Hi Chris since the Merlin Series 5 News Conversation is officially done along with the show I thought a new message conversation that deals with the aftermath of the show. I thought of some good aftermath questions that I was wondering your thoughts on along with whoever would like to join this conversation as well.
One of the first questions I thought of is I wonder how much influence or input did the cast members have with there characters during the shows run? An the reason I say this during the shows run there are many moments were you have to wonder was it the actors/actress's influence and input on what there character did or was it the the 4-show creators/writers/directors influence and input on how the character should act. I would like to think the cast had some good deal amount of influence and input with there character but now that show is over I have always wondered how much if any did they real have. An you do start to wonder if the 4-show creators/writers/directors influence and input on how the character should act was a little to much and kind of one sided. An if that might be the case that shouldn't of happened because it real should be an equal balance with both cast and creators/writers/directors of what should happen with the characters. An the reason that this whole question comes to mind for me is because when I've heard interview and audio commentaries from the cast like Colin, Katie, Bradley, Angel and the rest I hear a very different story of what they would like to see happen with their characters.
The other question I had mainly deals with the Issue of the Merlin and Arthurian Legend an the overall Mythology. When it comes to adapting it to a TV Series or any other form of Media Books, Movies or what ever else someone would personally choose what is the best way to adapt the material. For me at least I think it in the end should mainly come down to the simple fact of respecting the material when all is said and done. An the reason I say that is you don't need to follow it exactly detail by detail because if you do that your basically copying it overall. Adapting such material you need to adapt it in a unique way that creates your own personal take on the material but still at the same time is respectful to the original source material. Now with the show I think they did create there own unique version of the legend however there was also an equally amount of times were they were simply following the legend detail by detail an saying we need to do what was done from legend. Also there was time were they didn't respect the legend at all. So when it comes to the Merlin and Arthurian Legend and its overall Mythology and the Shows Mythology an take on the Legend what did they did the show do good at and what did they do bad at when it comes to the source material and there own unique take on the legend?
Oh and below are some final interview information I found from the cast I thought you would enjoy reading.
Glad to hear you enjoyed the information from the links. An glad to hear you like this new thread I think it will be a good one overall in asking some good questions along with an overall good conversation about the show now that it has ended. Hopefully some more users will join us in this conversation. Looking forward to hearing your thoughts on the two questions/topics I stated.
In my opinion, the actors/actresses had only very little input to the characters and the rest of it was the result of the writers/producers. The reason I think this is because some characters, like Morgana, were portrayed like very evil villains when they are not supposed to be evil at all but only fight for their rights. Katie McGrath for example said that Morgana was right and she just wanted for herself and for magic to be accepted. If she and the other cast had a bigger input to their characters I'm sure the characters would be more realistic and less one-sided.
As for the show and the legend, there are things I liked and things I hated. What I liked was Excalibur, how it was forged and how later the lady of the lake gave it back. Or how Morgana in the end proved to be Arthur's sister, loosely following the legend, where Arthur and Morgana had the same mother, only here it is the same father. I also like how they executed Morgana trapping Merlin inside the Crystal Cave. Things I did not like was how the love triangle happened, because it ruined Lancelot forever and Morgana was made responsible even for this, although she had nothing to do with it in the legend. I also did not like how the battle between the Dragons did not happen, and how Merlin stole in a way Morgana's role and was himself who guided Arthur to Avalon instead of her.
And the links were very interesting to read overall!
Hi Chris glad to hear you like this new message conversation idea I had and glad to hear you like the information from the links as well.
Now I absolutely argee with you I think the cast real had little to even no input to there characters and pretty much all the input or influence with the characters were done by mainly the writers/producers and even the directors as well. An I think you bringing up Morgana and Katie McGrath is probably the number one reason the question I stated is probably true. An like you stated Katie McGrath stated and also what was present to fans orignally as the reason for Morgana going bad was because she wanted to fight for herself and for magic an be excepted overall. However as the Show went on it simply ceased to excited that original reason for Morgana going bad. In the end the show simply wanted Morgana to be this evil villain. An I do agree with you I think if Katie along with the rest of the cast had bigger an overall more input and influence over there characters they would like you stated more realistic and less one sided.
An just for some more excamples of showing the cast had probably little input and influence over there characters is Merlin in Series 5 showing his hatred towards Mordred so clearly and Gwaine's drastic turn from were he began in Series 3 to how is character was in Series 4 and 5. An one thing about Merlin showing that he clearly hates Mordred that stood out to me was it just didn't come across like something Colin Morgan would have Merlin do as an actor.
An I do agree with you about the things you liked the show did from legend or created there own unique take on the Legend. The way how they did Excalibur, Morgana being Arthur's Sister and Morgana trapping Merlin in The Crystal Cave were some great moments taken from legend and the show creating there own unique version from the legend. An I do agree with you about all the things you didn't like from there take on the love triangle, to ruining Lancelot forever, to know Dragons Battling, and to Merlin taking Morgana's role in guiding Arthur to Avalon.
