2:00 pm EST, December 10, 2012

A Month of ‘Merlin’: 5 spin-off ideas for the BBC

Today, we’re celebrating Merlin not by looking back, but looking ahead: if the BBC is looking to do a spin-off, here’s five great suggestions!

Merlin is ending. After our initial panic attack, we’re slowly but surely coming to terms with this fact, and are celebrating the end of the series with our A Month of Merlin initiative.

The actors, at least, seem to be excited about the show ending on a high note, and even though we’ve still got questions that need to be answered, we’ll take their word for it that the story of Merlin, Arthur, Gwen and Morgana is done. There likely won’t be a movie continuing the story from here, and maybe we won’t need one after all is said and done.

But that doesn’t mean that we’re willing to let go of the canon the show has created! And we’ll cling on to any of the characters and actors we can, too. Although Capps and Murphy have left Shine TV (the production company behind Merlin), potential spin-off series are still being considered. What might they be? Don’t worry BBC, your friendly neighbourhood Hypable staff members have got your back!

Last week we brought you our top 5 theories about the end of the show, and now it’s time for spin-off pitches.

Read our five suggestions for Merlin spin-offs that should (or shouldn’t) make it to screen, and vote for your favourite in the poll. Got a better suggestion? Share it in the comments!

This article was written by Hypable staff members Selina Wilken and Pamela Gocobachi, and Talks of Camelot co-host Patricia Spence.

1. The Adventures of Gwaine

The Adventures of Gwaine: A Merlin spinoff spin-off starring Eoin Macken

In our opinion, the most obvious Merlin spin-off would be a Gwaine-centric series – because clearly, Eoin Macken needs to have his own show. And there’s no excuse for not getting on this one right away, BBC, because it almost writes itself!

Though you could argue that any one of the knights could star in their own spin-off, the tale of Sir Gawain and the Green Knight is one of the more interesting stand-alone stories from the Arthurian canon. Gwaine’s story has literally got it all: mystery, action, adventure, and torrid love – and top it all off with the underlying themes of bravery and chivalry that make the Arthurian Legends so enticing, and you’ve got all the makings for a riveting and action-packed, slightly noir adventure.

For those of you unfamiliar with the story of Gwaine and the Green Knight, here’s what happens in a nutshell:

One Christmas Eve when Arthur and his knights are all well into their cups during a banquet celebration at Camelot, a mysterious man appears at the gates of Camelot. Dressed in green and holding nothing but an axe, he makes his way before the king and all his subjects and introduces himself as The Green Knight. He then proceeds to offer the following challenge: any man in attendance may chop off his head with the condition that he may chop off their heads in a year’s time.

Gwaine, never one to back down from a challenge takes the man up on his offer and severs his head with one blow. But instead of dying, The Green Knight simply walks over, picks up his head and tells Gwaine where to meet him one year later.

This is where our story starts: knowing that he’s got one year left to live, Gwaine sets off on an epic adventure, intending to do everything he hasn’t done yet, knowing that he must eventually travel to the place where he promised to meet the mysterious Green Knight to get his head chopped off (but will that happen?! We don’t want to give away the ending).

Though Gwaine travels alone in the original tale, we’ll need someone for him to verbally spar with while off adventuring. This could be a new character (perhaps a loyal squire?), but we could also see him inviting one of the other knights to come along with him. For example, how amazing would it be to see Tom Hopper reprise his role as Sir Percival in The Adventures of Gwaine?

A big part of Gwaine’s story in the original tale is that he is enticed by the Lady Bertilak, who, though married, repeatedly comes to Gwaine in the middle of the night begging for him to bed her. While there are many actresses who could play the part, we’d like to see British actress Felicity Jones in the role. Jones impressed critics with her almost fully improvised role as Anna in the indie drama Like Crazy, and we would love to see how she would fare in a period piece.

As for the Green Knight? Let’s call up Christopher Eccleston and ask if he’s busy – he looks enough like Eoin Macken that if the series is renewed, the cliffhanger could be that the Green Knight is really Gwaine’s father! Dun dun dunnn.

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