The current, fifth series of Merlin is to be the last, wrapping with a two-part finale around Christmastime. According to the BBC's official statement this will bring the show to a "natural and dramatic end."
I have never been much taken by Merlin, truth be told, but I believe our very own Hannah Shaw-Williams worked on some episodes and became a fan, or at least somewhat invested.
The BBC say that they have "ambitious plans" for new Saturday night dramas to come next year. It might seem like a long shot but here's hoping they come up with something that won't just seem like padding between series of Doctor Who.
UPDATE: And it seems that a Merlin spin-off is in the works already.
Here are the official statements from those involved in the show.
Co-Creators and Executive Producers Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy:
This is the series where the storylines truly reach their apex. We always felt the story of the legend was best told across five series, leading to a spectacular finale that draws on the best known elements of this much-loved story and brings to a conclusion the battle for Camelot. We?d like to thank the amazing cast and crew for their professionalism and dedication, the BBC, FME and all of our partners globally for their incredible support and encouragement across the last five series. But chiefly, our thanks go to Merlin?s remarkable and loyal audience around the world for their enthusiasm for the characters and Camelot universe.Colin Morgan, who played Merlin:
From the beginning this was always going to be a five year journey that we embarked on and I think the show has run its natural course. The show has grown and grown each year and now we?ve arrived at its strongest point and we?ve achieved what we set out to do? I know this is the end, and I know this is goodbye, but thank you for being there on the journey with us because it has been a lot of fun!Bradley James who played King Arthur:
The Merlin years have provided me with fond memories, great experiences and beloved friends and all the while we were supported by a devoted fan base who made the show a unique, surreal and special experience. My words won?t do justice to the honour of being King Arthur so I shall just say that it has been an exceptional one and that knowing the show has been a part of so many people?s lives, has been humbling.Katie McGrath who played Morgana:
I have always said the success of the show has stemmed from our audience being able to relate to the characters on different levels ? being based on the universally loved Arthurian legend is only a tiny part of its success ? it?s a story about acceptance and growing up. The breathtaking finale of this series leaves you with no doubt that characters have been on their journeys and had their stories told ? it?s completely the right time to draw our telling of the story to a close.Angel Coulby who played Guinevere:
It has been a very special and memorable five years making Merlin. I feel extremely proud to have been part of such a brilliant show and such a great team. I think we?ve told the story we set out to tell, which ends with the fantastic two part finale by the way! I believe the key to any successful show is making sure you leave people wanting more!Richard Wilson who played Gaius:
Firstly I would like to say that I?m extremely sad that Merlin has come to an end. Speaking as Gaius, I feel I have mentored the young wizard as far as I can ? he is much smarter and greater than me now and I am simply exhausted!BBC One Controller Danny Cohen:
Merlin?s mix of magic, adventure and humour quickly became a hit with BBC One audiences and has continued to thrill families over the last five years on Saturday nights. I admire the creators? decision to end Merlin on a high, but also know that we will miss it in the BBC One schedule. On behalf of BBC One I would like to thank Shine and all those involved in the making of the show both on and off screen. I hope fans will tune in over the coming weeks to see the spectacularly dramatic final episodes, and we have ambitious plans for new drama in the Saturday evening slot in 2013.