Jason’s heroics have costly consequences!
Much like Jason’s foray into the world of Atlantis I’m starting to feel a little turbulence; One minute we have a promising debut followed by a disappointing second episode and now a third which I’d describe as mediocre – a fight but with none of the thrill, fear or sentiment. To be fair the version I watched wasn’t fully completed and some of the CGI effects especially were on the ropey side but I’m sure by transmission it looks as good as normal. However it’s not the CGI I rely on to make me care about a character.
When Jason intervenes when the Queens nephew, Heptarian attacks a defenceless old man. Heptarian doesn’t take kindly to someone questioning his authority and King Minos sentences Jason and his friends (Although they failed to point out why Pythagoras or Hercules also fell foul of the nobleman’s wrath, considering they didn’t do anything?!) to become Bull leapers, saying Poseidon will decide their fate. To survive they and their team must jump over a charging bull to win their freedom.
Meanwhile Ariadne’s admiring glances towards Jason haven’t gone unnoticed by the Queen Pasiphae who has betrothed her step-daughter to Heptarian (Olly Walker). Fearing her affections to Jason will turn her against the marriage which she already isn’t happy with, both decide Jason must die. Their hope: Ariadne will miraculously forget about Jason and come round to the idea of marriage to Heptarian.
I really am willing Atlantis to work, we need a good family Saturday night drama. But I’m still feeling no affinity with the characters or their plight. The dramatic, yet irritating music is trying to drive us into an anticipatory frenzy, yet, I felt no danger or should I say no care for if the characters lived or died. The writers appear to have glossed over the core elements that will make us believe in these characters by showing us their reaction to each other in a believable way. Why are none of the characters questioning Jason’s origins, his new-found skills and how he ended up in Atlantis? Jason seems to have got over his father’s demise father quickly and learnt the ways and lingo of Atlantis in a short space of time. The other thing is the way the dialogue is being said… I know it’s a different time but some of the dialogue feels like painting by numbers. Whereas Medusa saved Jason’s bacon but hardly said two words. And sorry Hercules, I think she’s fallen for Jason not you.
But to balance out the review a bit, I will say Aiysha Hart and Sarah Parish brought more fight to their characters. Ariadne especially is challenging her step-mother (who has to be wicked in fantasy of course) and showing her disgust towards Heptarian who fulfils the nemesis role better than King Minos. And it is still early days – but even I have a limit how long I’m prepared to give them to sustain my interest; A good story is hinged on the writing, portrayal and feelings towards a character – be it good or bad! I’m not giving up yet though… afterall a review won’t right itself and I’m hopeful of improvement. I just hope it’s not too long a wait!