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KILGHARRAH
In a land of myth and a time of magic, the destiny of a great kingdom rests on the shoulders of a young boy. His name: Merlin.

--

ALICE [spell] Calm yourself, my pretty. We're home now.

OPENING CREDITS

UTHER Gaius, there have been disturbing rumours from outlying villages.

GAIUS Sire?

UTHER Someone, some kind of physician is offering treatments. I fear magic may have been used.

GAIUS What is it that makes you suspicious?

UTHER There are reports of miracle cures. A boy thrown from a horse, a farmhand mauled by a boar. All hopeless cases it seems, and yet each and every one has made a full recovery.

GAIUS It's very hard for me to comment, Sire. I'd have to examine the patients myself.

UTHER That won't be necessary, as a new case has arisen here in Camelot.

GAIUS Who?

ARTHUR The innkeeper. He's returned to work.

GAIUS That's not possible. The condition was critical, I saw him only days ago.

UTHER So you agree that magic must be involved.

GAIUS Well, I couldn't say for sure.

UTHER Then go to the tavern and find out. If sorcery is at work here, we must act quickly.

GAIUS Yes, Sire. I'll see to it right away.

MERLIN It's unbelievable. Uther has no problem turning to magic if his family are threatened.

GAIUS Keep your voice down, Merlin.

MERLIN Oh, he is such a hypocrite.

GAIUS He's also the King. So, if you value your head, use it.

EVORIC Welcome.

GAIUS What a pleasant surprise.

GAIUS Evoric.

EVORIC What can I get you?

GAIUS Nothing. I just dropped in to see how you're doing.

EVORIC Much improved, as you can see.

GAIUS Indeed. Remarkable recovery.

EVORIC All thanks to you, Gaius.

GAIUS Haha. I think not. Evoric, I am, of course, delighted that you're well again, but I must ask you, from whom did you obtain your remedy?

EVORIC
Don't know what you're talking about.


GAIUS Now, you mustn't be afraid. I'm not the King, after all.


EVORIC My wife, she was desperate. I was slipping away.


GAIUS Go on.


EVORIC She met a woman, a healer, in the lower town and she gave her a cure.


GAIUS Well, can I see it? Interesting.


EVORIC Am I in some kind of trouble?


GAIUS No, not at all. You've been most helpful.


UTHER What was the nature of this treatment?


GAIUS Hogwart and fenugreek.


UTHER Excuse me?


GAIUS Herbs, Sire. Whoever prescribed them was highly skilled. Their grasp of the five principles of herbal conjoinment was...


UTHER What about the boy and the labourer? Surely they were beyond the help of such remedies?


GAIUS Not necessarily, Sire. A physician's art can achieve great things.


UTHERBut not miracles. The innkeeper was fatally ill, you said so yourself.


GAIUS Yes, that was indeed my diagnosis. But my knowledge isn't perfect. There are many branches of my craft are yet mysteries to me. I could not heal the innkeeper. Someone else could.


UTHER Are you absolutely satisfied that no magic was involved?


GAIUS Entirely, Sire.


UTHER Thank you, Gaius. You've set my mind at rest.


GAIUS My Lord.


[physician's chambers]

Merlin: I think it's great, what you did, protecting the innkeeper like that.


Gaius: What do you mean?


Merlin: He was a sick man. It was a matter of life and death. Magic was his only hope.


Gaius: But he didn't use magic.


Merlin: The potion was enchanted, I saw it with my own eyes. We both did.


Gaius: What you saw, Merlin, was a release of gaseous pressure. Entirely normal in a preparation of that kind.

Merlin: But what about the totem?


Gaius: What totem?


Merlin: The totem in the innkeeper's doorway bore the marks of the Old Religion.


Gaius: Nonsense. You're obviously tired, Merlin. I recommend you get some sleep. [Gaius takes the uneaten ham away]


Merlin : Well, can...


-- [Merlin wakes up because he hears Gaius leaving, he follows Gaius]


Alice: Gaius?


Gaius: Alice.


Alice: Oh. [they hug. guards come. they go inside her house and Merlin goes back to the castle]

Alice: How did you know I was in Camelot?


