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"Merlin" Arthur's Bane: Part One (2012)

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2 out of 3 people found the following review useful:

Two Parters are always a problem

9/10
Author: A_Different_Drummer from North America
21 February 2015

To be fair, Merlin is not the only episodic TV show that stumbles when trying to do a 2-parter.

There are so many challenges. You are basically almost creating a small full-length movie, so expectations are raised, yet you still have to stagger the scenes to allow for commercials and you must close the story with the appropriate arcs "up in the air" so the writers can slog on when the next episode appears.

That last one is the killer.

The reason I am appending this review to Part I of the two parter is that (and this has happened before, and will happen again) is that Part I is the far superior drama.

Un-hampered by the need to string the viewer along, the production team is free to cut loose in Part I. And indeed they did. It is clever, well written, lavishly produced, constantly entertaining, and even contains an odd (but fun) homage to LORD OF THE RINGS. Very enjoyable.

And the problem (if you watch the second part or 5.2) is that the quality will fall. The pacing will drop, actions will become more trivial, and because of the need to keep all the story "balls in the air" the conclusion will not be as satisfying as the buildup.

So make hay while the sun shines. Enjoy this while you can.

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