Merlin is a BBC fantasy series series about the adventures of a wise warlock and an immature prince. The series was loosely based on the Arthurian legends, with a twist: for most of the series, Arthur didn't know know that Merlin knew magic. Viewers wondered when Arthur would find out about Merlin's powers, but the series kept the prince in the dark for most of the show.


Despite airing its last episode in 2012, Merlin remains popular today, and has been praised for its ability to entertain viewers of all ages.

Where to watch Merlin online?

You can't watch Merlin on BBC iPlayer anymore, but you can catch it on Netflix, iTunes or Amazon Prime Video. You can also buy the DVD box set for seasons 1-5.

What is Merlin about?

Colin Morgan in Merlin (BBC, EWA)

Merlin is a fantasy series about the adventures of a young, powerful warlock in Camelot, a city where magic has been outlawed for twenty years by King Uther. Merlin finds the last remaining dragon from the years when magic was allowed, who is kept hidden in a dungeon deep beneath the castle of Camelot. The Great Dragon tells Merlin that it is his destiny to protect King Uther's son, Prince Arthur, and the show follows the adventures the two go on together.

Arthur is initially a selfish and arrogant young prince – even Merlin calls him an 'idiot' – but his developing friendship with Merlin teaches him to be humble and kind. In turn, Merlin's respect for Arthur grows and they develop a bond that allows them to tackle the greatest challenge of all: protecting the land of Albion.

How many seasons of Merlin are there?

Merlin has five seasons with 13 episodes each.

How many episodes of Merlin are there?

There were 65 episodes of Merlin in total.

Where was Merlin filmed?

Colin Morgan in Merlin (BBC, HF)

Scenes in the city of Camelot were filmed in Château de Pierrefonds, France, as well as Penshurst Place and Chislehurst in Kent. Numerous locations in Wales were also used.

Who was in the cast of Merlin?

The younger cast of Merlin L-R Angel Coulby (Guinevere), Bradley James (Arthur), Katie McGrath (Morgana), Colin Morgan (Merlin)

Colin Morgan played the titular character Merlin. He has since featured in The Living and the Dead, The Fall and Humans.

Arthur Pendragon was played by Homeland's Bradley James. His love interest Guinevere was played by Angel Coulby.

Morgana Pendragon, who starts out as benign but then becomes Merlin's nemesis in later seasons, was played by Katie McGrath, who later played Elsa in another rendition of the Arthurian legend, King Arthur: Legend of the Sword.

Meanwhile Uther Pendragon was played by Anthony Head of Little Britain and Buffy the Vampire Slayer. Gaius was played by Richard Wilson, and The Great Dragon was voiced by John Hurt.

How closely did Merlin follow the legend?

The Arthurian legend upon which Merlin is based has been told in many forms by writers of hundreds of different time periods. The show preserves the original characters of the story, including Prince Arthur, King Uther, Guinevere, and of course, Merlin himself. Other characters form older versions of the story have been changed slightly, but still play important roles, like Morgana Pendragon, originally an enchantress and healer who in the BBC version does not discover her magical powers for some time, and was raised as Uther's ward.

More like this

Because it's not a true story, there can't really be a wrong way to tell it. However, there are some elements that are shared between most retellings of the story, but are missing from Merlin. There's no mention of Christianity (specifically, the Holy Grail) in Merlin for example, which is a key feature of most Arthurian legends. Also, Merlin was typically described as much older than Arthur, and as the son of a demon, but in the show, his father was a Dragonlord and not at all malevolent. Uniquely to the TV series, Merlin, rather than Arthur, is the titular character.


Why was Merlin cancelled?

Merlin's creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy had always planned to produce a five-season show, and so Merlin wasn't really cancelled, its creators were just ready to move on to their next show, Atlantis.