BBC Version of Merlin Begins Shooting

The BBC has announced that filming has begun on its new Saturday-night, Who-slot family fantasy series Merlin, with Richard (One Foot in the Grave) Wilson and Anthony (Buffy) Head in the cast.

Head plays Arthur’s dad Uther Pendragon with Wilson as Gauis, joining newcomers Colin Morgan and Bradley James as youthful versions of Merlin and Arthur. The 13-part series is scheduled to transmit in autumn 2008.

Set in the mythical Camelot, this version focuses on Merlin as a young wizard on the cusp of adulthood and his ongoing clashes with a young King Arthur.

Merlin is produced and created by Shine, who were responsible for Hex and Sugar Rush, as well as the upcoming Van Helsing project for ITV. The director will be James Hawes (who worked on Doctor Who’s “The Empty Child”, “The Doctor Dances”, “The Christmas Invasion”, “New Earth” and “School Reunion") while executive producer for BBC One is Julie Gardner.

Jane Tranter, who commissioned the series for BBC1, says: "The writer Julian Jones and award-winning team at Shine have delivered scripts which are bold and original, entertaining and enchanting, and director James Hawes's bravura vision for this piece is perfectly suited to the adventure we are all embarking upon. Merlin is a wonderfully ambitious and beautifully crafted series which we're sure will enchant families later this year."

Filming for Merlin takes place in Wales, England and France.