This is why DVRs were invented. Yesterday we posted a review of Starz channel's Camelot, which officially premieres Friday night at 10pm (EST). Today we post about its older, equally good and much more fun cousin, which also airs tomorrow night at 10PM, on SyFy. "The Coming of Arthur, Part 1" is the first episode of Merlin's two part season finale, and if you've been keeping up with the series, or are even a casual fan, you do not want to miss either part. Just don't get confused. I'm pretty sure there is some British porn out there with the same exact title. There's got to be, right?
I could lie and pretend I haven't already seen both parts of the Merlin season 3 finale, but then I wouldn't be able to certify how exciting and fun it is for you - so fun I fully intend to watch it again. For starters, it is the pay-off for everything that has happened this season. I won't lie and say that I have been 100% thrilled with how the producers have handled Morgana's descent into villainy, but I also can't say that I don't enjoy a villainous Morgana so much more. The fact that she brings the evil Morgause and Cenred with her just makes it better. They do not mess around: starting the season with an army of skeletons and ending it with an even stronger army of immortals.
Plus, as much as I am rooting for the good guys, it's always great to see Uther get a bit of what is coming to him. This episode also has lots of fun stuff with Arthur, Merlin and Gwaine, who was by far the best addition to the show. Even Gwen gets to do stuff beyond just be supportive of Arthur in the finale. Although there is plenty of Gwen and Arthur too, which is great because I am a sucker for any TV couple that has a sweeping love theme that plays every time they kiss. Anyway, it's all very exciting, and it builds up to an even better Part 2.
Below, read what some of the actors have to say about the episode and Morgana's character turn:
“The Coming of Arthur, Part 1” is the culmination of a season-long progression of Morgana’s evil rebirth. According to her co-stars, Katie McGrath has relished every villainous moment as Morgana.
“She’s enjoyed it enormously,” says Anthony Head (“Uther”). “It’s lovely when you have a character that doesn’t undergo a sudden transition, but rather it’s been a long while brewing. I love all that backstory they’ve given Morgana, and Katie has really put a nice edge on it. There’s been several wonderful scenes done not just as evil for evil sake, but to really support the mythology. Ultimately, Morgana sees she’s got the only one avenue open to her, and that is down that dark side.”
“It’s always fun playing evil characters, and I think Katie’s truly loving it,” says Angel Coulby (“Gwen”). “Playing a villain, you get to be so far removed from yourself, from being the usual generous, kind ladies. Katie’s quite good at it, and she’s definitely got the evil smile down.”
McGrath says the ability to stretch her acting muscles has been one of the things she appreciates most about this role. Morgana’s character has shifted so dramatically, it’s as though McGrath is playing a second role.
“She’s been a completely different character this season – her whole view of herself, her view of the world, her relationships, it’s as though she’s an entirely different character,” relates McGrath. “But the best part of playing her is that there is still some of the old character there, so I get to keep my toes in both sides of the water. I think it’s much more engaging to watch that way – you haven’t lost the character you love, and you’re getting something new at the same time.”
McGrath particularly enjoys her scenes opposite Colin Morgan as Merlin, especially as the characters have gone from a near-sibling relationship to being opposing forces in the magical side of Camelot.
“There’s an interesting line in season three where the Great Dragon says to Merlin that Morgana is the darkness to his light, and that really says it all about how things have changed and where the story has gone in this season,” McGrath explains. “Merlin is the hero, and every hero needs a great villain. What makes that dynamic even more interesting is that they cared about each other so much. There’s a war going on between them – they truly are each other’s foils – and that’s intriguing to watch.”
So, do you plan on devoting your Friday night to not one, but two shows about Arthurian legend, like I am, or is one enough?
While you're thinking it over, have a look at some stills from the past few episodes: