The BBC have released the first trailer for their new tea-time Saturday night telefantasy, essentially replacing Merlin in the schedule. Atlantis is the brainchild of Howard Overman (who wrote some of the best Merlin episodes, but is best-known for creating Misfits), and it appears to be largely what you'd expect. Atlantis mixes Greek history and mythology into its recipe, so the hero's Jason (Jack Donnelly) and his sidekicks are Pythagoras (Robert Emms) and Hercules (Mark Addy). Co-stars include Sarah Parish (Pillars of the Earth), Jemima Rooper (Lost in Austen), Juliet Stevenson (The Village), Aiysha Hart and Oliver Walker.
The trailer looks quite nice, and you can tell this comes from the same creative team as Merlin (with Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy producing as part of their new Urban Myth Films company). That will most likely please lots of people who enjoyed the family-friendly tone and style of Merlin, although obviously Atlantis is going to be more exotic looking. I just hope it avoids many of the problems I had with Sky1's Sinbad, which also filmed in Morocco. Overman's a talented writer, but he can run hot and cold; Misfits was fantastic in its prime, but he also created the woeful Vexed. I'm hoping he'll bring his A-game to this, and make a strong impression. I already like the idea that Hercules is played by the middle-aged, balding Mark Addy (Game of Thrones) instead of a beefcake. Hopefully there will be other twists of expectation.
Atlantis is expected to début 28 September on BBC1, although this hasn't been confirmed, and sometime in the autumn on BBC America.