Hurt breathes fire into 'Merlin'


John Hurt has joined the cast of "Merlin," Shine Television's live-action fantasy drama for the BBC and NBC.

Hurt will provide the voice of the CG-animated Great Dragon in a cast that already includes "Heroes" alum Santiago Cabrera as Lancelot and "Bionic Woman" star Michelle Ryan as the wicked sorceress Nimueh.

Other cast members of the series, which details the life of Arthur long before he becomes king, include Richard Wilson, Anthony Head and Colin Morgan.

"Merlin" premieres on BBC 1 in September and then on NBC in midseason. (partialdiff)