With the death of the Merlin series, I hoped that the BBC would replace it with a suitable tea-time family drama to follow the popular Strictly Come Dancing. And I can honestly say, Atlantis has served up a wonderful offering of delights.
Specifically, the opening scene was a surprise as many of you realised too. It felt out of place to begin with, but I was able to settle in when the tie-in story was brought to account in the dialogue between Jason and his Uncle. Director, Justin Molotnikov really excels himself in the submarine scene; with ark shadows and flickering camerawork, it adds up to an eerie scene and the unbelievable sound as the glass in front of Jason explodes brings the beginning to an almighty climax.
When we are introduced to Atlantis, there are a few small things which do anoy me. Jason's lack of consideration, for instance and the fact that he just walks into the city and thinks that he can touch anything, even a two-headed lizard. But, the scenes are compensated with both introductions to Pythagoras and Hercules. Mark Addy in particular, shines as a really comedy actor. Some elements of his character, Robert Baratheon are obvious in his character, probably his drinking more than anything else.
The settings are quite extraordinary in their own field, with the palace and the Temple of Poseidon striking me most as impressive structures. The Oracle can seem quite self-explantoray, which does annoy me slightly. She is the new Great Dragon, for Jason to learn his destiny from.
The event of choosing stones does have elements of the Hunger Games in it, but the fact that Pythagoras finds the black stone really puts a new twist on the plot, which has a new direction. While it is predictable that Jason will take the Mathematician's place, it still makes for brilliant television.
The next parts are where the series becomes formulaic and a bit confused at times. The love between Ariadne and Jason is to be expected, especially the looks she was giving him. However, I do love the skein of thread which she gives him. When Pythagoras and Hercules arrive with weapons at the mouth of the Labyrinth, the scene is not executed properly and we find the pace lacking.
The Labyrinth is similar to that of the caves in Merlin, but there's a new element to it. This part, I must be honest, is well executed and the CGI impresses me. The Minotaur's death comes as a surprise and so does the fact that the creature is human. A wonderful ending to a good beginning.
I wanted to give this episode 7/10, but with the fact that there is so much more Atlantis can provide, I don't want to push it. Instead, I'll settle for...