts to out-gay the last one.
The anti-shirtless troll is no doubt over the top and a bit of a drama queen, but so are a couple of the other people on this thread. The poster on here who seems to be stalking the shirtless troll on IMDB and Twitter sounds scary. Why is he monitoring the Internet and attacking anyone who criticizes this show or Bradley?
Incidentally, I did some searching myself and discovered that Bradley himself says the shirtless scenes have nothing to do with the plot and are unnecessary and that he's kind of embarrassed by them.
No wonder this show was cancelled by NBC after one season.
You are the Shirtless Bradley Troll, R125, and I claim my prize!
No I'm not, R126. And I just posted this in another thread where you made the same allegation:
You are deranged. Are you the pro-Merlin/pro-Bradley troll? Are you troll-darring everyone who posts on your thread who doesn't agree with you? I am not the anti-shirtless troll. If you have troll-darred me you can see I have posted lots of nudity threads (I'm the one who posted the naked Aussie cocks movie amongst others).
So grow up and take your battle with the other Bradley troll elsewhere.
r125, I was the one that posted on the other thread not r126.
I trolldar'd you on this list and you lit up over there.
You're actually kinda smart...
R128, I have only posted on this thread 3 times - at R115, at R125 & at R127. I was asking about why there is this bitchfest going back and forth between the pro-Bradley troll and the anti-Bradley troll, because they are both drama queens who are over the top. So anyone who posts on this thread now is going to be followed to other threads? That's why I was surprised to get attacked in the thread I posted about Newt Gingrich.
I don't think I'm going to post on this thread anymore since it seems everyone here is insane. I don't think most people on DL even open this thread because it just seems to be the same 3 people posting here fighting with each other. Who are the people on this thread that take this show so seriously? Is it gay men, or is it rabid fangirls of the Robsten/Twilight variety that we see on the Rob&Kristen threads?
So what do you think is smart about me, R128? : ) You like my political threads, or my naked Aussie threads?
Er, okay, moving away from the distracting troll discussion - I liked tonight's episode, though it wasn't the highlight of the season. Not much character development or humor, but not really filler - it was a nice setup for later plot developments, and the payoff was really at the end, with Gaius's revelation to Arthur.
I don't know if they're setting up a reveal for later this season, though Arthur's reaction to Gaius's possible betrayal was obviously meant as a foreshadowing of how he might react to Merlin. I also liked the confirmation that Gwaine is basically Merlin's best friend besides Arthur, and Merlin's "go-to" knight - I thought they might have Merlin do a reveal with him.
Next week's episode again seems sort of "Monster of the week"-ish, but again they're having Gwen notice that the monster is focusing on Merlin - preview for a reveal with at least one other character?
Gaius should've shaved his nose hair!! I know you noticed that too!
I loved it how the Dalai Lama guy, whatever his name was, bowed to Merlin. Morgana is such a bitch. She's like the Alexis or Mommy Dearest of Camelot. Love to hate her.
I've so come to like Merlin (the character) during all these years. Not lusting over him, like I lust after all the gorgeous guys like Arthur, Gwaine, etc. But I like him a lot as a person.
I would've wanted more of "the gay", though. It was nice to see them act like and old married couple in the beginning, though. And I sencerely appreciate Gwen being in the background in Arthur's life in this season.
Loved Alithor of the Caitha.
Contrary to that stated above, SUPERB plot development in that there is someone of great magic to protect Merlin and summon the magical when the need arises. A nice touch to reveal that Gaius is a great sorcerer in his own right to subdue the first attempt of Alithor to break his will. Plus a lovely fuck you to Morgana.
Loved Alithor's shirtless, muscle guy protector. Good that the episode started with Merlin pulling a shirtless Arthur out of bed.
The best episode since Lancelot walked through the veil.
Alator, correct spelling.
And for everyone to cream over in anticipation, Episode 9, after the MOTW Lamia episode, is titled Lancelot DU LAC.
