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post #31 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 09:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Joxer View Post

Yes exactly. Even as far as making the characters of Merlin and Arthur around the same age, when Merlin should be decades older. Just like in Smallville where they made Jimmy Olsen the same age as Clark, instead of Jimmy being much younger as in the classic comics.

That's the same approach the BBC are asking of almost every reimagining now. Making it hip, young and cool worked for Doctor Who so it must work for everything else right?

Nope. It just looks and sounds lame. If you want something more faithful to the Merlin legend, watch the flawed Excalibur. Which is a mess but makes Merlin's story more interesting than this lightweight stuff.

Same reason I don't watch Robin Hood, or Robin Hoodie as it's accurately known. For Robin Hood I'll watch the decades old Robin of Sherwood or Maid Marian and her Merry Men. Which is intentionally funny for kids and adults and doesn't pretend to be cool.


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post #32 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 09:28 PM
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Originally Posted by Joxer View Post

Just like in Smallville where they made Jimmy Olsen the same age as Clark, instead of Jimmy being much younger as in the classic comics.

You obviously haven't been following Smallville recently. They remedied that handily in the final episode this season.

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post #33 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 09:40 PM
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I'm also not liking Merlin appearing to be younger than Arthur. How is Merlin ever to be a mentor/guidance to Arthur when they are not even peers... and also Arthur is something of a jerk... and while that might not be a stretch for him as a youth, it definately sullies the "hope of Camelot" image the adult Arthur is meant to have.

I was thinking along those same lines too. And at first I was having trouble getting into it. But it started to grow on me. I still haven't seen the ending yet because golf messed up my DVR setting. I see a few people here watched the end on Hulu. I may give that a try.

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post #34 of 192 Old 06-24-2009, 02:31 AM
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Originally Posted by VisionOn View Post

That's the same approach the BBC are asking of almost every reimagining now. Making it hip, young and cool worked for Doctor Who so it must work for everything else right?

It was the writing, the acting and the production that really re-invented Doctor Who. Ecclestone and Tennant were both older Doctors than Davison (one of the later original Doctors)

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Nope. It just looks and sounds lame. If you want something more faithful to the Merlin legend, watch the flawed Excalibur. Which is a mess but makes Merlin's story more interesting than this lightweight stuff.

I disagree. It isn't a traditional telling of the Arthurian legends - we've had those on British TV since the start. It's a modern take on characters based on them. However it isn't as modern as Robin Hood - and I really enjoyed it. Again it was because of the cast and the performance, and the production. It was entertaining TV. It may not have been true to Arthurian legends - but we've had those before.

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Same reason I don't watch Robin Hood, or Robin Hoodie as it's accurately known. For Robin Hood I'll watch the decades old Robin of Sherwood or Maid Marian and her Merry Men. Which is intentionally funny for kids and adults and doesn't pretend to be cool.

I've not been a fan of the Robin Hood remake - I don't think it works on any level - and I don't think the cast is as strong, and the writing isn't. However Merlin did work for me, and got reasonable (though not Who-level) audiences.
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post #35 of 192 Old 06-24-2009, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

I wanted to like it... and I do like many of the actors in it... but I couldn't stay interested, even though I did watch both episodes in their entirety last night.

It seems like an attempt to merge modern sensibilities with the classic story, and I'm not sure that will work smoothly.

I'm also not liking Merlin appearing to be younger than Arthur. How is Merlin ever to be a mentor/guidance to Arthur when they are not even peers... and also Arthur is something of a jerk... and while that might not be a stretch for him as a youth, it definately sullies the "hope of Camelot" image the adult Arthur is meant to have.

It also looks like Arthur is meant to like Morgana... as opposed to that whole thing being a complete construct of Morgana in most tellings of the tale... and also it looks like they removed the half-sister part of things so that Morgana is not actually related to Arthur as in traditional tellings as well.

I didn't mind the acting or the actors... just not sure I care for the direction.

Carry on watching and find out. A lot of these questions get answered - but not definitively - during the first series of the show. Seeds for them to develop further are planted for series 2.

