'Atlantis: Season 2 Part Two'
(Jack Donnelly, Mark Addy, Robert Emms, Alexander Siddig, Juliet Stevenson, et al / 2-Disc DVD / NR / 2015 / BBC Home Entertainment)
Overview: The unmissable series returns and the time has come for Jason to fulfill his destiny - or Atlantis will be lost beneath the waves forever.
DVD Verdict: Well, in truth, and anybody that's seen just one episode of this TV series will be able to back me, mythology is unashamedly violated here in 'Atlantis'! Heavyweight Greek characters come out of the woodwork and are wasted with stupid, stereotypical idiosyncrasies which dumb down these hero's actual contributions to history or culture. We've even had a gambling, drunk Hercules and a triangle obsessed Pythagoras!
That aside, I have still managed to find 'Atlantis' to be a very enjoyable piece of Saturday night entertainment. Now it is here on DVD, albeit (weirdly) now Part Two of the Second Season, I have had much more time to sit and enjoy these episodes - and enjoy them I did. Sure, the fact that some so-called "fictional characters" come with bits and bobs of history and mythology attached all of their own, but if you can't look at 'Atlantis' with a sideways, knowing smirk this show is obviously not for you.
In this second season, part two, a year has passed and much has changed. With Minos dead, Ariadne is Queen and finds herself at war with her old adversary: Pasiphae. The kingdom stands on the brink of collapse and the struggle for power is both bloody and brutal. With the future looking bleak, Ariadne turns to her most trusted friends for support and so Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras are thrust to the very heart of politics and power in the city.
Further more, as the battle for the throne intensifies loyalties are tested to the limit and the responsibilities of duty become increasingly unforgiving. These difficult times require hard choices for all as secrets and lies become the currency of choice and no one is immune to betrayal.
Now, down to brass tacks: These are issues I have with this season ... BIG issues! Ariadne's sudden ascent to the throne; Telemon (the character); The Whole Ariadne/Jason/Medea love triangle; The introductions of Cassandra & Icarus; The writing off of the oracle (Juliet Stevenson); The re-introduction of Medusa; The whole Jason's heart blackening thing (those episodes were painful to watch and could've been more believable if they went on building it up through the seasons); and lastly the reluctance to let Pasiphae die. I'm sorry but her just suddenly coming back from the dead-that was annoying!
Anyway, overall, aka the big picture, 'Atlantis' is strikingly cinematic with ambitious production values and an impressive international cast. Season two, as usual, merges the myths and legends of classical Greek literature to create a unique and intriguing blend of high fantasy drama and gripping action adventure.
In closing, I think the continuing story line is good enough to carry the weight of the premise, the mix of myth and man-made suppositions entertaining. I really like the sets and costumes, although yes, the accents can grate at times, and the CGI is beyond hopeless; for the most part.
It reminds me a lot of both 'Merlin' and even 'Legend of the Seeker,' which also incorporated history, romance and adventure. But, wow, the best thing about 'Atlantis' has to be Aiysha Hart as Ariadne! A beautiful lady playing such a role is never a pain to watch. So, for those who like fantasy stories, are interested (or in some cases, uninterested!) in history and just want to have an entertaining night in, I would definitely recommend watching this series. These are all Widescreen Presentations (1.85:1) enhanced for 16x9 TVs.