Last week on Merlin, Morgana turned evil and betrayed Camelot to Emilia Fox. This week, there is a massive siege. Seriously, it’s huge. You’ll wonder how they can afford it on a BBC budget. You’ll hope that the government don’t cut the Beeb’s funding, otherwise all subsequent series will look dreadful in comparison.
So a lot of sound and fury, but does it provide a conclusion to this arc, whilst simultaneously setting up the rest of the series? No pressure there.
The End Or The Beginning?
During last week’s review, I commented that this story seemed more a series finale than a premiere, and this episode continues that fine tradition, up to a point. That point is the ending, when the writers suddenly remember that they can’t tie everything up yet, lest they have nothing to do for the rest of the year. Suddenly, the action stops and everyone wanders off.
It is a bit abrupt, but I will give them their credit, they did not indulge in the cop-out that I half-expected. Evil Morgana is going to be hanging around, it seems, and Katie McGrath still seems to be enjoying it.
Camelot Files For Bankruptcy
As mentioned earlier, the sheer scale and effects demonstrated in the battle scenes were amazing for BBC family programming. Well, some of those CGI skeletons were a bit ropey, but nonetheless. I do wonder if we’ll now see a lot of ‘invisible monsters’ in the mid-section of the run as they make up the budget deficit.
And, in both plot and effects terms, I wonder how they’ll top this in the actual finale of this series. It’ll have to be one hell of a story, to put it mildly.
The Sexual Frustration Of The King
Elsewhere, some more Arthur/Gwen hinting. I usually find long-running romantic teases on TV shows a bit tiresome, but these two are quite endearing and I hope they finally get together before it does become annoying .
Oh, and Bradley James is briefly topless. It still seems forced to me, but comments on previous posts suggest the clockwork inclusion of these scenes provides the main motivation to tune in for some of you. (His acting was good this week too.)
Anyway, a very good, surprisingly epic episode, if slightly rushed at the end. And it looks like next week will be a light-hearted instalment, which is probably best after all the gloomy seriousness in these first ones. I look forward to it.