Atlantis: Review: Series 1 Episode 3: A Boy of No Consequence (spoiler-free)

Atlantis 3After he stops a bully from attacking an old man, Jason and his friends are sentenced to the bull-leaping pit…

After a couple of episodes that haven’t really grabbed my attention, this is the first that really starts to use the potential of the series. Bull-leaping isn’t something that’s particularly well known as a sport, but it is something which is depicted in the items which survived the destruction of Knossos (whose civilisation is one of the very clear inspirations for this version of Atlantis). Inevitably that means that there are some Eastern-style movements from some of the protagonists – although sensibly they play up to Mark Addy’s comic abilities to avoid it being too incredible – and on the assumption that they didn’t actually put their stars in contact with a very hefty looking bull, the compositing has been done well.

The various strands surrounding Jason are starting to become clearer: there’s little love lost between the king’s daughter Ariadne (who fancies Jason) and her stepmother, who has obviously got plans to ensure her position of power which include Ariadne not stepping too far out of line. Alexander Siddig’s Minos seems oblivious to all of this, but can he be as inastute as he appears?

The relationship between Pythagoras and Jason is still one of the iffy elements, although Addy’s Hercules is starting to fulfil a Falstaff-like function. If the writers aren’t careful, Pythagoras is going to become like Mel in Doctor Who, whose computer programming skills apparently made her an expert in everything – “So, Pythagoras, you’re a master mathematician – tell us how doing this or that can create a curse?”

Verdict: With the actors starting to relax into the roles (and rather less arch dialogue), this is more promising. 7/10

Paul Simpson

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