Merlin: Series 3 and 4

Composed By: Rob Lane, Rohan Stevenson, James Gosling and Michal Pavlicek

Distributed by: MovieScore Media

Reviewed by Melissa Minners


                I first discovered the television series, Merlin, in 2009 and was instantly intrigued.  Based upon the legend of King Arthur, but with a new creative twist, the series first aired on the BBC in 2008 and turned up in the United States as a mid-summer replacement the following year.  The series featured Colin Morgan as a young Merlin who makes his way to a Camelot where magic is forbidden by the stern King Uther (Anthony Head).  His son, Arthur (Bradley James), takes Merlin on as a valet and they soon become fast friends.  As the series progresses, we see Merlin's magical powers grow and Arthur take on more responsibility as the king's daughter Morgana's (Katie McGrath) own evil brand of magic comes to the fore. 

                Unfortunately, by the third season, the show was not only on a different channel, but a different date and time and so, I lost track of the series.  Of course, that didn't mean that I wouldn't keep tabs on what was happening.  Series 3 and 4 of Merlin were much darker than the first two and, though I never watched an episode, I couldn't wait to check out the musical scores of these two seasons.  After all, I already had experienced the terrific scores created for the first two. 

                The musical score of Series 3 features music created by composers Rob Lane, Rohan Stevenson and James Gosling.  The music is orchestral, with action at the forefront.  The daring adventures of Merlin, Arthur and his knights are highlighted by blaring trumpets and fast-paced, adrenaline-pounding score.  Moments during which magic is used are made mystical through the uses of a harp and bells (or perhaps a xylophone).  Comedic moments are expressed through lighthearted, quirky compositions.  The darker moments allude to Morgana and her treacherous union with the evil sorceress Morgause.

                The musical score of Series 4 is composed by Rob Lane, Rohan Stevenson, James Gosling and Michal Pavlicek.  The music in Series 4 is much darker as things have grown their darkest in the series.  Uther is dying and Arthur is filling in as King while Morgana is on the run and a traitor lies in wait in the midst of the kingdom.  The darkness is perfectly described by the orchestral musical score.  Every track has a dramatic flare, alternating between action and drama as the events in the episode dictate.  There are no quirky, lighthearted moments in this soundtrack and the magic is still mystical, but somewhat darker in nature.

                The musical score found on the Merlin: Series 3 and Series 4 Soundtracks are exactly what I was expecting and more.  I could actually picture what was going on in the series as I listened to the music play.  The music found on these two albums represent how a musical score for a television series should sound.  There aren't a bunch of half-tracks mushed together to create a whole.  The music tells the story as it plays out in each season, something that I, as a fan of the show, greatly appreciated.  The Merlin: Series 3 and 4 Soundtracks are just what the doctor ordered for fans of the series who have just learned that Series 5 will be the final series of this incredibly fun television experience.  They can relive the action, adventure and magic of the series again and again through its music.


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