Saturday, September 20, 2008
Whe I saw the interactive website linked to the new Merlin series I was quite excited. It seemed like it might be a well-rounded experience.
Having watched the first episode tonight, I'm disappointed. This was drivel of the first order! I am amazed at what low standards the BBC seems to have nowadays. The writing was poor, the direction was poor, the acting was poor despite the inclusion of some very well respected actors.
The production didn't seem to know what time it was set in, having such a variety of inluences that we didn't know whether we were in the dark ages, medieval, later medieval or some magical mystery time which only exists in Disneyland, where you can have early medieval AND pretty windows.
When it came to speech and clothing, the designers seem to have abandoned the attempt to give it any historical period whatsoever and just threw in everything they had.
The music was intrusive and repetitive and heavily handedly indicated whether things were "comical" and amusing or not.
The special effects make up wasn't convincing from the very moment it was seen as the grieving witch confronted the king.
Everything had a plasticated artificial look, which was far too new and shiny and clean for the period *whichever* one you choose - obviously something that the designers found they couldn't do.
All in all I thought it was dumbed down fodder for the under 8s, which was anything but magical. I hate to think of how much money must have been expended on something which is so second rate. I'd rate it 3/10, but only because of John Hurt's voice.
Keep the magic secret? About the most magical thing is the website....