TV: Merlin S5 – Episode 1 Summary + Review

“Knights of Camelot charge for freedom!”

(Arthur discusses how to pay off the credit for the new table)

Airing on: BBC

Genre: Magic, Fantasy, Action, Adventure, Family, Drama Age: All ages

Released: 6th October 2012 – onwards (UK Version)

King Arthur begins his rein by establishing the Knights of Camelot, and having a meeting with the Round Table. Everything looks peaceful in this new golden era, but trouble is never far behind…

Warning! May contain spoilers!




A group of knights which include Sir Gwain and Sir Percival disappear in the icy wastes of Ismere under suspicious circumstances.

(“I think we’re lost. This is nowhere near home…”)

Morgana reveals herself as the mistress of an abandoned castle, and takes the two captured knights as hostage.

(Morgana puts all lost men to work)

When news of the missing knights reaches King Arthur, he immediately prepares himself for an expedition to rescue them. Perusing a map, he decides on taking a roundabout route to Ismere, to avoid falling into a trap.

(“If we stare at this map, we can teleport to our location…”)

Sefa, Queen’s Guinevere’s new maid is a likable girl, who is close to the queen and is often privy to important information.

(Snort-laughing is the best way to make friends.)

King Arthur, a crew of knights and Merlin arrive outside Arthur’s lands, and are aware of awaiting danger.

(“Stay here for five minutes and feel epic, knights.”)

Merlin comes across a dying man who claims that danger for Arthur is very close. Merlin is shown a vision in which a young, dark haired man will kill Arthur.

(“More visions of death for Arthur? He’s not popular, is he…?”)

Merlin consults the Great Dragon who confirms that the man may have been a Druid Seer, who are known to be very accurate.

(“Merlin, you should come to my house, rather than making me fly to you”)

Sefa overhears information about the route that King Arthur and his fellow men will take, and she immediately goes to her father.

(Travelling late at night is the best way to avoid suspicion)

Ruadon, who is league with Morgana, delivers this information straight from his daughter’s mouth.

(Morgana rewards all valuable information, with work in the mines)

Arthur’s notices Merlin’s grim mood and tries to cheer him up, but Merlin insists on warning Arthur about the danger he could walk into. Merlin still doesn’t reveal how he knows this information, and loses credibility with Arthur for worrying too much.

(“You have a great secret, Merlin, but don’t tell me until this season is over.”)

In the morning, the knights are attacked by Morgana’s army. It’s a brisk and deadly fight with many of the knights becoming injured.

(Everybody loves a quick fight in the morning)

An accident leads to Arthur being knocked out and Merlin taking his chance to save him. When he wakes up, the rest of the knights have departed, and they are alone.

(“Did I win? I think I won.”)

Sir Gwain and Sir Percival have been working in the mines for Morgana looking for a Key which could lead to Arthur’s defeat. Although it’s unclear what they are mining for, the pair, along with many other prisoners, breaks rocks in the freezing cold.

At one point, Gwain notices light flickering deeper underground. He decides to investigate, but the mine guards catch him and beat him brutally.

(Curiosity killed the cat, but Gwain’s too handsome to die…)

Morgana is livid after Arthur escapes from under her nose. She orders her army to search for him.

(“Keep your noses out for that New King smell”)

The knights returns to Camelot to bring the bad news to Queen Guinevere. A traitor is declared between any insider that knew what route Arthur would take, and eventually Guinevere accuses Sefa of treason.

(“Off with her head!”)

Sir Gwain is lying on the cave when a translucent being is shown healing him.

(Everybody at home: “What the…?”)

Merlin and Arthur are stuuck in a net for the night when Merlin accidentally falls into a trap. they are given a rude awakening when they are cut down at sword-point.

(“Great, after an uncomfortable night, we’re going to die.”)

Their attackers turn out to recognise King Arthur, but one man in particular seems to be familiar with both Merlin and Arthur. The young man that Merlin saw in the dying man’s vision turns out to be Mordred.

However dangerous he may be, Mordred owes both Arthur and Merlin a life debt and is being friendly… for now.

(Mordred will silently smoulder for this entire season…)

Overall, the first episode of the new season steps it up from the previous series. A lot of action and spinning plots are introduced.

Mordred, the small boy who was gradually introduced in the previous seasons, has grown a lot, while Arthur and Merlin have barely aged.

Morgana is still skulling around, and she makes a great baddie, so why not?

Sir Gwain’s and Sir Percival’s fan service moments were so embarrassingly done. Yes, there are a lot women that have got crushes on them, but to show them naked from waist up for most of the episode was cringe-worthy.

The great relationship between Arthur and Merlin is still as close as ever. I think it’s pretty rare to have lead characters that banter so easily with each other.

One small point: did James Bradley have his teeth straightened? Not that they were extremely crooked before, but his smile is different from what I remember.

Rated 4/5 – Great start. Merlin and Arthur against the world.

See the next episode!

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