May 30, 2013 | 12:51 p.m.

‘Merlin’ finale: Rupert Young talks Camelot, knighthood and more

After five seasons of swords, sorcery and dragons, “Merlin” is casting its final spell. The show’s finale, “The Diamond of the Day, Part 2,” airs Friday at 10 p.m. PT, bringing the fantasy adventure series to a close in the U.S. A modern retelling of the legend of King Arthur, “Merlin” has become a Syfy channel staple, introducing American viewers to boy wizard Merlin (played by Colin Morgan), tasked with protecting his friend and young king, Arthur Pendragon (Bradley James). Katie McGrath plays nemesis Morgana, a witch, and Angel Coulby plays Queen Gwen. The show wrapped up last Christmas in the U.K., where it was massively popular, rivaling “Doctor Who” in ratings. In “Diamond Part 2,” Morgana’s army battles Merlin, Arthur and his Knights of Camelot. One of Arthur’s longest-serving and most trusted knights is Sir Leon, played by Rupert […]
April 29, 2013 | 9:00 a.m.

‘Merlin’: Angel Coulby talks Gwen’s journey from servant to queen

The final season of the fantasy adventure series “Merlin” resumes on Syfy Friday evening after several weeks hiatus and the new episode, “With All My Heart,” focuses on Queen Guinevere. “Merlin” has been massively popular in the U.K., where it rivaled “Doctor Who” in ratings, wrapping up last Christmas with a tragic, two-part season finale. In the U.S., the fifth and final season is airing on Syfy. In the show, Gwen, played by Angel Coulby, is in many ways the moral compass of Camelot, influencing the decisions of her husband King Arthur Pendragon (Bradley James) and the secret sorcerer Merlin (Colin Morgan). She began as a maidservant to Morgana, now an evil sorceress, and now rules Camelot alongside Arthur. Hero Complex caught up with Coulby to talk about Gwen’s journey and the success of “Merlin.” Warning: Spoilers lie ahead. HC: […]
Feb. 06, 2013 | 3:34 p.m.

‘Merlin’ co-creator Julian Murphy on series’ emotional conclusion

The fantasy adventure “Merlin” might have enchanted English fans for the last time in December, but the series continues to charm American audiences. Created by Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, “Merlin” provides a fresh take on the Arthurian legend. Irish actor Colin Morgan plays Merlin, a servant to King Arthur and a wizard-in-secret in a realm where magic has been outlawed. The show was massively popular in the U.K., rivaling “Doctor Who” in viewership, before wrapping up on Christmas with a tragic, two-part season finale. Morgan was named best actor in a drama by the U.K.’s National Television Awards earlier this year, beating out “Doctor Who” star Matt Smith and “Sherlock” actor Benedict Cumberbatch. In the U.S., the fifth and final season of the BBC original series is airing on Syfy. In Friday’s episode “The Dark Tower,” the sorceress Morgana […]
Jan. 01, 2013 | 7:00 a.m.

‘Merlin’ actors talk legendary roles, series’ epic conclusion

BBC’s fantasy adventure “Merlin” cast its final spell in England over Christmas with a heartbreaking two-part finale that brought to a grand conclusion a series whose popularity rivals “Doctor Who” — the show drew about 7 million viewers each episode in the U.K., compared with around 1.7 million per episode in the U.S. For fans on this side of the Atlantic, though, it’s only the beginning of the end for the epic tale. The fifth and final season of the series, which traces the evolution of the relationship between young wizard Merlin (Colin Morgan) and future king Arthur Pendragon (Bradley James) in a realm where magic has been outlawed, premieres Friday on Syfy. Much in the way “Smallville” updated the story of Superman, “Merlin” brings fresh life and contemporary resonance to iconic characters from English myth. Hero Complex caught up […]
Feb. 10, 2012 | 12:02 p.m.

‘Merlin’s’ magic trick: Getting darker, staying light

Here’s a wizard’s trick: Can “Merlin” get darker and stay light at the same time? It’s a question of tone and the obvious challenge for the SyFy series as its plots push into more sinister territory but the creative team tries to hold on to the humor that widens the show’s audience to an all-ages group. Here’s a look at an exclusive clip from the Feb. 13 episode, “A Servant of Two Masters,” which finds a bewitched Merlin acting as a reluctant assassin. I’ve written before that “Merlin” is a favorite in my house — it really is geared for family viewing — and apparently we’re not alone. The U.K. import is a hit at home (the finale of the fourth season aired on Christmas Eve to a record audience of 8.1 million) and it now has a foothold here with its biggest […]
Jan. 20, 2012 | 6:16 p.m.

Year of the dragon: Firebreathers reign in pop culture

Vampires and zombies may have invaded pop culture in 2011, but Monday marks the beginning of the lunar new year and, according to the Chinese zodiac, the year of the dragon. It’s a fitting title for a year that promises some screen time for the fire-breathing beasts of literature. J.R.R. Tolkien’s treasure-hording dragon Smaug is being brought to life in Peter Jackson’s upcoming films based on “The Hobbit.” Season 2 of the hit HBO series “Game of Thrones” shines a spotlight on Viserion, Rhaegal and Drogon, the baby dragons hatched by the exiled princess Daenerys Targaryen in George R.R. Martin’s “A Song of Ice and Fire” series. And the Syfy series “Merlin,” now in its fourth season, brings a new character to the King Arthur mythology: The Great Dragon Kilgharrah, whose complex relationship with Merlin, the last dragonlord, provides much […]
Jan. 21, 2011 | 6:42 p.m.

‘Merlin’ looks for new magic in the U.S.

I have two kids —  a 13-year-old daughter and 9-year-old son — and our beloved Friday night tradition of ordering pizza and watching a movie is becoming more and more of a challenge. It’s just not easy to find a film that pleases all four members of a living-room audience with increasingly disparate tastes. And, because we’re not to a point where Pixar releases a new film every weekend, we’ve been turning to TV shows on DVD/Blu-ray for suitable fare. That’s how we came across “Merlin.” If you don’t know about it already, “Merlin” airs on Friday nights at 10 p.m. on SyFy — there’s a new episode tonight, in fact, and you can watch a clip of it below — and it’s now in its third season here in the States. The show is a U.K. export (it’s in its fourth season on the other side of […]
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