Merlin to be axed after five years - but epic two-part finale planned
The family show has 'run its natural course' according to actor Colin Morgan
Monday 26 November 2012
Family drama series Merlin is to be axed after five years, with the current BBC1 run to be its last.
The BBC said the series about the young King Arthur and his put-upon wizard servant will come to a "natural and dramatic end" when it bows out with a two-part finale.
The show, which features veteran stars such as Richard Wilson and John Hurt, pulls in almost seven million viewers but is being ended by its creators.
In 2009 the station called time on another historical fantasy which had become a staple on Saturday evenings when it ended its retelling of Robin Hood.
Actor Colin Morgan, who has played Merlin since the show's debut in 2008, said: "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."
Johnny Capps, who co-created the show with fellow executive producer Julian Murphy, said: "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."
Richard Wilson, who plays Merlin's mentor Gaius, said: "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."
Over the years Hurt has voiced the Great Dragon, and the programme has included an array of guest stars which has included Michelle Ryan, Emilia Fox, Mackenzie Crook, Adrian Lester, Warwick Davis and Miriam Margoyles.
BBC1 controller Danny Cohen said: "I admire the creators' decision to end Merlin on a high, but also know that we will miss it in the BBC1 schedule.
"We have ambitious plans for new drama in the Saturday evening slot in 2013."
Watch the new House of Cards series three trailerTV
Oscars 2015It was the first time Barney has compered the Academy Awards
Oscars 2015 From Meryl Streep whooping Patricia Arquette's equality speech to Chris Pine in tears
Oscars 2015 Mexican filmmaker uses speech to urge 'respect' for immigrants
Oscars 2015 Bringing you all the news from the 87th Academy Awards
TV ReviewThe intrigue deepens as we delve further but don't expect any answers just yet
Razzies 2015 Golden Raspberry Awards 'honours' Cameron Diaz and Kirk Cameron
Film Hollywood's new leading lady talks about her Ramsay Street days
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 The black and blue dress: Makers considering a white and gold version
- 2 Man to be beheaded in Saudi Arabia after ripping up a Koran and hitting it with his shoe
- 3 Husband and wife die holding hands within hours of each other after 67 years of marriage
- 4 PornHub turns masturbation into energy in bid to save the planet
- 5 The remarkable archaeological underwater discovery that could open up a new chapter in the study of European and British prehistory
Skrillex and Diplo's 24-hour DJ set shut down by police after 18 hours
Alien 5: Sigourney Weaver will reprise Ripley role in new movie, says director Neill Blomkamp
Eddie Redmayne in The Danish Girl: First look at Oscar winner as transgender artist
Drake matches The Beatles' record with 14 singles in top 100 chart at the same time
Aidan Turner interview: 'being a sex symbol is a little awkward'
New theory could prove how life began and disprove God
This is what it's like to be dead, according to a guy who died for a bit
'Cash for access' scandal: Sir Malcolm Rifkind says 'unrealistic' for MPs to live on £67,000 salary
'Jihadi John': CAGE representative storms off Sky News accusing Kay Burley of Islamophobia
Ukip would cut billions from Scottish budget to fund English tax cuts
Russia's roadmap for annexing eastern Ukraine 'leaked from Vladimir Putin's office'