Finally - a plot I can really get into! The Song of the Sirens is a relief, I can tell you. Thanks to some fast-paced action and some interesting new additions into the Atlantis world, this episode gains some respect from me. There are still a number of issues of course, which stem across all episodes, but ultimately this episode defeats the rest plot-wise. Perhaps the arrival of a new writer, Lucy Watkins, has allowed the world to grow into new areas.
Mark Addy is dynamite in this episode. Previously, he has been the joker, but in this episode, he grows a seriousness that we haven't seen before. His determination is easily spotted in Hercules' discussion with Circe. And later, when he returns to the cave, his anger can be easily surmised from the fact he's given this witch his most treasured possession, and in return, he watches the love of his life dying.
Speaking of the witch, Lucy Cohu's performance is also stunning. Her portrayal of a lonely creature in the depths of the mountain it meticulousy visualised with her croaky voice and sluggih behaviour. I also loved the twist when it is revealed that she is Pasiphae's sister, even though I could see the resemblance. This compensates an overarching plotline, which needs back-up. Pasiphae is obviously a witch, but the source is weak and there's not much back story. Now that there's a little more background, it's easier to understand.
The duo, Jason and Pythagoras continue to succeed in their discussions. They are emotive and painful, but even so, the script brings humour cleverly into the mix. However, I would like to see and hear a bit more about Pythagoras' triangles. His skill in anatomy and medicine had no relevance to his work on triangles, another plot hole I would like solved.
I always enjoy the monsters in BBC series, because they really help extend the excitement in an episode. Despite Circe's creature only appearing a brief time, it's time on screen is enjoyable, especially when you realise the creature has a target. Plus, when the creature reveals itself from the depths of Circe's pool, some impressive special effects help propose this frightening beast.
Whilst the Song of the Sirens has its strengths, not to mention the complementation of greek mythology in many areas, there are a few consistent flaws, which need rectifiying for Series 2. For instance, the visual effects are not up to standard in this episode - this is perhaps the cause of local filming instead of trekking to Morocco. The sequences where only Hercules, Jason and Pythagoras' shoulders and head could be seen, it was obvious that they had to copy in the background afterwards.
In addition, the arrival of the Pig was a weakness, I believe. A surprise, definitely, but I believed it ruined the flow of the episode and in the end, just became an awfully padded-out joke - thanks to Jason's slick comedy. Also, perhaps bringing Medusa face to face with Hercules to show her anger would have ended the episode well - hiding it just made for a dull ending.
Overall, the Song of the Sirens was a big improvement. There was far more to enjoy and far less loitering around doing the same old laugh and jokes. The inclusion of a new, impressive character has changed the flow of the show and Jason's task is almost the sign of our first cliffhanger. Despite this, there's still much to work on.