By Curt Wagner, @ShowPatrol
2:50 PM CST, January 15, 2013
King Arthur's father would be turning over in his grave--if he were still in it.
Arthur can't resist using magic to summon his father, Uther, back to Camelot in "The Death Song of Uther Pendragon," airing at 9 p.m. CT Jan. 18 on Syfy. When he was alive and king of Camelot, Uther banned magic from the kingdom. That's the reason Merlin hides his powers from Arthur to this day.
Uther feared magic and believed that know good could come from its use. Maybe he was right. After Arthur seizes the chance to speak to the person he misses most he learns that the spirit world is indeed a dark and dangerous place. His decision comes at a terrible price, leaving Merlin (Colin Morgan) as the only person able to put right Arthur's mistake before Camelot and everything they have built is destroyed forever.
The episode signals Anthony Head's one-episode return to "Merlin" as Uther--and a joyful reunion with his former castmates.
"It was really nice to have Tony back for a bit," said Bradley James, who plays King Arthur. "I think it seemed a bit weird for him, but he fit back in, and the father-son dynamic went right back. It was good to see him, good to work with him again. I know he missed people, and I think the novelty of coming back was something he was pleased to do."
Head appeared in at least part of the first four seasons of "Merlin," creating strong bonds with James and other cast members. As acting vets, Head and Richard Wilson, who plays Gaius, always were present and available to their young castmates, James said.
"Tony didn't have quite enough time during filming the episode to emanate any pearls of wisdom, but that's the beauty of Tony and Richard--they would never force their words of wisdom on you," James said. "Everybody's got advice, everybody's got opinions, and I think it's a very respectable trait to only use them in necessary moments. Anthony and Richard are very experienced, especially from a professional, industry point of view, and they half-said things that helped me rather than going blindly into that abyss."
James said their guidance resonates even when he's not around them.
"I can't tell you how many times I've gone into a situation and thought, 'Ah, this is what Anthony and Richard were talking about,'" he said. "They are great resources, and I appreciate them both."
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