nick730 (nick730) wrote,

The five year itch

Finally, Merlin ends, and the most frustrating thing remains that this was all supposedly planned from the start. When the programme started the writers said they had a specific five-year story arc planned, and indeed the series went on for those five years. It's baffling to think that "almost zero development for five years, then Arthur dies a few scenes after finally finding out about Merlin's magic" was a carefully-devised plan.

The amount of major story points would have made a great five-part mini-series: Episode 1, Merlin's arrival at court and he begins protecting Arthur. Episode 2, Morgana's descent into evil. Episode 3, Mister Gently Benevolent Uther dies and Arthur becomes king. Episode 4, Mordred gains Camelot's trust then turns to the dark side. Episode 5, big final battle and Arthur's death. Five episodes, fine, but five years feels like a whole lot of wasted opportunities to explore the dynamic of a Camelot where Merlin is actually openly using magic.

At least "The Diamond of the Day" sees the term "The Once and Future King" used correctly for the first time in the entire series, in that Arthur is now dead and no longer the king, but fabled to return at Albion's darkest hour. They've been calling him that since before he'd actually become king the first time, at which point it was beyond meaningless.

Still, at least Arthur fulfilled his destiny in that, er... Mainly he brought Camelot more equality, but this was almost entirely for selfish reasons: He changed the laws about who could be queen because of who he wanted to marry, and the laws on who could be knights so that he could have all the best/most arousingly muscular warriors on his side, not just whichever chinless wonder was entitled to be knighted under the old laws. And in a mediaeval feudal kingdom, who in Camelot had even considered asking for equality in their Christmas list? I would have thought they'd have preferred if Arthur had changed the law that made them automatically at war with people who can make you painfully dead just by looking at you, and didn't allow them to fight fire with fire. But no, great king and etc. (For all that Arthur allegedly drastically changed his father's policies, what was the one thing Uther's vengeful ghost was pissed off about? Who Arthur married. Sweeping social changes, there.)

Oh well, it's over now.

SOSSERY! count nil, but Richard Wilson gets a SOSSEROR! to go out on.

GAYWATCH! A final tribute to Arthur and Merlin's early glory days of gazing into each other's eyes all "I wish I knew how to quit you" "just hold me, please, there's something I want to say."
Tags: merlin

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