Merlin Series Four

There’s a big feature about the future of Merlin in the new issue of SFX , out tomorrow, and here’s a preview of some of the choice nuggets from it

Merlin series four, currently in production in Wales and France, is what is known as “a game changer”. But you’d probably guess that from the end of series three, what with the formation of the Knights of the Round Table, Morgana outed as an evil witch and Uther having a breakdown and unfit to rule. But that, the show’s creators and executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy tell us, is just the tip of the iceberg. In SFX #211, in the shops tomorrow, we have a big new feature on the future of Merlin, and here are a few choice nuggets to whet your Arthurian appetites. (There are also some great, exclusive photos of series four in production that, sadly we’re embargoed from putting on the site, but hey, that’s another reason to buy the mag.)

“Series four goes to some very interesting dark places,” says Capps, “but the great thing about the format of the show is you can always counter balance that with a lot of humour. So I think this year instead of having sort of stand-out comedy episodes, it’s very much about having lightness and darkness within episodes.

“Merlin’s identity and whether his magic will be found out is a huge part of the next series,” adds Capps. “I think the audience is slightly obsessed with it. There are other reasons now for him not to tell people that he has magic. There are other people who want to know who he is, and you learn about the legend of Emrys. That’s a huge part of the next series: will his magic be found out? The net is closing in on him. There are other bigger and more important reasons why he can’t reveal his identity yet.”

With Uther ending series three dribbling and unable to rule, and Anthony Stewart Head having nabbed a role in a new US sit-com, does this mean a reduced role for the old King in series four? “Tony is an important part in the series and Uther’s legacy is important,” says Capps. “Tony is in the next series, and there are some very exciting stories for his character. Some interesting choices and some unexpected choices.”

Once again, the series opens with a two parter. “The first story is very much the story of Morgana’s revenge,” says Capps. “We left Morgana in a terrible state at the end of the last series, and at the beginning of this, the two-parter, is very much about her trying to get her revenge on Camelot. She does quite an extreme thing, and it’s the question of whether Arthur and Merlin and Knights will be able to defeat her.”