Last night, we heard that Atlantis has been renewed for a second series and thought “oh, interesting”. Then we watched the fifth episode and felt nothing. I’ll be honest, it’s becoming a challenge to come up with new synonyms every week for “competent but unexciting”.
In this particular episode, the Princess (aka Jason’s love interest) encounters her long lost brother, Hercules falls in love with a beetle and we get a few revelations about how the Royal Family might’ve come to power. I might spoil it a tad, so watch it on iPlayer first if you care.
Intrigue and Killer Queens – It’s Crap Game of Thrones!
Princess Ariadne hears news of her long-lost brother! Her evil stepmother Pasiphae tries to stop them reuniting but is unsuccessful! Jason is recruited to help, because word of his selfless, borderline-masochistic helpfulness has spread across the city!
This seems to be an episode trying to build mythology and ongoing arc, not to mention give some weight to the Royal Family side of the storyline, which so far has stood stiffly in the corner while the three male leads mucked around. Sarah Parish clearly enjoys the chance to finally go full-evil as Pasiphae, killing a prisoner almost-on-screen and everything.
And this intrigue ends in the discovery that Pasiphae and the King did something awful to get into power and it is straining their relationship. Maybe if the writers worked Jason into the palace more, this show would seem less whiplashed, but they might be worried it’d resemble Merlin too much as well.
Three Guys And A Beetle – It’s the Crap Beatles
Elsewhere, Hercules and Pythagoras get a weird storyline involving a beetle, which has a few amusing moments but never gains a point beyond giving them something to do. And Jack Donnelly’s acting remains ropey at times – he overplays the giggling teenage girl bit during his scenes with Ariadne.
The Oracle returns for a stilted scene with Pasiphae. Medusa also appears briefly, and everything is kicked further down the line. There were some alright ideas here, and it’s good to see Atlantis starting to create an ongoing storyline beyond Jason hanging around as an unemployed hero, but it simply wasn’t very exciting to watch, as ever.
In fact, as I wrote this review, I came to the conclusion that I probably won’t be doing these every week anymore. I’m not necessarily saying Atlantis is ridiculously terrible – it’s still not as bad as Sinbad, for example – but it’s so routinely dull in roughly the same way, I don’t think 400 words every week pointing it out is achieving much. If I keep up with the show, I may return at the end of the series to see how they ended up, but yes, I think this is my last weekly Atlantis review. Goodbye, Jason. Maybe one day, you’ll realise you miss computers.