DVD: Merlin Series 4: Volume 1
So. We were offered a chance to review the DVD boxset of Merlin Series 4: Volume 1 and, being utterly enormous Merlin fans, we jumped at the chance.
Slot a disk in and you’re greeted by an animated DVD menu with the instantly recognisable Merlin theme blaring out. I love a good animated and themed menu, and this is a good’un; a castle, flaming torches, the menu written on an old dusty book, brilliant.
The first two disks contained Merlin three episodes each, but the third disk was the real prize. For anyone who is a fan of Merlin or into the behind-the-scenes aspects of TV shows, it was a veritable goldmine.
Firstly there are deleted scenes, which are sorted by each episode. The majority of these are entertaining but innocuous — a few chummy scenes between Arthur and Merlin, a scene that made it more obvious that Gwen and Gaius suspected Agravaine — but a few are extremely interesting (for Merlin geeks like me, anyway).
The best example of this is The Wicked Day. It shows Gwen and Arthur having a discussion about magic, where Arthur says that he’s starting to feel like his deep mistrust of magic is wrong. That would have taken the plot of that episode in a whole different direction, with the death of Uther at the end being much more of a shock. Like I said, for those who are really into their Merlin this stuff is fascinating.
Then there are commentaries from the cast and crew — I only listened to a couple, but they were again filled with things to please Merlin geeks like me — storyboards and outtakes. There weren’t enough outtakes (well, there never are) but that’s really the only thing I can fault with the whole package.
If you want to buy Merlin Series 4: Volume 1, you can get it for £12 from Amazon.