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It's the last day of Comic-Con and among the final panels set up here in San Diego is one showcasing BBC's Merlin. Some interesting tidbits about the upcoming fifth season of Merlin were shared at the event, including the return of a very familiar face, and some hints about what's coming up for Season 5.
I should say up front that I don't watch Merlin, however after watching the highlight video they showed us at the start of the panel, and hearing some of the things talked about during the panel, I'm thinking I'll have to remedy that situation. In the meantime, for those of you who already love Merlin but couldn't be here at the panel, I took some notes to fill you in on what you missed.
The panel was moderated by Jenna Busch, who took the stage wearing a cape. She was joined by panel members executive producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, and Merlin stars Colin Morgan (Merlin), Katie McGrath (Morgana) and Angel Coulby (Gwen). The panel began with the highlight video, after which there was a lot of discussion about what's ahead.
It sounds like Season 5 will pick up three years later. They had various iconic Arthurian moments that they knew they had to get to in Series 4 and 5. They're writing the center of Season 5 right now. Sounds like a stressful process. They deliver the show one day before it airs. One time there was an issue with the tape. They had to fix it and get it back to BBC Saturday morning before it aired that night.
Katie McGrath calls her character Morgana a "misunderstood hero." That got a laugh, but it's sweet to see her loyalty toward her character. As for what Morgana will be up to in Series 5, For Morgana, the most important part is in the time that's gone by. She's spent quite a large part of the 3 years that have passed imprisoned. She's been persecuted for her magic. It's not just about getting the throne. It's about revenge for her. "I think she thinks Arthur is behind a lot of that," McGrath says "So you thought she was bad before… she's better."
When asked about Morgana and Gwen and what might happen between those two, McGrath said, "You're gonna get the legend, but not how you expect it." Coulby added, "That's definitely a very juicy story line to look out for."
And we'll get to see Morgana more in Camelot (and interacting with the other characters) but "not like you'd expect."
Morgan says Merling gives as good as he gets this season.
Liam Cunningham is joining the show and the executive producers announced that Anthony Head is returning to his role as Uther Pendragon in Series 5.
There's a new Merlin Facebook game coming up.
Bradley James (Arthur) did a video apologizing for not being here for the panel. He's in Wales where it's raining. They also showed us a video featuring' bloopers, among which were numerous sword issues, messing up lines, and lots of trips and falls, including James tripping through a thick set of vines. One funny snippet had Merlin and Arthur looking off at something in the distance, then Arthur raises a small digital camera to take a photo. It was unexpected (even for bloopers) and funny.
There was another video, which had Bradley James interviewing Rupert Young about Sir Leon, and also showed footage of Young on set, obsessing over his hair, his costume and every other aspect of his role. It was funny seeing him act like he thought he was the star of this show.
Johnny admitted to having lots of cake cravings when he's stressed. He eats biscuits and cake a lot when working. Merlin is apparently built on cake.
They showed the trailer for Series 5. Again, as I don't watch the show, it was hard for me to know what I was seeing in context of the series, but here are the notes I took while watching (and hopefully they'll have the video online soon enough). It begins by flashing to each of the main characters one-by-one looking serious. A shot of the round table. Someone says something about sewing the seeds of distruction. People in red capes in the snow running. A scary wolf. Shirtless man with a sword. A knight in battle. A chandelier drops on the table. Merlin and Arthur get caught in a net-trap. A creepy person chanting or saying some kind of spell. Talk of a prophecy- sounds like a threat to Arthur. Lots of action scenes. Fire. Merlin tells Arthur he will protect him or die at his side. A voice (off screen) says, "Camelot's great trial has begun."
Answering a question about Gwen being enchanted to cheat on Arthur (and whether she will ever learn the truth about what happened), Angel says the most important thing for Gwen is having Arthur's trust. She doesn't know she was enchanted. She would never do it again. She's moved passed it. In the three years between series their relationship has moved on. It's made them stronger in the end.
The enchanted bracelet isn't going to come back. It's been banished. "Honest."
They'd love to bring Warwick Davis back but they'd need to find a good story for his character to fit in.
And those were the highlights of the panel! Series 5 is expected to premiere on BBC this Fall.
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