Merlin: Season 1 (2009)


Season 1
Merlin

Critics Consensus

This reimagining of Arthurian legend fails to conjure much excitement with its chintzy visual effects and soporific drama, but at least Colin Morgan imbues the titular wizard with an enchanting charm.

55%

TOMATOMETER

Critic Ratings: 22

82%

Audience Score

User Ratings: 192

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Episodes

Air date: Jun 21, 2009

The fantasy series, which offers a new spin on the Arthurian legend, opens with the young warlock Merlin (Colin Morgan) arriving in the kingdom of Camelot, whose king (Anthony Head) has outlawed the practice of magic upon punishment of death. He seeks out the court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson), to whom he inadvertently reveals his gift, has a run-in with the king's headstrong son, Prince Arthur (Bradley James), and meets an enchanting young maid named Gwen (Angel Coulby).

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Air date: Jun 21, 2009

Arthur participates in Camelot's annual sword tournament, which also attracts the knight Valiant (Will Mellor), who employs a magical shield to vanquish opponents. Merlin, meanwhile, adjusts to being Arthur's manservant.

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Air date: Jun 28, 2009

When a strange plague strikes the people of Camelot, Gaius suspects the source is sorcery, leading Uther to instruct Arthur to search for the person behind it. The disease strikes close to home for Gwen, causing suspicion to fall on an innocent and Merlin to learn the responsibilities that come with being a warlock. Nimueh: Michelle Ryan.

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Air date: Jun 28, 2009

After the evil Nimueh (Michelle Ryan) tricks Merlin into drinking from a poisoned chalice, Arthur embarks on a dangerous quest to retrieve the only known antidote, a rare flower. Gaius and Gwen, meanwhile, care for Merlin. who is near death, but still comes to the aid of Arthur.

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Air date: Jul 5, 2009

Merlin is saved from a magical winged creature by a young man named Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera). When he learns that Lancelot dreams of becoming a knight and protecting Camelot, Merlin sets out to convince Arthur of the would-be knight's worthiness. In other events, Uther and Arthur visit a village that the winged creature has attacked; and Arthur prepares his men to battle the beast.

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Air date: Jul 12, 2009

When Gaius cannot cure Morgana of a serious, mysterious sickness, a new court physician named Edwin (Julian Rhind-Tutt) arrives in Camelot, proclaiming that he has a remedy for all ills. Uther is soon besotted by Edwin and his abilities, but Gaius and Merlin both have doubts.

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Air date: Jul 19, 2009

Arthur saves elderly Aulfric (Kenneth Cranham) and his daughter Sophia (Holly Grainger) from bandits, and then falls heads over heels for the young lady. In other events, Morgana, has dream in which she sees Sophia drowning Arthur; Gaius and Merlin become suspicious of the outsiders; and Gaius recognizes a magical potential in Morgana .

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Air date: Jul 26, 2009

Merlin finds an unexpected ally in Morgana when he attempts to shield a magical druid boy from Uther's wrath and smuggle him back to his people.

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Air date: Aug 2, 2009

An invincible Black Knight (Rick English) slaughters several challengers at Arthur's coming-of-age ceremony, while further revelations suggest a connection between the Black Knight and Uther.

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Air date: Aug 16, 2009

Merlin heads to his home village to help protect it from a fearsome warlord, and is surprised when Arthur, Morgana and Gwen decide to go with him. While Arthur attempts to turn the townsfolk into a fighting force, an old friend of Merlin's encourages him to use magic to save the village. Kanen: Alexander Siddig. William: Joe Dempsie.

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Merlin: Season 1 Photos

Tv Season Info

The fantasy series, which offers a new spin on the Arthurian legend, opens with the teenage warlock Merlin (Colin Morgan) arriving in the kingdom of Camelot, whose king Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head) has outlawed the practice of magic upon punishment of death. He seeks out the court physician, Gaius (Richard Wilson), to whom he inadvertently reveals his gift, has a run-in with the king's headstrong son, Prince Arthur (Bradley James), and meets an enchanting young maid named Gwen (Angel Coulby). In the first season Merlin finds himself combating horrible monsters, exposed to a plague, and protecting friends from unexpected evils.

Critic Reviews for Merlin Season 1

All Critics (22) | Top Critics (14)

Merlin isn't terrible, and certainly better than some other WB/CW attempts to duplicate the Smallville formula.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

In truth, it's at best a moderately entertaining little talkie that lacks majesty but beats watching a shirtless, slobbified Stephen Baldwin on I'm a Celebrity.

