Atlantis: 102 “A Girl By Any Other Name” Spoiler-Free Review
Reviewed by Patrick K Sproull.
I’m surprised The Earth Bull wasn’t well received. I had no quarrel with the opener; it was buoyant entertainment for families to graze round the telly every Saturday night. But with some obvious flaws. The second episode, A Girl By Any Other Name is a vast improvement and already I can see Atlantis fitting in and becoming as normal in the schedules as EastEnders.
Following on from last week’s romp up the hills with a Minotaur, this week has our intrepid trio, Pythagoras, Hercules and Jason off on a quest to rescue a peasant’s daughter who’s been carted off by a deeply sinister cult. The three’s idiosyncrasies are still in place; Pythagoras is still as bumbling and geeky as ever, Hercules’ ego is evermore inflated and Jason resists the urge to whip his top off and display his buff torso.
The villain of the piece in The Earth Bull was the Minotaur that, believe it or not, turned out to be a goodie in the end. Apparently Sarah Parish’s (many of you will have last seen her kitted out as a spider, abducting Catherine Tate in Doctor Who’s The Runaway Bride) Queen Pasiphaë is supposed to be antagonistic but from what we saw of her last week, I can’t really tell. She and her husband, King Minos (Alexander Siddig) don’t make an appearance in A Girl By Any Other Name but their ravishing daughter, Ariadne (the very pretty Aiysha Hart) is still present, flirting with Jason as per usual.
Our monster-of-the-week this time round or should that be, monsters-of-the-week are a group of snarly Gollum-like creatures that much like the Minotaur, don’t rise to much. But behind the gruesomely rendered CGI nasties are the real malfeasants and I’ve finally discovered why Atlantis is on at such a late hour. I’ll leave you to discover this one.
Something that I didn’t note in my first review was the direction of Justin Molotnikov (who previously helmed the camera of Merlin and Shameless) who’s deft camerawork becomes very noticeable here. Molotnikov is a name I hadn’t heard of before (given my Merlin eschewal) but I shall be sure to look out for him again.
Lastly, I’d like to retract my mark from The Earth Bull (I gave it eight out of ten) and grant it a six. Hopefully this helps you understand that I consider A Girl By Any Other Name to be much better than the opening episode. I was in a very good mood when I sat down to watch The Earth Bull but when I caught the premiere again last Saturday I discovered that it wasn’t as great as I thought it was. Writing this review, I’m in a more critical mood so trust me when I say that Atlantis is only getting better.