History Files



A BBC Sunday afternoon drama series aimed at family audiences, telling the Arthurian tale from the point of view of Merlin, from his youth to old age. The filming was mostly location work, and the post-Roman hill forts were very realistically made, but because of its targeted younger audiences it wasn't the best retelling of the legends. In war-torn Britain, divided by civil strife, Merlin the Enchanter has, at last, brought the young Prince Arthur to his throne. The story turns to Merlin's own beginnings, and we see how he meets the wise old hermit who will alter the course of his whole life. The young Merlin becomes increasingly menaced by his Uncle Camlach, now Prince of South Wales. His mother has retreated to a convent, and now friendless Merlin realises that he must run away from the dangers that surround him. Time passes, and Merlin's father Ambrosius and his brother Uther plan to invade Britain. Merlin must seek out Vortigern, Ambrosius' most powerful enemy, and lure his army south to a battleground where it can be destroyed. The battle is fought and Merlin becomes a heroic figure in the light of Ambrosius' victory.



Merlin George Winter   Merlin the child Thomas Lambert
Merlin as a boy Jody David   Uther Roger Alborough
Ambrosius Robert Powell   Ralf Trevor Peacock
Arthur Sam Hails   Camlach Benedick Blythe
King Dafydd John Phillips   Ninianne Kim Thomson
Alun Sam Dastor   Moravic Betty Marsden
Galapas Don Henderson   Cerdic Mark Williams
Marric Davyd Harries   Old Man Gordon Gostelow
Blackbeard Mike Shannon   Vortigern Jon Finch
Maugan John Bennett   Gorlois Robert Brown
Magicians Lewis Jones and Eamonn Collinge
Foreman James Cormack   Queen Rowena Emma Sutton
Poet David Kelly


Writer: Steve Bescoby based on
  the book by Mary Stewart
Producers: Hilary Bevan Jones and
  Shaun Sutton
Director: Michael Darlow

A Noel Gay Production for the BBC
6 colour 30-minute episodes


The Cave
The Flight
The Return
The Raising Of The Stones

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