Comedy breaks through the dramatic overtones of the third season of MERLIN with a hilarious tale of goblins, possession and coin-licking in an episode entitled “Goblin’s Gold” premiering Friday, January 21 at 10:00 p.m. ET/PT on Syfy.
Richard Wilson, regarded as a national treasure in the UK for his comedic performances, gets the opportunity to unleash his witty talents as Gaius in “Goblin’s Gold.” In the episode, Merlin stumbles across a secret chamber and accidentally releases a Goblin. The mischievous creature possesses Merlin’s mentor Gaius, leading the once wise physician to develop a taste for gold, ale and magical jokes. With a suddenly bald King Uther and a scourge of flatulence sweeping the royal household, can Merlin work through the mystery and banish the Goblin back to where he came from before any real damage is done?
Anthony Head, who portrays King Uther in the series, found Wilson’s enthusiastic grasp of the possessed Gaius to be “slightly disturbing.” Moreover, Head’s character takes his share of the Goblin’s abuse, first going completely bald overnight and then receiving a bad case of flatulence. However, Head admits he enjoyed the episode’s scenes opposite Wilson, particularly when the role called for Gaius to comically slap Uther’s bald skull several times in a supposed remedy to return his hair.
“When you know somebody to be a trusted, respectable actor in a role as a dignified member of Camelot’s court, you don’t expect them to be sticking their tongue out with such enthusiasm,” Head explains. “I so enjoyed the scene that he was slapping my head that I completely blew the take. His hands were wet with the ointment and I was wearing a padded prosthetic, so he was really slapping away, and the sound and the smashing of it just gave me such a funny visual that I couldn’t help but laugh.”
Wilson, an Associate Member of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art, was awarded an OBE (Order of the British Empire) in 1994 for his contributions to the dramatic arts. The two-time BAFTA winner is best known for his iconic role as Victor Meldrew in the extremely popular UK television series One Foot in the Grave. Other TV appearances include roles in Only When I Laugh, Tutti Frutti, Born and Bred, Doctor Who and dozens of series, mini-series and TV movies.