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Old 27-04-2012, 01:05
Cadiva
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It's tidbits like that, that make me believe at times that some people on the show know more about this time period than they let on.
I don't know what you mean by people know more about the time period than they let on. They're not focusing on any specific time period, they take their inspiration from ALL the Arthurian mythology and legend.
As I said, it's pretty obvious they've got someone looking into the mythology and history of the various different time periods in which the Arthurian and Merlin stories come from and are mixing it all up to tell their own versions.

I thought so too at one time. Then, I saw the episode where Arthur’s favorite food was herb crusted capon.
We've eaten chicken, capons and equivalent game birds pretty much since humanity began, I think you could find evidence of that in any historical time period.

Then, there was the Lamia episode where Merlin did a number of things correctly in terms of medieval and modern medicine. He made the correct diagnosis and prescribed a reasonable initial treatment based upon the information available to him.
Gaius is a physician, Merlin's spent most of his time at Camelot, when he's not being Arthur's dogsbody, following Gaius round learning about medicine, herbs and the like. Again, this applies to any of the time periods in which we have mythologies used in the TV series.
The Lamia is a mythology from Ancient Greece, she's nothing like the version they used on Merlin and the birth of medicine took place in Ancient Greece so it can be linked to that as easily as it could to modern medicine.

That might be true and it would be better than the alternatives. The way some of the actors are answering interviews of late and what they’ve projected on the show, I can either: I) picture Sir Leon giving a poetry reading and discussing subjective and objective poetry: the influence of Byronic and Shakespearean ideas in contemporary literature; or Sir Elyan giving a discourse on Anthropological Patterns of Human Migration and the Human Genome; or Sir Gwaine giving a lecture on Psychoanalytic Theories of Human Behavior, Motivation and Humor; or Sir Percival doing some discussion on Children’s Welfare and Health Awareness;
AND when they get together, they're talking about Jungian Archetypes found in Arthurian Legend in the Hero's Journey as outlined by Joseph Campbell (led by Merlin) and their Application of George Lucas' Theories in Cinema (led by Morgana) and the influence of Maureen Murdock on literary social norms (led by Gwen) AND amidst that kind of crowd, I could understand why, Bradley James would be upset about having Arthur being thought of as dim.
I have absolutely no idea what you're talking about here. All the actors have said they've gone away and looked up and read up more about the mythology and source material which the show is referencing. I don't believe it means they're all of a sudden going to be experts on the various metaphysical aspects which can be associated with any early mythology.
They're all intelligent people, it's not beyond reasonable expectations that they've gone away to discover more of the historical and mythological stories behind what the show is doing.

Early mythology has influenced everyone from playwrights, poets, philosophers. The tales of Ancient Greece and Rome are at the heart of Freud's psychoanalysis theories, Shakespeare plundered the creation mythos of Ancient Greece for many of his plays, philosophers regularly reach back into early history searching for meanings to modern issues and problems.
I don't think any of that has any connection or baring on whether the writers of Merlin made their Prince Arthur just a little bit of a "dumb jock" type to be honest. He's not supposed to be a great thinker, none of his Knights are portrayed as being great thinkers. They're men of action, ala their original source material.


They also don't seem to be hiding or denying their knowledge so I'm not sure why they'd be "knowing more than they let on" as they don't seem to be making any kind of statement that they're not following original and traditional historical and mythological sources.
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Old 27-04-2012, 01:50
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Anyway, to conclude as I went away and ran out of editing time again - all of this is vastly off topic

OR II) believe some of TPTB like the writers or directors or others are aware of things, scripting it for the actors both in the show and for the interviews, and using that knowledge more than they're letting on;

OR, III) accept that it's all just a coincidence.
I seriously believe you're projecting far too much onto the writers and producers of what is, essentially, a family friendly (if getting somewhat darker) Saturday evening TV show designed to provide light entertainment and loosely based around the traditional mythology of Merlin and King Arthur given the Smallville twist.

There's no hidden subtext, no subtle Christianity over Pagan and Celtic Religion psycho-analysis, no metaphysical break down of whether or not the use of the pretty well established fighting Red and White Dragons story which illustrates the conflict between the native Britons and invading Saxons should be given any alternative meanings connected to the spread of early Christianity into Ireland or the early proto-Greek matriarchal religion which centred around the goddess Gaia.

It's a TV show looking at life before the legend of Merlin. What was the boy like, what was he like as a young man, how would he have been received by a young Arthur, what if he wasn't an outwardly powerful magician. That's the questions the producers ask.

