NBC has announced a new series based on the medieval wizard Merlin as part of its Fall 2008 line-up, this time looking at his rambunctious twenty-something years à la The Tudors. The series, to be produced by BBC Wales (which also produces Doctor Who) and apparently to be aired more or less concurrently on both the BBC and NBC, will star 22-year-old Colin Morgan. In this version Merlin and Arthur are contemporaries, rather than elder and youth (as portrayed most of the original legends and in such modern evocations as the film Excalibur).
Several of the stars, including Morgan, Anthony Head (Uther Pendragon), and Angel Coulby, who plays Guinevere, have appeared in Doctor Who. Morgan made his stage debut last year at London's Old Vic in Vernon God Little.
Here's the official description: "Merlin brings to life a new legend for a modern audience. Merlin is an exciting, hour-long fantasy series set in the mythic city of Camelot – but inspired by 21st Century storytelling. Before Merlin (Colin Morgan, Doctor Who) and Arthur (Bradley James, Lewis) became legends, they were ambitious young men looking for adventure, hoping to live up to their family's expectations, discovering love and finding their own true destiny, making mistakes along the way. The innovative, action-packed drama has cross-generational appeal and paints a picture of Merlin and Arthur's early life that audiences have never witnessed before. Anthony Head (Buffy the Vampire Slayer), Richard Wilson (A Passage to India), Angel Coulby (Magicians) and Katie McGrath (The Tudors) also star. A FremantleMedia Enterprises distribution of a Shine production for BBC."