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‘Merlin’: Complete Series 4 DVD extras review

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Audio commentaries: Provided on five out of thirteen episodes, the commentaries feature a mix of cast and crew. Some are more insightful than others, with the directors generally having more of interest to say.

Episodes covered are The Darkest Hour (Parts One and Two), The Wicked Day, The Secret Sharer and A Herald of the New Age, with contributions from directors Alice Troughton and Jeremy Webb, writer Julian Jones and actors Katie McGrath (Morgana), Angel Coulby (Gwen), Rupert Young (Sir Leon), Colin Morgan (Merlin), Richard Wilson (Gaius) and Adetomiwa Edun (Sir Elyan).

The commentary for The Secret Sharer is particularly interesting as Richard Wilson quizzes writer Julian Jones on lost scenes and script changes. It was a disappointment to find there no commentaries on either the final two-parter or the pivotal Gwen/Arthur episode Lancelot du Lac though, especially given their importance to the ongoing story.

Deleted scenes: Most of the deleted scenes are transitory moments, though there are a few that show some nice male bonding moments between Merlin and Arthur.

Also, there is a great conversation with Lancelot where Merlin talks about keeping his magic hidden. From The Secret Sharer, a final scene with the Warrior Priest Alator sees him pledge his allegiance and seems to imply this won’t be the last we see of him. Another notable scene sees Merlin talking Arthur through his doubts over proposing to Gwen.

Outtakes: Some amusing moments of corpsing from the cast seem to highlight Nathaniel Parker as a major culprit. Also, there’s some fun watching Bradley James try to deliver his lines and cope with a troublesome horse.

Making of: An 18 minute documentary featuring the show’s cast and producer takes us though the rigour of filming in both France and the UK as well as discussing the development of the characters this year.

The documentary is fronted by various members of the cast and crew, including Katie McGrath who takes us on a brief tour around the stunning location of Château de Pierrefonds, the Camelot castle.

Storyboards: These are presented from two sequences, the Wyvern attack from The Darkest Hour and the entertainment sequences from The Wicked Day. Whilst they are interesting to see, it’s a shame that there’s no side-by-side comparison to the filmed scenes.

Also included is a fan photo gallery.

> Read our review of the episodes.

Released on DVD and Blu-ray on Monday 23rd January 2012 by Fremantle Home Entertainment.

> Buy the DVD boxset on Amazon.

Watch the Series 4 trailer…

What did you think of Series 4? Let us know below…