There's no coincidence in the narrative which drives the show having connections to the mythology from which it's derived and those influences being put forward on screen. There's no coincidence when they have something happening in a story line which could have happened at any historical period from which the Arthurian legends come. A coincidence would imply it's not intended. I'm fairly sure when they reference a storyline, a mythology, a Greek legend they're doing it deliberately.

.
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Old 27-04-2012, 18:13
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So Merlin filming today...

Spoiler
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Old 27-04-2012, 18:22
MikeAP001
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So Merlin filming today...

Spoiler
According to some twit, the filming was in some cave just this Wednesday (25 April). I guess they've moved on.

I don't know what you mean by people know more about the time period than they let on. They're not focusing on any specific time period, they take their inspiration from ALL the Arthurian mythology and legend.
Actually, they are. It’s called the middle ages. It’s just that they’re crossing the early and late periods together as you note here.

As I said, it's pretty obvious they've got someone looking into the mythology and history of the various different time periods in which the Arthurian and Merlin stories come from and are mixing it all up to tell their own versions.
Actually, it seems to be more than that. The people running things actually have it more planned out than they’re letting the fans know.

We've eaten chicken, capons and equivalent game birds pretty much since humanity began, I think you could find evidence of that in any historical time period.
Actually, it’s a bit more complicated than that. Since the later part of the 20th Century, the common folk like me have taken a lot for granted including common food items many of which were once the province of royalty and the rich. Being able to consume such things as chicken, capons and equivalent game birds was no small feat especially during the middle ages circa 500 CE- 1500 CE. And using spices and herbs was almost unheard of until the late middle ages.

Gaius is a physician, Merlin's spent most of his time at Camelot, when he's not being Arthur's dogsbody, following Gaius round learning about medicine, herbs and the like. Again, this applies to any of the time periods in which we have mythologies used in the TV series.
And, in this episode (LAMIA), we see the progress Merlin has made through the years. He’s become a competent practitioner of the Healing Arts. By the end of the S04, he should have been able to refine his skills. Living as he did in an Era of Heroic Medicine, Merlin should have become proficient in a number of medical skills. . So, why did he just stand around and let Isolde die when he could have done something--- even without magic--- to help her? This isn’t at all like the Merlin that had been in this or any other season who wouldn’t give up but he did.

Unless, the writers for some reason wanted to stunt Merlin’s progress, create a false sense of drama, and delay things, Merlin as a HERO would have done what was right for no other reason than it was right and he wouldn’t have just stood around, watched Isolde die, just so Arthur would realize that he wanted Gwen and couldn’t lose her. There were any number of ways for Merlin to have done that, he had alternatives, but as Gwen once said, sometimes it’s easier to think that there aren’t. And, put Merlin on the path of the Anti-Hero.

The Lamia is a mythology from Ancient Greece, she's nothing like the version they used on Merlin…
So, what else is new? In ancient Greece, Lamia was half-woman and half-snake who sucked the life force out of men. You yourself said that writers aren’t bound by the restraints of mythology in discussing the Vilia.


… and the birth of medicine took place in Ancient Greece so it can be linked to that as easily as it could to modern medicine.
Technically, the pre-history of Shamanistic rituals in Sanskrit and other ancient pre-historic texts tell a different tale. But, that depends on whether or not you believe in Archeo-Medicine, the idea that Ancient Stories and Myths held universal truths and that among these were tales of epidemics or diseases. So, in the KALEVALA, there’s evidence of anemia and in the ILIAD, there’s evidence of malaria and cholera; while in some legends and texts there are balms and cures as in the Epic of Gilgamesh.,

... All the actors have said they've gone away and looked up and read up more about the mythology and source material which the show is referencing. I don't believe it means they're all of a sudden going to be experts on the various metaphysical aspects which can be associated with any early mythology.
The only one I’ve found who admits that is Colin Morgan, Arthurian Legend Nerd in his interview titled: : 'Merlin' star Colin Morgan, Arthurian legend nerd. I posted it before but Morgan says he’s read up on Arthurian Legend.

They're all intelligent people, it's not beyond reasonable expectations that they've gone away to discover more of the historical and mythological stories behind what the show is doing.
Well, Bradley James for one admits he doesn’t. He said as much on some day trip he took looking for the historic Arthur along Wales after being dragged into it with Morgan. I admit I didn’t see it all but the youtube parts I saw and the comments don’t paint a flattering picture. It had to do something along the lines of shilling for the Wales Tourist Board or some such.

And, Angel Coulby on her website said that she read a book about Guinevere BEFORE starring in MERLIN and saw one film, Disney’s The Sword In The Stone. Other than that, nothing.