It isn't a straight Arthurian telling, but you can see the way the writers are going through the series.
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post #36 of 192 Old 06-24-2009, 01:25 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Carry on watching and find out. A lot of these questions get answered - but not definitively - during the first series of the show. Seeds for them to develop further are planted for series 2.

It isn't a straight Arthurian telling, but you can see the way the writers are going through the series.

On the plus side, for this show, there's nothing else new on in the timeslot (I do watch In Plain Site on USA though) that I would miss by giving this a chance.

I first gave this a look because of Anthony Head... then was pleased to see I recognized other people as well... so that will keep me giving it a shot to see where it goes.

I'm not against modernizing the legend... I'm not a complete fuddy-duddy yet I'm just not sure I like this direction... but to be fair, there are parts of the traditional Arthurian legend that always bothered me as well... so maybe things will balance out.

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post #37 of 192 Old 06-30-2009, 04:54 PM
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Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

As for what "Merlin" reminds me of more than anything else is..."Smallville" meets the King Arthur legend.

I said the same thing but maybe with a dash of Days of Our Lives.

While the series is a welcome change from crime dramas and reality shows, the substance seams to dash by the truly heroic and epic possibilities in favor of simple "one and done" conflicts. Also, the writing could have been more in the vernacular of the time and still carry the modern message.

The costumes and sets are not terrible but feel too clean and lacking authenticity. Overall, not a bad distraction but when considering there are shows like Terminator, Battle Star and Supernatural this concept had a far greater potential.

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post #38 of 192 Old 06-30-2009, 06:06 PM
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Nice to see Michelle Ryan again. I always said her eyes were killer and they sure emphasized them over the last two episodes.
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post #39 of 192 Old 06-30-2009, 06:14 PM
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Not a bad summer filler, and I really enjoy the new take on Merlin as being just an ordinary contemporary of Arthur and Guienivere.

An element I do not really care for is changing the origins of Camelot so much- of course the show would not work as it is if Camelot did not already exist, but in none of the books or stories I've Uther Pendradon did not live in Camelot- Camelot was built by Arthur, etc, etc.

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post #40 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 12:42 AM
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Nice to see Michelle Ryan again. I always said her eyes were killer and they sure emphasized them over the last two episodes.

Her "bionic" eyes?
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post #41 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 01:51 AM
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Originally Posted by cgulliver View Post

While the series is a welcome change from crime dramas and reality shows, the substance seams to dash by the truly heroic and epic possibilities in favor of simple "one and done" conflicts. Also, the writing could have been more in the vernacular of the time and still carry the modern message.

I think that the aim was to create a Doctor Who equivalent series for family viewing. Keeping the writing modern and in a modern vernacular is key to this. This isn't a BBC costume drama - it is a family drama. I think the aim is to make it feel as if it is contemporary (i.e. we are watching at the time) - and as we speak in a modern vernacular it makes sense for the characters to. However it isn't as OTT as Robin Hood!

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The costumes and sets are not terrible but feel too clean and lacking authenticity.

Personally I love the fact that the castle appears brand-new. One of my pet hates in costume dramas is shooting in old castles and stately homes which are all worn and old and weather beaten - when in reality at the time the story is set they could easily have been newly built. Having a castle with newly cut stone looks refreshingly real to me - and far more authentic than some mossy and broken down castle with hundreds of years of aging, when it might actually have only been decades old at the time?

However I take your point about costumes being a bit clean...
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post #42 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 03:26 AM
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We are watching this, and while we are enjoying it overall, there are some really lame momments that make no sense. Like the king not giving his physician the flower? What purpose did that serve, give it to an errand boy and have him help Merlin. He did save your son, he did reveal a plot to kill your son in the tournament, I mean come on. And is every episode going to be them not believing Merlin? How many times does he have to prove himself and be right before they start believing what he says. And the special effects are horrendous.

Other then that, we are still on board and enjoying the ride.

