Merlin‘s creators and executive producers have revealed more about the tone and format of the show’s fifth series.
“We’re being ambitious,” Johnny Capps told SFX. “Each year we push the look of the show. And script wise we’re telling multi-stranded stories. We needed to grow the show up a little bit.”
“It’s a bit more adult and it takes the characters to new places,” added Julian Murphy. “They’re older. Take Gwen – she has to be a mature queen of Camelot now and you see stories where she plays the politics of that role in a very sophisticated way.”
Both were keen to point out that the show’s maturity (and use of snow!) were nothing to do with similar things in HBO’s acclaimed Game of Thrones. “I hadn’t watched [it]” said Capps. “Then I noticed they had snow and I thought everyone’s going to say ‘you did snow because Game of Thrones did snow!’ But there’s no such thing as an original idea, is there?”
“If you look at Game of Thrones… it’s nearly four times our budget!” Murphy pointed out. “Does it make a difference? Yes, a bit; we probably reject three or four stories a series on the grounds that we simply couldn’t do it. We have to work within the world that we have. We have a budget. Our CGI capacity gets bigger which helps, so every year we put more on the screen I think. But practically there’s a line in the sand that we can’t go to.”