Merlin Premiere

Once upon a time in a mythical land far, far away, a sorcerer discovers that magic is his destiny. But, where magic is punishable by certain death, can young Merlin keep his powers a secret and fulfill his true potential? A fun, summertime getaway into a world where anything is possible, MERLIN airs Sundays at 8 p.m. ET on CTV in simulcast with NBC, kicking off with a two-hour premiere on June 21 at 8 p.m. ET (visit ctv.ca to confirm local broadcast times). Set in the mythical city of Camelot, the fantasy drama series follows the clashes of the legendary young wizard (Colin Morgan, DR. WHO) and a teenaged Prince Arthur (Bradley James, DIS/CONNECTED) as they struggle to understand their destinies.

During its run in the U.K. last fall, MERLIN was the most-watched drama of the fall season on BBC One, attracting a series average 6.3 million viewers (26.8% share). The series also had a reach of 34 million, or over half of the U.K. population.* U.K. media were unanimous in their acclaim: “Excellent family entertainment,” said The Times; “A well-judged blend of fantasy, humour and excitement,” said The Daily Mail; “Our 21st century gets the version it deserves,” said The Mail on Sunday; and Sunday Express said, “Don’t miss MERLIN, which strides into the schedules like a knight in shining armour.” Premiering last March in Australia, the Sydney Sun Herald said “…this take is good, swashbuckling fun.”

“While the tales of Merlin and King Arthur are classic legends, this new series offers a fresh perspective on the iconic sorcerer in a way that will resonate with today’s audiences,” said Susanne Boyce, CTV’s President, Creative, Content and Channels, CTV Inc. “MERLIN is escapist, summertime viewing for people of all ages.”

In MERLIN, Camelot is a fantastical realm of legendary beasts and mysterious people, in which magic has been banned by the ruthless tyrant, Uther Pendragon (Anthony Head, THE INVISIBLES, BUFFY THE VAMPIRE SLAYER). When Merlin (Morgan),arrives in the kingdom, he quickly makes enemies which include the heir to Uther’s crown, the headstrong Prince Arthur (James). But guided by Uther’s wise physician Gaius (Richard Wilson, A Passage To India), Merlin is soon using his talents not just to survive, but also to unlock Camelot’s mystical secrets. As he does so, Merlin discovers that his destiny and that of the kingdom’s young leader-in-waiting, Arthur, are inextricably linked.

The young, up-and-coming leads are joined by a talented cast including legendary actor John Hurt (Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull) as the voice of the Great Dragon, a wise creature who can help Merlin fulfill his destiny; Santiago Cabrera (HEROES) as Lancelot, a great fighter with dreams of becoming a knight serving Camelot; Katie McGrath (THE TUDORS) as Morgana, the orphaned ward of King Uther; Angel Coulby (Magicians) as Guinevere, a servant of noble heart and friend of Morgana; and Michelle Ryan (BIONIC WOMAN) as Nimueh, an evil sorceress determined to destroy King Uther Pendragon and Camelot.

In the two-hour series premiere, “The Dragon’s Call/Valiant” (Sun., June 21 at 8 p.m. ET), Merlin is at the cusp of adulthood, heading to Camelot where he hopes to find adventure and a use for his hidden talent:  magic. However, at the mythic city, he finds all is not quite as he’d dreamed. Then, Camelot hosts its annual sword tournament and knights from throughout the realm have come to compete for its coveted title. Amongst those hoping to win the crown is Knight Valiant.

With stunning CGI effects by The Mill – Academy Award®-winners for their work on Gladiator – coupled with Shine Television’s Emmy® Award-winning production team, MERLIN comes to life on the screen like never before. The series was shot in Wales, France and England.

MERLIN is a Shine production for the BBC. FremantleMedia Enterprises has invested in the series alongside Shine Television and BBC One, and is the exclusive international rights holders for distribution, licensing, and home entertainment (excluding the U.K.).

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