Gareth Thomas in Merlin The Magic Begins

Gareth played Merlin's mentor Blaze in a pilot called "Merlin the Magic Begins". This was filmed in early October 97.

This first showing was on November 1st 98.

The decision has been made to go ahead and produce the series, but production has moved from Scotland to New Brunswick in Canada and it is not yet known how this will affect Gareth's participation. he wants to continue in the part and his performance got a good reaction.

The series also stars Merlin is played by Jason Connery and Deborah Moore.

The series will be made by Segull productions a part of Kaleidoscope Media Group in conjunction with Wynn Entertainment.

Out of date press release and pictures by Kaleidoscope Media Group. (None of Gareth)

Note from the director David Winning.

Showing Information

According to Kaleidoscope's web page (which I don't totally trust having seen inaccurate information there before - but on the other hand, they did make the programme), 'Merlin: The Magic Begins' is available to television stations October 28th through November 15th for two runs.

Presumably they mean that's when it will be broadcast in the US. I hope someone will copy it for me. Gareth looked lovely in the stills I've seen.

Whether it will ever get made into a series is anyone's guess. It's been a saga of ups and downs and even if it does get to be a series, there's no guarantee that they'd keep the original cast.

The following is courtesty of the sci fi channel website: (and gives slightly different dates from those previously mentioned)

The Kaleidoscope Media Group announced:

that its two-hour TV pilot Merlin: The Magic Begins will air in syndication between Oct. 19 and Nov. 15. The show has so far been cleared in 59 markets, which represent approximately 62 percent of U.S. TV households, including both CBS and NBC owned-and-operated stations.

Merlin stars Jason Connery, the son of Sean Connery, and Deborah Moore, the daughter of Roger Moore, in a story based on the King Arthur legend. In this version of the Arthur tale, Merlin is a young man who must learn to control his blossoming magical powers while fighting to protect the benevolent forest people against the black magic of the evil Rengal.

Kaleidoscope plans to follow the Merlin movie with a syndicated one-hour TV series that is expected to premiere in the fall 1999.

Footnote from Judith - Kaleidoscope have promised things about a series before and they didn't come to pass, so I'd take this announcement with a large pinch of salt. There's also no guarantee at all that Gareth will retain his part if the series does come to pass. Last time I spoke to Gareth, he'd had no news regarding 'Merlin' for a long time.

There is an excellent review by Ruth Kenyon on her website.


These are from the original filming and editing

Each expands to a larger image

This last picture comes in two versions, the one above and this one which was actually shown:

Merlin: The Magic Begins - Info and Station List

Merlin: The Magic Begins is a syndicated two-hour TV movie that is also a pilot for a possible series in fall 1999. It stars Jason Connery (Robin of Sherwood) as Merlin. Also starring is Deborah Moore (Roger Moore's daughter) and Gareth Thomas (Blake's 7).

As a disclaimer, I have not seen it and have seen little info on it, but it has been in the works for a year or so with occasional mentions in the British TV Magazines like TV Zone and Dreamwatch. It is of interest to fans because of the involvement of Jason Connery and Gareth Thomas and I believe it is mainly a British production.

Director: David Winning

Cast: Jason Connery, Deborah Moore, Gareth Thomas, Graham McTavish, Fiona Kempin, Gordon Hall, John Woodford, Chick Allen, Finn Begbie, Peter Begbie, Rosie Begbie, Katrina Boyd, Michael Boyd III, Andy Bryden

Station List

The following is a list of US stations and the specific dates and times they will be airing Merlin: The Magic Begins.

