For the last few weeks I've been following a 2008 BBC TV series; that the Swedish TV company SVT bought recently. It's called Merlin, and it's a fascinatingly magical series, based on the character of Merlin featured in the ancient Arthurian legend. So far I've watched three episodes, and they have all been very good. I suppose at times the graphics can be a bit Powerpoint Bollywood, but with such great storylines, this is no problem at all.

The first episode introduces the mythical wizard Merlin, and his arrival in Camelot. He is a remarkably talented sorcerer who keeps his magic secret after learning the laws of magic in Camelot. Magic was banned in the kingdom by Uther, the king, twenty years ago, due to its harmful effects. He meets the intelligent physician Gaius, who helps him sort out his 'new life' in Camelot. At the beginning of the episode, a man is killed as part of a death sentence for using magic in Camelot. His mother intends to take revenge, by morphing into a performer who was meant to sing in the big 20-year celebration feast. At the last moment, she tries to kill Arthur using magic, but Merlin prevents her by pushing Arthur out of the way. As his 'reward', he gets to become Arthur's servant. He finds out from the last dragon in the kingdom that his destiny is to protect Arthur. He becomes Arthur's friend from this point on.

The second episode is about a sword-fighting tournament, in which one of the knights, Knight Valiant has a magic serpent-shield to kill his opponents. As Valiant is about to kill Arthur (who is considered the best in the kingdom), Merlin cautiously manages to reveal the serpents, and Arthur claims victory.

In the latest (third) episode, Merlin and Gaius defeat an afanc, a clay monster imposed by the evil witch Nimueh, who infests Camelot's water system. Those who drink the water die. Gwen, someone who he supposedly fancies, plays a big role in this episode and Morgana gains knowledge of his secret.

Over all, I think this TV series is very exciting and it's definitely something to watch - the BBC has really succeeded with making a magical series, based on an collection of old, fictional tales. I intend to watch every single 45-minute episode in this 13-episode series. Due to its popularity, the BBC has decided to make a second series to be shown this year! That I am really looking forward to, and I would recommend this series to anyone!


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