The Sound of Music
Special encore presentation Saturday 8/7c. Watch the special online now.
Making of "Merlin" (Continued)
The approach seems to have worked. "Merlin" has been hailed by The Guardian as "colorful, exciting and, yes, magic." Entertainment Weekly calls it "rollicking" and says viewers will be "happily entertained."
It's the result of having worked hard at the vision, work that became even harder when trying to find the right real-world location to serve as Camelot. "We looked all over Scotland, Wales, England and Eastern Europe," Capps says, "Everywhere, in fact. But we couldn't find the right place." Then they saw the Chateau de Pierrefonds, and the challenges grew again.
"It's not easy to secure a French national monument," Murphy says. "It was an interesting negotiation."
Once the decision was made, producers then had to create an entire world.
"Everything had to be designed," Capps says. "You can't just walk down the street and find every costume, insignia, prop and piece of armor. We had to have everything made. For three months, we were making massive decisions which we knew we would be stuck with for as long as the show lasts."
Casting was critical - and not easy. "We saw hundreds for all the parts, especially the younger roles," he says. "We were looking for actors who were larger than life rather than naturalistic." Of central concern, naturally, was the role of Merlin. "Merlin must have intelligence, charm and humor - there's a lot of humor in the show and that comes from him."
After a massive search, actor Colin Morgan assumed the role, joining Bradley James as Arthur (who in "Merlin" is a prince), Richard Wilson as Merlin's mentor Gaius, Angel Coulby as Gwen (or, if you prefer, Guinevere), Katie McGrath as Morgana, and "Buffy the Vampire Slayer" favorite Anthony Head as King Uther Pendragon.
For producers, the adventure was only beginning... and, in fact, continues. Laughs Murphy, "Just the other day, we rode a horse into one of the great halls at Pierrefonds!"