Gaius: I recognised your work. Your healing magic was always equal to none.


Alice: Oh, Gaius, you've lost none of your charm.


Gaius: And you've lost none of your skill. You saved the innkeeper's life.


Alice: I did what I could, as I know you did.


Gaius: But my humble potion was not enough, it seems.


Alice: Look at you, always so solemn, so serious.


Gaius: And you always teasing me.


Alice: I missed you.


Gaius: And I you.


Alice: Twenty years and here we are back in Camelot together again. It almost seems as though nothing has changed.


GAIUS And some things never will.


Alice: Uther.

GAIUS It's not safe for you here. He suspects that magic is at work in Camelot.


Alice: But he doesn't know for sure.


Gaius: Not yet. But if you stay, he will find you.


Alice: But Gaius, healing is my only gift. It is my living. I must buy food, I must pay rent.


Gaius: But why here? The dangers are too great.


Alice: Because I wanted to see you again. [they embrace]


Gaius: Dawn is almost upon us. I must get back.


Alice: You will come back tomorrow? Please?


Gaius: Of course. [Gaius leaves]


Manticore: You have done well. The physician is vital to our plan.


Alice: Please, must we use him this way?


Manticore: I've told you before, Uther trusts him. He alone can get us close enough to the King.


Alice: But he will be blamed for everything that happens.


Manticore: And you will not. How perfect.


Alice: But his punishment will be terrible. [Manticore turns her eyes black]


Manticore: You must put aside your feelings and do what needs to be done.


Alice: Yes.


-- [Gaius opens a note that Alice gave him long ago with a lock of her hair] For my beloved Gaius, You make me so happy. Words cannot describe how much I care for you. The times we have spent together recently have meant so much to me. I am so happy we are engaged. I so look forward to marrying you, Gaius.


-- [physician's chambers in the morning]

Merlin: Did you go out last night?


GAIUS Yes. I had to get some herbs.


Merlin: Herbs?

GAIUS A...a new supplier just arrived.


Merlin: Right. Do your suppliers normally kiss you?


GAIUS You followed me. How dare you?


Merlin: Gaius, it was the middle of the night, I was worried. I thought you might be in some sort of trouble.

Gaius: There's nothing wrong.


Merlin: What's her name?


GAIUS Alice. She's an old friend. Well, more than a friend, if truth be told.


Merlin: What do you mean?


GAIUS We were once engaged to be married.


Merlin: When was this?


GAIUS More years ago than I care to remember. I had just been made physician to the King when I met her. It was like finding a kindred spirit, we had so much in common. Our love of science, or healing, and of magic.

Merlin: Magic?

GAIUS I was just a novice, but Alice's power and ability was uncanny. She had the gift. Soon she had mastered every aspect of sorcery, healing above all. It was wonderful to behold, Merlin. She saved a great many lives. Merlin: It was Alice that cured the innkeeper.

GAIUS Indeed. There was a time when her skills were famous in Camelot.


Merlin: So what happened?

GAIUS Uther declared war on magic. Overnight her world was turned upside-down.


Merlin: The Great Purge.

GAIUS Uther drew up a list of everyone suspected of using magic. One by one, they were hunted down and executed. As a close friend of the King, I was permitted to see this list. Alice's name was on it. Merlin: What did you do? Gaius: The only thing I could do. I struck her name off.


Merlin: Gaius, if you'd been caught...

GAIUS I know, but it bought her time. Just enough to get out of Camelot, to escape.


Merlin: But you...you stayed behind.

GAIUS I was scared. I felt I had no choice. I thought I'd never see her again. But now here she is, after all these years. I feel we've been given a second chance.


-- [Gaius gives Alice a hunk of meat on a platter]

Alice: You have a kind heart. You always did.

GAIUS It's the least I could do.

Alice: Will you stay? Please say you will.

GAIUS You're my only appointment for this morning. I made sure of that.


ALICE

You recognise them?

GAIUS

Of course. It's a totem of healing.


ALICE

Oh, come, Gaius. Is that the best you can do? Have you forgotten all that we learned together?

GAIUS

Let us see. It's a Sorcerer's Chime to give it its proper name. Each crystal bears an elemental sign of the Old Religion. When enchanted, the crystals resonate, their music giving succour to the ailing and the sick.


