Merlin – a fun adaptation of the story of Arthur and the great wizard – is currently in its fifth series (season), with the show slated to end this year.
This season dealt with the rise of Morgana and her alliance with Mordred, which has interrupted a golden age of Camelot.
If the story ends the way it does in the classic legends, then the conflict will escalate into a war for the throne of Camelot, one which costs both Mordred and Arthur their lives, while sending Merlin into a self-imposed exile.
Of course, much is already different from the known legends. For example, in most versions of the tale, Mordred is the illegitimate son of Arthur and Morgana, a sub-plot entirely ignored by the show.
However it ends, it’s all coming to a close with a special double-length episode in late December.
The press release included lots of gushing from the cast and crew of the show:
“From the beginning this was always going to be a five year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course,” said Colin Morgan (Merlin). “The show has grown and grown each year and now we’ve arrived at its strongest point and we’ve achieved what we set out to do… I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!”
Unsurprisingly, Showrunners Capps and Murphy re moving on and up. The success running Merlin for Shine TV has given them the freedom to start their own television production company where the duo will pursue unspecified projects. Hopefully, they’ll run more fantasy stories, because television today certainly could use more genre material.
As for the Camelot property, it stays with Shine TV. Of course, Arthurian legend as a whole is in the public domain, but this particular version of the tale belongs to Shine, and they’re not planning on letting it languish.
To be sure, the studio is developing several different ideas for continuing the stories of the characters in the show (sans Arthur and Merlin) in a new series, one of which they will likely run with once fleshed out., capitalizing on the 6 million strong BBC fan-base for the show.
“It has been a wonderful five years with Merlin and ten overall with Shine, but we have always had the ambition to branch out ourselves at some point and now feels the time to take that leap,” Capps and Murphy said in a joint statement. “We do so with great memories, respect and best wishes for our Shine colleagues and in the knowledge that if there were to be any subsequent adventures, the world of Camelot is in safe hands.”
The current and final season of Merlin is airing on BBC One on Saturday evenings, and will hit US shores starting next Spring.