Bradley James spends a lot of screen time alone in the latest episode of “Merlin,” and that’s fine by him.
Bradley James as Prince Arthur in "Merlin." (Syfy photo)
“It’s all about [my character] Arthur, so narcissistically it appeals to me,” James said, laughing.
James calls “The Eye of the Phoenix” (9 p.m. March 4, Syfy) a “traditional questing adventure.” To prove himself fit to be king, Arthur goes on a quest to retrieve the Golden Trident from an ancient sorcerer called the Fisher King. Before he leaves, Morgana gives him a bracelet containing a Phoenix Eye, which saps him of his life force and leaves him vulnerable. Merlin and Gwaine (guest Eoin Macken)—with the help of the mysterious gatekeeper Grettir (guest Warwick Davis)—try to help Arthur.
James enjoyed the physical aspects of filming the episode, but was particularly thrilled with the story’s emphasis on Arthur’s mental and emotional trials.
“I prefer stories that have greater psychological aspects to the resolution,” he said. “It’s easy to save the day by using Merlin’s magic, but I like it when solving the issues doesn’t involve the supernatural, when the protagonist is able to use his wits and mind to win out. That’s the real fun of a story like this.”Copyright © 2014, Los Angeles Times