Early mythology has influenced everyone from playwrights, poets, philosophers. The tales of Ancient Greece and Rome are at the heart of Freud's psychoanalysis theories, Shakespeare plundered the creation mythos of Ancient Greece for many of his plays, philosophers regularly reach back into early history searching for meanings to modern issues and problems.
Yeah, in the 19th Century, it was called Bastien’s Theory on Archeology and with Carl Jung, it formed the basis of the Hero Archetype. In the 20th Century, it was popularized by Joseph Campbell in the HERO with a THOUSAND FACES and by his former student, George Lucas director of STAR WARS. Other contributors who follow but won’t admit to using that model of story telling include JRR Tolkien, especially in his Beowulf lectures and personal papers, and JK Rowling in the Potter books. It’s become a pretty standard method of story telling in Television and Motion Pictures since Lucas; especially, after informing the likes of Steven Spielberg and James Cameron that their films followed the Hero Archetype even though they weren’t consciously aware of it. And, ever since, there have been consultants who make a fortune applying that by providing far greater detail that I ever would.

I don't think any of that has any connection or baring on whether the writers of Merlin made their Prince Arthur just a little bit of a "dumb jock" type to be honest. He's not supposed to be a great thinker, none of his Knights are portrayed as being great thinkers. They're men of action, ala their original source material.
The demeanor of Leon, Gwaine, and Elyan seems to contradict that. Sure, they’re men of action but that doesn’t exclude them from being sensitive, moody, or secretive in the Byronic mode. And, I don’t think Prince Arthur’s dumb… he’s just a normal person with normal needs and desires, with a strong sense of right and wrong.

They also don't seem to be hiding or denying their knowledge so I'm not sure why they'd be "knowing more than they let on" as they don't seem to be making any kind of statement that they're not following original and traditional historical and mythological sources.
I think that TPTB have some master plan all mapped out in this show which will unfold in time which will have some underlying message even if they might not be fully aware of it.

Anyway, to conclude as I went away and ran out of editing time again - all of this is vastly off topic
You bet.


I seriously believe you're projecting far too much onto the writers and producers of what is, essentially, a family friendly (if getting somewhat darker) Saturday evening TV show designed to provide light entertainment and loosely based around the traditional mythology of Merlin and King Arthur given the Smallville twist.
Smallville followed the Hero Archetype, the iconography, symbolism, the Journey, etc for the first five years before the production team decided to go it alone, if I remember right. It was all down hill after that and two years later the production team abandoned ship. Several missteps later, the rudderless show limped on for a couple years later and was put out of its misery but in the final season, Smallville followed the Hero’s Journey ending with Superman and the return of characters like Lex Luthor.

As for projecting too much into this, believe me, a show’s consultant would be far more in-depth than I would ever be but he would touch the same points.

As for Merlin being essentially a family friendly show. Here’s a quote that sort of debunks that notion:

Q: People in the UK have been known to dismiss “Merlin” as just a family show. How annoying is that?

Morgan: I often think that the people who say it’s a family show haven’t watched it. The people who do watch the show get it and know what it is and say yeah, a whole family can sit down and watch the show…[but] each person will get something different from it and will enjoy it to the same extent.
A lot of people say, “Do kids come up to you all the time?” No, it’s actually really adults that come up to me and say how much they love the show. They watched it because they thought it was a family show and they ended up loving it and they’ve got the DVD box sets. And that’s exactly what a show should be, it should be unexpected, open your mind and maybe change what you first thought it would be. It never annoys me if people have seen the show, but I guess if somebody makes that judgment without having seen the show, you sort of go, “Hey! Watch it. Check it out and see what you think.”

There's no hidden subtext, no subtle Christianity over Pagan and Celtic Religion psycho-analysis, no metaphysical break down of whether or not the use of the pretty well established fighting Red and White Dragons story which illustrates the conflict between the native Britons and invading Saxons should be given any alternative meanings connected to the spread of early Christianity into Ireland or the early proto-Greek matriarchal religion which centred around the goddess Gaia.
To quote the Moody Blues: “there are none so blind as those who will not see…”

It's a TV show looking at life before the legend of Merlin. What was the boy like, what was he like as a young man, how would he have been received by a young Arthur, what if he wasn't an outwardly powerful magician. That's the questions the producers ask.
If the writers and actors are doing their job right, then the show should also be trying to make the Arthurian Legends accessible to those not versed in those legends and renew interest in the tales of Arthur which occurs at all levels of scholarship. That’s the purpose of myth to spark renewed interest in those ideals that society values. This guy on the show gets it:

Q: Most people don’t know much about those legends. Do you feel responsible for introducing them to folks?

