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Julian Murphy ('Merlin': Series 5) interview - Part 1

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missNST said:
How’s Series 5 filming going so far?

"It’s going very well, very smooth so far. I’m touching a piece of wood because you never know, but so far so good! We’re filming episodes 4, 5 and 6 as we speak."

Are you aiming for the series to be broadcast in the usual autumn slot?

"That’s our understanding, yep. We expect to be pretty much where we were last time, up against The X Factor. They don’t tell us for certain until very late in the day though!"

@Alana_Morgana asks: Are you going to introduce any new characters from the legends in Series 5?

"We are introducing more, yes. We’re doing some more legends, to be fair. I think that’s a better way of putting it. There’s plenty of legends appearing, although we always want to put a different spin on it.

"It’s interesting, I think you guys did a ‘stories we’d like to see’ piece – well, at least two of those you will see, although perhaps not quite as you expect!"

You’ve got Liam Cunningham (Game of Thrones) guest starring this year, along with Lindsay Duncan and Janet Montgomery returning too. Do you have a list of dream guest stars for the show?

"We do! We also increasingly hear about people who want to be in it and sometimes that gloriously matches the part. It’s all about lucky really. We’re genuinely surprised and delighted when we hear who wants to do it.

"The problem we have is that as our character base gets stronger and larger and richer, we actually have less guest stars. We now don’t have anything like as many meaty guest roles as we did in the first two series.

"We’ve got a big cast now. We’ve got a whole bunch of Knights who very developed characters in their own right and want to develop them further. There’s plenty of regular characters that we feel we want to write about.

"But we have some fantastic people in this year. We’re happy to officially say that Alexander Vlahos is playing the older Mordred."

Will Mordred be around for a while in Series 5?

"Yes, he’s in a lot of it."

When you first started the show and had a rough five-year plan, did you have a wish list of characters from the legends that you wanted to cover?

"When we first started the show, we were more conscious of what we couldn’t do than what we could, in fact. Because at its heart the legend is very dark, when we began Merlin – and we were in an earlier transmission slot back then, going out at about 6.15pm – we felt we had to be very careful about which ones we did and had to change quite a lot.

"Now that we have King Arthur and the Knights of the Round Table, it’s actually far easier to plunder those legends."

The show’s been getting slightly darker each year, will that pattern continue with Series 5?

"Probably yes, I think that’s fair to say. We don’t anticipate transmitting any earlier in the evening than we did last year, so we’ve got to deliver a show that works for an audience in that slot."

I imagine that kids who started watching back in 2008 have grown up with it too...

"That’s true, yes, as happens with many of these things – I guess Harry Potter being the most famous example – you do take the younger audience with you and to keep them you need to offer more sophisticated fare."

@angelcoulbynet and @tami2205 ask: Will Gwen be more present in Series 5 now that she's queen and will we get any back story on Gwen?

"I would say yes to both. In Series 5 time has passed. This is now the established court of Arthur and Guinevere is now Queen, so you see her in a wildly different role to before. And yes, we do return to her family."

@DrMer asks: Will there be any new regular female characters?

"There are new female characters this year and one or two returning ones actually that we felt had a real strength.

"Also I think it’s safe to say that we’re going on very interesting journeys with both Morgana and Gwen this year, but that’s all I’ll say! I genuinely think that those two characters go on paths that people won’t expect."

The second half of our exclusive interview with Julian will go up on the site next week.
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smile
azwarrior said:
Hmmmm...have to say the reference to Gwen/Morgana's "journey" has me intrigued.

Thanks for posting this.
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2Sam11 said:
Interesting! Let`s see how this all will work out in the end.....
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atoz55ok said:
Not sure how I'd feel about the "I genuinely think that those two characters go on paths that people won't expect" bit. But interesting.
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cool
EPaws said:
Interesting. I will leave it there. Thank you, Miss NST.
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I want to know more. This doesn't tell much
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missNST said:
I want to know more. This doesn't tell much

They are being especially vigilant about spoiler control this time around.
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Yes, using a lot of words to say very little, once again.
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arwentko1 said:
^^That sums it up right there kbrand5333. Although, I am interested in knowing what family of Gwen's he talking about or is he just talking about her "brother".
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Lucerne28 said:
Interested to see what he means by "intereseting journeys with both Morgana and Gwen". I hope that both female characters, particularly Gwen, get some meaty scenes this series. I hope that Gwen gets to do more than stay in the castle waiting for Arthur. I want her to be actively involved in the creation of a stronger Camelot.

Finally, I fervently hope that Mordred being in "a lot " of series 5 means a way for Merlin to develop his powers, and ultimately a magic reveal to Arthur, and not the instrument of Arthur's death. Please show runners, end the series with Arthur, Gwen, Merlin being on a high. END IT WITH Arthur the great king of legend, with his loving, wise and faithful queen Gwen by his side , and Merlin the great wizard of legend bringing Camelot into the golden age. Please do not end it with the death of Arthur. My Arthur/Gwen & Merlin loving heart doesn't want to see the death of either one of these beloved characters.
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smile
^^ All you said, Lucerne. My wish too. This is encouraging that maybe there will be development and more complexity to the character of Guinevere. And beyond Arwen now most probably. This is the second time they've brought up the fact that her character is going to be so different than in the past because of her status as queen. I think we've got to be hopeful that our girl will be more in the limelight now. And who knows what we're going to find out about her family.
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Maybe we'll find out about her mother. I'd love that. I really hope they give her more screentime and Morgana a more believable storyline and interesting storyline.
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...And this says nothing new, I think. Apart from them going into Gwen's background, which will be very interesting to see. But overall, they clearly don't want anything to be leaked. Last year we had some ideas through spoiler pictures & interviews during this time and even more by the time season 4 aired.

I actually think I prefer less spoilers, to be honest. Although a part of me wants more, I like being surprised. It will definitely enchance the viewing experience in the fall.
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tongue
tns31091 said:
Gwen and Arthur better stay canon, I don't care about anything else.
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mischievous
I agree Tns31091 they better stay canon and together forever. Or I'll have a relaspe on these bloody writers.
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