Alice: You've forgotten nothing.

GAIUS I remember everything. All that we saw, all that we did, each and every day we spent together. I remember the day you left.


ALICE

Let's not dwell on that. We found each other again. Isn't that all that matters?


-- [Arthur is mounted with a lance, Merlin's holding a small hoop above his head. Arthur charges and catches the hoop with the lance. Next, Merlin crouches behind a shield while Arthur pounds it with a mace]

ARTHUR

Come on, Merlin! Put your back into it!

MERLIN

Sorry, Sire. I'm just a bit... [Arthur hits shield again]

ARTHUR

Pathetic. You're pretending to be a battle hardened warrior, not a...daffodil.


Merlin: Sorry, Sire. Just a bit tired, that's all.


Arthur: Fair enough. [Merlin stands up while Arthur fetches a large mallet] Arthur: Maybe this'll perk you up! -- [Merlin returns to physician's chambers]


GAIUS Ah, Merlin, I'd like you to meet Alice.


Alice: Merlin, it's a pleasure to meet you. Gaius speaks very highly of you.

Merlin: You too.


GAIUS Alice will be staying with us for a while.


Merlin: Great.


Alice: That's alright with you?


Merlin: Of course. I'll make up the spare bed.


GAIUS So you won't mind if she uses your room?


Merlin: Be my guest. -- [Merlin trying to sleep on the floor]


Merlin: Ow. [he hears Alice talking in his room]


Alice: ___ That is his name, isn't it? It's ___


Manticore: So he does not suspect?


Alice: No, nothing.


Manticore: Then you must work hard to keep it that way.


Alice: Yes. Yes.


Manticore: You are doing well. Take some of my venom. Do not fail me. Be careful not to hurt yourself. That's it.


-- [Merlin and Gaius walking in the town]

Merlin: When you first knew Alice, what kinds of magic did she practice?

GAIUS All kinds. It was a time of experimentation, learning.


Merlin: Right. What about dark magic?

GAIUS I daresay. But those days are long gone.


Merlin: What if they aren't? Last night there was some kind of creature in your room.

GAIUS Creature?


Merlin: I've never seen anything like it. It had the body of a lion and the tail of a scorpion.

GAIUS Oh, come on, Merlin. You must've been dreaming.


Merlin: No, I saw it with my own eyes and I could feel its power. It was magic like nothing I've ever felt before.

Gaius: What utter nonsense.


Merlin: If you don't believe me, Gaius, I can prove it. Come on.


-- [Merlin pulls out the box from under the bed in the physician's chambers] Merlin: This is it.

GAIUS Merlin, put that back. This has gone far enough.


Merlin: Oh, it's in there. I know it is.

GAIUS Ridiculous. [Gaius goes to open it]


Merlin: Gaius, no! [the box is empty]

GAIUS I hope you're satisfied, Merlin.


-- [Merlin goes to library where Geoffrey of Monmouth is sitting]

Merlin: Morning.


-- [Gaius makes potion with Alice's help]

Gaius: Hemlock. Nightshade. Bo... [Alice already has it ready for him]

Alice: [laughs] Oh, Gaius. It's just like old times.


GAIUS We always made a good team, did we not?


Alice: Yeah.

Gaius: I wish Merlin had your skills. I fear he finds the physician's craft boring.


Alice: Well, never mind, you've got me to help you now, haven't you?


GAIUS Indeed, I have. Now where's the valerian?


Alice: Valerian? For an injury, I presume?

GAIUS Perfectly correct. I prescribe it to Uther for an old battle wound.

Alice: He takes it daily?


GAIUS Of course.


-- [Merlin flips through books]

Geoffrey: *ahem* Can I help you?


Merlin: No. Yes. I wonder, do you know anything about this creature?


Geoffrey: Ah, now that is the manticore.


Merlin: A manticore?


Geoffrey: Nasty looking beast, isn't it.


MERLIN Yeah, you can say that again.


Geoffrey: I believe it was first referred to almost a thousand years ago. The Ancients lived in fear of it, trembled at its very name.


Merlin: I've never even heard of it.