Morgan: I suppose not so much a responsibility, because I was at the same place as anyone who hadn’t heard about the Arthurian legends when I first started the show. I’ve been introduced to the legends through being in the show and I think that anyone who’s maybe started watching the show has possibly either stuck with the show and taken it for what it is or thought, “Actually, I wouldn’t mind learning about that or King Arthur or about what that is.” So, I guess the responsibility is with us to deliver our performance and show characters that we like and believe in and that we’re rooting for throughout the whole series. A great by product of that would be if people decide they want to learn more and, of course that’s a real big bonus.

There's no coincidence in the narrative which drives the show having connections to the mythology from which it's derived and those influences being put forward on screen. There's no coincidence when they have something happening in a story line which could have happened at any historical period from which the Arthurian legends come. A coincidence would imply it's not intended. I'm fairly sure when they reference a storyline, a mythology, a Greek legend they're doing it deliberately.
I agree the people running the show are doing this with a purpose in mind beyond just running a production.

Last edited by MikeAP001 : 27-04-2012 at 18:24. Reason: quote box didn't work
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Old 27-04-2012, 19:02
Cadiva
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Actually, they are. It’s called the middle ages. It’s just that they’re crossing the early and late periods together as you note here.
Yes, the Middle Ages span a historical period of time from the 5th century through to the 15th, however they are generally broken down into three completely distinct time periods and are not, generally treated as the "same". This is what I'm referring to when I say they're taking the legends from different time periods.
Early 5th century Britain was utterly different than 10th century Britain and, again, vastly different than the 14th century, which is when the major developments in the "mythology" of Arthur and his associates take place.

Actually, it seems to be more than that. The people running things actually have it more planned out than they’re letting the fans know.
Have WHAT planned out? Of course they've got their story planned out. I don't think any of the four producers sat down and said "hey guys, lets do a TV show about Merlin, make it a bit Smallville influenced in that they don't know he's got magic and he's the same age as Arthur, but let's just wing it about what we'll do with the ending".

So, why did he just stand around and let Isolde die when he could have done something--- even without magic--- to help her?
Because she'd been mortally wounded and the whole point was that she had to die so that Arthur could get his wake up call about Gwen. Merlin could have performed major surgery and it would have made no difference, it was the story narrative which meant she died. Merlin wasn't portrayed as any kind of Anti-Hero, he wasn't involved in the sword fight in the throne room.

Well, Bradley James for one admits he doesn’t. He said as much on some day trip he took looking for the historic Arthur along Wales after being dragged into it with Morgan. I admit I didn’t see it all but the youtube parts I saw and the comments don’t paint a flattering picture. It had to do something along the lines of shilling for the Wales Tourist Board or some such.
I think you've completely misinterpreted his comments. The programme was made at the start of Series ONE of Merlin. It was a BBC Wales production which sent Colin and Bradley off to find out more about Merlin in the various Welsh places identified with the legend. He wasn't "dragged" along and he very definitely says he was far more interested in the historical background by the time they'd finished their trip.

The demeanor of Leon, Gwaine, and Elyan seems to contradict that. Sure, they’re men of action but that doesn’t exclude them from being sensitive, moody, or secretive in the Byronic mode. And, I don’t think Prince Arthur’s dumb… he’s just a normal person with normal needs and desires, with a strong sense of right and wrong.
And, again, I have no clue what you're trying to prove or disprove with this statement. They're Knights of the Round Table based on de Troyes' version of chivalry and courtly behaviour, they're as capable of being sensitive, moody, secretive, happy, cheeky, womanising, athletic and all the other stereotypes associated with a chivalric knight as they are of presenting a "dumb jock" stereotype.

Q: People in the UK have been known to dismiss “Merlin” as just a family show. How annoying is that?
You've missed the point I was making. This is an entertainment programme aimed at "three generations" as the producers have often said. They want people to be able to watch it with their grannies, parents, kids and each enjoy it. THAT'S what I'm talking about when I describe it as a family show, not that it's some light weight reality TV dross with no purpose.

Yes, Colin Morgan gets it -
The people who do watch the show get it and know what it is and say yeah, a whole family can sit down and watch the show…[but] each person will get something different from it and will enjoy it to the same extent
If the writers and actors are doing their job right, then the show should also be trying to make the Arthurian Legends accessible to those not versed in those legends and renew interest in the tales of Arthur which occurs at all levels of scholarship.
And, again, that's pretty much what I've said throughout all my posts. They're introducing the mythology of Merlin to a new audience.

