As part of Merlin’s destiny, Colin Morgan also ages to play Emrys, a mysterious, ancient version of Merlin who appears in visions to Morgana.
“‘It took five hours to get the prosthetics on at the start, but it was fantastic to do something different and it challenged me physically and vocally,” says Morgan of playing Emrys. “It was unsettling to see myself as an 80-year-old, but I reckon ‘old Merlin’ is a bit of a ladies’ man, as some of the costume ladies took quite a fancy to him!”
Nathaniel Parker (pictured), meanwhile, has a recurring role as Arthur’s uncle Agravaine. “Nathaniel is great,” says Colin Morgan. “Agravaine is Arthur’s right-hand man from the beginning in overseeing Camelot, but we soon learn he is not all he seems. He is our new major traitor, because he is Morgana’s mole at Camelot.”
As ever, the new series of Merlin features an impressive line-up of guest stars. The opening two-part story sees Spooks’ Gemma Jones play the Callieach, the gatekeeper to the spirit world, while Phil Davis (pictured), James Callis and Lindsay Duncan all appear in later episodes.
Merlin premieres on BBC1 on Saturday, October 1