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Merlin: Season 1 (2010)

Colin Morgan , Bradley James  |  NR |  DVD
4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)

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Merlin Season 1   $1.99 $19.99

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Product Details

  • Actors: Colin Morgan, Bradley James, Richard Wilson, Katie McGrath, Anthony Head
  • Format: Multiple Formats, Box set, Color, Subtitled, Widescreen, NTSC
  • Language: English (Dolby Digital 2.0 Stereo)
  • Subtitles: English
  • Region: Region 1 (U.S. and Canada only. Read more about DVD formats.)
  • Aspect Ratio: 1.78:1
  • Number of discs: 5
  • Rated: NR (Not Rated)
  • Studio: BBC Home Entertainment
  • DVD Release Date: April 20, 2010
  • Run Time: 585 minutes
  • Average Customer Review: 4.7 out of 5 stars  See all reviews (303 customer reviews)
  • ASIN: B001LF347E
  • Amazon Best Sellers Rank: #54,536 in Movies & TV (See Top 100 in Movies & TV)
  • Learn more about "Merlin: Season 1" on IMDb

Special Features

Audio commentary
Making-of featurettes: "Behind the Magic"
Video diaries
Photo gallery

Editorial Reviews

Product Description

Like Smallville did for Superman, Merlin is a new drama series that updates the story of the infamous sorcerer of Arthurian legend for a new audience. In a time before history began, the mythical city of Camelot was a fantastical realm and a dangerous world in which magic has been banned by the ruthless tyrant Uther Pendragon. When Merlin, a young man gifted with extraordinary magical powers, arrives in the kingdom, he discovers his destiny and that of the kingdom's young leader in waiting,Arthur, are inextricably linked.

DVD Features:
Audio Commentary
Photo gallery
Screen Saver

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. In addition to 13 episodes, there's an additional disk with making-of features and video diaries of the young cast gallivanting around France. --Bret Fetzer

Customer Reviews

Most Helpful Customer Reviews
285 of 288 people found the following review helpful
By Daniel
I absolutely enjoyed this show. The first episode hit on that the relationship between Merlin, the young magician, and Arthur, the prince of Camelot is essential and very important. As they meet, they both sort of hate each other, but destiny brings them together, like two sides of one coin for a reason. The first episode also made it clear that Magic is forbidden in this land, so it is intriguing to see how everything would turn out. If you give this show a chance, you will be surprised by twists and turns of the events. Unexpected story, like suspense, that's what come to my mind. Everything in the story is important as things will come together and make more sense.

The things I like the best are:

1. Great setting. The castle in this TV show is real and it's astonishing! It is one of the best castles in France. Some scenes also take place in Wales and the woods are so magical. I donno how they do it, but the whole setting, the nature, the castles are very mystical, fantastic and beautiful!

2. New actors. I hate big name actors. When I watch someone act, I don't want to think about the actor, I want to focus on the character, and that's what you get in this TV Show. The acting is brilliant. It is never overacted, so to keep you focused on the story. Because episodes tell the story in a fast paced manner, as there is so much to tell, the actors keep things smooth, clear and real. There are no awkward situations and the production is made to make you feel like you're there. I found myself worrying when the actors worried, even though I knew things would turn out fine. So the emotions are definitely pass on to the viewers from the skilled actors.

3. Characters and the friendship plot. The friendship is as complicating as it is deep and also very good.
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65 of 69 people found the following review helpful
5.0 out of 5 stars Fantastic Show !!!! 5 + Stars December 13, 2008
This new BBC series Merlin is one of the Best Shows I have ever watched ! I have seen every episode and I live in the US. Have downloaded and watched all the shows. The actors are great and so is Anthony Head as King Uther. Anthony Head as all recall played Giles on Buffy The Vampire Slayer..

It is filled with much magic and fun and great in my opinion for all ages but not too young for it my scare the little ones... All the on location filming from a real castle in France and other sites in the U.K. are amazing . This is a must see series to watch. I have read that it is supposed to be broadcast here in the US soon maybe and will be released on DVD but not known if it will be in Region 1 for US.. If you can find it on the internet and download all the episodes and watch as you are drawn into the story wanting to watch again and again to find out what Meriln's destiny is.....and best of all when you download them ..No Commercials !! YEA!!!
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75 of 81 people found the following review helpful
4.0 out of 5 stars Quite possibly the best show of the summer. July 26, 2009
By linds
That's not saying much, considering that Reality TV seems to be taking over everywhere, and there is NOTHING else on this summer.

It may not be THE-ABSOLUTE-BEST-THING-EVER-ON-TV-EVER!!, but this UK import is pretty darn good. Solid 4 stars. I started watching the first couple on Hulu, and now I'm sort of hooked. I'm usually a wait-to-see-it-on-Hulu person, but I've been flipping on my TV Sunday nights to help get the Nielsen ratings up. I hope this show isn't cancelled, at least they finished out season 1 in the UK! Looking forward to season 2 (i hope!!) and to seeing what these promising actors will do after this!

So, 4 stars for giving me hope in scripted, serialized TV. Thank you, BBC.

EDIT: I forgot to mention what a great family show this is. A few scenes/themes might be a bit scary for smaller children, but there's no language, and I can't remember the last time I saw a show featuring a bunch of 20-somethings who WEREN'T sleeping with each other. Refreshing!!
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30 of 31 people found the following review helpful
I confess that when I first heard of this BBC import I had no intention of watching it. For starters, it deviated too far from the standard Arthurian legends. And when I heard about CG dragons and pseudo-medieval costuming I decided it would be a total dud.

I couldn't have been more wrong. The series is absolutely delightful, in spite of minor flaws like occasionally sketchy plots and dialogue. It was clearly aimed at young viewers--perhaps the early to mid-teen set--but surprise, surprise! It has garnered a devoted adult following, to which I now belong. A lot of this is due to the charm of the (mostly youthful) cast, a bunch of attractive newcomers who overcome the periodic silliness of the storylines with their genuine acting chops and ability to swashbuckle with just the right amount of aplomb combined with humor. A degree of gravitas is provided by Richard Wilson as the court physician Gaius and Anthony Head as a narrow-minded, stern (nay, hard-assed!) King Uther Pendragon, and John Hurt, who voices the clairvoyant old dragon chained beneath Uther's castle at Camelot. But the lead actors--Colin Morgan as young Merlin and Bradley James as Prince Arthur--undoubtedly steal the show.

In this non-conventional take on Camelot, Prince Arthur is something of an arrogant bully with a heart of gold, who becomes genuinely fond of and dependant upon Merlin, the gawky, bumbling, admittedly adorable youth he takes as a manservant. What he doesn't yet know is that Merlin is a gifted sorcerer, who must conceal his abilities because King Uther has outlawed (on pain of death) the practice of any form of magic.
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A bit too anachronistic
I'm not sure that the series is trying to be too historically accurate as the legends themselves have been written and rewritten for more than a millenium.

That said there are vinyards in England so its not too much of a stretch for them to be eating grapes (I can't account for the anachronistic... Read More
Jan 5, 2012 by J H Goddard |  See all 3 posts
are all the audio commentaries there?
I just got it from Netflix and it's there.
Jul 14, 2011 by G. Recipient |  See all 2 posts
Uncut versions?
It should be the BBC's uncut episodes. That's what I've heard anyway.
May 24, 2010 by shelly v |  See all 2 posts
Is the r1 DVDs the same as the r2 DVDs from the UK? Be the first to reply
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