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FTN celebrates Colin Morgan

October 4th, 2012 by Owen Quinn 7 Comments

You know how I’m always banging on about getting Irish sci-fi heroes at the forefront of the genre once again which is why Jacke is a Belfast girl in the Time Warriors series and there are quite a few Irish locations and times in there. We recently did an article on the legend that is Colm Meaney who has been at the helm of two Star Trek series over the years and became a true fan favourite. We have an Irish Jedi Knight in the form of Liam Neeson and Irishman Ciaran McMenamin headed the fight against anomalies and dinosaurs for one season in Primeval.

But we forgot about another Irishman that is firmly established in this genre, a young man that has been keeping the family audience alive alongside the Doctor in the battle for Saturday ratings.

Merlin is about to enter its fifth year and as hard as it is to believe, what started off as really a young Merlin and Arthur show has grown to be unmissable television. What helped make this show so good is the fact that Colin Morgan has been Merlin from day one. He looks like he could be a young wizard. Now, what you may not realize is that Merlin is really Irish. Young Colin was born and raised in Northern Ireland in Armagh. He attended the Belfast Metropolitan College where his picture hangs alongside all the other success stories from the college. He later attended the Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama in Glasgow. Right before he got the part of Merlin, Colin appeared in Doctor Who opposite David Tennant in the classic episode Midnight.

Here, the Doctor and a group of passengers are trapped on a shuttle when it breaks down in the middle of nowhere before being attacked by an unseen force that begins taking over one of the passengers, Sky. It repeats everything a person says as they say it, gradually overtaking its victim until it achieves independent thought and motion. Colin played Jethro Cane in a story that remains a fan favourite and a stunning piece of television drama. It deals with mob hysteria and paranoia and the entire episode works like a stage play.

Now with both roles, Colin doesn’t use his natural accent but he manages to imbue Merlin with such a sparkling mischievous personality trying to live a dual life as a slave and secret master of magic. In this version, King Uther, played by Buffy’s Anthony Head, has forbidden the use of magic and anyone found using it is put to death. Under the guidance of his mentor Gaius, Richard Wilson, Merlin must protect the kingdom of Camelot from all variety of threats against the King and his family.

Over the course of the five years, the show has utilised the legends of King Arthur and shaped the legend in ways that Batman would be jealous of. And now the Knights of the Round Table are in full swing and Merlin and Arthur are young men about to embark on the true journey everyone knows of. Colin, together with the writing and entire cast, has made Merlin a sure fire hit but just once, just once, I would love him to slip into his natural accent.

After all, Merlin’s Irish don’t you know?

Let us know your thoughts below, @NerdFollowing on Twitter or on Facebook

Husband, dad and Ireland's hardest working author, Owen Quinn is currently knee deep in The Time Warriors, arguably the biggest sci-fi epic ever to come out of Ireland. He has an unhealthy interest in Doctor Who, classic TV and Star Wars, he also hangs around with the Emerald Garrison far toooo much. Is it any wonder he fits in at FTN so well? Find Owen at the


    Colin Morgan is definitely my favorite actor!!

  • Emrys Dragonlord

    LOL! U called Merlin a “slave” XD.. I suppose he is sort of a slave, he doesn’t really get paid in gold for his servant duties. But that just makes me think of the Merlin in the fan-art and fiction I’ve seen with him bear chested and in chains lololol. Seriously though, I’m glad you’re recognizing him as an amazing IRISH actor, he’s even more amazing don’t you think that he does other accents so convincingly that generally people don’t know he’s Irish! & I agree, I really do wish I could see him in something that uses his own accent. I can only imagine the awesome unbridled performance he’d unleash without the added distraction of using a foreign accent!

  • Anonymous

    Colin is just brilliant, It’s great that this gets recognized everywhere!

  • Angela

    He will be the next superstar of our world. I bet that with all of you!!!!!

    • Anonymous

      Fully agree. Hope so much it comes true!!

  • Jim

    Merlin is treated like a slave. Someone who only watched it occassionally could easily make the mistake. Most of the fans are tired of Merlin being treated that way.

  • Owen Quinn

    I’m delighted you guys are liking this article and talking about it but to clarify on the slave argument, let me refer you to episode The Valiant to a discussion between Arthur and Merlin, Arthur says and I quote “I can’t really be seen buying drinks for my servant.” And given some of Arthur’s initial treatment of poor Arthur it clearly shows the guy was a slave as well as being mentioned as so in several episodes. For me the great part of the mythology is that these two men would become the best of friends and fans may be tired of Merlin’s treatment but the eventual realization by Arthur that the boy he treated so badly was , is and always will be his greatest friend and champion. And I agree Colin’s skills with accents are amazing. He’s like David Tennant doing the English accent for the Doctor, who knew he was Scottish?

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