Guinevere is an adult spin-off of the enormously successful teatime fantasy drama, Merlin (2008 - 2013). Following in the format of Torchwood (2006 - present), the spin off of Doctor Who (2005 - present) aimed at an adult audience, Guinevere picks up where Merlin left off, chronicling the character of Gwen (Angel Coulby) in her journey as queen of Albion.
Presented as a fantasy political drama, the series begins as Merlin ends, with the legalisation of magic. As King Arthur (Bradley James) seeks to begin the unification of all the independent states of Albion, he asks Guinevere to enter into negotiations with Queen Annis (Lindsay Duncan), who has little problem with magic, but is wary of joining Arthur’s kingdom and putting laws upon peoples with who she perceives no shared commonality. Gwen sets off at once with Merlin (Colin Morgan) and an escort of knights, led by the queen’s brother Sir Elyan (Adetomiwa Edun) for Queen Annis’s kingdom. The negotiation, Arthur promises, should be easy once Annis has the chance to speak with Guinevere frankly, and the success of the negotiations will go a long way in dispelling the doubt in Camelot’s court of Gwen’s capabilities.
However no one expects that upon reaching Annis’s court, they find another queen in the midst of political entreaty. Morgana le Fey (Katie McGrath) strives to ally Queen Annis’s kingdom with her own growing group of magical persons: distrustful of Camelot’s abrupt change in magic laws and not at all keen on following Arthur’s rule. Morgana believes that with Annis as an ally, no kingdom can dismiss her claims of regency and independence.
Can Guinevere convince Annis that joining with Camelot is the most powerful political move? Will Morgana succeed in gaining a new ally? How will the two former friends behave when once again forced into one another’s company, after all that has passed between them? And beneath all the magical maneuverings, there is still doubt amongst many that a peasant girl and former maidservant is a worthy queen to such a great throne: how will Gwen prove them otherwise?
Guinevere opens with an exciting 2-part intrigue, establishing the more mature and complex tone of the series, and setting it apart for older audiences from its roots in Merlin.
Introducing Amara Karan (Doctor Who, Kidnap & Ransom) as Anne, Lady in Waiting to Guinevere, and Richard Ayoade (The IT Crowd, The Mighty Boosh) as Gilbert, well-meaning and long-suffering advisor to the Court, who takes Guinevere under his wing as she enters the tangled realms of court politics. Pauline Collins returns as Alice, Camelot’s new Court Physician after Gaius (Richard Wilson) passes away. Later episodes guest star Queen Elena (Georgia King), Lady Vivian (Georgia Moffett) and King Olaf (Mark Lewis Jones), along with familiar faces Lancelot (Santiago Cabrera), Gwaine (Eoin Macken), Percival (Tom Hopper), Mordred (Asa Butterfield) and The Great Dragon (voiced by John Hurt) with a new scaly companion (voiced by Joanna Lumley).
Ladies, gents, and non-binary persons, I present to you: WHY K SHOULD WRITE ALL OF THE THINGS AND JCAPPS IS A WASTEFUL DINGBAT WHOSE UNDERUSE OF ANGEL COULBY IF ABSOLUTELY FUCKING CRIMINAL.