A bit slow to get going, this week’s episode makes far better use of its older cast, with both Tony Head and Richard Wilson getting some sensible screen time. The backstory explaining Uther Pendragon’s hatred of magic is starting to come into focus, and it’s good to see him being called on his irrational actions, even if no one is actually in a position to countermand him. The dragon, though, is once again pointless, simply acting to push the plot forward.
The pace of the episode isn’t helped by constant cuts back to Michelle Ryan as the sorceress Nimueh standing in a cave set, watching events on a medieval magic version of close circuit TV. At the end it’s not clear whether it’s simply the presence of what she sends to hatch in the water at the top of the episode, or something that the creature does which causes the problem. The logistics of her plan don’t bear close examination either!
Verdict: Some quick repartee between Gaius and Merlin, as well as a wry scene between Morgana and Arthur shine from the dialogue, but the whole episode doesn’t quite gel. 6/10