Merlin: Review: Series 1 Ep 11: The Labyrinth of Gedref

After Arthur slays a unicorn, famine descends on Camelot…

For the second week on the trot, it feels as if someone’s taken their eye off the ball in the script editing department. Again, what could have been an excellent episode is marred by a plotting flaw. If the whole point of the tests is to ascertain Arthur’s purity of heart, why did he shoot the unicorn in the first place?

The episode hinges on the relationship between Arthur and Merlin, and the chemistry between the two leads is sufficiently there for Arthur’s willingness to sacrifice himself, not just for his people but specifically for Merlin, to be credible. The banter between them has become more that of friends than of master and servant, but there are still lines which can’t be crossed.

There’s not much for others to do – even this episode’s guest star Frank Finlay. Uther returns to his one-dimensional anti-magic “you don’t understand what it takes to be king” rantings, which is a waste of Tony Head’s abilities, and Richard Wilson does little more than cock an eyebrow. And as for the labyrinth? Well, maybe “The small not very convincing maze of Gedref” would have been more accurate but not as enticing a title…

A mild disappointment.  5/10

Paul Simpson

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