Almost but not quite, entirely unlike Camelot
Bradley was enjoying a rare moment of being between takes sitting on the steps leading to the courtyard when he felt someone sit down next to him. A quick glance told him that it was Anthony and Bradley discreetly shifted the pink DS he’d swiped from Uther’s throne moments ago to the other side of his tunic so Anthony didn’t realize yet that he had it.
“You know the longer we film the more I find myself comparing what we’re doing here in France and this castle to the substance from the Nutri-matic.” Anthony said as they watched several people hustle across the courtyard in preparation for the next scene.
“Almost but not quite, entirely unlike Camelot?” Bradley joked.
“Absolutely.” Tony gave him a quick entirely unUther like grin clearly pleased that Bradley had understood the reference to Douglas Adams.
“In what way?”
“For one, though this castle is old the real Camelot was far older and not nearly as shiny or pretty. It looked more like a warlord’s castle or something found in a B grade horror movie than it did a welcoming home.”
That Anthony was saying this didn’t surprise him. His reading habits were almost as esoteric as those of his fictional alter ego Rupert Giles and he did research into the minute details of every role he took on as an actor. So even if it was widely believed to be little more than a myth if there were books, websites, pictures, paintings or anything that showed what Camelot really had looked like according to those in the know Anthony would have found them.
He would have been quick to share his findings with those around him who would want to know about all the little details about the characters they were lucky enough to get to portray. Bradley was one of those people and eagerly welcomed any bit of obscure information that Anthony would share with him.
“Camelot isn’t right. What about the people?”
“Arthur, the real Arthur didn’t look like you. He was very attractive, charismatic and eye catching but physically he was shorter than Eoin, stocky and muscular like a wrestler and looked quite a bit like Santiago. He was also rather brilliant, stubborn and reckless at times but brilliant.”
“So casting me was typecasting.” Bradley joked.
“Oh absolutely.” Tony agreed with a smirk.
“And Gwen, what of Arthur’s lady love?”
“It’s amazing how much she looked like Angel. They definitely cast correctly. She wasn’t a servant but a lady of the court. A nobleman’s daughter. She did grow up in Camelot and was quite close to Morgana and Arthur. She was never Arthur’s lady love. They may have well loved each other but it was a familial love not a romantic one. She wed his first knight Sir Lancelot with Arthur’s blessing and remained a part of Camelot until her passing a few years after her husband’s.”
“How do you know all this?”
“I have my ways.” Anthony said giving him a mysterious smile.
“And I suppose you’re actually a thousand years old and your ability with a sword comes not from practicing but taking heads to keep yourself alive.”
“Wrong mythology, Bradders. I’m not a thousand years old and the sword work comes from good old fashioned practice.”
“Spoil all my fun, why don’t you? At least tell me that Uther was really a bastard and that Merlin was an actual old man with a beard and stupid hat.”
“Uther was very much a product of his time. He wasn’t nice but he wasn’t the tyrant that the writers have made him this time around. He was fierce, protective and did his best as king and servant of his people. He didn’t use magic to confuse his friend’s wife and lay with her creating Arthur. Arthur was Ygraine and Uther’s child no magic involved. Morgana was his daughter and recognized as such though of course Arthur was the heir being male.”
“Nothing at all like the various versions the world of entertainment has given us and certainly nowhere near T.H. White’s ideas. The show did get a few points about Merlin correct. He did come to Camelot as a young man. He was made Arthur’s servant though it wasn’t a reward for saving Arthur’s life but more of a need as Arthur’s Morris needed to retire to take care of his grandchildren and Uther thought Arthur might do well with a servant his own age, someone who could almost be a friend rather than just a servant. He understood the loneliness that Arthur was feeling and while he was bit late to correct it he did love his son enough to try and fix it.”
“Almost sounds like our Uther. I know the reason the script gave but always felt there was more to it. It’s clear Uther loves his son even if he doesn’t always show it.”
“There is somewhat of a resemblance.” Anthony agreed.
“Physically, Merlin was a lot like Colin portrays him. He was tall, thin, awkward, a bit shy around others, especially females and always quick with a grin or a joke often at his own expense. The ears aren’t correct nor were his cheekbones nearly as sharp. He had the same sort of long faced, fey appearance as Colin but his eyes were green not that amazing blue.”
“You speak as if you almost knew him. Where are you getting your information and why haven’t you shared it with the three J’s or the writers? We could take the show in a whole new direction.”
“I told you I have my ways and the show is exactly how it needs to be. It’s the perfect blend of fact and fiction. Too much of one, not enough of the other and I hate to think of what the consequences could be.”
Their conversation was interrupted by make-up calling for Anthony.
“Anything else you want to tell me?”
“Just one more thing.”
“I’d like my DS back now if you please.” As Tony spoke he turned to face Bradley.
Bradley gasped at the sight. Anthony’s eyes were gold, the same gold that Colin’s eyes were turned by the digital effects crew every time he did magic. Except this couldn’t be trick or digital effect. Not when he could feel the pilfered DS coming out from under his tunic as if taken by invisible fingers before appearing in Anthony’s hand.
“Merlin.” Bradley breathed out the name shocked.
“The name is Myrddin, actually but that’s a story for another time.” Anthony said giving the name the proper pronunciation and winking at a stunned Bradley before walking off to answer make-up’s call.