Skip to main content
Updated date:

10 Magical TV Shows Like Merlin

A film buff who enjoys watching a range of different films from funny rom coms to intense thrillers.

Merlin is loosely based on the legend of Merlin and his relationship with King Arthur. The British fantasy-adventure drama TV show premiered in 2008. Merlin has to hide his magical powers from everyone in Camelot except his mentor Gaius. This is because magic was banned in Camelot by Uther Pendragon, Arthur’s father. Even the act of using magic is punishable by death. Arthur eventually becomes the king in the legend, and Merlin plays a huge role in building the powerful Camelot.

If you loved the thrilling battles, effects, and plots of Merlin, you’d want to watch similar shows. Although Merlin is not as intense as Game of Thrones, it’s still one of the best TV shows that you should watch. Here are some of the best shows like Merlin. Check them out below.

TV Shows Similar to Merlin

  1. Primeval
  2. Atlantis
  3. Legend of the Seeker
  4. Warehouse 13
  5. Smallville
  6. Haven
  7. Sleepy Hollow
  8. Reign
  9. The Musketeers
  10. Eastwick

Primeval follows the story of zoologist Nick Cutter, his assistant Stephen Hart, reptile expert Abby Maitland and student Connor Temple as they track down and capture dinosaurs. The sci-fi drama TV series aired for 5 seasons and starred Hannah Spearritt as Abby, Douglas Henshall as Nick, James Murray as Stephen and Andrew-Lee Potts as Connor.

Due to unknown reasons, dinosaurs suddenly started appearing in modern England. Nick Cutter believes that there’s a space-time rift allowing the dinosaurs to travel through the present time and that Helen, his wife who has been missing for 8 years, is still alive and involved in the situation. He decides to find out the truth by using the space-time rift to look for his wife. Nick, together with Abby and Stephen, now needs to find the dinosaurs and either help them go back to their era or allow the military to get rid of them.

Primeval is perfect for those who are looking for a show with mysteries to solve and short action-packed scenes.

Atlantis aired on BBC One for 2 seasons. The fantasy-adventure TV series was inspired by Legend of Atlantis and focused on Jason who finds himself embroiled in the mysteries and events of the kingdom of Atlantis.

While piloting a submarine to look into a deep sea disturbance that led to his father’s disappearance, Jason is suddenly pulled into white light and wakes up on the Atlantis shores. Atlantis is a kingdom ruled by King Minos and Queen Pasiphae. Jason, played by Jack Donnelly, meets ex-prize fighter and hopeless romantic Hercules and Pythagoras, a smart youth who enjoys triangles. They encounter demigods, monsters, and gods as they protect the innocent and fight evil. They also gain allies, including the King’s daughter Ariadne, palace maid Medusa and an Oracle who predicts a destiny that can change the world awaits Jason if he stays on the right track.

Atlantis presents a good combination of mystery adventures and pulp fantasy and is one of the great shows like Merlin to be checking out.

Legend of the Seeker is based on The Sword of Truth, an epic fantasy book series written by Terry Goodkind. The fantasy adventure TV series aired for 2 seasons and showed the journeys of the Seeker of Truth Richard Cypher together with the wizard Zeddicus Zu'l Zorander, the Mord-Sith Cara Mason and the Confessor Kahlan Amnell as they protect the people against destruction and tyranny and aim to eliminate Darken Rahl. Legend of the Seeker stars Craig Horner as Richard, Bridget Regan as Kahlan, Bruce Spence as Zeddicus and Tabrett Bethell as Cara.

The overarching story that reveals the characters’ backgrounds, the beautiful locations in New Zealand and exciting fight scenes will satisfy the fans of fantasy shows. There are monsters, magic, fairies, wizards, and a lot of battles. Although the fight scenes are graphic and exciting, there is little gore or blood. If you’re looking for a show with an evil overlord and good swordfight, you should watch Legend of the Seeker.

Warehouse 13 follows the lives of US Secret Service agents Myka Bering and Pete Lattimer. The sci-fi fantasy TV series aired for 5 seasons. Myka Bering is played by Joanne Kelly, while Eddie McClintock plays Pete Lattimer. Their skills landed them a new assignment at Warehouse 13, a storage facility in an isolated part of South Dakota. They soon find out that Warehouse 13 is a filthy storage area for powerful relics and mysterious objects. The items have unique powers. For instance, a comb that belongs to Lucrezia Borgia almost sets off a mass murder. A wallet owned by Harry Houdini continuously tries to escape from the storage facility. Myka and Eddie are assigned to locate and retrieve the items.