Now let's put one and one and one together and do you think the Vilia, the healing and protecting water sprites and Freya, Merlin's now spirit girlfriend and the current Lady of THE LAKE, have anything to do with Lancelot's REBIRTH, out of water, from THE LAKE?
It should have been a cliffhanger!!!
R135, the pre-season preview reel (linked at R8) shows Lancelot returning in some form and having a scene with Gwen, and there was also a clip in the reel of a man emerging from the lake (except the man looked oddly huge, so people can't figure out if it's Lancelot). So yeah, I think your theory makes sense, and it'd be a nice play on / backstory for his name from Arthurian text.
The only question is how they'll choose to resolve the love triangle, and whether they'll let Gwen and Arthur have a "happy" marriage (especially since Santiago Cabrera seems otherwise committed). The show hasn't been following Arthurian legend too closely, e.g. with Excalibur / the Sword in the Stone, so maybe bringing up the theme of the love triangle will be as close as they get to referencing the legend, but they won't have Gwen be unfaithful and dooming the kingdom.
I hope they ditch the love affair between Gwen and Lancelot.
I hope the series ends with the reconciliation with magic, with Camelot being magic advocates that go to war with the anti magic foes that it was apart of and all the great sorcerers put a protective veil on Camelot, remove it from time, so it continues as its own universe TODAY.
Did anyone like the YouTube videos?
I thought they were cute, R138.
Tonight's episode was okay - it was pretty much a monster of the week, but even so there were some genuinely tense / suspenseful moments there (and the monster reminded me of a H.R. Giger creature) - I think the show has gotten better at introducing darker horror elements, in line with its later timeslot.
I can't believe they were such a tease about a magic reveal to Gwen, but seeing as the next episode or two is apparently going to be about the Gwen / Arthur / Lancelot triangle, that might have been a bit too much to introduce at this point.
I am looking forward to next week's to see how they play out the love triangle - and is the black shirt supposed to signify "evil" Lancelot?
But a funny note from tonight's episode - did anyone else enjoy the awkward subtext of Gwen questioning Merlin about why the Lamia affected every single man except for him? She accepts that she wasn't affected because she's a woman (i.e. assumes no sexual power over her), but then doesn't buy his explanation that he's not a knight, because even the villager men were affected. She's left wondering why the Lamia has no sexual power over Merlin... if she doesn't suspect sorcery, natural conclusion is...
LOL, r140!! LOL! You're so right!
OMG! I never realized gay men were so insecure about their sexuality that they feel the need to make all men gay. Do you guys even realize that you play into every homosexual stereo type by equating affection hugging kindness between men as proof of homosexuality. Why not celebrate wonderfully written "actual" gay characters on television instead of turning horse play between two men who obviously love one another as brothers into sexual tension.
What you guys are doing here is no different than kids on a play ground seeing one boy offer his hand to another to assist him up from a fall and then starts calling them gay. STOP This.
r142, go kiss a lamia.
R142, the vast majority of Merlin "slash" fans are women, not gay men (we're just here for the ride), and while it's true not every meaningful stare, affectionate hug or shirtless bedroom scene means people are sexually attracted to each other and fucking, it doesn't exactly negate the possibility either. I think you might be surprised by what goes on behind closed doors sometimes between men who show "brotherly" affection for each other but otherwise claim to be straight.
Many people, gay men and female fans alike, enjoy the homoerotic subtext (which has been explicitly acknowledged by the show's creators, writers, actors, and occasionally within actual episodes) because they think the two main characters have an engaging dynamic and chemistry that makes for a nice romantic / sexual love story, which is frankly more interesting and well-developed than the "canon" heterosexual romance. Heck, there's more chemistry than in "canon" homosexual romances on other shows as well.
It also doesn't hurt that 1) in Arthurian legend, the female love interest ultimately goes off with someone else, leaving Merlin as Arthur's "true" remaining companion, which only reinforces the central bond of the show, and 2) the actors are pretty, and people like to imagine pretty people fucking.
