Atlantis: Review: Series 1 Episode 9: Pandora’s Box

Atlantis 109To repay a debt, Hercules must retrieve a box from the Underworld…

I have to be honest and admit that I was in two minds about continuing to review Atlantis following the forced break for The Day of the Doctor, since, unlike some other shows debuting this season, it really hadn’t made the strides forward during the first year that I had hoped for. However, I’m glad that in the end I did decide to catch up.

This is certainly the strongest episode the show has produced, helped by good production values, and featuring some great guest stars, including Julian Glover effortlessly stealing his scene. It could be argued that we needed all the various pieces of setting-up to date to make the change in Hercules more noticeable, but it’s as if the producers have suddenly remembered that Mark Addy can do dramatic parts as well as comedy. Robert Emms equally gets a mix of comedy and drama, and Jack Donnelly is noticeably starting to improve, although cutting to his reaction shots can still be a bit embarrassing.

Once again, the court intrigues are conspicuous by their absence, with more than enough going on between and around the central trio. Jason’s knowledge of the myths is important, and, for once, is acknowledged within the show by the Oracle, who stops being quite so enigmatic and actually delivers a clear prophecy for once. I had wondered if the Medusa transformation might have been kept for the end of season cliffhanger, but, from the look of the throwforward, it’s going to be important for the next few weeks.

Verdict: With some proper tension, and the realisation that this time the team aren’t going to win, this hints at a much stronger future for Atlantis. 7/10

Paul Simpson


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