Julian Murphy (‘Merlin’: Series 5) interview – Part 2

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With the fifth series of BBC One’s Merlin currently in production, CultBox caught up with the fantasy drama’s co-creator Julian Murphy for a chat and asked him some of your questions…

@COLINMORGAN_HD asks: Will Merlin get to do any quests on his own in Series 5?

“There are more stories in this series in which Merlin acts alone proactively, yes. I think Merlin’s development is a fascinating story, we were glued to it at the end of the last series.

“He’s a character who’s grown up. I think you could see the sort of character Merlin was becoming by the end of the last series and we’re just following that truthfully.”

@Zaralindsay asks: Who has been your favourite character to develop over the past five years?

“I think you become so close to the characters that you love them all, you really do – and entirely without judgement! They can behave appallingly and it doesn’t change how you feel about them.”

@burstintocolors asks: How long the time jump will be?

“We always anticipated a time jump around about this point. The length of time is something that you’ll find and enjoy the discovery of in the first episode.”

@WRMiller2 asks: Why was it necessary to eliminate Lancelot from the series? Did you consider recasting the role?

“We didn’t think of recasting, no. I’d still never say never about Lancelot, but he’s returned from the dead once, I think that’ll have to be it! He’s a great character and I think Santiago [Cabrera] played him brilliantly, but I think it’s best left there.”

@Aiimzzii82 and @GalifreyGirl ask: Are you proud of how well the show has performed internationally? When you began the show did you ever imagine how wide Merlin’s fan base would be spread around the world?

“No, frankly! None of us did. It’s become very culty, which is very interesting. It’s a very nice thing, it’s fantastic. What we didn’t realise – and are still surprised by – is the extent to which these legends are part of other countries’ cultures. I think it’s a testament to how resonant and universal this story is.”

Doctor Who has recently been filming in New York and Spain. Have you considered filming beyond France and Wales for Merlin?

“To be honest, no. I think our instinct is just to do more and more on green screen. That’s how we do it now; we’ve never really looked into shooting abroad. I think our green screen stage has got even bigger this year!

“We’ve got a very, very big green screen now. The greater the scale and depth of the stage, the better you’ll do it – that’s one of the lessons we’ve learned. So we’re doing more than ever this year! I think the ambition level is up another notch this year.”

@Alana_Morgana asks: Have you ever read any Merlin fan-fiction or watched any fan-made videos on YouTube?

“I generally try not to, to be honest. That sounds terrible of me! It’s not meant in a negative way at all, but it just doesn’t help me and Johnny [Capps]. We feel we have to stay true to our instincts. It’s not that we don’t think it’s good though.”

@WRMiller2 asks: What is the status of the Merlin movie and proposed animated series?

“There’s always been talk about both with work going on, but in both cases people will have to be patient; these things take a long time.

“I think in the case of the animated spin-off, its life has to begin when the live action series ends. It’s very difficult for our actual international partners if we start doing that too soon, so it’s a slow burn. We believe an animated series would always work, so slowly but surely something will come together.”

@emma1293 asks: Will there be a sixth series of Merlin?

“No final decision has been made but there is talk. I don’t think it will be resolved immediately… You’ll have to wait and see on that one!”

> Read the first part of our exclusive interview with Julian.

What are your hopes for Series 5? Let us know below…

> Buy the Complete Series 4 boxset on Amazon.

Watch a clip from Series 4…