Really wasn't expecting the plot developments from tonight's episode - I will say this, the series has been really good at mixing up Arthurian legend and doing the unexpected, while still keeping close to the rough outlines of the stories we know. Now I don't know what to expect from the last four episodes, or the fifth series.
I thought it was a pretty big cop-out to treat Gwen's love for Lancelot as the result of an enchantment, and to have Gwen declare she only loved Lancelot years ago (and to have Lancelot be "fake", except for the very end). It took away complexity and depth from two of the most enigmatic characters in fiction - models of nobility and chivalry who nonetheless bring about ruin from their adulterous love for one another. It seems like the show just wasn't willing to "go there" - to have sympathetic and likeable characters be truly torn betweeen duty and passion, to be unfaithful yet still "good".
I did think Arthur's reaction was done well, and at least the show didn't try to resolve everything in a neat bow tie in one episode. Also, in many ways this was obvious foreshadowing for Merlin's magic reveal - Arthur's speech about truly thinking Gwen was a good person and loving her, but not being able to trust her anymore, and Merlin's reaction shot, are not promising indicators for how Arthur will handle Merlin's reveal (which seems like it will happen by the end of the season).
Don't know if this episode was "good" or "bad", but it was definitely surprising. Sort of a downer that next week's seems like another monster of the week.
I really liked Lancelot in the past, he was one of the genuinely good guys, and now they ruined him for me. And I guess we'll never see the REAL Lance return, now, will we?
Is Gwen gone for good, now? Can they really change the storyline that much? Wow.
Agravaine is so pussy whipped by Morgana it angers me! One of the knights has to give him a good fucking to turn him away from that damn witch!
And Gaius REALLY should shave his nose hair. After that one episode where the camera got a shot straight up his nose I can't ignore that bush any more!
Do you think that is Angel Coulby's real hair, or has she had extentions prior to season 4 starting filming? That hair does make her look better, but I still get distracted by the huge boobage. They weren't there before this season!
I do love this show.
r145 kinda agree with you on all of the above but:
1] Gwen will return and usurp Morgana as Queen of Camelot; it has been foreseen,
2] Morgana and Merlin will usher back magic into the realm; it has been foreseen;
3] Merlin will be the end of Morgana; it has been foreseen;
4] Next week ISN'T a MOW as it is the return of Mordred.
Lancelot returning for one pivotal episode was more MOW than expected but I did kinda tear up at the reawakening at the end and the thank you as THIS Lancelot was the real deal who knew what Merlin was doing for him: a proper burial for a good soul.
Thought this week's episode was a bit slow-moving, but Arhtur's confession at the end was good - it gave more depth and complexity to him, and again sets the stage for the acceptance of magic. This one was written by Howard Overman (who also does Misfits and wrote episode 3, the death of Uther), and I thought the Merlin-Arthur relationship was a bit schizophrenic - at times reverting to the casual cruelty and disregard shown in Season 3 (and having Merlin sound a bit like a broken record about how people don't listen to him), but other times showing how much Arthur trusts Merlin.
I like that they left Arthur's "attack" on Merlin off-screen at the end, and Merlin's line in the evening asking Arthur if he wanted him to stay - leaving just enough room to fuel fangirls' imaginations.
Only three more episodes left this season - I've avoided reading the synopses to avoid spoilers, but I hope they do get to a magic reveal by season's end. Seems like they'll at least get to a marriage between Gwen and Arthur after she returns next week.
Nice episode, and even though it didn't show any Bradley aureole it did show a progression to the culmination of the series which now seems to align as Camelot+good magic vs bad magic. Interesting. Good to see that Arthur's first step was owning his actions and accepting the Druids.
The final scene was a let down as it reminded me of so many day after drunk sex scenes where the 'straight ' guy tries to forget what happened.
Either that or Arthur doesn't want to share his transformative, and humbling, moment with Merlin.
