With guest stars of the quality of Robert Lindsay, Jason Watkins and Nora-Jane Noone, you’d expect this to be one of the best episodes of Atlantis, but unfortunately the show still fails to capitalise on its assets, continuing to rely on pratfalls over emotion too often.
Turning the focus on to Hercules has certainly improved the dramatic qualities of the show, but when half the time he’s still involved in silly slapstick antics, Mark Addy’s emotional beats tend to get lost. Yes, Sylvester McCoy’s character in The Hobbit is covered in crap most of the time, but there’s a valid reason within the story for that; it’s not just there to fill in the time.
Lindsay accentuates the eccentricities of his character Daedalus, and combined with his impassioned plea on Have I Got News For You a couple of weeks ago, you have to start wondering if John Hurt and Peter Capaldi’s casting as the Doctor has reignited hope for a whole generation of actors that they might have a shot at the Time Lord, if they can show they can play that sort of thing. Herrick’s Crios is one of his stock in trade parts, and hopefully we’ll see more of both him and Lindsay in future episodes.
Addy does communicate Hercules’ pathos well – and for once we actually see something of the fighting prowess about which he has boasted – and there are a few surprises in Medusa’s story (notably, Jason’s ability to see her) that mean this plotline might not outstay its welcome.
Verdict: If the show is trying to turn darker, it needs to bring its humour along with it. 6/10