This list came from one provided by KMG. If noted as "Airdate Unknown", that station will be airing it sometime before the end of November. If noted as "11/15/98-11/29/98", that station will be showing it sometime during those dates. These may not be accurate, so check your local listings or an online listings service such as For example, the info I was given about the Chicage station was wrong. What is listed here is correct (according to the tvquest site).
CityStationDate Time
AIN11/18/98 9:00pm 11/22/98 12:00pm
AMERICA ONEGE-3/TR 2411/20/98 8:00pm 11/20/98 2:00am
ALBANY, GAWFXL11/18/98 12:00pm
ATLANTAWSB11/14/98 1:30pm
BATON ROUGEWBTR10/31/98 8:00pm 11/15/98 8:00pm
BOISEKTVB11/15/98 12:00pm
BOSTONWNDS11/29/98 12:00pm
BOWLING GREENWGRB10/25/98 9:00pm
BUFFALOWNYO11/25/98 4:00pm
CHARLOTTEWAXN10/25/98 3:00pm 11/07/98 2:00pm
CHICAGOWCIU10/26/98 7:00pm 10/31/98 4:00pm
CLEVELANDWAOH11/14/98 - 11/28/98
COLUMBUS, OHWCLL11/22/98 8:00pm
DALLAS-FT.WORTHKXTX11/04/98 7:00pm
DAYTONWMVC10/24/98 3:30pm
DENVERKTVDAirdate Unknown
DES MOINES-AMESWHO10/25/98 1:30pm
DERRY, NH????10/24/99 9:00pm 11/11/98 8:00pm
DETROITWADL11/02/98 9:00pm
EL PASOKTSMAirdate Unknown
FLORENCEWWMB10/23/98 7:00pm 11/13/98 1:00pm
FORT MYERSWBBH11/01/98 1:00pm
FT. SMITHKSBNAirdate Unknown
GREEN BAYWACY11/15/98 2:00pm
GREENSBOROWXIV10/24/98 9:00pm (repeat TBA)
GREENVILLEWYFF11/01/98 2:00pm
HARTFORDWTNH10/23/98 8:00pm
HUNTSVILLEWYLE10/26/98 9:00pm
HOUSTONKHTVAirdate Unknown
JACKSON, MSWBMS10/30/98 9:00pm
JACKSONVILLEWTLV11/22/98 1:00pm (repeat TBA)
KNOXVILLEWBXX11/07/98 3:00am
LAFAYETTE, LAKATC11/14/98 12:30pm
LAS VEGASKCNG11/01/98 8:00pm 11/15/98 8:00pm
LITTLE ROCKKASN11/28/98 4:00pm
LOS ANGELESKTLA11/08/98 9:00pm 11/15/98 12:00pm
KCALAirdate Unknown
LOUISVILLEWBNA10/29/98 8:00pm 10/31/98 3:00pm
MEMPHISWBII11/07/98 8:00pm
MIAMIWFOR10/31/98 12:00pm
MINEAPLS-ST. PLWCNM11/15/98 - 11/29/98
MOBILE-PENSCOLAWFGX10/31/98 3:00pm 11/29/98 12:00pm
NASHVILLEWTVF10/23/98 2:30am
NEW ORLEANSWHNO11/15/98-11/29/98
NEW YORKWABC11/08/98 2:00pm
NORFOLKWAVYAirdate Unknown
ORLANDOWFTVAirdate Unknown
PALM SPRINGSKPSP11/15/98-11/29/98
PADUCAHKQTV10/31/98 8:00pm 11/15/98 2:00pm
PHILADELPHIAWGTW11/08/98 7:00pm 11/11/98 9:00pm
PHOENIXKUSK11/15/98 - 11/29/98
PITTSBURGHWBPA11/15/98 - 11/29/98
PORTLAND, ORKWBP10/24/98 8:00pm 11/15/98 2:00pm
RAPID CITYKOTA11/15/98-11/29/98
RENOKOLO11/22/98 11:30pm
ROANOKEWRDLAirdate Unknown
ROCHESTERWBGT10/25/98 1:00pm
SALT LAKE CITYKUWB10/30/98 7:00pm
SAN ANTONIOKJRG11/15/98-11/29/98
SAN FRAN-OAK-SJKICU11/01/98 12:00pm 11/14/98 12:00pm
SANTA BARBARAKSTV11/07/98 8:00pm
SAVANNAHWJCL11/14/98 1:30pm
SHREVEPORTXCVS10/31/98 7:00pm 11/04/98 7:00pm
SOUTH BENDWSBT10/31/98 12:00pm
SPOKANEKALYAirdate Unknown
SPRINGFIELD, MOKOJQ11/14/98 3:00pm 11/21/98 8:00pm
ST. LOUISKPLR10/29/98 2:00am
TALLAHASEEWGVP10/30/98 12:00pm
TAMPAWWWB10/23/98 2:00am 11/07/98 2:00pm
TOLEDOWNTG11/07/98 4:00pm
TUCSONKVOA11/14/98 12:00pm
WASHINGTON, DCWJAL11/07/98 12:00am
WEST PALM BEACHWTCN11/07/98 12:00pm 11/21/98 9:00pm

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Last updated on 30th of December 2003.