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It seems that despite King Uther’s best efforts to outlaw magic in Camelot, it just keeps on happening – and it’s a good thing, too. He doesn’t realise it, but Uther needs Merlin’s magic to protect his beloved son Arthur and his kingdom from spells of doom and gloom – and death. It’s Merlin’s destiny to see that Prince Arthur becomes King and leads Camelot to greatness, but he can’t just let bad magic put Arthur on the throne – yet in this episode Merlin sees that’s what just might happen at the hands of the witch Morgana, who now sides with the powers of darkness.

Gaius mostly guides Merlin in his missions, but it’s an old sorcerer called Taliesin (Karl Johnson, Twister in Lark Rise to Candleford) who shows Merlin the danger the future holds. The mysterious wizened wizard meets Merlin and takes him to a crystal cave, where he shows him a glimpse of the future – and it’s not bright. Merlin is horrified when he sees Morgana is about to kill Uther and realises he has to change the future.

Now Merlin has always saved the day in the past with his flashing eyes and words of wizardry, but rewriting destiny is tricky, even for him, and his efforts end in a death which he may not be able to undo…