After hitting all the right notes with Merlin, the BBC had high hopes for the latest myth based drama: Atlantis. They spared no expense in assembling an all-star cast that includes the likes of Juliet Stevenson (Accused) and Mark Addy (The Syndicate). However, the finished product was reminiscent of one of those pre-ride, celebrity laden videos that you watch before you get on rides at Disney or Universal. Thankfully those poorly scripted pieces of fluff usually only last for a few minutes. Atlantis is set to run for 13 lengthy episodes. That’s a lot of air time for a “drama” that has the depth of a skit by the Chuckle Brothers.
I did have high hopes as I tuned in. I was surprised by the contemporary setting as our hero Jason (Jack Donnelly) made his way to the bottom of the ocean in a submarine. Flash, bang, wallop and Jason finds himself bereft of clothing and wandering around on a desert island. This is where it started to go downhill. Embarrassed by his nudity, Jason was quick to cover himself with some clothing that just happened to be laying on the beech. Fair enough, but why did he bother to put on all of the ancient accessories including the leather cuffs given that he had no idea that he had actually traveled back in time. Having barely raised an eyebrow, he quickly settled into daily life in an ancient city full of cliched characters, bumbling soldiers and lots of collapsable market stalls. It would be insulting to The Mummy films — which I detest — to refer to this as a poor man’s Mummy. It’s much, much worse than that. Big thumbs down I am afraid.