If it weren’t for the flashes of genius comic timing from Richard Wilson, this would be the first episode for some time that fans of the show would be well advised to miss and unless there’s something really well-hidden, it wouldn’t make a difference to their enjoyment of the rest of the season. Quite rightly described by Radio Times as “low comedy”, this is nearer the animated Arthur and the Square Knights of the Round Table show from the 1970s than the Lord of the Rings/Clash of the Titans homage that opened the season.
There are attempts to marry the fart gags with a serious undertone, as Merlin is accused of sorcery and the goblin-possessed Gaius sees through Morgana’s false protestations of love for Uther. But then you get one of the principle characters turned bald, and slapped around, while another is given donkey ears and made to bray…
It’s good to see Richard Wilson have an opportunity to be something other than Grumpy Gaius, and the animation for the goblin is very effectively done. But this show has become much more than this and it can only be hoped that this really is a one-off. 4/10