Q& A

Sunday Tasmanian - Tassie Living - - Television - COLIN VICK­ERY

Howmer­lin has changed. When the fan­tasy- ad­ven­ture se­ries started in 2008 it was a Robin Hood- style kids’ romp filled with ac­tion and fire- breath­ing dragons. Much like the Harry Pot­ter movies, Mer­lin has be­come pro­gres­sively darker. Q. Did you ever think the show would be this suc­cess­ful? A. I don’t think any­one thought it would end up where it has. That’s not to say we didn’t be­lieve in the sto­ries. Five years is a hard thing to imag­ine for any com­mit­ment. The fan base is grow­ing big­ger across the world. Q. How has the Mer­lin char­ac­ter changed? A. It was al­ways go­ing to be a tale of grow­ing up for Mer­lin. How does he be­come the great wiz­ard that we know from the leg­ends? Mer­lin is the one who is most lost among ev­ery­one. That is be­cause the one thing he loves [ magic] is the one thing he can­not do [ be­cause it is out­lawed] in Camelot. We have seen him go from a naive boy who trusted in peo­ple a lit­tle bit too much to now hav­ing gained wis­dom, power and strength. We’re see­ing him grow into a young man. The same thing has hap­pened with Arthur, who has just be­come king. This is the big­gest step but it has hap­pened in the wrong way. Arthur’s fa­ther died by magic, which is not what Mer­lin wanted at all. Now there are higher stakes. Every­thing could be lost. Q. The show cen­tres on the re­la­tion­ship be­tween Mer­lin and Arthur. How do you get on with your co- star Bradley James? A. We were all new when we started this show so we were all em­bark­ing on this ad­ven­ture to­gether. Bradley and I were al­ways go­ing to have a lot of scenes to­gether. We have a great rap­port. The tone of the show has changed, es­pe­cially in se­ries three when Mor­gana [ Katie Mc­grath] be­came a vil­lain. I think the se­ries is at its strong­est when it goes a lit­tle bit darker. Q. Mor­gana seems to hate Camelot even more in the cur­rent se­ries. A. One of Mer­lin’s big things is us­ing your pow­ers for the right rea­sons. Mor­gana is the per­fect ex­am­ple of how things can go so badly wrong. It is a great shift for Katie’s char­ac­ter and she does it per­fectly.

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