Atlantis 1.03 A Boy of No Consequence REVIEW

TV REVIEW The bull ring of fire

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Atlantis 1.03 “A Boy of No Consequence” TV REVIEW

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Episode 1.03
Writer: Howard Overman
Director: Justin Molotnikov

THE ONE WHERE Jason insults Heptarian and ends up leaping bulls for his life.

VERDICT Sometimes,sci-fi and fantasy can stretch credulity too far. Forget the TARDIS dragging the Earth back into orbit, or Superman lifting an entire continent, or Janeway and Paris shagging as giant newts. They all pale into insignificance next to being asked to believe that Mark Addy could leap a bull.

On the other hand it was very funny, so let’s relive the moment!

To be honest, even Jason looked a little like a young kid doing a Superman impression…

Yeah, Atlantis ’s take on Gladiator , with a bull-leaping theme, was very silly and slight, with some pretty basic evil-plottery and conniving going on behind the scenes to add some extra tension. But it was fun, and the effects were bloody excellent; it was more the body language of the actors that made the bull-leaping look slightly ludicrous rather than dodgy matting. And the bull was magnificent. This show does love its bulls, doesn’t it?

There were some great little scenes between Ariadne and Pasiphae too. Good to see they have the measure of each other, and are openly hostile and hopefully the bitchy exchanges will continue. On the other hand, Medusa was short-changed this episode, and her “ruse” to lure Pasiphae out of her lair was about as dramatically exciting as boiling cabbage.

Heptarian is slightly disappointing. Oliver Walker is a decent enough actor, by why does the “evil” suitor always have to be such a charmless git? Why not give him a bit of charisma? Or humour? Or give him a psychotic sense of entitlement, like Joffrey in Game Of Thrones ? But no, he’s just a bit dull and growly.

So, once again, Atlantis gives us a solidly entertaining installment, but you just can’t help wishing it wasn’t quite do by-the-book in its plotting. Because when it does do something a little left field (usually involving Hercules), that’s when you see the twinkle in its eye.

THE FRUIT AGENDA After an absence last week, upturned fruit (like Minos and Pasiphae) was back with a vengeance…

DIRTY DANCING Unfortunately, there was a lack of melons, which meant Hercules sadly didn’t quote the most famous line from Dirty Dancing at this point.

TANGO TIME Jason and Heptarian looked like they were teaming up for Strictly Come Dancing .

DESTINY/FATE COUNT A non-appearance by The Oracle this week took the count right down to just a couple of uses of “fate”.

IT’S WOSSINAME The guy doing his Game Of Thrones audition as Pelos, the bull leaping instructor, is Richard Dillane, who you may remember as the Captain of the Teselecta in Doctor Who ’s “Let’s Kill Hitler”. He was also once a regular in Casualty and was rocket builder Werner Von Braun in the superb drama documentary Space Race .

CREAKY PLOT DEVICE Fair dues the Foley artist for adding a sound effect to make the hidden door sound substantial and heavy. Shame Medusa was trying to sneak quietly after Pasiphae at the time.

SEEN AND NOT HEARD Talking of Medusa, after an impressive debut last week, she has a mere one line this week: “Hercules!”

Pasiphae: “As a queen you cannot always follow your heart,”
Ariadne: “Then you are well suited to the role.”

Dave Golder

Atlantis is currently airing in the UK on BBC One, Saturday evenings
• Read our other Atlantis season one reviews

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Dave Golder
Freelance Writer

Dave is a TV and film journalist who specializes in the science fiction and fantasy genres. He's written books about film posters and post-apocalypses, alongside writing for SFX Magazine for many years.