This Week on Merlin: "The Lady of the Lake"

This Week on Merlin: "The Lady of the Lake"
A Druid in distress prompts Merlin to hide the young girl, and finally
reveal his true magical self, in an emotional, exciting episode of
MERLIN entitled “The Lady of the Lake,” this week’s offering of the
popular Syfy series premiering at 10 p.m. Friday, June 4.
When Merlin (Colin Morgan) discovers the beautiful Druid girl Freya
(Laura Donnelly) trapped in a bounty hunter’s cage, he knows he must
help her escape – despite warnings from his mentor, Gaius (Richard
Wilson). But with the bounty hunter searching for his missing prize
and a ferocious magical beast on the loose, she can’t stay hidden
long. Merlin’s intense new friendship is tested to the limit and he is
forced to make some heartbreaking decisions as he battles to keep
Freya safe.

“The Lady of the Lake” offers another shining example of the
incredible task young Colin Morgan has in the title role of Merlin.
The episode is a tour-de-force of emotional piques ranging from heroic
to deceptive to passionate, sometimes in the same scene. Donnelly’s
character served as motivation for both Merlin and Morgan to be at
their best. For Merlin, the druid girl Freya represented his first
true romantic adventure, and a chance to find someone to whom he could
truly reveal himself. For Morgan, it was a chance to peal back another
layer of the title character’s psyche.

“I think Merlin really connects with Freya,” Morgan said. “She’s got a
problem, she’s got a secret. He thinks it’s a magical secret, one that
he can help her with, and he decides to show her the good side of
magic. It’s one of the few times where he can go, ‘This is me, this is
what I can do, and this is what we can be.’”

Said Donnelly: “They both have magical abilities, they both have
secrets, and they both can’t really reveal their true selves to most
of the people they are surrounded by.”

Executive producer Johnny Capps fully realizes the weight of the
series rests on Morgan, and appreciates the actor’s sunny approach to
his monumental task.

“It’s difficult for such a young actor to feel such a huge
responsibility on his shoulders – in a way, he is like Merlin,” said
Capps. “No matter how tired he is, whether he is up a hill on a horse,
whether he’s in the water, whether he’s in a castile having to fight a
monster on green screen – and that’s 10 months of green screen – no
matter what we throw at him, he always gives us 100 percent.”

“At the end of the day, I couldn’t do what he does,” said Katie
McGrath, who portrays Morgana in the series. “I mean, I’m in for more
than one day and I’m already moaning, ‘I’m tired, I want to go home.’
But I’ve never seen Colin complain.”

Morgan has a simple, workmanlike devotion to his job. “I have this
sort of idea that if I work like hell, and just put as much effort as
I can, then it’ll be worth it. So I just put the head down and do it.
I figure that eight months is eight months, do the job and hopefully
it’ll pay off. Plus I enjoy it and I love being kept busy.”

Busy? Yes. Soaked, cold and tired? Not so much. While viewers will not
notice the inclement conditions, the cast and crew of Merlin endured
brutal weather during some of the crucial, emotional scenes of the
episode. Morgan was at the center of those scenes, attempting to bring
forth a deeply touching performance in the midst of a chilly English
downpour. He called it the most difficult scene to film for the
series’ entire second season.

“When you have a hugely dramatic scene, something that requires a lot
of focus and concentration, it helps sometimes to be in a more
controlled environment,” Morgan explains. “It was already a difficult
scene emotionally, but the weather made it even harder. It was not on
our side. It was pouring rain, and I was kneeling by a wet Welsh lake
for take after take – so it was extremely difficult to sustain
emotional heights for that length of time. Having said that, the
difficult scenes are often the most rewarding.”

Laura Donnelly believes that, while the degree of difficulty was high,
Morgan both suffered through and benefited by the bad weather.

“I felt so sorry for Colin that day because he did have to continue
that heightened emotion for so long, and while we were shooting his
scenes that’s when the weather was absolutely at its worst,” Donnelly
said. “When you’ve got an emotional scene and you’re supposed to be
very upset, things like torrential rain can actually add to that
feeling of doom and gloom and vulnerability. When you’re soaked
through, you’re uncomfortable and cold and shivering – all of these
things Colin had to contribute to (his mood). I thought he did quite
1 Yes
0 No