Atlantis: Review: Series 2 Episode 5: The Day of the Dead

Atlantis 2.5Jason and his friends face their darkest hour…

So dark, in fact, that you’ll need to adjust the contrast and/or brightness of your screen to be able to see what the hell is going on – for some reason, this episode has adopted the Barry Lyndon school of film lighting, apparently only using the natural light available. It makes some of the fight sequences very difficult to make out, and while it does emphasise the obstacles which Jason, Hercules, Pythagoras, Ariadne and co. are facing, it doesn’t make for easy viewing.

Nor, it should be said, does the content of the episode. Atlantis is no longer a family show: this is adult drama, with characters carrying out cold-blooded murder. No matter how you want to parse it, Orpheus and Eurydice’s plotline in this is unpleasant, and although those with a working knowledge of Greek mythology will know where their story leads, for those who don’t, it seems more than a little harsh.

It’s a strong episode in terms of the characters: Medea plays Jason throughout (or does she – Amy Manson is creating a nicely ambiguous character), and Ariadne’s confusion over her feelings for Jason are resolved just in time for her to be put in major peril. Hercules and Pythagoras are far more credible this season, with the former’s humorous asides put to much better use.

The show has also quite definitely become a serial – we’ve cliffhangered out of a number of episodes, maintaining the tension.

Verdict: No longer the Merlin knock-off which it was decried for being last year, Atlantis is becoming increasingly entertaining. 8/10

Paul Simpson

 

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