Negotiating the Boundaries of Legend
I've been hearing all over the Merlin fandom how Merlin tramples the Arthurian legend into dust -- "but we don't care! We love it anyway!"
Well. Ahem. I just finished my Arthurian Lit class.
I'd like to call into question first the idea that there's "one" Arthurian legend. Second, certainly the BBC's Merlin tramples Malory's popular Morte d'Arthur, yes, but it returns to a tenth century Arthurian text, Geoffrey of Monmouth, where Uther raises Arthur, and then runs from there. The BBC's writers show a familiarity with a breadth of Arthurian texts as they remake the legend.
If you're going to depart from the legend, you'd better know what you're doing. And they do.