And we all know that off screen Arthur pushed Merlin to the floor straddled his chest, Merlin pushed the magic finger up Arthur's bum, enchanted his prostate and Arthur blew a royal decree upon Merlin's face finally saying, "Thanks for the helmet polishing, now get to the rest of the armor...
[quote]And we all know that off screen Arthur pushed Merlin to the floor straddled his chest, Merlin pushed the magic finger up Arthur's bum, enchanted his prostate and Arthur blew a royal decree upon Merlin's face finally saying, "Thanks for the helmet polishing, now get to the rest of the armor...
Ooh now you've done it. You'll get that concerned-for-our-children frau at r142 all riled up again that homosex dare be alluded to on...a HOMO website!
is the pro-Merlin troll back? I notice this thread gets bumped after every weekend.
It gets bumped after every weekend because Merlin is on every weekend.
R151, the nice thing about DL, if one can say a nice thing about DL these days, is that a little thread like this can bring together a few people from around the WORLD for a moment or two.
It really is quite sweet.
And, yes, we'll bump Merlin like a trumpet cause we gonna bump it.
I liked tonight's episode - it feels bad to say, but it's the most likeable and sympathetic Gwen has been in the show since the first series, and the most realistic and compelling Arthur's relationship with her has been - except they never interacted or even met at all. I guess I enjoyed their characters being self-sacrificing and noble about the idea of their love, rather than the actual relationship itself.
The princess subplot seemed a bit odd given the parallel to the "Changeling" episode with Princess Elena - Arthur previously decided he would marry for love and not for political convenience, but I guess he forgot all that because he felt burned and couldn't marry for love anyway?
Can't believe season's already almost over - I enjoyed the first half, but these second half episodes haven't been as compelling for me. They should just go ahead and do a magic reveal to someone like Gwen or Gwaine - Merlin the character himself is getting really static, mainly reacting to those around him, having the same complaints each episode, etc. Hoping for big things for the last two episodes.
I liked princess Mithia (was that the name?). She was truly beautiful, and Arthur and she looked really nice together. And in my opinion Gwen was more of a match to the handsome thug, too, whatever his name was.
It was amusing how Merlin totally acted like a jealous, scorned lover during the celebrations dinner.
[italic]Merlin totally acted like a jealous, scorned lover during the celebrations dinner[/italic]
And not only during the dinner...
Fangirls will have story material from that *S*.
OK, at this point all I want to see is
1] Agravaine and Morgana sealed behind the veil
2] Arthur and Gwen reunited and
3} FINALLY the magic reveal.
I would even enjoy a whole series devoted to the return of magic and the good and bad it would bring and it would take the Arthurian Legand to where it had never been...
Preview / first scene for tomorrow's episode (first part of two-part finale I think).
Glad they're back to pantslessness, innuendo, grunting noises and sex faces - had been missing that for the past few episodes.
Really enjoyed tonight's episode - in some ways the plot is almost an exact repeat of last year's finale, but I liked the character focus and the Merlin-Arthur bonding moments (even if Arthur does forget them later). The reunions in Ealdor were also sweet.
Not sure if the scene with Arthur and the stone in next week's episode is supposed to indicate that Merlin will reveal his magic(there were certainly enough heavy hints dropped about trust and betrayal in this week's episode), or if he'll cop out by pretending to be Dragoon.
In fact, it seems like the big "twist" of the series might be the Merlin of legend we all know was this younger Merlin in disguise as an old man, and he maintained the disguise for the storytellers and history-writers.
r159, one variation of the Merlin story has him being born old and growing younger. Kind of like the inspiration for Benjamin Button.
Agravaine must die a horrible death to satisfy for all the deceit he's done.
I don't get how Morgana lives in the little moss covered half hut yet is able to muster thousands for an army?
Does evil pop from he twat like Barbara Bush?
I don't know whether Bradley James is liberal or conservative, but it's pretty obvious that he is a dumb jock one way or another so I don't know why we have a pro-BJ troll defending him.
He admits his only interest is sports and that he doesn't read books (sounds like Bush & Palin) and he's probably looking at a career in cheesy t.v. movies and soft porn in a few years since he is such a bad actor.
