First: *SQUEE* Colin Morgan, I've missed your face and doofy Merlin grin!
/me clears throat, adjusts shirt, pretends that didn't just happen.
So, it's only the first episode of a thirteen episode series, and we know that the show's been picked up for a fifth. Merlin's not dead.
I don't really like Colin's "Old Merlin" makeup. It looks really, really fake and shoddily done. I'm also not diggin on the new intro - John Hurt seems to have lost the majesty that the old one had.
I like the way they're going with the legend. The sword's in the stone, Uther's in his decline (Awesome job by Anthony Stewart Head! Why don't they put him in more stuff?), the Knights of the Round Table are mostly gathered, and Gwen's openly got Arthur's heart. We're right on track. But what's this? Is it a plot that will force Arthur to deal with the use of magic? Put him in a position to not only condone, but order its use? I foresee a "Lucy, you got some 'splaining to do!" moment when Merlin walks back in the door - and it's going to be HILARIOUS! - right before it all becomes brown trousers time.