Geoffrey: I'm not surprised. 'Cause as far as I'm aware, the manticore is a legend, figment of the imagination.

Merlin: Are you sure?


Geoffrey: Oh, yes. So, erm..if you were hoping to see one, I'm afraid you're going to be disappointed.


-- [physician's chambers]

Gaius: Now it's ready to go to the King.


Alice: Fascinating. Gaius, you said you had a rare form of mountain balm. I should like to compare it with my own, if I may.


GAIUS Certainly. Now, where did I put it?


Alice: Perhaps with the second order palliatives? [Alice goes to pour the venom, but Merlin enters and she drops both bottles]

GAIUS Of course.


Alice: I'm so sorry, Gaius.

GAIUS Don't worry. Merlin will clear it up, won't you, Merlin?


Alice: No, no! I can do it.


-- [Merlin sneaks to the library at night where Geoffrey is asleep on a stack of books. Merlin hits something and Geoffrey wakes]

Geoffrey: What's that? Who's there? [Merlin floats the objects on Geoffrey's desk]


Merlin [whisper]: No one. You're dreaming. Now go back to sleep. [Geoffrey nods, puts his head back down to his desk and snores. Merlin rolls his eyes and goes to sit with a bunch of books, finding Alice's box on one of the pages]


-- [Next morning Merlin finds Gaius in a corridor]

Merlin: Gaius, I need to talk to you about Alice.


Gaius: Merlin, this must stop.


Merlin: There's a reason the box was empty. It isn't a container, it's a portal, a gateway for the manticore. Gaius: This must stop now.


Merlin: No, Alice is up to something, and whatever it is, it isn't good.


Gaius: You're wrong, Merlin. Alice is the kindest and most compassionate person I've ever known.


Merlin: No. You're wrong, you're just blinded by your feelings for her.


Gaius: I can see perfectly well, Merlin. And what I can see is that you cannot bear for me to be happy. I cannot begin to guess why that should be, but it saddens me. More than I can say.


-- [Gaius returns to physician's chambers]

Alice: Gaius, there you are. I was beginning to wonder where you'd got to. What's wrong?

GAIUSIt's nothing. A disagreement with Merlin, that's all.

Alice: Was it about me? You mustn't worry. He's probably a bit jealous, that's all.

GAIUS Jealous?

Alice: Well, it's only to be expected. The poor lad's had you all to himself. He's bound to be a bit hostile for a while.

GAIUS Very hostile, if truth be told.

Alice: Oh, he'll soon get used to having me around.

GAIUS I'm sure you're right.

Alice: Listen, why don't you sit yourself down for a while and take a break.

GAIUS: I must prepare Uther's medicine.

Alice: Well, I can take care of that. You showed me how, remember?

GAIUS Thank you.

-- [Merlin running in the training yard with a target on his back]

Arthur: Run! [Arthur hits the target with a polearm, knocking Merlin down] You're meant to bob, Merlin, weave. You might as well be a barn door. [Arthur removes the polearm and helps Merlin up]

Merlin: Yes, Sire.

Arthur: For goodness sake, what is your problem?

Merlin: Nothing.

Arthur: Right. Well, either you tell me, or we go back to the lance and hoops.

Merlin: Gaius and me, we...had a bit of a falling out.

Arthur: Look, I row with my father all the time. You should do what I do, just lie low and wait till he comes to his senses. It'll soon blow over.

Merlin: No, I don't think so, somehow.

[Arthur looks sympathetic]

Arthur: Oh, cheer up, will you? [playfully punches Merlin in the arm]

Merlin: How is punching me in the arm meant to cheer me up? [Arthur looks confused]

Arthur: It works with the knights.

Merlin: Well, they're thick, aren't they?

Arthur:[offended] I'm a knight.

Merlin: There you go, then. [Arthur punches him again and then smiles]

-- [Gaius reading in his chambers. Alice brewing Uther's medicine]

Gaius: You gave me this book, do you remember?

Alice: It was on your birthday, wasn't it?

GAIUS Or was it when I was made court physician? [Alice adds manticore venom to the potion]

Alice: Have a look inside. I'm sure there's an inscription.

GAIUS You're quite right, of course. My 50th birthday.

