Well it looks like BBC’s fantasy drama Merlin will be magically disappearing after season 5 - just when the series was really starting to pick up. Merlin will conclude its epic five year journey this Christmas (in the UK) with a two-part series finale – which the cast promises will leave fans breathless.
BBC’s adaption of Merlin took a similar route as the CW’s Smallville did with Superman, by taking their iconic characters at an early stage of their heroic development. Merlin starts off as a young servant boy who soon climbs the ranks to become the then Prince Arthur’s unlikely best friend and confidant - all while hiding his budding magical abilities, which have been outlawed by the king. In a similar Smallvillesque fashion, the series' main villain, the Lady Morgana, started out as trusted friend but soon turned to fearsome foe.
Merlin series 5 is already halfway through in the UK – but won’t debut in the United States until January 4, 2013 on Syfy. Without giving too much away, series 5 of Merlin will see Arthur finally ascending the throne as king, while using the recently assembled Knights of the Round Table to battle his legendary villain Mordred.
Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table – like a boss
What may have come as shocking news to fans seems to have been something the cast has been preparing for awhile - as they’ve reacted to Merlin’s cancellation with a calm sadness. Colin Morgan (who plays Merlin) took to CultBox to say:
"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!"
Bradley James, who plays King Arthur, added to Morgan’s statement by letting fans know that they were the real magical force behind the show’s success by saying:
"Devoted fan base who made the show a unique, surreal and special experience. My words won’t do justice to the honor of being King Arthur, so I shall just say that it has been an exceptional one and that knowing the show has been a part of so many people’s lives has been humbling.”
Merlin (Colin Morgan) and his best buddy King Arthur (Bradley James)
In a bit of an ironic twist, hope for a truly spectacular series ending for fans comes from actress Katie McGrath, who plays the villainous Lady Morgana, who said:
"The breathtaking finale of this series leaves you with no doubt that characters have been on their journeys and had their stories told – it’s completely the right time to draw our telling of the story to a close."
Angel Coulby, who plays Guinevere, the servant turned Queen of Camelot, also teased fans about the epic two part series finale, while taking the time to reminisce about the success of Merlin. Coulby said:
"I think we’ve told the story we set out to tell, which ends with the fantastic two part finale by the way! I believe the key to any successful show is making sure you leave people wanting more!"
Morgana (Katie McGrath) turns a sword on her once friend and servant Guinevere (Angel Coulby)
Rounding out the reactions from the main cast is Richard Wilson, who plays Merlin’s mentor Gaius (who let’s be honest we never thought would make it to the finale) had the following to say:
"Firstly I would like to say that I’m extremely sad that Merlin has come to an end. Speaking as Gaius, I feel I have mentored the young wizard as far as I can – he is much smarter and greater than me now and I am simply exhausted!"
Battling sad news with humor, Irish actor, Eoin Macken (who plays the gallant knight, Gwaine) took to twitter to console fans by tweeting: "For the ppl sad about Merlin, it's true this is the end of it, sorry about that...if I'd my way the knights would be flying superheroes .."
The big question remaining is who will survive the big two part finale as well as if Merlin’s magical secret will be revealed to all. Although the main series will meet its end soon, there’s already talks of potential spin-offs, TV movies and even a possible reboot.
Shine and FremantleMedia Enterprises (which handles Merlin internationally) are in the early stages of developing potential Merlin spinoffs using the universe created in the series – possibly with the further adventures of the Knights of the Round Table. Any future shows or possible TV movies would be produced by Shine’s Kudos in partnership with FME.
The final season of Merlin hits the United States January 4, 2013 on Syfy on.