The five-year plan could well be extended, say producers(opens in new tab)
Even since the BBC’s Merlin first hit our screens in 2008, showrunners Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy have spoken about having a five years plan. But it seems now, with audience figures improving every series (in a TV climate in which most audiences are declining), and series four helping the BBC whittle away at The X-Factor ’s viewing figures, that may no longer be the case.
Speaking to the two creators as they help promote the Series Four Volume 1 DVD box set (opens in new tab) (available from Monday), SFX asked them if the plan was still to end the show with series five.
“No it’s not,” says Johnny Capps categorically. “To us, it’s all about whether the audience carries on enjoying it. If the audience carries on enjoying it, and we carry on enjoying making it, then we’ll keep making it.”
There’s also the tentative possibility of film, but those plans are still in the “very early stages”.
As for the near future, the pair aren’t giving much away. They promise that this Saturday’s episode, (which has a slightly spoilery title if you haven’t seen the trailers, so highlight to see) “Lancelot Du Lac” , is, “one of those seminal, big, legendary moments where you do feel the pressure to get it right”.
They also have good news for those of us who don’t think there’s been enough of Gwen and Morgana this series: “In the second half of the series the focus is very much on Gwen and Morgana,” says Capps. “Over the next five episodes, they are very big characters. You’ll see,” adds Murphy.
As for the series finale: “There’s a huge iconic moment in the last two episodes,” reveals Capps. “A huge part of the Arthurian legend. A great moment that the audience will enjoy and an absolute reinvention of that bit of the legend.”
As to whether we should make anything of the fact that Uther remains in the title sequence, the pair remain coy. “We feature him in the titles, because his legacy still remains, and that was important to us,” says Capps, before Murphy cheekily adds with a Moffat-esque mischievousness, “To say that he couldn’t return in some form, would be lying. We brought Arthur’s mother back very effectively; there’s no reason why we couldn’t bring his father back.”
More from this interview over the weekend, here on sfx.co.uk .
Merlin : Series 4 Volume 1 is released on DVD on Monday, 28 November. You can pre-order the box-set now (opens in new tab) .