As the separate reviews here on the site have indicated, the series that came back to screens last November was very different from the show which bore its name last year. Gone – to a large extent – are the pratfalls and insistence on finding humour in everything; in has come a much more serious intent, with death striking at the heart of the show and a darkness that occasionally over-permeates the production.
The quality of the production shows on these discs – the infamously dark fourth episode looks a lot better than it did on transmission – although I’m a bit surprised that we’ve only got a 2.0 channel soundtrack to go with the high resolution images. There’s quite a lot going on, particularly in the first two-parter, where discrete channels might have assisted – although the subtitles do help.
In many ways, this does feel like a reboot; apart from a passing reference to Jason coming to Atlantis to search for his father, there’s no hearkening back to the story established in the opening episode – Jason’s a 21st century lad who finds himself in a time of myth and legend (oh no, that’s Merlin, sorry). The potential of Jason knowing who all these characters are – Medea, Orpheus, Eurydice – has therefore been squandered, although I think this version is working a lot better, and perhaps should have been there from the start.
Verdict: If you dismissed Atlantis’ first season as a quick attempt to make a Merlin rip-off, then it’s well worth giving it another try, and this first batch of episodes shows how far the series has come. 8/10