Merlin Series Three- Episode Three: “Goblin’s Gold”

Ever wanted to see Richard Wilson licking his lips lasciviously whilst whacking Anthony Head’s head?

If you answered yes to that question, please stop reading now and go and seek help from a psychiatric professional. I said now. Go on, off you go.



Saturday’s episode of Merlin was a lighthearted piece of Goblin-based whimsy, apparently designed to soothe and relax us after the scary skeletal siege of Camelot last week.

I personally can’t thank the producers enough, as I’ve been a bag of nerves ever since I saw Morgana raise an army of the dead. I couldn’t distinguish between fiction and reality for days – I decided I was a Knight of the Round Table, started a war with France and had to be forcibly restrained from parking my horse in the disabled bay at Tesco whilst shopping for Spam.

I’m ok now though, as it turns out the cure for my traumatised state was watching Merlin try to trap a farting goblin in a lead lined box.

I’m sorry, but I’ve never really seen the point of ‘comedy’ episodes of established TV series. I tried to enjoy this one as I know it’s for kids. However, if I had a child, the last thing I’d want it to see is Richard Wilson tonguing a gold coin in a state of materialistic ecstasy. I don’t care if he was possessed by a goblin – it was well nasty.

Merlin releases the goblin – a Gollumesque piece of CGI – while looking for an old book in the library. Predictably, it turns out to be more mischievous than an army of Dom Jolys on their way to a Fonejacker theme party at Jeremy Beadle’s house.

Dobby the Evil House Elf possesses Richard ‘Gaius’ Wilson who begins peddling coloured water as cures for all kinds of invented ailments, most of which seem to cause comedy farting.

I have to say, my soul wept for the majestic King Giles off of Buffy during the ‘throne-room trumping’ scene. I think Anthony Head is a wonderful actor and it was like watching him reduced to the level of a washed up reality star in an end-of-the-pier panto. I appreciate it’s for kids, but if you’re going to make it into Dick and Dom in Da Bungalow, put it on at 4pm on a weekday, not 6pm on a Saturday night.

Daft and puerile though it was, there were some entertaining moments. Despite what I said above, I have to say I did quite enjoy watching Richard Wilson whack Anthony Head’s bald scalp repeatedly in an attempt to cure his sudden Jar-Jar-Goblin induced hair loss. Yes, yes, ok. Fine. I’ll go and seek professional help.

As far as I’m concerned, even the ’serious’ episodes of Merlin are a tad silly at times, so I’m not sure of the need for this comedy episode. But I might just have been rendered dour and humorless due to recently turning 30. So, if you’ll excuse me, I’m off to burn my collection of Beano annuals in a symbolic pyre whilst simultaneously filling out a pension application.


About Hilary Wardle
Hilary is a freelance journalist and copywriter who writes for a wide range of websites, magazines and newspapers, including Buzzfeed, MSN, The Poke, Chortle, the Guardian and the Independent. She specialises in arts and entertainment, comedy, video games and viral content. Contact her at

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