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."
GlastonburyWI to make debut appearance at Somerset festival
TV reviewIt has taken seven episodes for Game of Thrones season five to hit its stride
FilmPalme d'Or goes to radical and astonishing film that turns conventional thinking about immigrants on its head
Potter's attempt to create an Essex Taj Mahal was a lovely treattv
Arts & Ents blogs
- 1 Autistic adults could take pure MDMA to 'reduce social anxiety'
- 2 Before you complain about your GP, this is what you need to know about actually doing the job
- 3 Father of 12 accused of raping, beating, starving and abusing his own children in US 'cult'
- 4 Britain's Got Talent 2015: Jamie Raven divides Twitter as fans expose mind-boggling magic trick
- 5 Charlie Charlie Challenge explained: not a Mexican demon being summoned — it's gravity
EU referendum: David Cameron's rules are a 'democratic disgrace', says French-born Scottish politician set to be denied a vote
SNP fury as HS2 finds 'no business case' for taking fast train service to Scotland
Australian man punched in the face for defending Muslim women from abuse on train
A nation of inequality: How the UK is failing to feed its most vulnerable people
David Starkey 'tells Amal Clooney to shut up and stop over-promoting human rights'
EU referendum: David Cameron to deny EU migrants and under-18s the chance to vote