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March 15 2009

US air date for "Merlin" with ASH. Two-hour US premiere of "Merlin" scheduled to air on NBC at 8pm (EST) on June 21, 2009. The premiere will be repeated on June 28 with single episodes of the series beginning on July 5, airing Sundays from 8-9pm.

For those who are interested, having seen Merlin I can tell you this will be two stand-alone episodes back to back, rather than a two hour special episode.

Also, I washed the first half of the season at least just because it was so bad it was funny, but after that thought it picked up a bit.

However, for those who are familiar with the Merlin myth, watch it as a sci-fi drama (comedy!) which happens to have characters with the same names as those in the myth, and otherwise the stories bear very little resemblance to the actual myth.
Yes Bluey - it became a bit of a guilty pleasure of mine and the husbands. There's quite a lot of slashy vibes running through it as well.

I also thought they used the idea of an ensemble quite well, main hero in this is usually Arthur, but he's portrayed as a bit of a erm...what's the best word to describe it...nob. That alone was quite funny to watch. It hit a few more spots than the awful (imho) Robin Hood which preceeded it.

It did really pick up by the end though, I'm actually looking forward to season two of this.
carolatduke I've been wanting to post this info, but didn't want to link to Tony's news page; ta for this.

Bluey Yeah, that was pretty much how I was going to handle it - a story w/characters that shared names, not as a "faithful retelling" of the Arthurian legend. Rather like the recent King Arthur movie.

On a related note, I just rewatched Excalibur & First Knight. So I've seen 3 different takes on the myth - one (KA) supposedly based in fact (Sarmatian knights), one based on L'morte de Arthur (Excalibur) and one...I'm not sure where they got their "facts" from.

Ah well. Looking forward to this, mostly for Tony as Uther. Read an interview where he said this was like a boyhood fantasy come true for him.
I only watched the first one but a few folk I know said it gets better, one day I might give it another chance.

It's actually uncannily similar to 'Smallville' in some ways (not necessarily quality) in that you have a familiar character in his younger days who has "super" powers that must be kept secret, he becomes unlikely friends with a powerful heir apparent (Arthur/Lex) who seems on the road to villainy, he pines after the beautiful Princess Morgana ("cheerleader/popular girl" Lana Lang in 'Smallville') and has a female friend, Gwynnevere (/Chloe), who pines after him in turn.

[ edited by Saje on 2009-03-15 19:16 ]
I remember watching one or two and thinking it was pretty awful. Mostly because the kids (including Merlin) are almost as annoying as Connor.
one based on L'morte de Arthur (Excalibur) and one...I'm not sure where they got their "facts" from.

Chrétien de Troyes, loosely anyway. Plus, "First Knight" has Sean Connery. I remember enjoying it when it was in theaters 14 years ago, but the reviews seem to tell a different story.
I watched the first several episodes and it never got better for me. I kept trying to like it and kept telling myself that I should like something that combines ASH and The Arthurian legends.I have loved everything ASH is in so far, and I have loved every King Arthur/Merlin movie so far.

But then I realized that it had nothing to do with the Arthur or Merlin from the legends and ASH was mostly a background character. Oh yeah, it also had a horribly formulaic plot and bad acting from it's teen cast. Even John Hurt (as the dragon) couldn't save it for me, and I usually love his work as well.

I am sure you will probably watch it anyway hoping that it gets better, but don't say I didn't warn you.
It kind of made me hate medieval period shows and movies for a little while, and I love that period.

That being said, If you like Uwe Boll films you might like Merlin.
Ouch. Uwe Boll? Really? That's harsh.

@nasarius: I liked Connor. :(
ASH is the best thing in it, his anti-magic Uther is magnificent. Michelle Ryan was also pretty effective when she appeared in a few episodes, she was the evil sorceress Nimueh who seems to have had a bit of a 'past' with Uther - if they could concentrate more on those two the next season might be rather good.
This is the show that for some reason has a large number of actors who look nothing like the Romano-Britons would have looked like in it, right?

I have a real difficulty separating my knowledge of history from shows or movies. I love ASH, but I really don't think I could handle watching it without having an epilepsy or something.
Yes silvius, ASH is the best thing in it, and John Hurt as the Dragon is the second best thing, but neither character is prominent.

If they had set this story about 20 years earlier and had ASH and John Hurt as the main characters, and left out the teenagers it would have been great. Plus it would have told Uther's story which is not told very often.

But instead they focus on the teens, and the adults are just there to make rules and get in the way. Those darn adults!

[ edited by Jaynes Hat on 2009-03-15 21:44 ]
It's light family viewing material but it has now got a devoted slash following on LiveJournal. The episodes did get better as the show went on but the finale was very underwhelming. Tony's character was well written.
I watched the whole thing online and I enjoyed it a lot! It is geared for a youth audience, and certainly felt free to re-imagine the 'traditional' telling of the King Arthur myth, but IMO it was well cast and a lot of fun.
I found the first few episodes bad.. so I stopped watching.. the only thing that I found funny was ASH character.. The way he hates.. you know.. I don't want to "Spoiler" it. :) But it was funny to see him like that after all his years as Giles.

Anyway. I hope he'll find something better soon.
There is definitely not enough "Merlin" love up in here, so I'm gonna add some. I found the show incredibly fun and charming. I thought the younger cast was a good group, playing well off each other. I like how there are recognizable bits of the legend done in different or interesting ways. (Note: I don't know a lot of legend details, just more like broad strokes.)

I'm really looking forward to being able to show this to my family; I think they'll enjoy it.

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