To quote the Moody Blues: “there are none so blind as those who will not see.
However, again, I totally fail to see what, exactly, it is you're trying to claim the show is doing from some of your posts. It's not some Freudian attempt to manipulate the viewing audience's psyche down a hidden religious sub-text, it's an entertainment programme which, might, influence people to go away and find out a bit more about early British history and mythology.

And, as I said before, utterly off topic so this will be my last post on theories behind what the aim of Merlin is beyond being a TV show.
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Old 27-04-2012, 19:34
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Because she'd been mortally wounded and the whole point was that she had to die so that Arthur could get his wake up call about Gwen. Merlin could have performed major surgery and it would have made no difference, it was the story narrative which meant she died. Merlin wasn't portrayed as any kind of Anti-Hero, he wasn't involved in the sword fight in the throne room.
And Merlin could have saved her. And Colin Morgan himself wanted a Dark Merlin which means he wants the Shadow aspect to occur. The Shadow of the Hero is the Anti-Hero.

I think you've completely misinterpreted his comments. The programme was made at the start of Series ONE of Merlin. It was a BBC Wales production which sent Colin and Bradley off to find out more about Merlin in the various Welsh places identified with the legend. He wasn't "dragged" along and he very definitely says he was far more interested in the historical background by the time they'd finished their trip.
What do you mean? That's what James said when someone asked him about returning to see the sites in Wales. He dismissed it as just doing a bit of adverts for Wales Tourism. I have to admire his honesty on that!

... Yes, Colin Morgan gets it - .

...However, again, I totally fail to see what, exactly, it is you're trying to claim the show is doing from some of your posts...
Yeah, it's obvious that you don't.
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Old 27-04-2012, 20:02
Cadiva
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Yeah, it's obvious that you don't.
Fairly sure I'm not the only one on this thread either. I've replied trying to discover just what it is you're trying to say. Most other posters haven't replied in the first place.

So Merlin filming today...

Spoiler
Interesting. You'd think the only thing which would take them back up there would be
Spoiler
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Old 27-04-2012, 20:21
MikeAP001
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Fairly sure I'm not the only one on this thread either. I've replied trying to discover just what it is you're trying to say. Most other posters haven't replied in the first place.
Either that or they get it. And, don't be offended. I actually enjoy discussions of this sort because it helps me in terms of clarity in writing. I'm just making an observation.

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Old 27-04-2012, 21:09
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Either that or they get it. And, don't be offended. I actually enjoy discussions of this sort because it helps me in terms of clarity in writing. I'm just making an observation.
I'm not offended by your comment, I find it amusing

I was simply pointing out that, perhaps, this thread wasn't the place to be discussing your theories and speculations behind what Merlin's all about and a separate thread may be better given that no-one else appeared to be taking the chance to debate with you.

I was a journalist for 20 years, I only stopped working to have my son at the age of 38. I've also got an extensive collection of information, books, DVDs, historical papers, dissertations,pamphlets, films, artwork etc, relating to the Arthurian mythology, to Greek mythology, to early Romano-British history, to the Anglo-Saxon period, to the Viking invasion and settlements of the East Coast of England, Yorkshire and Northumberland in particular, I have a huge collection of other historical works on pretty much all periods of history in the British Isles, the War of the Roses and the Plantagenets in particular but also the Tudors and Stuart dynasties.

I own (and have read) most of the 100 novels voted the BBC's recent poll on the greatest literature ever. I have studied the history of medicine, the influence of classic mythology on Freud and other early practitioners of analysis and psychotheraphy, I've read Byron and I was 7 when Star Wars came out in 1977 and queued up for an hour to watch it with my dad and my five-year-old brother.
I have pretty much every popular fantasy author's work in my collection and I read Tolkien's The Silmarillion when I was 12, along with Ursula le Guin's widely regarded Earthsea trilogy at the same age and have read most other critically acclaimed fantasy novelists writing in that genre since then.

I'm pretty well educated although I started work aged 18 and didn't go to university. I've been involved with various religious charities and groups through my work, I have a friend whose aunt was a white witch (she's deceased now), I have another friend who is a practising druid, my best friend was recently married in a traditional hand fasting ceremony, I myself was baptised at the age of 26 while on pilgrimage to Lourdes with the Handicapped Children's Pilgrimage Trust and my mother in law is a Church of England Vicar.

I'm providing you with this detail as background filling in of where I'm coming from with regards to my knowledge and information about the subject matter which has been mentioned in this thread.

I am more than happy to debate and have conversations regarding your theories and speculations, I'm simply pointing out this is probably the wrong thread for that to take place
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Old 27-04-2012, 22:59
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I'm not offended by your comment, I find it amusing ...

