Atlantis: 105 “White Lies” Spoiler-Free Review
Reviewed by Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull.
Atlantis, oh how I want you to be good. Imagine if it really was half decent: a Saturday teatime programme that’s actually not that bad and not a case of style over substance, oh that’d be great. Unfortunately this isn’t the case as Atlantis is creeping sadly downslope and although White Lies is better than last week’s dire outing, it’s still not fantastic.
Jason, Pythagoras and Hercules, or ‘the gang’ aren’t the centre of attention here and so the spotlight is shifted to the royal palace where Ariadne discovers some startling home truths. Mark Addy, Robert Emms and Jack Donnelly are on usual form, with Addy providing rotten laughs for the kiddies. Donnelly may haven taken his shirt off (again) but I rather glaze over at those bits. Hercules has acquired a new pet and like with Oedipus last week he bonds with it. It’s just Atlantis shoehorning in more lamentable gags.
Sarah Parish brings some proper meat to the particularly lacking feast as the delightfully wicked Queen Pasiphaë. Pasiphaë faces off to her husband, her stepdaughter, the Oracle, any Atlantean citizen that she comes to blows with. Parish revels as the nasty monarch and at times it appears she’s the only good thing about the show.
Last week I said, “I’m really hope that Atlantis succeeds in becoming primetime viewing for families but with each week it gets more and more unlikely.” With particular emphasis on that last part, these are still my feelings. White Lies tries desperately to be more adult and mature (there are a few darker moments: torture, etc.) but the show’s feet are firmly rooted in the kiddie market. Its first few episodes set it out as a television show for children and it’s going to be hard for it to break away from that.
The plot of White Lies is a bit more interesting than usual. A messenger sneaks into the city and conveys news of Ariadne’s brother to the princess herself. Apparently he’s alive and kicking in the hills after being accused of treason. (Again we have another character previously unmentioned that has made an appearance). Ariadne, rather than doing the dirty business herself, recruits our lead trio to set off and meet this mysterious brother.
Jason and Ariadne’s lingering looks finally blossom into something as Jason leaps to defend her at a number of points. Their romance is still incredibly clumsy but at least it’s advanced from sultry stares. Jack Donnelly and Aiysha Hart should try and give the impression of two deeply in love but they both seem more like they’ve guns to their heads.
White Lies is a step up from last week but no real improvement and Atlantis still remains a totally ‘meh’ series. That’s the only word that encapsulates my feelings for it. Meh. Really Atlantis, you could be so much better.
Note from the writer:
I’ve got an announcement to make. I’m no longer going to be doing spoiler-free reviews of Atlantis for obvious reasons. I’m really not enjoying the series and what I can gather from the Internet, the public aren’t either. I hope you understand my reasoning and if you’re a fan of Atlantis I hope you enjoy the rest of the series.