I also remember a couple years ago when Bradley was asked on a talk show ('T-4' I think) who he would like to play him, and he said Chuck Norris. That's right -- anti-gay, right-wing Chuck Norris about whom we have had several threads on DL documenting his long anti-gay history.
r162, no he isn't the Queen Mother, but he is an amusing actor. It was charming when he was playing the village idiot, so sweetly simple.
He's not going to be a MP, so don't fret his political views; sweety, dahling, he a Brit. That's half way to gay to begin with.
Bradley, for all his self depreciating comments about his intellect and sporty interests, has actually always struck me as one of the more perceptive and sensitive of the cast members in interviews, r161. As for his politics, I actually remember one interview in which he mentions his growing up in a more liberal environment than the more conservatively raised Colin. He also cites David Bowie as one of his childhood heroes in another interview I think, and there are various pictures of him floating around the internet in drag and wearing make up, so I doubt he's that socially conservative or full of macho posturing. Of course, he's also British, so these things are all relative.
Mixed feelings about the finale tonight, and about the season in general. On one hand, it's really been great to see Merlin and Arthur's relationship grow this season, to move past speeches about destiny and have lots of little moments showing how they care for each other and have become friends. On the other hand... get on with the plot developments already! It's been 4 seasons, and there is not a single living person besides Gaius and some Druids who know who Merlin is, pretty much the same as Season 1.
Fine, Arthur and Gwen's relationship has formally progressed, Uther died, Arthur got the sword, and the Morgana confrontation was nice. I guess that counts as plot development. But the central tension of the show has always been Merlin and his secret, and the show continues to tease and then do nothing about it, for 4 years.
I still enjoy watching because Arthur and Merlin have such good chemistry, and the show decided Arthur shouldn't be such an ass this season. But next year better have a pretty good payoff for the series finale for all the time they've been taking.
Ben Daniels is such a cutie and I've always liked him! I was flabbergasted, though, to see him having got so old in so little time. Growing old really, really sucks.
When is the fifth season due to start? I'm going to have a hard time waiting for that.
Will the fifth season really be the last?
I didn't watch it but my mum did and said the white baby dragon, whom she called 'silly little dopey' appeared and SAVED Morgana, to her horror.
I see the Bradley James is a Jack Boot Anti-Gay Thug is here again. Seriously some people just need to check into an asylum already. Get that seen to. What you are projecting onto Bradely James is ludicrous. You are as bad as that "Luke MacFarlane is heterosexual and has a girlfriend" troll that seems to hang on doggedly year in year out.
[quote]I liked princess Mithia (was that the name?). She was truly beautiful, and Arthur and she looked really nice together. And in my opinion Gwen was more of a match to the handsome thug, too, whatever his name was.
She was great. She was a first rate belcher. In many ways Mithia was a much better match for Arthur - both socially and intellectually - than Gwen, much like in LoTR the way Eowyn was a better match to Aragorn than Elf princess Liv Tyler.
Also liked how Merlin's moods can be interpreted as platonic concern/annoyance or romantic jealously. The show is getting really good at finding middle ground between the straight and gay fandoms without upsetting either so far.
For me the mark of a good show is to leave room for ambiguity, then people can make their own minds up. It does this well and I can't help feeling the gay fandom has had a say in this direction in part.
In my opinion season 4 was the best season of them all.
But tell me, why did that puppy dragon Aithusa have such an impact on Morgana? Why was she, shall I say, saved by seeing that thing? Weren't dragons supposed to be on Merlin's and Arthur's side of things?
This show has had so many good looking men, old and young. I bow before the casting people for making those good choices.
Why did women have to wear such low cut blouses and dresses that the breasts were shoved to ones' faces back then?
And did anyone pay attention to Arthur's crotch when he was wearing the village idiot costume?
