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Dark Ages wizard Merlin, weary of the barbarism around him, creates a new order of enlightenment and justice with a youthful Arthur at its head. Merlin presents Arthur with the magic sword Excalibur to help him defeat the nobles who oppose his rule. But Arthur must also beware his half-sister Morgan, a sorceress who has sworn to kill him to avenge her father's death. As Morgan intensifies her campaign, she uses magic to draw Lancelot and Guinevere into a passionate affair. But it is the still more traitorous Mordred who will fatally halt Arthur’s rule. Bringing high romance, low treachery and magical adventure via a host of legendary characters and featuring an early appearance by Patsy Kensit, this is a fabulous retelling of the gloriously twisting tale...
While most people have heard of the legend of King Arthur, it's doubtful that many of us know the full story. It's more likely that you know of Merlin, Excalibur, the Lady of the Lake, Guinevere, Lancelot and Morgan le Fay, but whether you know how they all fit into the story is another matter. In fact, it's probably safe to say that most people know Monty Python and the Holy Grail (1975) better than the legend of King Arthur.
The style of this '70s BBC production may take a while to get used to, as it's filmed like a stage play and feels like a Shakespearean production. The disc contains all 8 x 30 minute episodes with no extras.
You might recognise Shakespearean actor Robert Eddison, who plays Merlin here, as later in his career he'd go on to play the Grail Knight in Indiana Jones and the Last Crusade (1989). There's also an appearance by a young Patsy Kensit (who plays Morgan as a child).
It's a pretty impressive production, especially considering how old it is. While the picture quality isn't overly impressive, it's still far better than it could have been given the age of the series.
For those wanting to learn a little more about the legend this is an enjoyable series.
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