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post #43 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 01:07 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Personally I love the fact that the castle appears brand-new. One of my pet hates in costume dramas is shooting in old castles and stately homes which are all worn and old and weather beaten - when in reality at the time the story is set they could easily have been newly built. Having a castle with newly cut stone looks refreshingly real to me - and far more authentic than some mossy and broken down castle with hundreds of years of aging, when it might actually have only been decades old at the time?

However I take your point about costumes being a bit clean...

I agree with you there... too often movies/shows are made as if all old things are perpetually old, even when they were new!

That said... both clothes and people (especially hair) are often too clean looking. Too many good/well-kept hairstyles in some shows that are meant to be old can be distracting.

However, since i am viewing Merlin as if it were Smallville... I can let most anachronisms go without much of a pause.

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post #44 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 03:37 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

I think that the aim was to create a Doctor Who equivalent series for family viewing. Keeping the writing modern and in a modern vernacular is key to this. This isn't a BBC costume drama - it is a family drama. I think the aim is to make it feel as if it is contemporary (i.e. we are watching at the time) - and as we speak in a modern vernacular it makes sense for the characters to. However it isn't as OTT as Robin Hood!



Personally I love the fact that the castle appears brand-new. One of my pet hates in costume dramas is shooting in old castles and stately homes which are all worn and old and weather beaten - when in reality at the time the story is set they could easily have been newly built. Having a castle with newly cut stone looks refreshingly real to me - and far more authentic than some mossy and broken down castle with hundreds of years of aging, when it might actually have only been decades old at the time?

However I take your point about costumes being a bit clean...


Perhaps I am expecting too much. We have been watching "The Tudors" from Showtime and it is phenomenal in terms of set design and costumes. Of coarse the writing and direction are top notch also. All I'm saying is they didn't set the bar very high for Merlin and I think they hit the mark.

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post #45 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 04:30 PM
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Perhaps I am expecting too much. We have been watching "The Tudors" from Showtime and it is phenomenal in terms of set design and costumes. Of coarse the writing and direction are top notch also. All I'm saying is they didn't set the bar very high for Merlin and I think they hit the mark.

Yep - though The Tudors is a US series - with US budgets... I didn't really get into it - and it hasn't done at all well in the UK. I think the writing probably doesn't work for a domestic audience, it is a bit OTT and melodramatic. Also Jonathan Rhys-Myers accent wobbled a bit for me (the Irish brogue breaks through), which is probably a bit more obvious to a UK audience?

It's like comparing apples with oranges though. Merlin is a Saturday tea-time broad appeal family show (read kids show that adults can enjoy watching) - it isn't a later evening adult drama. It ran at about 7pm on BBC One on Saturdays, and was repeated at about 3pm on Sundays.

Are NBC pitching this as prime-time weeknight drama - or putting it in a "family viewing" slot?

The Tudors is an adult drama - definitely post-Watershed - and definitely made with a US audience in mind. Not really a costume drama in the British traditin - though that isn't a bad thing (some of our stuff can be a bit stale, static and stuffy - though that isn't universal.) Be interesting to see how US viewers would compare The Tudors with the BBC "The Virgin Queen" which starred Ann Marie Duff.
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post #46 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 05:27 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Yep - though The Tudors is a US series - with US budgets... I didn't really get into it - and it hasn't done at all well in the UK. I think the writing probably doesn't work for a domestic audience, it is a bit OTT and melodramatic. Also Jonathan Rhys-Myers accent wobbled a bit for me (the Irish brogue breaks through), which is probably a bit more obvious to a UK audience?

It's like comparing apples with oranges though. Merlin is a Saturday tea-time broad appeal family show (read kids show that adults can enjoy watching) - it isn't a later evening adult drama. It ran at about 7pm on BBC One on Saturdays, and was repeated at about 3pm on Sundays.

Are NBC pitching this as prime-time weeknight drama - or putting it in a "family viewing" slot?

The Tudors is an adult drama - definitely post-Watershed - and definitely made with a US audience in mind. Not really a costume drama in the British traditin - though that isn't a bad thing (some of our stuff can be a bit stale, static and stuffy - though that isn't universal.) Be interesting to see how US viewers would compare The Tudors with the BBC "The Virgin Queen" which starred Ann Marie Duff.