...
I am more than happy to debate and have conversations regarding your theories and speculations, I'm simply pointing out this is probably the wrong thread for that to take place
The thread says speculations The rest of this is off-topic.

Oh, I applaud your efforts at self-education. I actually prefer that to a college or university eduction, such as it is. And, I've I earned an such degrees in History with a field of concentration in Medicine, Science, and Technology plus advanced degrees in public health and medicine.

On my own, I've read my share of the Great Books and in one list I'd read all 100. I'm not familiar with the BBC list of books because I'm not British. I'm from the United States.
Slightly different educational system but I trained with students from Oxford, Dundee, and Birmingham and residents from Dublin and London. Some of my former classmates actually worked for the public health departments of Scotland and hospitals in Dublin as lecturers and physicians.

Back in the day when "Comic Cons" were basically "Book Clubs" held in the conference room of a library, I'd met and discussed science fiction and fantasy with some well known people in the field. At one meeting at a slightly larger venue--- two room--- involved Gene Roddenberry, Dorothy Fontana, and James Doohan from Star Trek--- the benefit of a Summer spent washing the auto of a neighbor who was the district manager of Marvel Comics. Star Wars had just hit the screens back then, the buzz was a return of the Star Trek TV series IF Shatner could only agree to do it, and Fontana and Roddenberry recognized in Star Wars a form of story telling called the MONOMYTH. They discussed it and it became obvious that IF Star Trek came back, the series would be based on those stages over a 5 year course. AND, the mistakes they made the first time and how they could avoid them. That's what I'm seeing in MERLIN. And, I just don't see why others can't see it.
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Old 27-04-2012, 23:16
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Interesting. You'd think the only thing which would take them back up there would be
Spoiler
That would be sad, but so was Balinor's death and I still love the emotional rollercoaster that is The Last Dragonlord.
Heart-wrenching storylines mean great performances from the actors, and they've grown to be very good both in drama and comedy.

Spoiler
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Old 27-04-2012, 23:45
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Interesting. You'd think the only thing which would take them back up there would be
Spoiler
According to this report
Spoiler
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Old 28-04-2012, 00:13
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Fontana and Roddenberry recognized in Star Wars a form of story telling called the Monomyth . . That's what I'm seeing in MERLIN. And, I just don't see why others can't see it.
This is what I mean though, I'm fairly sure most people do recognise the fact that Merlin is about a "heroic journey" (in it's absolute Homeric meaning).

I don't believe anyone would argue that Merlin isn't following the path of the "Hero" (the Monomyth) through the trials and tribulations which are associated with that journey and towards the ultimate triumphant end (or the tragic end if it's influenced by Sophocles' tragic hero) either.

It's all the rest of the subliminal messaging regarding the aspects of religion, philosophy, historical influences over food and its place within etc that you appeared to be talking about (and as I said, forgive me if that wasn't what you were meaning) which I believe has confused and thrown the thread of course

When we speculate in these types of thread (speaking over the last four series') we tend to stick to where the characters might go, what might happen to them, which mythologies they've still got to use, what might they do with the famous ones they've not attempted yet, rather than whether the producers had read a cookery book about herb encrusted capons - if you see what I mean.

As I said, I'd be more than happy discussing the deeper mythology and history behind the original source material but I still don't think this is the right thread for it. A thread about The Mythology Behind Merlin might be a better idea.
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Old 28-04-2012, 00:17
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That would be sad, but so was Balinor's death and I still love the emotional rollercoaster that is The Last Dragonlord.
Heart-wrenching storylines mean great performances from the actors, and they've grown to be very good both in drama and comedy.

Spoiler
Totally agree re the actors getting to expand their acting chops with some dramatic moments. Bradley's performance when he thought Merlin was going to die in S04EP1 was brilliant.
Also good point re the location not always being used for the same village. Sounds like it's doubling up as somewhere else in this instance.

According to this report
Spoiler
Ahhh, now that throws up even more interesting possibilities going on what we know the opening two-parter is going to be about. I think they've just started filming for episodes three and four.
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Old 28-04-2012, 09:12
claire2281
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Ahhh, now that throws up even more interesting possibilities going on what we know the opening two-parter is going to be about. I think they've just started filming for episodes three and four.
I believe they're on episode three right now since they hadn't done the read through for episode four before yesterday

And yeah, the village is used for pretty much all villages - but people like to speculate that it might mean we're back to Elador again

Apparently they'll be back filming in France in June for just over a week. Doesn't sound like they're doing much there then.
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Old 28-04-2012, 14:59
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I was going through some of my Arthurian myth books yesterday trying to work out which of the major stories they hadn't had a go at yet. There's not really many left so it could be a really interesting "potentially final" series where they have a lot of new plots not directly related to the legends.

