Tuesday, 3 July 2012

Merlin (Series Two)

After getting addicted to series one of Merlin I was obviously going to carry on with the show and watch series two! I'm not going to go into as much depth with this review as I did with my series one review but I was once again delighted. In fact series two is better than series one! The show is still very funny and family-friendly but it begins to venture into darker territory. And although the writers do stick to the tried and tested baddie-of-the-week format most of the time, they also start to develop the characters more and there's plenty of action. Merlin finds out more about his mysterious father and his magic continues to grow in power. Arthur begins to learn more about humility and compassion - and falls in love with Gwen. Gwen seemed to fancy Merlin in series one but in this second series she develops romantic feelings for both Arthur and Lancelot. Morgana discovers that she has magical powers and begins to turn to the dark side. Lancelot and Mordred show up again, with the latter swearing revenge on Merlin. Gaius's father-son relationship with Merlin continues to develop. The Great Dragon begins to put heavy pressure on Merlin to free him from the castle. The only character that doesn't get much character development is Uther but that's a small complaint.

Once again the best thing about the show is the Merlin-Arthur double-act. Colin Morgan (Merlin) and Bradley James (Arthur) continue to entertain with their comic timing, epic chemistry, acting talent, adorableness and visual appeal. Both of them have the most gorgeous blue eyes! : D As you'll have gathered from my series one review I love Merlin's character and I think Colin Morgan is a great actor. He's the best in the show for me. But I really should give Arthur and Bradley James more credit. Arthur gets so many great lines and James does a terrific job playing him. He acts his socks off in The Sins of the Father too and puts in a very emotional, intense performance. He looks good swinging a sword too! Like Morgan I hope he goes on to have a great career when Merlin eventually finishes.

And as for the guest stars, we get Santiago Cabrera (Lancelot) and Asa Butterfield (Mordred) showing up again. We also get Mackenzie Crook as a thief who becomes possessed by the spirit of an evil wizard called Cornelius Sigan. I wasn't that keen on Crook's performance though sadly. I thought he was a lot less convincing as Sigan than he was as a thief. But we do get some excellent guest stars in this second series. We get Laura Donnelly playing a druid girl called Freya, a fleeting love interest for Merlin. We get John Lynch as a Dragonlord called Balinor. We get Georgia Moffett (David Tennant's wife) as a spoilt princess called Vivian. We get Charles Dance as a witchfinder who puts Merlin, Morgana and Gaius in danger. He gives a great performance and I finally got to see what his face looks like unmasked! I also loved Emilia Fox as Morgana's half-sister Morgause (a badass female villain!) Oh, if Emilia Fox looks familiar to you then it might be because you saw her play Darcy's sister Georgiana in the BBC's Pride and Prejudice. I knew I'd recognised her from somewhere! The best guest star for me though was Sarah Parish. She plays a troll in disguise who marries Uther. She gives a brilliant comic performance and plays the role incredibly well. You can really tell that she was having the time of her life playing the character! Also, she has such good chemistry with Anthony Stewart Head that I actually wanted Uther to stay married to her. They were such a good couple!

The Witchfinder
The Troll

To round off my my review, my favourite episodes of this second series, in no particular order, were, The Witchfinder, The Sins of the Father, The Fires of Idirsholas, The Last Dragonlord and the two-part episode Beauty and the Beast.

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