Family viewing slot 4 sure. I am going to stick with it though as I am sick of reality TV and it may get better as the plot builds. Still, after almost 3 decades, this flat out rocks... http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=soWyMan6FH0

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post #47 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 06:25 PM
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I too started watching it as a summer "filler" and was reminded of the Smallville premise. My main reason was that I noticed on the 3 episodes I've watched, the audio and Video were out of sync. Am I alone?

 

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post #48 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 06:43 PM
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I too started watching it as a summer "filler" and was reminded of the Smallville premise. My main reason was that I noticed on the 3 episodes I've watched, the audio and Video were out of sync. Am I alone?

Haven't noticed any sync issues, and I'm usually pretty well tuned into sync issues or should I say out of sync issues.
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post #49 of 192 Old 07-01-2009, 06:45 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Are NBC pitching this as prime-time weeknight drama - or putting it in a "family viewing" slot?

Thus far NBC has been airing on Sunday nights at 8pm and 9pm, showing 2 episodes per night.

Sunday night tends to be more family fare than other nights... but that's not a hard/fast rule.

Used to be that the true family fare aired in the 7pm slot on Sundays... but things have evolved over time.

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post #50 of 192 Old 07-08-2009, 04:47 PM
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This weeks episode was not bad. The CGI for the griffin was a bit weak but I guess this was made several years back.

One thing I am disappointed with is the development of the primary plot line. Little has been done to advance it in conjunction with the weekly conflicts.

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post #51 of 192 Old 07-08-2009, 11:00 PM
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The Griffin looked like a pidgin.
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post #52 of 192 Old 07-09-2009, 06:56 PM
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Originally Posted by cgulliver View Post

This weeks episode was not bad. The CGI for the griffin was a bit weak but I guess this was made several years back.

"Merlin" originally ran in Britain last fall, so it is around a year old.
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post #53 of 192 Old 07-10-2009, 11:14 AM
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"Merlin" originally ran in Britain last fall, so it is around a year old.

Sneals2000 addressed the specifics of the source material earlier (Super 16), and regardless of what NBC ended up doing to prepare it for 1080i broadcast, it's likely that the conversion/upconversion was not exactly kind to the non-HD CGI. Since every broadcaster seems to be doing these conversions differently, the results tend to be quite a mixed bag.
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post #54 of 192 Old 08-20-2009, 02:09 PM - Thread Starter
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it has been renewed in the UK and new ones start there in the fall.

Hopefully NBC picks it up and at the very least puts it on Syfy.

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post #55 of 192 Old 08-20-2009, 10:13 PM
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post #56 of 192 Old 08-21-2009, 11:32 AM
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This series has really grown on me. I hope NBC doesn't sell it short and gives us another season.

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post #57 of 192 Old 08-21-2009, 11:53 AM
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it has been renewed in the UK and new ones start there in the fall.
Hopefully NBC picks it up and at the very least puts it on Syfy.

Thanks!
The wife and kids enjoyed the series (got the full series online a couple weeks back) and were hoping it got renewed. It's kind of quirky, but better than many shows on the major/cable nets and the characters grow on you after a while.
All in all- Merlin is a little bright spot in TV land.

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post #58 of 192 Old 11-02-2009, 05:27 AM - Thread Starter
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Not sure if NBC will air series 2 but over in England the trailers for series (season) 2 state "series 3 coming soon". Remember that a series in the UK usually means 12-13 episodes.

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post #59 of 192 Old 11-02-2009, 08:34 AM
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Season 2 episode 6 just aired last week in the UK- no drop-off in quality from season 1. All season 2 current episodes available online if you know where to look
Here's the episode guide link: http://epguides.com/Merlin/

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post #60 of 192 Old 11-02-2009, 01:16 PM
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Season 2 episode 6 just aired last week in the UK- no drop-off in quality from season 1. All season 2 current episodes available online if you know where to look

Problem is they don't air it in HD in the UK (or anywhere else in Europe) while they do here, so were one up on them in that area. It's a NBC/BBC co-production (a rare good one) so we get that added bonus.

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