We know they're opening with one of the few remaining major stories surrounding Arthurian mythology but, after that, I wonder whether they'll turn to the less specific British history rather than Arthurian to expand on what happened when
Spoiler


They've turned to Greek mythology before so we could see them maybe picking up a few stories from those sources. Things like Jason's search for the Golden Fleece could be made to fit into this version of Merlin I think quite easily.
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Old 28-04-2012, 16:24
Avi8
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I don't know how it would fit with the overall story arc they have had planned for the five series, but I would like to see some stories connected to specific knights. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a good one.
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Old 28-04-2012, 17:02
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According to some twit, the filming was in some cave just this Wednesday (25 April). I guess they've moved on.
They film on different locations daily, not to mention most of the time on 2 seperate units.. so im sure that 'twit' was probably correct that they were filming in the caves and therefore is actually not a 'twit'.
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Old 28-04-2012, 18:16
claire2281
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We know they're opening with one of the few remaining major stories surrounding Arthurian mythology but, after that, I wonder whether they'll turn to the less specific British history rather than Arthurian...
I suppose that depends upon how much they see this as really 'Britain' so to speak. I mean there's such a mass of historical inaccuracy and obviously magic and talking dragons that they may not want to make it too 'historical' (despite the bits they've already used).

I consider it more a fantasy AU (aka they can make it all up and not have to worry about much research ).

They've not really touched upon the quest for the Holy Grail, so to speak, what with the Cup of Life apparently being a Druid thing and quite different. It disappeared after the end of series 3 so I suppose they could have something where they need to go look for it.

They film on different locations daily, not to mention most of the time on 2 seperate units.. so im sure that 'twit' was probably correct that they were filming in the caves and therefore is actually not a 'twit'.
I presume he meant 'tweet' and isn't down with the vernacular of Twitter

But yeah they've also been filming today too which many have been saying they don't normally. Although it wouldn't surprise me if they have to because of the weather this week!
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Old 28-04-2012, 19:07
Avi8
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But yeah they've also been filming today too which many have been saying they don't normally. Although it wouldn't surprise me if they have to because of the weather this week!
God help them if they were filming outside today. I live near to where they film, and it has drizzled most of the day, not to mention blown a gale and been absolutely freezing. Still, I guess Bradley in his 16 layers would have been ok.
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Old 28-04-2012, 21:30
Cadiva
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I don't know how it would fit with the overall story arc they have had planned for the five series, but I would like to see some stories connected to specific knights. Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is a good one.
They'd have to fiddle a bit with it but a test of our Gawaine's "morals" would be a good one to follow. They'd not be able to do a straight up copy of the story though because as soon as the knight picked up his head and carried on talking there'd be a huge outcry about magic and evul!
It would work as a test of his honour etc though, specially when it comes to the fact they've made him a bit of a ladies' man and a drinker.

I suppose that depends upon how much they see this as really 'Britain' so to speak. I mean there's such a mass of historical inaccuracy and obviously magic and talking dragons that they may not want to make it too 'historical' (despite the bits they've already used).
Aye absolutely, they do seem to have deliberately gone out of their way to make this a mythical place rather than an early version of Britain. I was thinking more along the lines of
Spoiler


They've not really touched upon the quest for the Holy Grail, so to speak, what with the Cup of Life apparently being a Druid thing and quite different. It disappeared after the end of series 3 so I suppose they could have something where they need to go look for it.
Yep, they could definitely go further with that as they used the Fisher King version of the Grail mythology rather than the Cup of Jesus one.
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Old 28-04-2012, 21:48
claire2281
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Aye absolutely, they do seem to have deliberately gone out of their way to make this a mythical place rather than an early version of Britain. I was thinking more along the lines of
Spoiler
That would certainly make a very interesting storyline. And I would like to see Gwen become a very moderate voice of reason. Arthur has to be a battle commander but she has the luxury of being able to take the gentler path.

Yep, they could definitely go further with that as they used the Fisher King version of the Grail mythology rather than the Cup of Jesus one.
It would be interesting to know what had happened to it. Presumably they searched the rubble for it when they tried to find Morgana and Morgause. And if Morgana had taken it with her (not that we've ever had any evidence she could do the teleportation spell so we still don't know how they got out...) surely she would have used it to heal Morgause...

