ATLANTIS Season 2, Episode 2 'A New Dawn: Part 2'

PrintE-mail Written by Tony Jones

Howard Overman wraps up the two-part opener of the new series of Atlantis with the inevitably named A New Dawn: Part Two.

Atlantis is in trouble: soldiers are deserting as they hear of the theft of the Palladium by Pasiphae (Sarah Parish). Jason (Jack Donnelly) has been injured stealing it back and is trapped in the lair of a Cyclops with his companions Hercules (Mark Addy) and Pythagoras (Robert Emms). As the enemy storm the walls of the city, is everything up for young Queen Ariadne (Aiysha Hart)?

We are used to large-scale fantasy battles ever since Peter Jackson started realising the works of Tolkein – it is impressive to see something of the same stature realised for what is, in fact, a television programme. There are siege weapons, arrows, flames, soldiers and death everywhere. The city barely survives the first wave of attackers and everything looks doomed.

The thread with the Cyclops serves only to delay Jason’s mission (and to take up airtime making this a two-part story) and Jason himself heals miraculously once he approaches Atlantis again. On the way, he tries to rally the army of deserters he encounters, but has he managed? He re-enters Atlantis with the Palladium, then joins the ranked soldiers for one final onslaught.

Of course, all ends well, though not without some good scenes for Ariadne, who is learning what it means to rule a city. In the midst of battle, Hercules also learns something about Pasiphae and there is a wonderful scene between him and the Oracle (Juliet Stevenson) that sets another line of destiny in motion.

In terms of performances, this two-week stint has already seen Mark Addy bring even more to his role of Hercules, and Emms plays Pythagoras with more darkness and is a better-balanced counterweight to Addy. Add this to stronger performances from Stevenson, the ever-brilliant Sarah Paris, and the show’s star Donnelly has his work cut out!

Overall then, a big battle that pays back the setup from Part One admirably.


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0 #2 Mickey Lewis 2014-11-23 20:30
Glad to see that all the literal blood and sweat we poured into this episode paid off with the good review above. And boy, did we bleeeeed -at one point my right hand was pouring with blood after a sustained attack from Jack Donnelly, (and I'm just a sword fighting supporting artist playing a Colchean on the show, not a stuntie).
The battle scenes were exhausting but thrilling to shoot and looking at the broadcast episode I would say that while a lot of our furious fighting remains on the cutting room floor, the episode is still gripping and taut and I'm very proud to have bren a part of it..
0 #1 Paul Mount 2014-11-23 16:40
Atlantis certainly is in trouble; its ratings aren't looking too healthy and I'm not surprised. The BBC are to be congratulated for still commissioning for the Saturday night family drama slot, but after Robin Hood, Merlin and now Atlantis it's time to put away the broadswords and do something a bit more contemporary because this cod-medeival stuff has run out of steam now.

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