'Merlin' on Syfy - AVS Forum
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post #1 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 08:33 AM - Thread Starter
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Not a complete train wreck and it was watchable although I had to catch the end of the second episode on HULU as Golf ran over.
Is this the first US TV appearence for Head since the end of Buffy?

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post #2 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 09:29 AM
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I guess I'll have to Hulu the end of the second ep as well, I wasn't really expecting the Golf overrun, even though I knew there was golf, I assumed NBC could cut Dateline down to fit if needed. Oh, well, I'm looking forward to watching it, I figure it'll be a decent summer distraction.

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post #3 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 09:35 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by RockyF View Post

I guess I'll have to Hulu the end of the second ep as well, I wasn't really expecting the Golf overrun, even though I knew there was golf, I assumed NBC could cut Dateline down to fit if needed. Oh, well, I'm looking forward to watching it, I figure it'll be a decent summer distraction.

Yeah, I missed it, when I started watching the recording, golf was still on and I knew I was in trouble. I'll catch it elsewhere. How many episodes is the mini-series? I noticed they are running it for two hours again next Sunday. It won't take long at that pace.
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post #4 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 09:47 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argee View Post

Not a complete train wreck and it was watchable although I had to catch the end of the second episode on HULU as Golf ran over.
Is this the first US TV appearence for Head since the end of Buffy?

It may or may not count, but he portrayed a headmaster of a public school in a 2nd season episode of Doctor Who (titled "School Reunion"), which has aired on certain PBS stations in the US (in addition to BBC America and SciFi)

Additionally, though it may be of tangential interest in this thread, "Merlin" also features a number of UK actors who have been in Doctor Who (and Torchwood).
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post #5 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 11:48 AM
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The series made a decent start IMO. Will keep in the DVR listing ATM
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post #6 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 11:51 AM
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I wish I had known about this ahead of time.
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post #7 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 11:56 AM
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Crap.

I set this up as a season pass, but was not aware of the golf conflict.

How much of the second show was cut off?

Also, does anyone have a reivew as to the video/audio quality?

In my opinion NBC has been sketchy at best with their offerings in the past.
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post #8 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 12:36 PM
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Originally Posted by dannynoonan View Post

Also, does anyone have a reivew as to the video/audio quality?

The audio sure seemed low compared to any other channels, but maybe that was just a local issue...
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post #9 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 12:40 PM - Thread Starter
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The last 9 or ten minutes were cut as that is how long golf ran over. (at least in the eastern time zones)
I think its 13 eps with two on the first two Sundays and then one a week from there on.

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post #10 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 01:19 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Argee View Post

I think its 13 eps with two on the first two Sundays and then one a week from there on.

More or less. It will be pre-empted for Sunday Night Football pre-season games on August 9th & 30th, and two hours are scheduled for August 16th. Season finale scheduled for Sept. 6th. Of course, that's just the current schedule, it's always subject to change. This is NBC we're talking about.

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post #11 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 01:30 PM
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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.

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post #12 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 01:46 PM
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I have not had a chance to look at my DVR recordings yet, but I am curious how NBC actually handled the source material. All reports say that the series was not produced in HD (filmed on Super 16), though NBC was advertising it as a HD series. Was it a decent upconvert or did they fall back and show it in letterboxed format?
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post #13 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 01:49 PM
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Originally Posted by HDMe2 View Post

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...

Right, seems they are off by a few generations...
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post #14 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 02:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Fonceur View Post

The audio sure seemed low compared to any other channels, but maybe that was just a local issue...

Same with my local NBC. The audio was very poor & low....I have to turn the volume really high to listen....but the low audio surely didnt effected the adds.....which when appeared...were very loud...at the normal TV volume settings itself.

The broadcasters r really doing a piss poor jobs...& pretty soon...I will stop watching any show on them...if they continue with poor audio + video on new shows (not to mention cancellations)...whereas the cable channels have good video + consistent level of audio.
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post #15 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 02:22 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qixotl View Post

I have not had a chance to look at my DVR recordings yet, but I am curious how NBC actually handled the source material. All reports say that the series was not produced in HD (filmed on Super 16), though NBC was advertising it as a HD series. Was it a decent upconvert or did they fall back and show it in letterboxed format?

