Tag Archives: y: 2009

Merlin: Secrets and Magic (2009)

Rupert appeared in the following two episodes of this behind-the-scenes feature for the second season of the BBC show Merlin:

  • Fit for a King (2 October 2009)
  • Director: Mark Proctor
  • Con-Troll Freak (2 November 2009)
  • Director: Mark Proctor

And naturally he was his usual personable self!

Rupert in Con-Troll Freak
Rupert being charming in Con-Troll Freak
  • The screenshot is used with respect but without permission. All rights remain with BBC One and Shine.

Merlin (2009-2012)

Rupert plays the perfect chivalrous knight Sir Leon in Merlin.

We first see Leon during a jousting tournament, in which he is too noble to take advantage of Arthur’s sudden vulnerability, and too careful of Arthur’s wellbeing. Arthur wasn’t impressed, but we were. And all that glorious hair made an immediate impact, too!

We slowly start to see more and more of Leon, though much of the time he’s simply running errands and passing messages. Rupert is such a great guy to have around that the main cast were campaigning for Leon to become a recurring character long before the fans got on board! It must have become obvious that he was being underutilised, too, and was certainly capable of carrying a more involved role.

As the story winds on through the seasons and Arthur transforms from prat prince to wise king, Leon becomes an essential part of Arthur’s inner circle, and a ‘founding member’ of the Round Table. Leon is the quintessential knight, and as Rupert says, he would have been really annoyed if he didn’t win ‘Knight of the Year’ each and every year.

Leon is serious, practical, articulate and dependable – which contrasts nicely with Lancelot’s slightly otherworldly nobility, Gwaine’s mischief and iconoclasm, Percival’s pure simplicity, and Elyan’s bad-boy edginess. The young king Arthur relies on Leon for advice, along with Gaius and Guinevere.

We never find out much about Leon’s background. It’s clear from the start that he’s well-born, otherwise he’d never have become a knight during Uther’s reign. We later learn that Gwen’s mother worked as a servant for Leon’s family, and that Leon and Gwen were childhood friends who grew up together. But the rest is left to our imagination.

Eventually, he is one of only two ‘inner circle’ knights who survive to the last scenes of the fifth season, and so his future is left to our imagination as well. But if there’s one thing that’s certain, Camelot was, is and always will be a better place for having Sir Leon in it. ♥

In summary, he appeared as follows:

  • Seven episodes of season two (2009), starting with The Once and Future Queen (26 September 2009)
  • Six episodes of season three (2010)
  • All thirteen episodes of season four (2011)
  • All thirteen episodes of season five (2012)
Rupert as Sir Leon in BBC Merlin
Rupert as Sir Leon in BBC Merlin, by Nick Briggs
  • The lovely photo is an official publicity shot, used with great respect but without permission. I assume it was taken by Nick Briggs. All rights remain with the photographer, BBC One and Shine.

Hotel Babylon (2009)

Rupert played the character Justice in the following episode:

  • Episode #4.4 (17 July 2009)
  • Director: Jim Loach

‘Justice’ is the nickname of Crispin Lloyd, a lawyer turned poker player. Of course, he proves to be just a bit too perfect to be true. (And our Rupert really is far too plausible in these kinds of roles…)

Rupert as a cool poker player in Hotel Babylon
Rupert as a cool poker player in Hotel Babylon
  • This screenshot is shared here with respect but without permission. All rights remain with BBC One for Hotel Babylon.

Just Because You’re Paranoid… (2009)

Rupert starred as Derek in this short film, a delightfully funny two-hander with Ian McNeice.

  • Made for the UK Film Council in April 2009
  • Director: Thomas Grove Carter
Rupert as poor Derek in Just Because You're Paranoid
Rupert as poor Derek in Just Because You're Paranoid...

P.S. The date of the first of the month is approximate, but it was definitely made in April 2009.