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Buffy - Spike

Merlin 1x01 - The Dragon's Call - Review

Posted on 2008.09.20 at 23:57
Current Mood:: happyhappy
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In a subject that is totally unrelated to the following review, you know what the world needs? More Pride and Predjudice style period dramas with magic and aliens and demons and stuff. That would be brilliant. I'd love to see a series which is Victorian Period Drama with all the main characters fighting a war against zombies or something. It would be awesome. Anyway that's not anything to do with this review so lets let all that fanciful ideas of things which don't exist evaporate and get on the serious business that is at hand. To review the first episode of a program known quite simply as Merlin.

Now it's about Merlin. He, who is traditionally thought of as the long beard, long hair, big stick and magicky spells kind of bloke from the olden days. But in this series there's a dramatic reinvention. This is Merlin's youth, before he becomes old and with a big beard. It's a really clever idea. I'm all in favour of it. So to kick off we head off to Camelot, but before you can say "On second thought lets not go to Camelot; it is a silly place." there's someone being killed. Executed by orders of Anthony Stewart Head. Now I already heard off the grapevine that he plays the king, Uther Pendragon, who has outlawed magic and executes anyone who uses it. I think one website went so far as to use the word villain. So I was surprised to see that his character is not just a generic evil king. There's the definate impression that he's trying to kill everyone who does magic for the right reasons. Which I think makes him something of an anti-villain. Not that that makes much of a difference in the grand scheme of things but I do so love to label people anti-heroes and anti-villains. Then someone who is evil in a more obvious way threatens Uther's son. It's later when I realise that this is actually going to be a good show. It's not cut and dry morality where you're good or bad. There are shades of grey. Merlin is helping to save someone who seems to be an evil prick because there's some good in him buried deep down.

Oh and there was a big dragon and an evil old crone who tried to kill Arthur. They to me were just like background noise to the real issue, the complex morality that was at play. All in all I was rather impressed and although I won't be on the edge of my seat for new episodes I may be like half on half off it or something. Whatever.

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