The BBC have announce that the current season of Merlin airing in the UK, Season 5, is to be the last.
In an announcement that looked liked had been long since made but had to be announced just before the UK BBC Christmas lineup they said “The epic family fantasy drama will bow out with a special two-part finale, as this unique re-telling of the Arthurian legend reaches its natural and dramatic end”
Episode 11 of the 13 episode season 5 is scheduled for airing on Saturday December 15, 2012. The Two-part final will therefore fall in the Christmas period. For those not familiar with the UK holidays you should realise that Christmas is not just a one day festival as in the States but like Christmas and Thanksgiving rolled into one long holiday period which merges with the new year celebrations! In tv terms, especially for the BBC which is not dependant on advertising, is a very important time.
Co-creators and executive producers, Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, basically confirm the current series has long since planned to be the last: “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”
The BBC announcement also has comments from the cast.
Colin Morgan (Merlin) said: “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!”
Bradley James (King Arthur) said: “The Merlin years have provided me with fond memories, great experiences and beloved friends and all the while we were supported by a devoted fan base who made the show a unique, surreal and special experience. My words won’t do justice to the honour of being King Arthur so I shall just say that it has been an exceptional one and that knowing the show has been a part of so many people’s lives, has been humbling.”
Katie McGrath (Morgana) said: “I have always said the success of the show has stemmed from our audience being able to relate to the characters on different levels – being based on the universally loved Arthurian legend is only a tiny part of its success – it’s a story about acceptance and growing up. The breathtaking finale of this series leaves you with no doubt that characters have been on their journeys and had their stories told – it’s completely the right time to draw our telling of the story to a close.”
Angel Coulby (Guinevere) said: “It has been a very special and memorable five years making Merlin. I feel extremely proud to have been part of such a brilliant show and such a great team. I think we’ve told the story we set out to tell, which ends with the fantastic two-part finale by the way! I believe the key to any successful show is making sure you leave people wanting more!”
Richard Wilson (Gaius) said: “Firstly, I would like to say that I’m extremely sad that Merlin has come to an end. Speaking as Gaius, I feel I have mentored the young wizard as far as I can – he is much smarter and greater than me now and I am simply exhausted!”.
In the UK the series has been getting 7 million viewers which these days of multi-channels is consider very good.
In the US NBC showed the first season before switching it to their SyFy channel where Season 5 is due to air from Friday January 4, 2013.