Atlantis: 103 “A Boy of No Consequence” Spoiler-Free Review
Reviewed by Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull.
[Note: This episode was previously titled “The Boy Must Die”]
To me, Atlantis has already settled. It’s no longer one of ‘the BBC’s hit new shows’ it’s just one of ‘the BBC’s shows’ (partly because it’s no longer new) even if has been running for less than three weeks. Our lead trio’s incentives and attributes have been firmly set in stone whilst Queen Pasiphaë (Sarah Parish finally showing her capability at being a thoroughly nasty baddie. My main criticism of late has been that Parish has done nothing but bear her teeth from the backseats) is now a fully flourished antagonist. Jason is still going from clothed to topless in a nanosecond (seriously, Jack Donnelly must have some sort of superpower) and Medusa is now an ordained member of the Atlantis gang. Saturday nights have found their latest fountainhead of entertainment.
Atlantis is divertive television in its purest most distilled form. Those who are still hoping that Atlantis will flourish as a serious drama had better abandon those hopes. It’s time to sit back and relax and let it wash over you because there are fewer mainstream shows out there that’ll have the same affect.
The Atlantis group, this week, have gone from being heroes-for-hire to heroes-needing-help. After Jason stands up for a peasant (ladies get ready to swoon at more Jack Donnelly mettle) he locks horns with a loathsome nobleman and our lead three end up a coliseum of sorts (something I wanted before this series even began) facing the city’s wild bulls. After last week’s trip up yonder woods, the action is largely concentrated in Atlantis so the royals are back. Alexander Siddig still doesn’t do much as the rather shouty King Minos and as I said earlier, Sarah Parish does the opposite of Siddig and finally does something. Their daughter, the prepossessing Ariadne (played rather excellently by Aiysha Hart) and Jason’s lingering looks are finally addressed. Queen Pasiphaë even has a talk with Ariadne about it.
The CGI in Atlantis is downright appalling. It’s so bad to a degree where it’s actually distracting to the narrative. There’s one scene – I shan’t divulge details – when someone does a stunt that looks so horrendously done on a green screen that it reminded me of a stodgily done home-movie. I could have done better with Windows Movie Maker. But I’m being a little unfair. The version I saw was unfinished and the episodes are still being filmed so I can’t fully pass judgement yet.
The Boy Must Die isn’t better than last week’s offering but it’s still another dose of fun from the BBC. I don’t see the criticism, really. Yes, Atlantis isn’t the height of sophisticated TV-making but it’s still good Saturday night entertainment. That’s what it was made to be: pure unadulterated fun.
Looking at something for Atlantis to work on, I’d single out the character of King Minos – he needs to have some sort of character development.
Jack Donnelly, Robert Emms and Mark Addy are a surprisingly watchable bunch. Each put in good turns and they blend well together. Pythagoras is by far the more compelling character; he’s more three-dimensional than the other two.