I don't like such careless loose ends!
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Old 28-04-2012, 23:45
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It would be interesting to know what had happened to it.
I think the Cup of Life was simply lost... again. It's a magical object, and always disappears. Might be part of its magic.
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Old 29-04-2012, 18:20
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....
It's all the rest of the subliminal messaging regarding the aspects of religion, philosophy, historical influences over food and its place within etc that you appeared to be talking about (and as I said, forgive me if that wasn't what you were meaning) which I believe has confused and thrown the thread of course
But, you can't have any story about the medieval period set in medieval times without those messages no matter how hard people might try without making a truly bad story. It would be like making a film about Nazi era Germany without showing anything about the Nazi's... it can be done but as one Tom Cruise flick showed--- it's truly bad no matter how good the story line might be. There has to be elements of credibility no matter how far fetched for the viewing audience (me) to suspend belief.

At any rate, this wasn't what I was getting at... not entirely. One of the things that arose from the early discussions in those Comic Cons involved ideas that I think influenced certain story consultants. One of them was named Dan Vogel, who had been working at Disney. As a studion consultant, he explains how on seeing Star Wars, he noticed (independently, mind you) how that story fit in with the Monomyth and he proceeded to write a series of papers that bore a marked resemblance to the things at the earlier Comic Con (A clear case of simultaneous discovery and all). In a memo to the studio, he worked with and to the writers, he wrote that the Monomyth could be used as an outline to plot story lines which brought about success in several film projects AND, it could be used for other things.

After Lucas admitted he consciously followed the Monomyth, success bred imitation, because some people noticed that Lucas did something else too. By applying that to a writer's exercise championed by a Sci-Fi writer named Robert Heinlein certain problems in a story could be ironed out, so that movies could be "fixed", televisions shows could be set straight, or even be prevented from going wrong. So, he detailed an "ideal" story line and cultural scenario where a movie would be a success and those that didn't meet certain points of it would be a failure (which is probably why the Cruise film had distribution difficulty getting financial backing).

(For those who don't know, Heinlein was a popular Sci-Fi --- he pronounced it, Skiff-Fee--- writer and teacher. One of the things he taught to budding story tellers in the 70s was their responsibility of directing the audience's expectations to maintain audience participation in a story. Using certain principles, he demonstrated how an old story could be elevated to a memorable one and his example was the book, Rosemary's Baby which followed all of the principles but one, which made it a very exceptional book. But, then Heinlein's showed how that could be improved and his improvement of it in my opinion was much better than the original. Say, what you might but those principles he essayed AND the Hero's Journey were supposedly used by executives at Disney, Pixar, and Lucas Films among others to judge the merits of screen plays and television series... raking in millions world wide in the process.

If we apply those now, then Merlin's character hasn't developed to the point he should which is fine if he's to become an Anti-hero, who at the end of the story ends up remaining an outsider from his "society" and "culture". But, if Merlin's to stay as a traditional or modern variant of the Hero, then it's not.

What's happened to Merlin is as if TPTB intentionally delayed his character's progress with the hope of extending the number of stories to be told but someone changed their mind and so there's been a rush to catch-up to end this 5 year series as originally planned. If that's true then it would be better for fans and everyone concerned to be informed about this rather than being "teased" that there might possibly be future episodes.

I could very likely be wrong but if TPTB are using Murdock's variation of Campbell's Hero's Journey then I'm probably right. If they are then we can expect certain things like a Split (which would include death) between the Hero and a parent figure like Gaius or Hunith or the Dragons; the Split between the Masculine and Feminine (some problem between Merlin and Arthur and Gwen); and eventually, some physical, emotional, or spiritual healing. And, we should see more of the negative Archetypal Mother or Father figures, false knights and damsels in distress, and dragons who will oppose the hero in this S05.
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Old 29-04-2012, 20:32
claire2281
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But, you can't have any story about the medieval period set in medieval times without those messages no matter how hard people might try...
You can if the show isn't 'medieval'. It's set in a 'time of myth and a land of magic'. It's never alluded to be the 'real' Britain and is clearly a magical AU. As such, they can do what they like and will ignore what they like as it is their world and doesn't has to adhere to any pre-conceived notions or themes. It's one of the beauties of writing fantasy.

As for the rest of the post - the tropes of these 'good vs evil' stories and hero arcs are well known and well used. I VERY much doubt there's some great depth to what the producers are choosing to do; they're simply doing the story they want to see and which they think will keep their audience watching. They have to be businessmen as much as creative types after all...

They're not adhering consciously to any particularly theoretical archetype. They're writing what they think will sell, using previous experience of these types of story.
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