Merlin: Secrets & Magic (2009) s01e07 Episode Script

Witch Hunt

Welcome to Secrets And Magic, going behind the scenes to reveal how Merlin is made.
Today, things are hotting up on set for Richard Wilson.
Really upsetting when you were reading it - "They can't do that to Richard! No!" "It's not Richard, it's Gaius!" "But don't do that to Richard!" We take a look back at the lovable Gaius' greatest moments and we meet the creepy Camelot visitor who's spooking all the cast.
I'm glad they genuinely felt scared.
That means I was doing my job.
But is he really that scary? All this and more on Merlin Secrets & Magic.
Today, the cast and crew are making another hair-raising episode.
It stars Richard Wilson, aka Gaius, and his wig, aka Martin.
Why, I don't know.
That's what my make-up lady, Anna, calls it.
Richard's rug may well have a life of its own but, together, they've been turning heads.
You cannot imagine Gaius being played by anyone else.
Absolutely not.
He is wonderful and he has created a character so different to everything he's done before.
Apart from the wig, what was it that attracted Richard to the role? Something I haven't really done before.
I quite liked the idea of doing a bit of filming in France and things like that.
Um it just seemed rather a good idea.
We knew he was right for the part.
The fact that he is very well known is an added bonus, but it wasn't important to cast a name in that part but it was good that he did say yes, because, obviously, we got a lot of kudos by having Richard in the show.
Because he is the national treasure that he is and because he is a comic genius, you find yourself insane sometimes trying to keep a straight face cos you're going, "That is brilliant!" What's this? LAUGHTER Sorry, I have to stop.
Someone's put a cappuccino thing in my inkwell.
I believe it was you had a cappuccino.
No, it was me.
I'm ever so sorry, Richard.
I don't want to see anything else in my inkwell.
When Gaius crashed onto our screens, he seemed only to be Camelot's cantankerous court physician.
Are you using magic again?! No.
But as things heated up, we learned there was more to him than meets they eye.
I want you to take mine in his place.
Gaius the hero.
Gaius the magician.
HE RECITES AN INCANTATION Gaius the confidant.
Once again you save my life.
You've always served me well.
And, most importantly, Gaius, Merlin's guardian.
They have this very, very touching relationship and that just blossomed from episode one of the first series when Gaius is helping Merlin's wounds from the mace fight with Arthur.
There was such a great chemistry between the two of them that we were going, we can build on this - Gaius being the reluctant father figure, but enjoying it whilst at the same time not knowing how to do it.
In this latest episode, his relationship with his uncle is put to the ultimate test.
Merlin's casual magic sends Camelot into chaos and leads Gaius into grave danger.
The smoke was alive, I tell you.
I feared for my life.
Send for the witchfinder.
In this story, probably for the only time in the first two series, Merlin is actually accused of using magic.
Quite a big moment.
These are dangerous times.
The threat against magic and against Merlin is real.
I think it's good to occasionally remind the audience of that.
We were always very keen to tell a story of a witchfinder coming.
We talked about Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and the child catcher because I remember being freaked out by that.
We thought he could arrive in this carriage on a dark, wet night with chains in the carriage.
So we started with this kind of image and created a story round it.
I am expected.
The witchfinder was a really difficult part to cast because you want a great British actor.
We were going, "What about Charles Dance? Would he do it? Would he be interested in doing Merlin? "Should we talk to him? Let's just send him the script and see what happens.
" Sometimes, something different comes along, and this is certainly that.
The witchfinder serves no-one.
He's a law unto himself.
Do you smell it? Do you smell it, Uther? Aredian.
It's all around us.
The foul stench of sorcery.
He was obviously having great fun with it and, you know he was having a great time! You don't often get to swish around in a long, black leather coat and black hat and gloves.
It's enormous fun to play parts like that.
Of course it is.
Because, you know, I can play.
When do you begin? I've already begun.
He came up to me and he said, "What do you think of this ring? And I said, "What do you mean?" "I've just bought it in Camden Market.
It'd be perfect for the character.
" It was a rather ugly little thing, with a kind of claw in it.
I thought, "That'll be handy!" It's very much in keeping with the rest of the stuff.
You know, Keith Richards has got the kind of spanners and nuts and bolts hanging from his hair! We edged in that direction.
I have a few questions I would like to you to answer.
Please be at my chambers in an hour.
