A few weeks ago, Gaius had to fend off the unwanted attentions of lovestruck, wart-covered pixie Grunhilda, who proved to be quite a force for evil. Now, though, it’s Gaius who’s feeling some thunder in his heart when an old flame of his turns up in Camelot.

Alice (BAFTA-winning actress Pauline Collins – Shirley Valentine, Bleak House) is the woman who has put a spring in Gaius’s step and a twinkle in his eye and Merlin is happy to see his guardian enjoying himself – until… Merlin discovers that Alice isn’t the sweet old lady she appears to be.

There’s wicked wizardry at work and Alice is being manipulated by a Manticore, a beastly beast from the Old Religion (which Uther blames for the death of his wife, Arthur’s mother, and which he banned), who plans to use Alice to bring down Camelot. The great Gaius is bewitched by the woman, though and can’t see trouble when it’s standing right in front of him with come-to-bed eyes.

Merlin desperately tries to convince Gaius that Alice isn’t the woman he thinks she is but Gaius won’t listen – and by refusing to see the truth, he’s putting the King and Camelot in great danger.

With a little magic – and a heavy heart – Merlin has to make his mentor see sense, before it’s too late for everyone…

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