TELEVISION: Lancelot returns to Camelot

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To save Camelot, Sir Lancelot sacrificed himself and vanished behind the veil of the netherworld – now, he’s back. “Lancelot du Lac,” a new episode of MERLIN, airs this Friday at 10 p.m. ET/PT, only on Syfy … and in it, Lancelot is determined not to help Camelot, but to destroy it.

Hailed by SFX Magazine as “an extraordinary episode, bold, dark and sad,” “Lancelot du Lac” begins with the happiest of announcements: King Arthur asks for Guinevere’s hand in marriage. But the news reaches Morgana, who sees in Gwen her greatest threat to assuming the throne of Camelot. Morgana turns to the darkest of magic, necromancy, summoning the body of Sir Lancelot to do her bidding. Lancelot is played by Santiago Cabrera (Alcatraz, Heroes).

“We all have our secrets, and unfortunately for Guinevere, I know hers,” says Morgana when she learns of the engagement from duplicitous Agravaine. What Morgana knows is that, long before Arthur and Guinevere began their romance, Gwen lost her heart, at least momentarily, to Lancelot. As Morgana says: “Before she was Arthur’s, she was yours, Lancelot. You were her first love. And you will be her last.”

Dark and intense, often lushly romantic and achingly tragic, “‘Lancelot du Lac’ is one of the best episodes MERLIN has ever produced,” writes Digital Spy, an assessment with which series executive producer and co-creator Johnny Capps says he agrees.

“There are lots of episodes I love in this season, but one of my absolute favorites is when Lancelot returns,” Capps says. “The mechanics of the storyline required quite a bit of working out, and we had lots of arguments along the way. But in the end, I was really pleased with the story, and I was very impressed with the central performances – they are absolutely superb. Santiago has turned into such a fine actor, and Bradley (James as Arthur) puts in a storming performance.”

The episode offers grand, sweeping passion – and stunning betrayal. As an actor, “Lancelot du Lac” provided memorable challenge, says Katie McGrath, who plays Morgana.

“It was the best script I’d ever read – an extremely fairy-tale-like story that captures the Arthur-Guinevere-Lancelot love triangle, and also feels like a true ensemble piece,” she explains.

Then, McGrath adds with a laugh and a smile worthy of Morgana herself: “Plus, you get to see Santiago Cabrera naked, which is wonderful.” She pauses. “Better yet, naked and under my control!”

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“Lancelot du Lac,” an all-new episode of MERLIN, airs Friday, March 2, at 10 p.m. ET/PT only on Syfy. All three seasons of MERLIN are now available on DVD and on iTunes. Be sure to follow the latest news on MERLIN at the Official Merlin page on Facebook.

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via SyFy