Merlin ‘The Eye of the Phoenix’

Morgause (Emilia Fox) is the half-sister of Morgana, a skilled warrior, a powerful sorceress and a High Priestess of the Old Religion.

In the episode ‘The Eye of the Phoenix’ Morgause enters Camelot in the disguise of an old beggar woman to meet her sister. She gives Morgana a phoenix eye and tells her to give to Arthur to wear as a charm in a bracelet – but rather than protect him the charm will absorb his life force causing his death and allowing Morgana to take his place as heir to the throne.

Fortunately Gaius and Merlin become suspicious.

The makeup

Carol Tucker was the hair & makeup designer; Su Westwood was the makeup supervisor; Mark Coulier (Coulier Creatures) was the prosthetics designer.

Emilia Fox admitted being made up with prosthetics was not a pleasant experience as it gave her an terrifying ‘glimpse of the future’ but also said that it was ‘the best disguise that I have ever had in TV or film’:

It was really quite odd as people treated me differently as an anonymous old hag. It was not a welcome revelation.
I have to say it was phenomenal having the prosthetics done and going through that whole process – I had never had that done before and, of course, on ‘Silent Witness’ it happens to a lot of the other characters but never mine.
The whole process of having that put on, seeing that gradual change was really extraordinary and fun. Although it did take about three or four hours to complete.