The characters are a perfect match for the assignment. Eddie’s ability to sense when something off helps him admit that some of their assignments involve incomprehensible powers and Myka’s by-the-book outlook means that she’s ready for any disaster. The action scenes focus on the unusual capabilities of the articles.

Smallville is based on Superman, a superhero character from DC Comics. It aired for 10 seasons and showed Clark Kent’s young-adult years before he became Superman. Smallville shows how Clark discovers his history, his biological parents, and his home planet’s home. Clark’s best friend, Lex Luthor, finally becomes evil. Kent also moves to Metropolis and faces new enemies including Tess Mercer, the half-sister of Lex.

One of the best things about the show is watching Clark slowly realize his powers. Aside from being able to see through walls, he also has super hearing and is very fast. Early episodes of the show focus on friendship and family. Later episodes have more mature plots. The tone of the TV series is also serious. If you love well-developed action shows, you should watch Smallville.

Haven is based on The Colorado Kid, a 2005 novel written by Stephen King. The supernatural drama TV series aired for 5 seasons. Audrey Parker, an FBI agent, is sent to the town of Haven to find an escaped prisoner. Strange things that appear to defy the laws of physics and nature happen in this seemingly peaceful town. Audrey also discovers that a local legend about a mysterious death, which happened years before, might be a clue to her background.

Haven is packed with supernatural mystery and eeriness, but it’s not violent. The bodies of dead characters are shown briefly. Law enforcement agents carry and draw guns now and then. They seldom use these weapons.

Sleepy Hollow is loosely based on The Legend of Sleepy Hollow, a short story written by Washington Irving. The fantasy, adventure, action, drama TV series aired for 4 seasons and stars Tom Mison as the time-traveling soldier Ichabod Crane who comes back to life years after his death to investigate a strange mystery. Everyone Crane knew it is already dead, but the eerie headless horseman is not and is trying to get hold of a talisman for wicked purposes. Crane works with Abbie Mills, a police detective, to solve the mystery surrounding the town of Sleepy Hollow and to catch the headless horseman.

If you like themes such as the undead, mystery, and time travel, you should add Sleepy Hollow to your must-watch list. The show is gory and may be too frightening for young kids. Mature tweens and teens, however, should be able to deal with this level of intensity.

Reign shows the early life of Scottish Queen Mary Stuart. It aired for 4 seasons and is a very loosely based on the queen’s life. Mary Stuart marries Prince Francis to create an alliance with her homeland and France. However, the young royal finds herself falling for Bash, the illegitimate half-brother of Francis. This affection didn’t escape the eye of Queen Catherine, her intended’s mother. Catherine’s goal is to secure the regal future of her son and to do so. She will condemn anyone she sees as a threat. Mary finds an ally in a mysterious cloaked figure who keeps her safe from harm.

Although Reign is not a reliable history lesson, it is a brilliant and entertaining drama nonetheless. The main events of the Scottish queen are portrayed quite accurately.

The Musketeers is based on The Three Musketeers, an 1844 book written by Alexandre Dumas. The adventure, drama TV series aired for 3 seasons and focuses on 4 highly trained soldiers – Porthos, Aramis, Athos and’Artagnan. These soldiers are tasked to protect King Louis XIII.

The Musketeers takes creative liberties with the source material and shows considerable blood, murder, and death. It also adds realistic violence. The characters use various weapons, including knives, pistols, and swords.

Eastwick is based on The Witches of Eastwick, a 1984 book written by John Updike. The drama, fantasy TV series aired for 1 season and focused on Darryl Van Home, a mysterious man who gives Katherine, Roxanne and Joanna special magical powers. Jaime Ray Newman plays the role of Kat, a mother of 5. Joanna, a mousy reporter, is played by Lindsay Price. Rebecca Romijn plays the role of Roxanne, a bohemian widow. The lives of these 3 women suddenly change when Daryl Van Horton, a brash millionaire played by Paul Gross, visits the town.

You will find yourself cheering for the characters as they pull off amazing feats. There are some violent acts and a bit of salty talk, but nothing too appalling.

Wizard

Wizard

Have you enjoyed our list of shows similar to Merlin? Hopefully, you have managed to pick out a tv series to watch next. Of course, if you know of any other shows like Merlin that we might have missed then it would be great for you to include them down below in the comments.

This content is accurate and true to the best of the author’s knowledge and is not meant to substitute for formal and individualized advice from a qualified professional.

© 2019 Harry Sheen

Related Articles