Fantasy drama Merlin will bow out at Christmas. After five series, the BBC’s retelling of the Arthurian legend will “reach a natural and dramatic end” with a two-part finale.
Co-creators and executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy today said: “This is the series where the storylines truly reach their apex. We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot.
"We’d like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication, the BBC, FME and all of our partners globally for their incredible support and encouragement across the last five series.
"But chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin’s remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe.”
The Saturday-night series began life in 2008 and attracts an average audience of over six million, with ratings for the current run of episodes peaking at 7.1 million.
Star Colin Morgan, who plays the titular wizard, today commented: “From the beginning this was always going to be a five-year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course. The show has grown and grown each year and now we’ve arrived at its strongest point and we’ve achieved what we set out to do… I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!”
Bradley James, who stars alongside Morgan as King Arthur, added: The Merlin years have provided me with fond memories, great experiences and beloved friends and all the while we were supported by a devoted fan base who made the show a unique, surreal and special experience. My words won't do justice to the honour of being King Arthur so I shall just say that it has been an exceptional one and that knowing the show has been a part of so many people's lives, has been humbling."
Katie McGrath (Morgana) promised fans that they’d get a dramatic conclusion to the series: "The breathtaking finale of this series leaves you with no doubt that characters have been on their journeys and had their stories told - it's completely the right time to draw our telling of the story to a close."