Sunday, 27 October 2013

ATLANTIS, 1.5 – 'White Lies'

Sunday, 27 October 2013

This isn't a review, per se, because I didn't make it through "White Lies" without fast-forwarding the last twenty-minutes. It was monumentally dull and Atlantis is still showing no signs of answering the bigger questions in my head. Is Mark Addy playing the Hercules of legend, whose father was Zeus? If not, does he, or did he, have amazing strength at any point? If not, why the hell have they included a character called Hercules and set up pointless expectations? Is Pythagoras ever going to do anything worthwhile? Is he as intelligent as his real-life inspiration? If so, can we see that demonstrated, please? And why have they avoided exploiting the inherent fun of Jason being a time-traveller from thousands of years in the future? It's beginning to feel like the show's first scene, with Jason sucked through an underwater 'time-hole' didn't actually happen. And is this the Jason of legend, who will lead the Argonauts on a quest for the Golden Fleece one day? Even that's not clear, although I suspect so. Does he expect so?

Did you watch this fifth episode? Are you still intending to watch the remainder? For me, Atlantis is demoted to something I might put on in the background while housecleaning, maybe on a Sunday afternoon. Unless something more entertaining but equally disposable comes along. My Gods, Atlantis is a big let-down, considering the agreeable nature of Merlin that saw it overcome its own problems. Mark Addy and Sarah Parish are the only things worth bothering with, but not enough of the show is built around them.

The BBC have renewed Atlantis for a second series, as it's retained a Merlin-sized audience and is similarly worthwhile counter-programming to ITV's X Factor on Saturday evenings. That's fair enough, but I'm disappointed viewers who hate the Simon Cowell hit-making factory only have this as a main terrestrial alternative.

26 October 2013 | BBC1