The Seven Knights of Arthurian Media: Knight the Third

Well, here we are again and onto our Third Knight of our Media round table.

Merlin (Sam Neil miniseries)

I will admit, even to my my mind this a bit of a weird choice. It’s not that it’s overtly bad per say, in every aspect at least. It has an incredible cast – counting such greats as Martin Short and James Earl Jones, not even to mention Sam Neil as Merlin amongst its players. But I will admit I watched this as a very small child and it did stay with me – which was why I was so excited to include it on this list – but a lot of it hasn’t really aged that well.

The CGI is terrible, there’s a small speckling of blink and you’ll miss it racism at the beginning, Martin Short’s character’s romance with Morgan LeFay is made kind of icky by the fact that he’s an immortal gnome who first met her when she was a child. Honestly, that they could have easily fixed that by just not having them first meet when she’s a child, seriously it adds nothing to the story. And while this may seem a bit of a lesser crime next to everything else I’ve complained about, but Merlin is kind of a dick whose hard to root for.

So, you might be asking yourself – if this thing was so terrible, and she hated it so much, why has she included it in this blog series at all? I didn’t hate it, Martin Short is always funny and I do admire that it took chances. That it dared to mess around with the source material, that it dared to make Merlin a bit of a dick – while still keeping him competent. It’s part of why I wanted to do this list, to highlight works of Arthurian lore that are different, or maybe not as well know or thought of as some of the more classic examples. I may have not kept true to this idea for the entire list, but for this entry at least, this was my thought process.

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