'He created such a sense of menace' and a strange, twisted sense of fun about approaching these suspects.
'And it's very unnerving.
You're sitting there 'and, I mean, I wasfelt quite genuinely intimidated.
' You're saying that she lies? I didn't say that, I said I didn't see what she saw.
How that can that be, I wonder? How can one person see something and the other not? Hmm? I can't explain it.
'Charles Dance - scariest man ever!' I remember my first scene with him - and I was petrified about working with Charles Dance - and the first scene was when he interrogated me.
I'm sitting down and he's about to interrogate me and he just starts messing with all these props behind me and I'm like, "What is he doing?" And he picks up all these torture instruments, so this bizarre fear you see on my face in the scene is completely real.
I'm like, "What is he.
? Oh, God!" It looked so natural, I'm like, "You've tortured people before!" Charles Dance, eh(?) Well, I'm glad that they genuinely felt scared.
That means I was doing my job properly.
Thank you.
You may go.
But backstage, Katie can be quite scary herself, with a little help from Martin, of course.
She looks like a street urchin.
"Katie Richard Wilson.
" Richard Wilson would be very impressed.
Merlin! He might be impressed, but right now, he's got more important things to worry about.
That's my life's work.
The sorcerer is master of concealment.
We really wanted to give a really challenging episode for Gaius, as well, for Richard.
And Gaius goes to such extreme lengths to save Merlin and it's so touching that Gaius has reached this point where he cares about Merlin so much that he would, basically, lay his life down for Merlin.
Gaius? What's going on? Say nothing, Merlin.
Do nothing.
Promise me! This loveable father-figure to Merlin and to everyone, really.
You just imagine that he's the guy in the town that everyone respects and likes.
And he's being put through this horrible ordeal, where a series of quite harsh, you know, probably violent interrogations, where he is being being forced into admitting to something he didn't do.
I'd like a drink of water, please.
And you shall have one when you've confessed.
Then I shall die of thirst, Aredian.
It's horrible to watch.
I remember the scene that I had to watch, when he is thrown down in front of Uther and he's having to say, "I am a sorcerer, I have committed crimes of magic.
" I was, literally, standing there in that scene going, "Oh, God! Richard!" Confess! I I am a sorcerer, Sire.
'It's a very emotional episode' and quite difficult to watch, I think.
By the laws of Camelot, I must sentence you to death.
Bear witness and heed this lesson! Ah, good morning, Merlin fans.
You join us on a slightly cold, wet day in the castle.
But, thankfully, there's about to be a public burning! Richard Wilson is going to be burnt at the stake, so it should warm things up for us.
I'm quite close to the fire, so, you know, I should be able to warm up pretty quickly.
Ease this cold.
Everybody standing by?! Oops, I'm blocking.
I'll see you later.
I think there's an element of the witchfinder settling an old score.
He's probably never liked Gaius very much and had this opportunity to rough him up and then, finally, burn him at the stake.
Probably thinks it's his birthday! Charles had to manhandle Richard quite roughly and Richard was saying, "Be rougher with me.
" Charles would say, "I don't want to hurt you.
" I preferred to pretend to be roughing Richard up and let him pretend that I'm roughing him up a lot more.
I guess there's a kind of element of method in there, you know.
"Go on, rough me up, rough me up!" "Oh, OK, if this is what you really "want me to do, fine, I'll do it, but I'd rather not," you know.
And, of course, as if by magic, Merlin comes to the rescue.
How do you answer to these accusations? They're absurd.
The boy's clearly concocted these lies in the hope of saving his master.
Unfortunately, he's found to be the charlatan that he is and comes to a sticky end himself.
'I think he deserves everything he gets, eventually.
'Including coughing up a toad.
' Ha-ha! That was fun! Huh! Makes your eyes water a bit, coughing up a toad.
So, after all that, it's time for us to say adieu to Aredian, the fraudulent witchfinder, who came to Camelot in search of magic, but, unluckily for him, he found Merlin instead.
The boy! Merlin! He may have a menacing stare, but that means nothing if you pick on a magician's uncle.
In Merlin, he clearly bit off more than he could chew and what he ended up with was a toad-in-the-hole.
All that's left is to leave you with a song and a Charles Dance.
I've got you in my arms It's a nice, nice feeling It's a sweet song, isn't it? Very sweet.
You know?