Video quality IMHO was very lacking...didn't look very much like HD to me. I had just finished watching the golf match on the same channel and the picture was beautiful. All in all in reminded me of when FOX tried to hoist their original HD offering on us.
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post #16 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 02:46 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Qixotl View Post

I have not had a chance to look at my DVR recordings yet, but I am curious how NBC actually handled the source material. All reports say that the series was not produced in HD (filmed on Super 16), though NBC was advertising it as a HD series. Was it a decent upconvert or did they fall back and show it in letterboxed format?

The PQ was so bad I almost started a thread on it last night. It was the worst HD presentation I had ever seen. So bad I refused to keep watching it.It looked like a DVD playing in an upconverter DVD player.
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post #17 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 02:47 PM
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I held on through the golf and saw the first fifteen or so minutes, but had somewhere to go. I could have recorded it but saw no reason to bother. The dumbassitude of the whole project was just too pronounced. If they had made it look like the dark ages instead of some sort of goofy early Renaissance dreamworld it might have been better. I'm surprised Head was able to keep a straight face (pun inadvertant).

NBC has totally lost the Muse, except for their Thursday night comedies.

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post #18 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 02:51 PM
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The show was shot on Super 16 AIUI and didn't air on BBC HD in the UK. (The BBC HD channel won't air, or fund, shows shot primarily on Super 16)

I don't know if the show was posted in 1080/25p for 576/50i downconversion, or posted in 576/50i. If it was posted in 576/50i then either NBC have an upconversion OR there has been a reconform with a re-telecine of the Super 16 to HD. I'd be surprised at the latter.

My money is on a 576/50i upconvert.

I enjoyed the first series in the UK - good cast and a great location in France, so less CGI and more reality. (The chateau they used was actually quite new in places - so the stone is clean and looks new, as it would have at the time)

As for it being that close to the original Arthurian legends... Naah - it's a TV show with a few common threads. Enjoy it for what it is. A bit like Robin Hood!
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post #19 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 03:16 PM
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Originally Posted by vurbano View Post

The PQ was so bad I almost started a thread on it last night. It was the worst HD presentation I had ever seen. So bad I refused to keep watching it.It looked like a DVD playing in an upconverter DVD player.

Must be your TV; looked great here. I really enjoyed the show. I'm a bit bummed that it's only a mini-series; thought it was an actual series with a potential for a future.

It reminded me a lot of BBC's Robin Hood.

Very enjoyable!
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post #20 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 05:27 PM
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Must be your TV; looked great here. I really enjoyed the show. I'm a bit bummed that it's only a mini-series; thought it was an actual series with a potential for a future.

Eh? Are NBC only showing a few episodes then, or have they re-edited? It certainly wasn't a mini-series in the UK.

The BBC version ran for 13 episodes last year - each 45 minutes long. Pretty much the same format as Robin Hood and Doctor Who - they all run in the same Saturday tea-time (well early evening) slot on BBC One over here.

(NB Like Robin Hood, Merlin is not a BBC production. It was commissioned by the BBC - but made by an independent production company. Merlin was made by Shine, Robin Hood by Tiger Aspect. Doctor Who and Torchwood are BBC Wales productions and made in-house. My understanding is that NBC picked it up after commissioning, and so it was an acquisition rather than a co-production - and NBC didn't have a huge input into the production process? I suspect if NBC had been on-board from the beginning it would have been shot 35mm or HD video rather than Super 16? Or could it be that NBC were happy with a Super 16 HD production so the show was posted in HD but the BBC only aired it on SD outlets, because Super 16 isn't deemed HD quality by them?)
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post #21 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 06:18 PM
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It's not a mini-series in the US, either. NBC is supposed to be running all 13 episodes from the first season over the course of the summer. For some reason, they're running two episodes back to back in some weeks, and only a single episode in other weeks.

