Merlin: Review: Series 1 Ep 2: Valiant

Arthur’s life is in danger when Knight Valiant of the Western Isles uses a magic shield…

The episode lives up to the promise of the opener, with a strong performance by guest star Will Mellor and well-constructed sword fights, with sequences comprised of shots lasting sometimes as little as a second. The CGI used for Knight Valiant’s snake shield on the whole works well, and is used sparingly enough to be effective.

A couple more clichés are hopefully got out of the way at the start of this episode, with a Fantasia-like washing sequence, and a tournament attended by the peasants. Anyone who’s seen The Knight’s Tale will be expecting a chorus of We Will Rock You!

Once again, the class structure at Camelot is integral to the story, and we get just a little insight into some of the supporting players, although Richard Wilson is currently wasted. The moments with the dragon so far also haven’t really added to the proceedings, and hopefully they’ll consist of more than weird platitudes and cod-philosophical statements, or they’re really going to feel pointless – Merlin already has an older confidant.

Verdict: A constantly changing timeslot isn’t going to help this show pick up the audience it deserves.  7/10

Paul Simpson

 <<<Episode 1: The Dragon’s Call

Episode 3: The Mark of Nimueh>>>>

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