BBC Announces Merlin To End With Current Series

BBC One‘s popular Saturday evening drama Merlin is to end with the final episodes to air at Christmas the corporation has announced.

The fifth season of the fantasy drama, currently airing on BBC One, will be the last it has been announced. The news ends speculation over whether a sixth season will follow but could potentially clear the way for a movie adaptation of the series. There have been press reports in the past year that a Merlin film was in development and the end of the television series may allow producers to pursue such a project more fully.

Merlin launched on BBC One in 2008 and proved a hit with viewers as it provided a new spin on the Arthurian/Camelot legends. The fantasy drama re-imagined the myths with Merlin (Colin Morgan) as a young servant to the somewhat bratty Prince Arthur (Bradley James) while King Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head) ruled the kingdom of Camelot with an iron rod – outlawing magic and burning witches, warlocks and druids.  The BBC has announced that Merlin will draw to a close at Christmas with a “not to be missed” two-part story.

“From the beginning this was always going to be a five year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course. The show has grown and grown each year and now we’ve arrived at its strongest point and we’ve achieved what we set out to do… I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!”  – Colin Morgan, who plays Merlin

“This is the series where the storylines truly reach their apex. We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot. We’d like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication, the BBC, FME and all of our partners globally for their incredible support and encouragement across the last five series.  But chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin’s remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe.”  – Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, co creators

As well as Colin Morgan, Bradley James and Anthony Head the drama also stars Katie McGrath, Angel Coulby and Richard Wilson. Over the course of its five years Merlin has attracted an impressive array of guest stars such as Lindsay Duncan, Emilia Fox, Michelle Ryan, Sarah Parish, James Fox, Ben Daniels, Nathanial Parker, Eve Myles, Charles Dance, Josette Simon, Tom Ellis and Mackenzie Cook.

The end of Merlin on BBC One will leave Doctor Who as the last remaining family drama on Saturday evenings. The successful revival of Doctor Who in 2005 proved there was still a market for family drama on Saturdays and the BBC ordered Merlin and Robin Hood to appeal to that audience as well. Robin Hood was axed after three years when ratings dramatically dropped. ITV also tried to appeal to the family audiences on Saturdays with the flop drama Demons and the more successful Primeval which has run for five seasons with a Canadian spin-off due to launch shortly.

Is the BBC right to bring Merlin to an end after five years? Or are there plenty more stories left to tell? Post your comments below.

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9 Replies to “BBC Announces Merlin To End With Current Series”

  1. I am so upset about the end on Merlin I think it has so much to give.There are so few adventure series of this nature it will be sorely missed. I hope some film franchise will aid its return. LONG LIVE MERLIN

  2. As far as Merlin goes there a great and many different stories yet on told in this series dependent on the lore you look at. Avalon Merlins wife the 5 realms I could go on. It is truely a sad sight to deal such a blow on a rich and vibrate culture such as this. Especially considering the demand for fantasy that has suddenly risen in the world quite recently.

  3. My family was very sad to hear that Merlin was to end. It was great being able to all watch tv together as a family and all be entertained.

    There is so much room for the story to develop and expand further. With Arthurian legend, magic, relationships and dragons in the program, how could you have run out of storyline? What about when Arthur finally realises that Merlin has magic? There’s at least a series worth right there!

    It’s such a shame the Bbc can no longer be considered the leaders in the world of tv, if they axe such a popular show in favour of far inferior ones.

    1. MERLIN axed so BBC do it again they are as bad as ITV when anything is popular they kill it off as they did with ROBIN HOOD a few years ago cant they ever learn so just put ATV in charge and let them bring back some of their cult dramas from the 1960s them maybe if MERLIN is made by ATV it might continue.

  4. I’ve watched this from the beginning and it evolved and turned and then developed into the story it should have.We have journeyed long and far together. We have been through so much! Sad to say, all good things must pass!. From an end comes a new beginning and we carry on. LIFE GOES ON. The ONCE and FUTURE king LIVES in each of us. We are transported to that time each week, as we sit and watch the latest episode. We use them to escape the realities of our own world and we immerse ourselves in the fantasy of another. We are one with the characters we know and love so intimately! We have journeyed far together, the audience and the characters. Covered many trials and tribulations. In the end , it came down to Good versus Evil. Once again GOOD comes out on top. Will there ever be an end to the fight? Will Good finally trump the evil? We shall never know, for it is our destiny to win some and loose some and finally pass the torch to another. MERLIN lives on in us as HOPE. We give that hope to our future generations. ARTHUR is our fallen knight. We grow and mature to see the true importance of life and pass the idle veil of childhood away. One day we shall rise again, in future generations, in eternal HOPE! The KING is dead! LONG LIVE THE KING!

  5. Get Merlin back on TV, you can’t end it now, the story has so much more to tell.
    It’s one of the best drama shows on TV.
    At a time when we get all these realilty shows that are just done to get the public phoning, it’s great to enjoy a new brilliant, and extremely well made drama, that also new and not re-runs from the 70’s shows.

  6. Merlin had lot’s more to give, and will be sadley missed. Why finish a series so well liked, I think this was a bad, bad thing to do. Now it as been finished, I hope it does go to a movie whith the same cast. Harry Potter , now let’s have Merlin , what potential.

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