Good-bye, Merlin. I shall miss you.


I’m heartbroken.  After five seasons, BBC has canceled my favorite television show, Merlin.  What am I to do?

I ask this question in all earnest.  I’m not a regular t.v. watcher.  There are very few shows I watch, and only one I waited with bated breath to see.   There was something magical about Merlin, no pun intended.  The actors had an intoxicating screen presence together.  Each of them brought their characters to life, as if they were literally in your living room.  I came to love all of them:  Bradley James as Arthur, Colin Morgan as Merlin, Angel Goulby as Gwynevere,  Katie McGrath as Morgana, Alexander Vlahos as Mordred and the incomparable Richard Wilson as Gaius.  They were my friends.  I loved them and hated them with equal passion.  I needed them every week like an alcoholic needs booze, like a drug addict needs a fix.  Now they’re not here and I’m suffering major withdrawals.

Have you ever reached the end of a great book and wept, wishing it would go on forever?  Merlin was like that for me.  Every week I was on a new adventure.  The show toyed with my emotions.  The script-writers did a good job but I was disappointed they did not stay more with the story.  From what I’ve read since the final episode aired, the actors were quite miffed with BBC and the producers for reasons I’m not clear on.  I do think, however, that for all their flaws, the writers knew, believed in and wrote their characters with precision, keeping in mind their audience ranged in age from 8 to 80.  They never showed blood on the swords in battle.  They didn’t need to. The implication was enough.  They relied on the story line to carry them through and it worked well.  The characters were beautiful and unforgettable.  Sadly, they could no longer grow.  The writers wrote them into a corner.  The producers didn’t listen to those with great ideas on where to take the series.  It failed to win awards when there was so much potential.  In spite of its mistakes, I still loved the show, and now it’s gone.

I watched the final episodes, Part 1 on Sunday, Part 2 on Christmas Eve, and I wept, as in ‘gut-wrenching-sobs’ wept.  Until the end, I didn’t know it was the final season.  The last thing I’d read was that BBC was in talks for a Season 6.  This blind-sided me.  I will admit the ending was scripted well, yet it was so damn sad.  I feel as if I lost many good friends all at once in a tragic incident, only this time the tragedy was brought on by a network.  It was one of the few shows on television that was family oriented, that portrayed morals and love and values.  A show that was good and wholesome.  Clean.  Magical.

The show always opened with the following:

In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young man.  His name…Merlin.

Sadly, Merlin’s destiny rested on the shoulders of a media giant.  Its ‘death’ is not one this fantasy author will easily overcome.

Good-bye, Merlin.  I shall miss you.

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10 thoughts on “Good-bye, Merlin. I shall miss you.

  1. I couldn’t agree with this article more. Merlin was legitimately a big part of my life, an escape from the tiresome perils of reality. Over the seasons, I grew with the characters, learning from them, and admiring them. Even the evil Morgana taught me many important lessons that I have taken into my everyday life. I am heartbroken that the series has come to its end, but I can assure you that it will always hold a place in my heart. Goodbye dear Merlin, It’s been a pleasure to share the magic with you, the magic that will forever be part of my dreams. Thank you.

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  2. I don’t think the fifth season has aired here in Canada, yet. We’re usually a year or so behind, especially if it’s aired on the ScyFy channel as our SPACE channel usually picks up shows after they’ve aired elsewhere. I’m sorry to hear that Merlin has been cancelled, too. I hate it when that happens, but the last time I was so invested in a show that I just had to write a suitable ending, it kick-started my writing career, so maybe it’s not such a bad thing. We can always dream about the characters and make up our own endings. 🙂

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  3. I loved this show. I can’t believe the BBC cancelled it. Sigh. I haven’t watched season 5 in its entirety. I’m saving it for when I’m ready to say goodbye. I did this with the last JK Rowling book too.

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  4. It is hard when a favorite show goes off the air, mostly because it offered us a weekly escape, something we eagerly looked forward to. I get frustrated when I like a show and it gets taken off the air after the first season. It’s even worse when they don’t tie up the ending, so I’m just left hanging there. Argghh.

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  5. I’ve never actually watched it! But as I’m here in the UK, maybe I could have a little word with the BBC for you 😉

    I do understand that feeling of loss you describe though, I felt the same at the end of Friends and also Desperate Housewives! (Sorry, but I did!). You really start to care for the characters you’re watching, and it’s a form of mourning when they are no more. Watching repeats doesn’t replace the loss.

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  6. Yes, I loved this series so much I found a way to stream it from the UK (as I’m in the US). Thankfully, I’ll get to watch the whole 5th series all over again when SyFy aires it beginning Jan. 4. Still, it won’t be the same. I will surely watch for more shows staring these brilliant actors and actresses. It’s just a shame to see it all come to an end after such a short time on the air.

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  7. How terrible! This is the only show I enjoy at the moment too. Granted, here we’re almost a season behind, but still, how sad! This seems to happen with every series I like, and like you, I don’t watch much TV and rarely get hung up on one. *sigh*

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