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Merlin: Complete First Season [DVD] [US Import] [NTSC]
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The creators of Merlin position their hero as the original Harry Potter: a headstrong young wizard with mixed feelings about--and sometimes outright hostility toward--the destiny that's been thrust upon him. Merlin is a reboot of Arthurian legend, starting when all the heroes and sorcerous folk were teenagers, bursting with hormones and wrestling with the powers-that-be, particularly Arthur's heavy-handed father, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head, best known as Giles from Buffy the Vampire Slayer), a benevolent tyrant who's banished magic from Camelot. Merlin (Colin Morgan, an impish lad with prominent ears) comes to the kingdom with high hopes and innate magical powers. He's taken under the wing of the court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson, One Foot in the Grave), but additionally becomes the servant of young Arthur (Bradley James), a handsome and talented fighter who's also a bully and a snob. Rounding out the main cast are Morgana (Katie McGrath), who will one day be Merlin's foe but is now Uther's ward, and Gwen (Angel Coulby), a.k.a. Guinevere, the woman who will one day be the center of a legendary love triangle--but who is now Morgana's maid. Clearly, Merlin wants to shake up any preconception about these stuffy old stories, presenting a multi-ethnic Camelot with contemporary language and attitudes.
Despite all this, Merlin quickly becomes addictive. The dialogue and special effects can be cheesy (particularly when the CGI monsters have to interact with actors), but the cast is charming and the stories, while a tad formulaic, keep things moving. Morgan is appropriately dweeby (but also has killer cheekbones), James combines football-quarterback good looks with a hint of sensitivity, McGrath is luscious and impetuous, and Coulby has earthy spunk. The heavy lifting, acting-wise, is ably handled by Head and Wilson. The first season deftly explores the origins of the pillars of Arthurian mythos, from the sword Excalibur to a very dashing (but born of peasant stock) Lancelot to the mysterious birth of Arthur himself. Add to it all an imprisoned dragon, voiced by John Hurt (Alien, The Elephant Man) and prone to cryptic but sometimes helpful advice, and you have an engaging fantasy series.--Bret Fetzer, Amazon.com--This text refers to an alternate DVD edition.
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Top Customer Reviews
So why do I love it? For the one thing, I find the actors captivating. Merlin definitely wins the charm award, and comes across as a mixture of Frodo (the good parts), Harry Potter (the initial innocence part) and Clark Kent from Smallville (the hero part). He's not arrogant, or self-righteous. In fact, he plays his role as a young Merlin, wonderfully. I couldn't have asked for better. Arthur is the opposite to Merlin. He's arrogant and brattish, but I can't help but *love* that about him. His child-like manner (and humour) makes him extremely likeable. Too likeable. They've taken a gamble with Gwen in terms of status (here, she is a servant), and I know some people will raise eyebrows over her race (but I hope people are sophisticated enough not to care. The actress does a brilliant job, and that's all that matters) but the gamble pays off, and Gwen comes across as an extremeably likeable heroine.
Other characters such as Morgana, Gaius and Uther comes cross well, although there isn't nearly enough screentime with them. It is a bit strange seeing Anthony Head as a mean king, and not a stuffy librarian, and he does come across well, although sometimes I wish he were more dynamic in that role (maybe the fault of the script rather than him).
There's usually a baddie-of the week plot line (featuring some familiar faces. Dr Bashir from Deep Space Nine, anybody?). And for now, that works well. What I like most, is the interaction between Arthur and Merlin.Read more ›
I'm not a kid, I'm in my thirties, and yet I'm completely under Merlin's spell. From what's inside to what's printed outside, I recommend this box set with all my heart!
actually i didn't know much about the legend of King Arthur.
since then i was really interested in it, however this isn't the real legend.
and also some of actors are new comers and they are great, i think.
i recommend this for from children to adults, people of all ages.
They have made a few changes to the original story, like for example, the title character, Merlin, is portrayed in his younger years, around the same age as Arthur Pendragon (wheres in the legend, he is portrayed as an very old sorcerer.) They also added a character that is completely original to the series, the Great Dragon who is voiced by a great actor, John Hurt.
In my opinion, the chemistry between the main characters is fantastic. I love the relationship between Merlin and Arthur, their friendship is characterized with insults and playing tricks on each other, though there is a good bond between them.
For all fans and those who like Merlin and you want to get the whole first series, this is a great product for you to buy. All those who are not too keen, well, you don't have to.
Most Recent Customer Reviews
I have enjoyed this simple tale,with fun effects and a talented cast. Dragon by John Huryt is excellent.Delivery was fast and efficient. Read morePublished 10 months ago by Denise Barnes
This series is brilliant. However I bought this from Bargain Buys Uk. The box is all in dutch, and at the beginning of the film it asks which language you would like and only... Read morePublished 10 months ago by M. C. Barnard
Expected it to look like a cheap series remake but it looks good so far. Good storylines that correspond to the original stories. Good price too from zoverstocksPublished 13 months ago by Emily