Atlantis is your typical BBC, Saturday night adventure romp. It starts off in the present day, with Jason on a boat, talking to another man about how his father had previously descended into the same waters to see what he could find. The man cautions Jason. After all, his father never came back, but Jason knows this is something he must do. So down he goes, and finds some interesting things, including a sign in plain English for The Oracle.
A bright light appears, Jason is sucked into it, and he wakes up on a beach. Conveniently, there is a pile of clothes nearby, meaning Jason is fully clothed by the time he reaches the city. There, he is attached by a three-headed dragon before being chased by the guards and ending up stumbling into the home of Pythagoras. Yeah, THAT guy. All the while, not seeming to question the strange surroundings, the dragon, or anything else, until Pythagoras introduces himself and Jason exclaims “I’m in Ancient Greece?” Well. Yeah. I mean…look around you. Check out the clothes. The buildings. The freaking dragon! Jason, apparently, isn’t the brightest guy.
In the same home, we’re introduced to
Robert Baratheon Hercules, who apparently lives with Pythagoras because this is for families, and nothing needs to make much historical sense when just trying to make things exciting for kids. Hercules, as it turns out, is an overweight coward who tries to run away from being involved in the tributes. Tributes, meaning every citizen of Atlantis picks a stone, seven are black and these are sacrificed to the minotaur.
Yeah! Minotaur! Of course. Because this is Jason, this is Greece and we are in the world of ancient myths. To sum it all up quickly, Jason and co end up hunting down the Minotaur and Jason ends up killing him. Oh, before this he visits the oracle who gives some hints that Jason is there to save them all. And there’s a princess who disagrees with her parents.
Okay, so this isn’t exactly breaking brand new ground. Like I said above, it’s BBC’s typical Saturday night family romp. It’s not meant to be intellectually stimulating or factually correct. It’s meant to be enjoyable, for both adults and kids. It’s meant to whisk us away into a world of fantasy and root for the hero.
And it does that. Yes, it’s silly. But Atlantis’ first episode did what it needed to do. It introduced the hero and his sidekicks, the love interest and had a small adventure. It showed us the world we’ve been thrust in, and let us know that Jason himself came from this world. And we know what’s at stake without it being said by the show. If Jason doesn’t save Atlantis, will it end up underwater? Or is that an inevitability?
It follows in the path of Merlin and Robin Hood, and it does stand up well against them. It’s well made (silliness aside), with some beautiful scenery to admire around the characters. For however long it’s on, it’s going to offer a nice getaway on Saturday nights, a nice chance to sit back with a beer or wine and just immerse yourself in a different world. Yet again, the BBC pulls it off. Well worth checking it out, if you’re not too fussed on historical/mythological accuracy.