Great news for fans of BBC1's Merlin; the fantasy saga's fourth series will be extended from the previously announced ten episodes to its standard thirteen.
Producer Johnny Capps, speaking to SFX Magazine:
"There was talk there would be 10 [episodes] but there will be 13. We were very lucky with series three [because] it was hugely successful and we built our audience throughout, so I think the BBC now sees [Merlin] as one of their most important Autumn dramas, especially for a Saturday night."Capps, on the emergence of the Knights of the Round Table:
"The knights are important characters throughout the series. They are around a lot. In series four, Camelot has changed to a certain degree. Uther is a broken man, so Arthur has to take a little bit more control. People are surprised that [Arthur] has given these people that aren't of noble birth the title of knight, so there's an interesting tension around him and his posse of knights."It was also confirmed that series 4 will premiere with a two-part episode, and that Howard Overman (Misfits) will be writing episode 3.
I'm sure fans are happy they'll be getting another two episodes when series 4 rolls round, and it's good to see the BBC showing such faith in Merlin. Surprisingly, it proved to be excellent counter-programming against ITV1's X Factor last year.
I just hope, as always, that the writers stop beating about the bush and keep moving towards some real goals -- although, now Merlin's being held in such high esteem by the BBC, I daresay they'll be trying to ensure it can run for years and years. Are the actors up for that commitment?