Other things I think that should also be pointed out was in the end with the love triangle even though it is a certain story well known from legend it simply wasn't needed on the show in the end. Showing the love triangle was simply not needed at all there was no good reason for having it on the show. All it was the show saying this is our version of the the love triangle from Legend that is all. An other thing that is well known from Legend but at least to me was real not needed to be shown at all or in this case as much as they did it on the show in the end was Old Merlin/Emrys. We all know that in legend Merlin is mainly known as a old man that is a given but the show seem to me at least begin to heavily rely on showing Merlin as Old Merlin/Emrys and that was simply not needed at all. I mean the main reason the fans like the show so much and the show giving fans an interesting and unique take on the character was having Merlin be a young man played brillantly by Colin Morgan. But in the end the show seem to say to themselves we need to have Old Merlin a whole lot more.
Found a great mythology web site that could be very helpful in overall editing work on the site it called http://www.mythologydictionary.com/ and its overall a great site to visit and check out on various mythology not just Arthurian Legend. Also I found videos of Series 5 Deleted Scenes of Episodes 1-6 that show a lot interesting scenes that in away should of been in the final version of the episodes. An Two Deleted Scenes actually shows another scene of Mordred in Episode 3 and even a scene of Mordred in Episode 4 so in the end Mordred was in Episode 4 but his scene was actually deleted. The links for the deleted scenes are below.
Happy to help Alfons and looking forward to your thoughts on the 2-Questions/Statements I asked in the first message above during the first part of this message conversation. Oh and found another after the show interview of the cast this time with Katie and Bradley. The link for the interview is below.
I do think the actors and actresses had very little input. Especially actors such as Leon ! The sort of stuff they said in the interview was bollocks, though, and perhaps, maybe with all the scripts and memorising they had to do they forgot what to say in interviews what happens in the show, so the producers just told them. Examples.
Katie says the ending scene of Series 4 sets up Series 5 so well. (How? We didn't see Aithusa until episode 2, didn't find out why she saved Morgana and Aithusa had no storyline)
They also said "dragons were at the heart of the action" yet we got no dragon action at all, except Aithusa blowing fire and attacking the knights and missing every time. Also, every actor, including Alexander Vlahos, seemed 100% positive about the finale.
I think it's a clash between, them just being thrilled they got such a good job with such a devoted fanbase or them just being told what to say by the producers because it's easier. I mean, they want views, and they can get away with it, so why not just instruct the actors?
I don't think I'd go as far to say that they script for them what to say in interviews, because they are actors after all and with a little 'nudge' ("it would be better if you just got the fans hopes up") they can do some great persuading with interviews.
Eoin Macken is another example, what they did with him was tragic. And he has implied through Twitter (though I do think people are overanalysing a little) that he wasn't happy what they did with his character, either.
Daniel I do think you are absolutely right with your statement on how the cast had very little input and influence on their characters. An all your excamples from Rupert Young, Katie McGrath, Alexander Vlahos, and Eoin Macken were all great excamples of how the cast had very little input and influence on any of their characters. Also all of those excamples clearly showed that the overall statement is true in the end.
An even as you stated in the information from there being no explanation and overall story about Morgana and Aithusa, the cast being 100% postive about the finally and Eoin Macken's statement of not being happy of what the show did with his character. An I do agree with you people are probably overanalysing his statement a little but you are spot on and saying what the show did with Gwaine was truely tragic.
An your theory about what might of happened in the end with the cast and the producers is probably absolutely true. I mean like you stated the cast was probably thrilled they got a good job with a devoted fanbase. So it most likely came down to like how you stated the producers just instructed the actors in the end.
Also with all the interviews by the cast members and the audio commentary cast members did during the entire run of the show it shows that the cast members had there own person view of their characters. An the cast members also had their own view of what they even wanted to see happen with their characters.
Oh an Daniel did you get a chance to read the the other question/statement that dealt with the the shows mythology and Merlin/Arthurian Legend mythology? I would look forward to hear your thoughts on that question/statement.
I think that to make the show more parallel to the legend, they shouldn't have made five 13-episode seasons. And with so many fillers involving unnecessary characters such as the Lamia, Daegal and Eira.
I think it should just have been a more direct 7-8-series show more like the legend instead of a 5-series show with a lot of it wasted.
Alfons I think you are absolutely right if the show was going to parallel to the legend they never should of done it in the formate they did of 13 Episodes for 5 Seasons it just never worked away of telling good stories along with doing there own take on the legend. The method you sugguest of 7 to 8 Series would of been a more perfect fit of how to properly parallel the legend when they wanted to on the show along with tell better stories overall.
One parallel from legend the show began to heavily rely on which I didn't like seeing personally was having Merlin as Old Merlin/Emrys. I didn't like how the show began to heavily rely on that aspect from legend because yes in legend Merlin is mainly known for being a old man. However Colin Morgan proved that the character of Merlin does not always have to be portrayed as looking like a old man or just simply a old man in general. The character can be played as a young man who simply extreme wise, powerful and immortal.
An your right as well with the show wasting to much of there time with a lot of filler episodes and stories along with a lot of unnecessary characters that simply had no reason for being on the show at all. I mean you bring up the great excample of unnecessary and useless characters like Lamia, Daegal and Eira got essential there own focused episodes and stories on the show. Yet characters like Galahad and Kay from legend never appeared on the show at all and characters like Mordred during Series 5 wasn't used properly at all and had his story line rushed at the very end along simply only being mainly focused in certain episodes during Series 5.
Oh and Alfons you didn't answer the other question/topic about the cast members getting little to no input and influence on there characters on the show. I'm looking forward to hearing your thoughts on that question as well when you get a free chance to answer it.