Merlin 5.08 “The Hollow Queen” Spoiler-Free Preview

Who knows what the future holds? The Great Dragon, that’s who. With magic, knowledge of the stars, wisdom of tea leaves and some preview discs from the BBC he can predict what’s going to happen in this weekend’s Merlin, “The Hollow Queen”… but he’s a bit circumspect about giving out the info as out intrepid young seeker of knowledge has discovered over the past few weeks…

“Thank God, Great Dragon, you’re back again. Queen Mab last week was a bit of a pain.”

“Really, young quizzer?”

“She spoke not just in riddles but in rhymes. It really got on my tits at times”.

“Catching, was it?”

“Arrrggghhh! I’ve been like this all week, I even rhyme when I go for a leak…”

“Maybe she put a spell on you? That ’s easily fixed.”

“May I ask how, you wise old… Ow! You hit me with your gnarly claw. What the hell did you do that for?”

“Hmmm… I thought it would be like hiccups. If I gave you a shock you’d snap out of it. Didn’t work. Oh hang on. I know.”

“Please please be very quick, getting rid of this vocal tick.”

“Merlin dies this week.”

“What? Bloody hell? Really?”

“No, don’t be stupid. As if I’d tell it like that if he did. But it’s cured you.”

“What? Oh, yeah. Cool! So you just said he dies to shock me? He doesn’t really, surely?”

“Maybe he does. Maybe he doesn’t.”

“Regular service has been resumed. Go on. Spout some nonsensical clues about ‘The Hollow Queen’.”

“Something rubs off that shouldn’t. Arthur is an accidental cross dresser. One guest star tells a rum tale; another a chilling one that upsets the queen. Something needs to be signed, but it may or may not get that far. Bandits! But not particularly scary ones. There’s a tournament. Gaius has a temporary new job. Arthur thinks there’s some hanky panky going on. There’s redemption that brings tears to Merlin’s eyes. Something else brings something dribblier to his lips. An apple is refused. Someone sounds like Gollum’s first victim. There’s some casual violence against dragons. Some details of Morgana’s missing years come to light…”

“Blimey, you’re on form this week! Hold up a second while I try to take all that lot in…”

“It’s a episode that covers all bases tonally, with Richard Wilson getting to flex his sit com muscles, but tragic at other points. Merlin doesn’t spend the entire episode shadowing Arthur and has a new pal to play with. The guest stars are very strong. Morgana wanders around the woods a bit more and still thinks that the spell is mightier than the sword. The Knights barely feature, except for ceremonial duties.”

“But does the evil-Gwen plot come to a head?”

“To reveal that would be too much of a spoiler. But this I will tell you. In terms of overall impact it very similar to the episode before. Except… except…”

“Except what?”

“Well, there’s nothing quite like a good flashback is there? And this one is quite chilling.”

“You can’t leave it at that!”

“Yes I can. I’m the Great Dragon. It’s my job. And that’ll be four gold pieces for curing you of the rhyming spell.”

“Er… um… Oh yeah… What cure, what spell?  You can go to…”

“Nice try. Cough up.”

Merlin “The Hollow Queen” airs on BBC1 on Saturday 24 November at 8pm.

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