Oct 17, 2018 | Rating: C | Full Review…

The middling show plays too much like The O.C. with swords, crowns, and a cheesy CGI dragon.

Sep 28, 2008 | Full Review…

This is a Syfy movie, through and through. And if you're in the right mindset for an okay-enough TV watching experience, this one's for you. But, on the other hand, there's a lot of great TV on DVD nowadays.

Oct 29, 2019 | Rating: C- | Full Review…

Merlin has the plot, the cast, the special effects and the fun to carry over your interest from night to night.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Colin Morgan's boyish performance as Merlin has charm, but there's nothing here for grown-ups. And, if I'm honest, there's not that much for kids.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

While many of the reiterations of the King Arthur legend have ranged from stodgy to downright dusty, this Merlin is all about being entertaining. It's swords-and-sorcerers with a sense of humor.

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

The chemistry between [Colin Morgan] and Bradley Jame's Arthur is really good. But then I'm always a sucker for a good Bromance which the premiere episode does a great job of setting up in the pilot.

Oct 29, 2019 | Rating: B | Full Review…

The pilot, "The Dragon's Call," offers an excellent introduction to the characters and gives the delightful Colin Morgan the opportunity to shine as Merlin

Oct 29, 2019 | Full Review…

Though it is hugely unoriginal and suffers from the curse of the reset button -- at the end of every episode, the characters all have to return to default settings, often for no strong reason -- Merlin really is top fun.

Oct 17, 2018 | Full Review…

This might be a new era for Arthur.

Oct 16, 2018 | Rating: 8.3/10 | Full Review…

Overall this wasn't the start I'd hoped for. They've gone so far away from the mythology that I'm not sure what this is supposed to be.

Oct 16, 2018 | Full Review…

Audience Reviews for Merlin: Season 1

  • Oct 14, 2020
    Simply magical, although for that time it wasn't enough.
  • Sep 26, 2020
    This series is really good, I like the reimagining of the legend
  • Sep 13, 2020
    LIKED: it is one of the funniest shows I've seen and the Banta between Arthur and Merlin is Hilarious. the Cast is incredible such as John Hurt as the Dragon, Anthony Head as Uther and even Michelle Ryan as Nimueh. the best episode of the Series is Excalibur. DISLIKED: it has not aged well with the special CGI Effects being awful and sometimes the action is shot poorly. There is one episode I didn't like which is the mark of Nimueh.
  • Sep 03, 2020
    Somewhat enjoyable but really goofy at times since a lot of the episodes feels like fillers but for the few ones with development are really intriguing to the plot itself.
  • Aug 15, 2020
    Love to watch this story about Merlin & King Arthur
  • Aug 10, 2020
    Yet another rendition of characters that have been told and retold too many times. The sets and special effects are reminiscent of the 1980's, not the 2000's. It seems like it's geared towards children until you see someone executed or otherwise killed. So, is it for adults that enjoy TV-PG? I suppose it is. It must be for the people you read complaining about profanity and nudity in reviews. The lead playing Merlin pulls off playing a young Merlin quite well but the script is rather predictable which again made me feel as though I'm watching a children's television show. The best way to describe this show is to compare it to an early 80's movie that may have been good for its time but now shot with a camera from the year 2000. They might as well have used stop motion animation here instead of the awful c.g.i. I don't use the word "cringe" that often, but I wouldn't hesitate to use it here. If you are a diehard fan of the source material or just looking for some very, very light entertainment, give it a go. It's like a children's television show for adults who are sick of sex and the "f" word on t.v.
  • Jul 29, 2020
    If you want a program like nothing else then this is the one for you. Very well written, beautifully focused/designed & warmly entertaining. Constant character development without it feeling forced - a real breath of fresh air!
  • Jul 21, 2020
    Best Arthurian legend story based show
  • May 26, 2020
    For the most part the early episodes were exactly the same... It gets old very quick, I stopped somewhere around episode 6 a few years back and just figured it was lame to keep going. Merlin has magic, Arthur is in danger, Merlin's magic is a secret so the whole episode is him being a fool. Uther hates magic, somehow he's completely ignorant to everything around him. I came back to the show again seeing better reviews for the later seasons 4+ and figured I could give it a another shot. If found a distinct change around episode 9 (Excalibur). The writing improved, the plots evolved and even the acting was better. I hope it stays this way for the remainder of the show. (I know the Camelot story, I've seen it many times in different places. But they really sucked in telling it off the bat) Some of the guest characters are better than most of the main cast. lol
  • May 07, 2020
    It was a really good show. I just wished the last few episodes were different. My only real complaint is Morgana had her part in the series way too much. She became annoying.

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