I'm an American watching this show and these comments are absolutely cracking me up. I had no idea that the viewership felt there was a big homosexual tension/bromance type of thing between merlin and arhur. I can see why, but from a straight man's perspective nothing they've done felt overtly homosexual. Also, reply #14's comments about feeling intellectually insulted by shirtless arthur? That's what you pick to be insulted by? Not the myriad other instances where Arthur is shown as a complete dullard with the observational capacity of a broom? Don't get me wrong, i like the show, but some people. Even as a straight man i have absolutely no problems with it. Hell, if i looked like him i'd find plenty of opportunities to forget to wear a shirt. Also, 9/10 times he is shirtless he is in his bedroom, or doing things like *gasp* changing clothes, or getting out of bed. All instances where you would expect a person NOT to be wearing a shirt.
I just finished watching episode 3 of season 4 and decided to google to see if anyone else was getting sick of the fact that the show has been repeating the same tired shit for now 4 seasons. What i mean is the "I have to hide my magic" bit. It made sense in season 1, still a bit in 2, was getting old in 3, especially with all the constant scenes where Merlin uses magic in direct vicinity of Arthur and Arthur is always either A. Unconcious, or B. Unconcious. I just knew with episode 3 that they were going to figure out a way to justify playing that card again for the next who knows how many seasons.
Also, Morgana's character is getting way WAY over the top with the constant "end scene, pan to morgana, queue evil smile". They turned her into the most one sided character i've ever seen in a show. The zombies in The Living Dead seem like they have more character depth. What's even more absurd is that she is absurdly hot, so the fact that nobody ever seems to catch her doing her evil smile is kind of ridiculous. I know if i was random dude A. in a room with her i'd be sneakin peaks at every possible opportunity. But lets be honest, its getting old.
I was quite happy to see that Merlin revealed himself to Agravaine before he killed him.
And the white dragon, did it breathe life into a dead Morgana? Why?
It'll keep ME watching.
And Queen Guinevere was a nice touch to end the season on.
On whether next year will be the last series, at the beginning the producers said they envisioned this being a five-series story, and I don't think that's changed. Also, they apparently made some comment about how Merlin's magic reveal would be a "26-episode arc" (i.e. cover two seasons) rather than take place in a single season. I just thought they'd have made more headway this year.
It's a bit disappointing because there are a lot of nice narrative possibilities they could have explored, which they won't be able to fit in a single season. E.g., if Merlin reveals himself to someone like Gwen first, how will she handle keeping his secret and lying to Arthur, thus feeling she's betrayed him again? When Arthur finally does find out, how will he deal with the betrayal and eventually find it in himself to forgive Merlin, and even if so, will he keep it from his people or forgive all magic users? And when Merlin is finally "accepted", how will he practice magic at Arthur's side - as a court sorcerer? etc.
Uther's death brought about the opportunity for a lot of changes in narrative dynamics, but things have been moving pretty slowly, and so much seems like a repeat of last year and the year before. I enjoyed this season more tha last year, but so much of the show seems like a wasted opportunity sometimes. That being said, the positives (fun characters, unexpected twists on the legend, a great dynamic between the leads, and hot hot people all around) generally outweigh the negatives.
r170, Merlin is a platonic, homoerotic Bewitched.
What it needs is a Medieval Uncle Arthur.
And by the ghost of Uther, I want Nimueh/Michelle Ryan to be an integral part of the magic reveal and Arthur's restoration of magic in Camelot.
After all, it was Nimueh and Igraine and the birth of Arthur that started the whole thing off...
Plus, Michelle Ryan is the hottest witch the series has EVAH had!
Thanks for posting, Michelle Ryan at r173.
When will season 5 start??
R174, filming for the fifth series is supposed to start around next March, and I think the plans are for it to air on roughly the same schedule as it did in previous seasons (fall to winter - roughly late September to early December). It shares a timeslot with Doctor Who, and I think Doctor Who's "split" season this year pushed it back a bit, but I think Doctor Who is supposed to go back to its regular schedule next year (spring to summer) so hopefully that won't be a problem.
