Merlin: Complete Fourth Series DVD Review

Is this new Merlin boxset worth your pocket money? Even if you’ve already seen the episodes?

The fourth series of Merlin came out on DVD last week, and we’ve had a look to see whether you, the wizard-loving public, should give it a shot. In case you’ve forgotten, this year saw Arthur getting a big title bump, Merlin maturing considerably and Morgana becoming a fully-fledged supervillain, while her old job of smirking behind the King was taken over by newcomer Agravaine.

If you want detailed opinion on the episodes, our reviews are available to read at your leisure. However, looking back at the series with a month to digest, it wasn’t a bad run. Considering a major complaint in previous years was “When will the plot progress?”, stuff definitely happened this time.

Admittedly, elements are still stretched out, especially by Gaius and Merlin keeping secrets from Arthur for no reason, but there was a real sense of progress and excitement, even if not all the changes were to everyone’s liking.

But for fans who’ve seen the episodes, which is most of us, the big interest must be the extra features, starting with the now-customary behind-the-scenes documentary, in which cast and crew give insight into the show. There’s good material here on the practical aspects of making Merlin, although not much from a writing or acting standpoint.

Then, of course, deleted scenes, showing us a collection of conversations that were clearly cut because, although they’re nice moments, something had to go. I did spot an interesting scene from episode 3 showing visible softening of Arthur’s stance on magic, possibly cut to make future weeks flow more simply?

And finally, out-takes, in whch we discover newcomer Nathaniel Parker’s determination to extend his time on the show as long as possible by fluffing all his lines.

In short, there’s no special feature so amazing that you should buy the boxset for it, but they’re still fun extras, and let’s not forget, the actual fourth series of Merlin is pretty decent too.

Nick Bryan

Updated: Jan 30, 2012

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