Alice: Here we are. All done. [she hands him the potion]

GAIUS Wonderful. Thank you.

Alice: Hurry now. You wouldn't want to keep your King waiting.

GAIUS Really, Alice, I can't imagine how I survived without you.

-- [Uther's chambers]

Uther: Ah, Gaius, you have my medicine.

GAIUS I do, Sire.

Uther: To my very good health. [Uther drinks it]

-- [night time, Gaius and Alice eating in the physician's chambers. Merlin sits on some courtyard steps. warning bell sounds. Uther's on the floor in his chambers, Arthur tries to wake him]

Arthur: Father! [Gaius enters] I found him this way. I...I can't rouse him.

GAIUS The King's alive, but his pulse is weak.

Arthur: What's wrong with him?

GAIUS Please, I must examine him. Seal off the King's quarters. [Merlin enters. Uther gasps and his eyes shoot open, but they're completely black]

Merlin: What is that?

GAIUS Hush, Merlin. [Uther closes his eyes. Gaius finds the empty bottle in the King's hand. Merlin and Gaius exit the room where Arthur and the guards are waiting]

Arthur: Well?

GAIUS I am afraid I cannot yet determine the cause of your father's illness.

Arthur: Well, he's been poisoned, hasn't he?

GAIUS cannot say at this stage.

Arthur: Just look at him, Gaius. What else could it be?

GAIUS We must not jump to hasty conclusions, Sire. Please watch over him till I return. [Arthur goes into Uther's room, Gaius leaves and Merlin follows him into the Phoenix Corridor]

Merlin: I don't think we need any more information.

GAIUS Since when are you the expert in such matters?

Merlin: Oh, you don't need to be a physician to see what's happened.

GAIUS Merlin!

Merlin: Gaius, he's been poisoned, and I think we both know who did it.

GAIUS What exactly are you implying?

Merlin: It was Alice. It had to be. She's been helping you with the potions. She's had every opportunity to corrupt his medicine.

GAIUS Merlin, you have no proof of any of this.

Merlin: How else did he ingest the poison? There is no other explanation.

GAIUS Of course there is.

Merlin: Oh, come on, Gaius! I understand why you're protecting her. Really, I do. But in your heart of hearts, you must know what I'm saying is true.

Gaius: All I know is that the King is gravely ill and that your place is by Arthur's side!

-- [Arthur sitting by his father's bedside]

Arthur: It doesn't make any sense. His food and wine are tasted each and every meal. It's brought here under armed guard. No one can interfere with it in any way. So, it can't be his food and drink. The only other thing he's had is...Gaius's remedy.

Merlin: Arthur, I think I know what happened. I thin...I know who did this.

-- [Gaius enters physician's chambers where Alice is waiting]

Alice: What's going on?

Gaius: The King has been poisoned. It appears that someone has tampered with his medicine.

Alice: But surely you don't think it was me?

Gaius: Don't lie to me, Alice. Please.

Alice: Gaius, I, I... [her eyes go black]

Gaius: Alice. [Arthur enters the room with two guards]

Arthur: You're under arrest for high treason. Take her away. [guards take her away and Arthur leaves. Merlin walks in] Merlin: I had no choice. It was either her or you, Gaius.

Gaius: It wasn't your choice to make.

-- [Arthur questioning Alice in the dungeons]

Arthur: Do you admit to using magic?

Alice: Yes.

Arthur: Admit to poisoning the King?

Alice: Yes, yes, but it forced me to do it. It, it made me.

Arthur: Who forced you?

Alice: The creature. The creature.

Arthur: You're lying! There's no creature. You're just trying to save your own skin.

Alice: No, no.

Arthur: Please, my father is dying. If you have a single shred of goodness within you, you will tell me how to cure him.

Alice: I don't know. [Arthur angrily hits the cell doors] Alice: I don't know! I'm so sorry. The manticore... [Merlin sees her eyes turn black] -- [Merlin goes to Gaius in Uther's chambers]

Merlin: How is he?

Gaius: He's fading. He won't last the day.

Merlin: Gaius...

Gaius: It's alright, Merlin. I understand. You were only trying to save me from harm. Thank you. But I don't believe Alice wanted this.

