New on the Tube: ‘Atlantis’

New on the Tube is a series devoted to reviewing relatively new television shows and determining how they may (or may not) appeal to their intended audiences, where the shows are going, and what can be done to make them better.

Show Premise: 

Jason, the son of an explorer, seeks out his father’s remains and ends up transported to the fabled city of Atlantis, but in ancient times.  While trying to figure out how he got there, and what it has to do with his father’s death, Jason encounters two individuals who become unlikely friends in the face of some very unusual circumstances.  Unsure of what he’s going to do, Jason and his comrades make a living in Atlantis while trying to find his place in this new, but old, world.  The show airs on Saturdays at 8:20 p.m. (GMT) on BBC One.


Previously on Atlantis: Covering episodes #1 - #4

After spending his lifetime thinking about how his father disappeared, Jason uses a deep-sea personal sub to look for his remains but is blinded by a white light that engulfs everything and knocks him out.  He awakens on a beach and makes his way to a nearby town that looks to be old and uncivilized. After running away from some guards, he is taken in by a man named Pythagoras and is told that he’s in the city of Atlantis.  Unsure why he is there, Jason seeks the Oracle and is told that he has been brought to the city for a reason.  Later on he takes the place of Pythagoras, so the man won’t be tasked to face the Minotaur, but Pythagoras and Hercules comes to his aide regardless.  Afterward, the three are asked to seek a woman who has gone missing, and, during their search, they find another young woman named Medusa whom Hercules takes a shine to.  Sometime later, Jason stands up to the betrothed of the princess to stop him from abusing his power, and, in doing so, the three of them are sentenced to face the bull for their freedom.  They defeat a plot against them with the help of Medusa, and, in doing so, anger the queen and her ambitions.  A short time later, the trio find an abandoned baby in the woods while hunting and try to keep him from being killed by the queen and another king.  With the help of some others, they save the child by sending him away.  

Main Characters

: A scientist with a quest, Jason is from the modern world and finds himself unsure of his new surroundings.  Unusually strong and quick, he is a hero like no one has seen the likes of before.

: Obsessed with triangles, Pythagoras is a man with a good heart who often finds himself bailing Hercules out of financial trouble.  Unwilling to turn someone away, he is the main reason why Jason is still living with him and Hercules.

Hercules: Egotistical hero who likes to eat and drink too much, Hercules is bull-headed and quick to make judgments.  An unlikely friend with Pythagoras, he looks out for himself before considering anyone else’s feelings.

Ariadne: The daughter of the king and queen of Atlantis, Ariadne has found herself drawn to the attentions of Jason.  Unwilling to be a copy of her mother, she defies the ambitions of the queen but is unwilling to completely speak out yet.

What Works

The show is an interesting take on the life of Jason, known hero of ancient mythology and best known for his quest for the Golden Fleece.  So far, there hasn’t been much in the way of development pertaining to Jason’s quest, but given how much it was played out in front of the Oracle, I am sure it will happen at some point, perhaps as the finale for the first series (season).  I do hope that there is more interaction between Jason’s modern upbringing and the new world that he has found himself in, as I think it would bring an interesting concept into the mix, but so far I am unsure if it will happen.

What Doesn’t

Despite the close look this provides of ancient Greek mythological figures, the differences in how things unfold really stick out and bring down the enjoyment of the show.  Even the portrayal of Hercules seems like a huge downer for me, nothing close to what I’ve come to expect from the myths throughout the years. Although, it might be closer than Kevin Sorbo’s portrayal in Christian Williams’ well-known television series.  If I didn’t know anything about the myths, I would probably find it a more enjoyable show to watch, but even though it was created by the same people who worked on Merlin for five years, it certainly isn’t a good replacement for that particular legend.

The Future

We’ve already seen some of the mythological interactions take place, as well as the introduction of some iconic characters from legend, but the placements are quite different from what I’ve come to know based on research and education.  If this was going according to legend, it would be easy to see what would happen next, but, at this point, I have no real idea.  I suspect that, at some point, Jason will find more information about his father, as well as perhaps begin the legendary quest for the Golden Fleece, but there really is no way to tell.

Last modified on Thursday, 27 December 2018 16:16

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