Merlin is a British fantasy-adventure television series developed by Julian Jones, Jake Michie, Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps. It began its broadcast on the channel BBC One on 20 September 2008. The series is based on the Arthurian legends of the mythical wizard Merlin and his relationship with Prince Arthur, but differs from traditional versions of the legend in many ways, especially the characters. It is produced by independent production company Shine Limited. After a successful first series, American broadcaster NBC began airing the programme on 21 June 2009, but after a decline in viewership, was moved to the cable network Syfy, where it began broadcast of the second series on 2 April 2010. The second series began airing on 19 September 2009 on BBC One. On 5 September 2010, BFI Southbank in London previewed the first two episodes of the third series for its September Film Funday programme.
The concept for Merlin was influenced by the American show Smallville, about the early years of Superman. development of the current Merlin began in late 2006, The series received generally mixed reception when it began its broadcast. Critics were upset with the flat dialogue and the modern look to the series. One critic, in particular, called the whole concept "bland". The series première drew an overnight average of 6.65 million viewers in the 19:00 slot, a final consolidated figure of 7.15 million, despite being scheduled against popular ITV series The X Factor. The first series as a whole had an average of 6.32 million viewers, which is fewer than Doctor Who attracted during its first series, and slightly more than those received by Robin Hood. Merlin was also the fifth most watched programme on BBC iPlayer in 2008.
The third series of Merlin began on 11 September 2010.
Merlin is a magician who arrives at the city of Camelot, after his mother arranges for him to become an apprentice of Gaius, the local physician. He discovers that the king, Uther Pendragon, has outlawed magic and has imprisoned the last dragon deep under the city. The dragon informs Merlin that he has an important destiny to protect Uther's son, Arthur, who will bring forth a great Kingdom. When he meets Arthur for the first time he believes that he is arrogant and Arthur views Merlin as subservient, as Merlin has to keep his magic a secret or face execution at the hands of Uther.
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Official Site: The BBC
Links: Wikipedia Fanlore The Pendragon