written by Jake Michie / directed by Justin Molotnikov
I'm surprised Merlin hasn't done a story where the eponymous hero loses his magic before now, but it was a good idea to explore in the show's penultimate episode. However, it was something of an eye-roller that Merlin (Colin Morgan) could easily regain his abilities by believing, very hard, that he still has his magic. Even an appearance by the brilliant
I did like "The Diamond of the Day" for the most part, but mainly because it's promising bigger things in the concluding part. I don't have faith Merlin will do a good job finishing its story, although I sincerely hope I'm proved wrong, but when you're faced with a conclusion that sees Merlin being "reborn" as Old Merlin, striding out of the Crystal Cave with a look of determination on his face, you just have to worry. After five series, we'll have the insufferable version of Merlin in the big finale instead of the actual character we've come to know and love? Why is being prematurely aged a direct sign of power? Can't Merlin be "recharged" without the burden of arthritis and bad eyesight?
The stage is set for the series finale on Christmas Eve, which I'm hoping pulls something special out of the bag. If I'm honest, I just want a perfect scene where Arthur realises his humble manservant is a great wizard and has been responsible for saving his life on numerous occasions. Give me that and a lot of sins can be forgiven elsewhere.
22 December 2012 / BBC1