Over the summer, I found myself doing a bit of an 'assorted Arthuriana' re-read, and then I had a few days off, the weather was terrible, so I randomly decided to watch the BBC Merlin DVDs that I acquired a few years back, when I accidentally started watching 'Merlin' in the middle of Season 4, and ended up getting copies of the rest of it in the hope that at some point I would watch the whole thing in order, and that it would then make sense. I can now report that it did make quite a bit more sense, watching all five seasons in order back to back (even if you watch a lot of them while painting like a loon and therefore not actually looking at the screen a lot of the time.)
But, a few things about the end of the series still niggled me a bit, and also, I noticed things that people pointed out in comments to this post which I had not previously thought of, and then I started thinking about Sleeping Heroes and Apocalyptic Beasts, and before I knew it I started writing this modern setting followup to the very last scene, which is now getting towards 32000 words and shows no signs of slowing down.
So far, Arthur has had to learn how to speak and read Modern English, has learned to drive a Volvo and negotiate the complexities of the Welsh Civil Service, has acquired Marks and Spencers paisley pyjamas, has been to Glastonbury, Dozmary Pool, Snowdonia and Oxford. He has acquired a dog named Cavall, which I personally feel is an essential component of Arthuriana that was sadly missing from the Merlin TV series, and has accidentally re-introduced dragons to Wales. I am hoping to get on with the main plot shortly.
Unfortunately, Arthur is currently stuck in a situation where he has to work out how a pagan Saxon spell has been misapplied by modern occultists, which doesnt' really seem like his kind of problem, but Merlin is out of action just now, so Arthur will have to muddle through somehow. Oh, and this particular Arthur is not a Northern Arthur. He's from somewhere in the vicinity of Somerset. I think he has to be, really, given that Glastonbury Tor is the last scene of the TV series.
Anyway, it's fun, and my only minor reservation about it is that it's proving much more fun to write than the Small Fandom Big Bang idea I signed up with about a very old Cottia solving crimes in the South Downs with the help of Servius Placidus's great grandson, although I am quite keen to write that one too, I'm not sure my brain can cope with two long stories in succession.