Howard Overman returned to the writing of Atlantis with the fifth episode of the current series (BBC has already confirmed that the show will be renewed for at least one more season).
As is the norm a quick setup has the three heroes (Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras) down on their luck and having to resort to beetle racing. Medusa seems unimpressed but what else can down-at-heel heroes do?
Meanwhile at the palace an intruder gives Ariadne a message – her brother Therus (Darwin Shar), thought dead for many years, is waiting to meet with her outside the city.
There is some to-ing and fro-ing and of course Jason ends up having to help the princess escape the city (the ‘how do we get out of the city’ scenes are becoming repetitive) and go with her to meet her brother. In the background we learn that Pasiphae (the always impressive Sarah Parish) has problems with the Oracle, is responsible for Therus’s leaving the city and actually set him up as a traitor. Her only concern is power and the throne. Now that Ariadne is approaching 18 she will be more of an obstacle for Pasiphae and so Therus has returned to force Ariadne to leave Atlantis for her own safety.
Much of the last part of the story is suggestive glances, dark forest, shadows and even a fight in the forest which Jason loses easily with Ariadne having to save him from her brother. The story told us little we didn’t know or suspect though did stoke the fires of love between Jason and Ariadne. More entertaining was the beetle racing.
A better story for Alexander Siddig as King Herod who has a wonderful line at the end when he tells Ariadne that he cares more for her than anything in the world; the camera is careful to stay on Pasiphae who hears this a different way – he loves Ariadne more than her! This is not enough to make this more than another mid-series episode of little consequence.