I’m so cross with the BBC today. For the past little while we’ve watching the BBC TV series, Merlin. It is a wonderful, family-friendly production of the King Arthur legend but told from the point of view of Merlin and starting from before Arthur becomes king. It’s got funny bits that appeal to all ages and our kids have loved watching it. Last night we watched the series finale which was a huge disappointment.
For the final two seasons Merlin is warned about the prophecy of Arthur’s death at the hands of Mordred. Throughout the entire production we’re told that Merlin is the greatest wizard to ever live and that it’s his destiny to protect Arthur so that he can unite the kingdoms. So we’re strung along for two seasons wondering what Merlin will do to change this prophecy and protect Arthur and it turns out absolutely nothing. Mordred drives his sword into Arthur and kills him. Arthur is dead and that’s it. There’s nothing after this other than Guinevere becomes the new ruler of Camelot. We don’t even know whether Merlin returns to Camelot. How disappointing is that? Elizabeth was in tears.
Throughout the entire five seasons Merlin promises multiple different characters that one day magic will be allowed again because Arthur will make it so. But then Arthur dies and sorcery is still outlawed. The show never properly finished but I’ve read there are no plans to make another and what can they do now that Arthur is dead?
The ending as it should have been told is that Merlin uses magic to remove the blade from Arthur’s chest. The prophecy only showed Mordred stabbing Arthur – we didn’t see what happened after that and it’s obvious that Merlin healed Arthur’s wound, confessed to being a sorcerer, after which Arthur allows magic again and everyone lives happily ever after.