This review contains spoilers.
1.8 The Furies
There’s a scene halfway through this week’s Atlantis in which our heroes are riding through the desert, plodding on slowly, keeping their eyes open for something exciting to happen. That scene, in essence, is a review of the whole episode.
A road trip to Helios sees Hercules, Jason and Pythagoras joined by Pythagoras’ (up until now unmentioned) brother and a gaggle of other characters who are pretty much… just there.
Hercules has offered to take some gold to Helios, along with the groom of an arranged marriage, a silent manservant, a random woman and a guy who seems to know about traveling across the desert because he speaks all mysteriously about it.
Despite the possibility of death through… I’m assuming boredom… the main threat are the Furies. They’ve been summoned for revenge by one of the travellers who is still incredibly bitter about their past and wants to get their own back on the person responsible. Thankfully, having managed to stretch the story to breaking point, it’s all sorted in the last three minutes.
In the past two weeks, Atlantis was getting better. Then this episode happened!
The Furies are meant to be an intimidating force, yet they don’t offer much of a threat here, whilst the arrival to Helios and the consequences of Philemon and Baukis’ love are cast aside in a few ‘comical’ lines. In fact, if it wasn’t made clear they’d arrived in Helios, you’d think they’d just ridden around outside Atlantis for a while, before heading home.
There’s not enough interaction between the secondary characters, despite too much time being spent with poor dialogue. To call the extra characters two-dimensional would be charitable. They’re poorly realised and it’s close to impossible to feel anything for them. Philemon, the groom, and Baukis, the mysterious woman, barely have any screen time together, yet fall in love. Arcas, Pythagoras’ estranged brother, is angry and is also being mysterious. The mute murderer is mysterious as is their guide, the man who trusts him. Everyone seems to be mysterious.
Dreadfully, whilst the mysteries, individually, could have made for gripping drama, they’re rendered dull and lifeless by placing the words in the mouths of actors who don’t get time to breathe life into them. There doesn’t feel to be any back-story to these characters, save for Arcas. Even a bit of heavy handed exposition wouldn’t have felt out of place in Atlantis – anything to make us feel for the characters.
Addy, Emms and Donnelly do their best, Juliet Stevenson has her moment, but without a strong supporting cast and burdened with a poor script replete with disappointment, Atlantis’ flaws are laid bare.
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