As for what "Merlin" reminds me of more than anything else is..."Smallville" meets the King Arthur legend.
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post #22 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 09:08 PM
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Originally Posted by sneals2000 View Post

Eh? Are NBC only showing a few episodes then, or have they re-edited? It certainly wasn't a mini-series in the UK.

The BBC version ran for 13 episodes last year - each 45 minutes long. Pretty much the same format as Robin Hood and Doctor Who - they all run in the same Saturday tea-time (well early evening) slot on BBC One over here.

(NB Like Robin Hood, Merlin is not a BBC production. It was commissioned by the BBC - but made by an independent production company. Merlin was made by Shine, Robin Hood by Tiger Aspect. Doctor Who and Torchwood are BBC Wales productions and made in-house. My understanding is that NBC picked it up after commissioning, and so it was an acquisition rather than a co-production - and NBC didn't have a huge input into the production process? I suspect if NBC had been on-board from the beginning it would have been shot 35mm or HD video rather than Super 16? Or could it be that NBC were happy with a Super 16 HD production so the show was posted in HD but the BBC only aired it on SD outlets, because Super 16 isn't deemed HD quality by them?)

Quote:
Originally Posted by Thomas Desmond View Post

It's not a mini-series in the US, either. NBC is supposed to be running all 13 episodes from the first season over the course of the summer. For some reason, they're running two episodes back to back in some weeks, and only a single episode in other weeks.

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


That's great news; I assumed a previous poster knew what they were talking about when they called it a mini-series. Long live Merlin. I enjoyed it very much.
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post #23 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 09:36 PM
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post #24 of 192 Old 06-22-2009, 11:21 PM
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I thought it was kind of fun, don't really care if it follows the lore exactly. It didn't look too bad either, don't know what those who complained saw or didn't.
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post #25 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 12:30 AM
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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.

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.
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post #26 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 05:02 AM
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Yes exactly. Even as far as making the characters of Merlin and Arthur around the same age, when Merlin should be decades older.....

With "Magic" involved, that can be taken care of whenever/if they want to.

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post #27 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 10:04 AM
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Originally Posted by petesimac View Post

Must be your TV; looked great here. I really enjoyed the show. I'm a bit bummed that it's only a mini-series; thought it was an actual series with a potential for a future.

It reminded me a lot of BBC's Robin Hood.

Very enjoyable!

Id suggest that you need glasses or a new TV.
PQ was SD upconvert at best. its already confirmed in previous posts that it was NOT HD. I will post some frames from it next week after it comes on again. My condolences on your TV. If everything on mine looked like Merlin to the point that I thought that was good I'd throw it in the trash.
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post #28 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 01:25 PM
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Same with my local NBC. The audio was very poor & low....I have to turn the volume really high to listen....but the low audio surely didnt effected the adds.....which when appeared...were very loud...at the normal TV volume settings itself.

I checked this thread just for this reason. My receiver showed 5.1, but there was nothing at all coming out of the center channel, which usually has the dialog. Everything came out of the left and right front speakers and nothing out of the surround at all. Very difficult to hear and understand.
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post #29 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 03:02 PM
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Quite likely to be a stereo show. Almost all BBC SD shows are all stereo, only some HD shows are 5.1.

The major exception to this was Doctor Who - which was mixed in 5.1 for DVD release when it was still an SD show.

Thinking about it the Life on Mars Blu-rays may be 5.1 as well - though they are apparently upconverts from SD.
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post #30 of 192 Old 06-23-2009, 08:53 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by vurbano View Post

Id suggest that you need glasses or a new TV.
PQ was SD upconvert at best. its already confirmed in previous posts that it was NOT HD. I will post some frames from it next week after it comes on again. My condolences on your TV. If everything on mine looked like Merlin to the point that I thought that was good I'd throw it in the trash.

Nice to meet you Mr. Defensive. Perhaps you SHOULD throw your tv in the trash because my great set actually made the SD upconvert look pretty darned good. And apparently you can't read, as I never said the show was in HD; I said that it looked good on my set. If it didn't look good on your set, you need a new set, or at least one as good as mine. My condolences on your inability to understand the English language.
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