Merlin: Season 5, Episode 3

The Death Song of Uther Pendragon (18 Jan. 2013)

TV Episode  |   |  Adventure, Drama, Family
8.2
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Ratings: 8.2/10 from 265 users  
Reviews: 1 user | 1 critic

Arthur rescues an old lady accused of sorcery, who gives him a horn with which to summon the spirit world. Despite Gaius's warning, he uses it to briefly meet his father but soon realises ... See full summary »

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Title: The Death Song of Uther Pendragon (18 Jan 2013)

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Episode complete credited cast:
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The Dragon (voice)
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Jane Thorne ...
Valdis
Gordon Munro ...
Alrick
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Rupert Young ...
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Sir Elyan
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Morgana (credit only)
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Storyline

Arthur rescues an old lady accused of sorcery, who gives him a horn with which to summon the spirit world. Despite Gaius's warning, he uses it to briefly meet his father but soon realises his error as Uther terms him weak for his non-political marriage, his practice of knighting ordinary young men on merit, and his lack of cruelty to make his subjects fear him. When Camelot falls prey to poltergeist attacks, with Guinevere the principal victim, it becomes clear that Arthur has unwittingly released his disapproving, vengeful father's spirit on the court. With a potion made by Gaius to make the spirit visible, and with Merlin's help, he sets out to return Uther to the grave, delivering a few home truths before it goes. Written by don @ minifie-1

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18 January 2013 (USA)  »

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Trivia

The directive that a living human not look back at the spirit is a common one in mythology. A famous example is the legend that is the basis of the Glueck opera "Orfeo ed Euridice." However, in this story, when Orfeo looks back at Euridice, she dies again and returns to the underworld. This differs from the legend explored in "Merlin," as looking back on to the spirit of the dead person unleashes the spirit on earth. See more »

Quotes

Arthur: Why are you doing this?
Uther Pendragon: I did not spend my entire life building this kingdom to see my own son destroy it.
Arthur: You tried to kill Guinevere.
Uther Pendragon: For your own good. How can a serving girl understand what it means to be queen?
Arthur: Guinevere is wise and strong, and I trust her more than anyone.
Uther Pendragon: And that is your weakness. You put too much trust in other people. You and you alone must rule Camelot.
Arthur: I would rather not rule at all than rule alone.
Uther Pendragon: Your whole life I tried to prepare you for the day you would become...
[...]
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Emotionally this is a 10
27 February 2015 | by (North America) – See all my reviews

Sometimes you can create a powerhouse episode with just a few characters, that is the essence of drama.

Johnny Come Latelys will not "get" this one. As Arthur seeks to gain emotional closure for the death of his father, the audience also seeks closure because Anthony Head's character ironically was allowed to leave the story without ever being told off.

So everyone wins.

Head, who was merely annoying for most of the early episodes (blame the script, not Head) gives the performance his life as the man who may well have inspired the term "Daddy Issues."

PS -- given the way the producers like to save money on one story so they can go all LAWRENCE OF ARABIA on another, I am betting something big is coming.


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