Oh, and the Merlin ratings troll doesn't pop in that much anymore, but apparently the second to last episode (Sword in the Stone Part 1) had the highest ratings for the show ever - 8.4M total - in part because it didn't have to go up against X Factor like it usually does. So it's nice that the series has been doing well, and in fact progressively better against earlier series.
FYI for those of you in the US, Merin Season 4 starts airing on the Syfy network starting Friday, Jan. 6th, at 10 PM.
Also, the Season 3 DVD is being released in the US later in the month.
Ratings Merlin Series 4
Overnights - Share - AI - Finals
401 - 5,20 - 22,70% - 88 - 6,40
402 - 5,54 - 20,90% - 90 - 6,80
403 - 5,71 - 22,60% - 89 - 7,04
404 - 5,52 - 21,40% - 89 - 6,96
405 - 5,90 - 23,70% - 89 - 7,40
406 - 5,45 - 22,90% - 89 - 6,94
407 - 5,40 - 20,60% - 89 - 6,72
408 - 5,65 - 21,20% - 89 - 7.00
409 - 6,01 - 23,00% - 89 - 7,32
410 - 5,66 - 21,80% - 89 - 6,90
411 - 5,53 - 20,90% - 89 - 7,12
412 - 7,19 - 29,70% - 90 - 8,39
413 - 6,38 - 25,00% - 90 - 8,18
Series 1 - 5,75 - 25,78% - 86 - 6,32
Series 2 - 5,23 - 25,92% - 87 - 5,99
Series 3 - 5,75 - 22,68% - 88 - 6,78
Series 4 - 5,78 - 22,80% - 89 - 7,17
R175, Doctor Who is not going back to its regular schedule this year. They only start filming the new series at the end of February so no way they will be ready for Eastern/April with the first ep. Moffat wants DW back where it belongs according to him during the dark cold winter months so in Merlin's slot. Since DW is the big money-maker for BBC, what Moffat wants, Moffat gets.
What is not known at this time is how many eps will go out during the 2012 Autumn/Winter schedule. BBC1 controller Cohen says "a number of eps+Xmas special but not all 13 eps commissioned". Moffat says "full series + Xmas special".
So best case scenario it stays as it was in 2011 : 6-7 DW eps starting end of August + Merlin series 5 from October.
Worst case scenario (for Merlin fans) : full DW series in Merlin's slot and Merlin S5 moved somewhere in 2013 probably the old DW Spring/Summer slot (or maybe another day in 2012 although unlikely since Merlin was specifically commissioned for the Saturday night family tea-time slot).
We'll just have to wait and see who wins the battle.
Merlin ratings trol
Season 4 episode 1 beginning now on SyFy in the US.
For the doubters and trolls.
r179, cable is so last century.
Watch the entire season 4 here:
"Since DW is the big money-maker for BBC, what Moffat wants, Moffat gets."
Or not. ;)
The BBC won't convulse it's well-working Autumn schedule just because Moffat wants an Autumn/Winter slot for his show. Especially now, when Merlin does as well as DW.
"So best case scenario it stays as it was in 2011 : 6-7 DW eps starting end of August + Merlin series 5 from October."
Exactly what seems to happen, indeed the best case scenario for Merlin. Moffat was told he gets only 5 episodes this year (+ Christmas special) and DW starts end of August. Merlin gets the Saturday primetime slot from end of September/early October.
Thanks for the season 4 ratings, Merlin ratings trol! Amazing AI figures!
For the poster who thinks Merlin isn't as popular in the US as DW: Merlin season 4 had more than twice as many viewers than DW's latest season. Also while DW is sold to 50 countries, Merlin airs in 180 which is quite impressive.
Love merlin can't wait of the new season. will merlin and author fuck already
BBC America is now promoting Merlin as coming soon to its Saturday night lineup, with a marathon (maybe this weekend?).
I assume SyFy still has the first-run rights to the next season?
But yeah, I hope BBCA runs the hell out of the series forever. On demand, please.
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