Merlin: I know she didn't. The poison is from the manticore, the creature that was in Alice's room.

Gaius: We cannot counteract the manticore's venom. It's too deadly, by far.

Merlin: So what can we do?

Gaius: We can kill the manticore. The poison is imbued with its magic. With the manticore dead, it will lose its potency.

Merlin: How do I kill it?

Gaius: You can't. You don't have the power. It's a creature of the Old Religion. But maybe there's another way, if I can remember. Here. The manticore cannot live in this world long. It's life source is a ancient evil that exists in the spirit world.

Merlin: So if we can trap it in this world...

Gaius: Exactly. If we were to summon the creature and you kept it at bay long enough, perhaps I could break the box.

Merlin: The gateway.

Gaius: If the gateway is destroyed, then the creature's connection with its life source will be destroyed with it. Merlin: And the manticore will die?

Gaius: I believe so.

Merlin: Gaius, the box is enchanted. It would need magic to destroy it.

Gaius: I am aware of that.

Merlin: Do you think you can? Command such magic?

Gaius: There was a time when I could. Let us hope I haven't forgotten. [they approach the box] Gaius: Are you ready?

Merlin: What if this doesn't work?

Gaius: Then we're going to have a very angry manticore on our hands.

Merlin: *spell* [manticore comes out and attacks Merlin] Gaius!

Gaius: *spell* *retry* Me

Merlin: Gaius! Gaius, it's now or never!

Gaius: *retry* [box explodes. manticore leaps at Gaius]

Merlin: Gaius! [manticore fries] Not too bad for a has-been.

Gaius: Not too bad yourself.

-- Uther: I am fortunate, indeed, that you found an antidote, Gaius.

Gaius: It will take time, My Lord, but you will make a full recovery.

Uther: What of the woman?

Arthur: We have her in the cells, Sire. She awaits your judgement.

Uther: She won't have to wait long. She's sentenced to death. We'll execute her in the morning.

Arthur: Yes, Father.

Gaius: Sire, if I may.

Uther: Yes, Gaius.

Gaius: It seems this woman was in the thrall of some kind of creature. Perhaps, in the light of that, her sentence might be...

Uther: She practiced magic, Gaius. There are no circumstances under which that is acceptable. Her judgment stands. [Gaius and Merlin bow and exit]

-- [Gaius sits with Alice in her cell] Gaius: I'm sorry, Alice. There was nothing I could do.

ALICE Don't. I knew what my sentence would be. Uther will never change.

GAIUS No.

ALICE I hoped that I could learn from it .That, that I could harness its magic for the good, for healing, but it was too strong for me.

GAIUS At least you are rid of it now.

ALICE Yes. And it's far better to die free than to live as a slave.

GAIUS I can only hope that's true.

ALICE Gaius, before I go, I want you to know something. I never forgot you. Since we parted all those years ago, not a day has gone by when I have not thought of you.

GAIUS I fear I abandoned you, Alice.

ALICE No.

GAIUS I left you all alone.

ALICE You stayed behind to protect me. I know that. You saved my life. And there's no greater gift that I could've hoped for. And you've achieved great things here in Camelot, whereas...I...

GAIUS Alice.

ALICE I've disgraced myself. After everything I've done, you would have every right to hate me.

GAIUS Hate you? I could never hate you. I've treasured these past days. I love you, Alice. I love you, and I always will.

ALICE As I will you, Gaius. I don't...I don't want to leave you, my love. [she cries in his arms]

GAIUS Don't be afraid. Please.

-- [Gaius putting Sorcerer's Chimes into a box in physician's chambers. warning bells sound]

Merlin: Something's happened.

GAIUS Perhaps one of the prisoners has escaped.

MERLIN How is that possible? I wonder. The dungeons are so secure.

GAIUS I really couldn't say.

MERLIN You could've gone with her.

GAIUS I could've done. But then, who'd look after you?

MERLIN Me? *lol*I don't need looking after. I can fend for myself.

GAIUS Ah. Well, in that case, you won't be wanting any of this, then. [Gaius unveils a hunk of meat]

MERLIN Well, maybe just a slice.

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