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Atlantis - A New Dawn: Part 1 - Advance Preview + Dialogue Teasers

I have to admit that although I wasn’t the biggest fan of Season 1 there were factors that I did appreciate. Sarah Parish is a terrific villain, Jemima Rooper is always a joy to watch, and when the three leads did finally start to grow as characters towards the end of the run I found myself caring more for the stories overall too. On the other hand there were too many fart jokes, name calling/making fun of friends, non-logical or frothy plots which would reset character progression at the start of each episode, and some less than spectacular performances at times too.

Season 2 does claim to be addressing the majority of these points though, it’s been “reinvented” Jack Donnelly assures us, “in every single way.” It will be a much darker series that should see it sitting more comfortably in its later time slot, and like the upcoming Musketeers it also has a running arc which will help both the story and characters development no end. Unfortunately we have lost the wonderful Alexander Siddig as King Minos and won’t see Jemima Rooper’s Medusa until the series comes back of its mid-season hiatus sometime next year, but we have gained Vincent Regan (Musketeers, Strike Back) as Dion and Amy Manson (Being Human, Outcasts) as Medea. I’m not sure how close to their Greek mythology their paths will tread, although we have had a hint in the trailer that Medea will be getting close to Jason, which is a bold step when you consider that in this version they are cousins.

After swiftly setting the scene that the newly grief-stricken Ariadne is now Queen and under threat from Pasiphae who is waging war upon her kingdom, our trio of unlikely heroes are thrown almost immediately into their first skirmish. It’s obvious that they’ve taken a few lessons in the year since the end of the last season as none of them could be accused of being useless with a blade now. They are in fact somewhat too enthusiastic at times, either by being a typical hero or just for a quick, yet effective, visual gag. However, as the various sword fights and other dangers start to stack up in the episode I do start to find Pythagoras’ complete lack of armour a little suspicious, he must lead a charmed life!

In some ways it does still feel a little like it’s the Pasiphae and Hercules show, both Sarah Parish and Mark Addy are such accomplished performers that their years of experience does perhaps outshine some of those around them at times. But that’s not to say that others aren’t doing well too, the younger cast members improved greatly over the course of Season 1 as their confidence grew, and seem to be more comfortable than ever in their roles at the start of this episode. In fact I think everyone has certainly upped their game this year; relationships between characters feel more realistic and balanced, the humour is definitely still there but is less puerile, the fights are more authentic and the music is scored to fit the scenes more appropriately.

It also boasts a fine catch with some guest stars this season too, the opening two parter includes not one, but two, from that behemoth of a show Game of Thrones. Robert Pugh is an actor I have adored since first seeing him in The Lakes with John Simm back in the ‘90s and I have watched many shows just to catch his portrayal of certain characters. He appears to have some of the attributes of at least one of the Sarpedon’s from Greek myth, but this being Atlantis don’t expect things to be too similar as they are retelling stories with modern twists. As for his performance it is as nuanced as ever, and as much as I hate the over used ‘gravitas’ word, he has it in bucket loads!

Josef Altin is someone who has a tendency to pop up and play a memorable character in shows that I watch – Being Human and (another Howard Overman penned show) Misfits for example. Surely it’s only a matter of time before he is announced as the Doctor’s new companion...well, a girl can dream can’t she. Regrettably he only has a minor role in A New Dawn, but it’s great to see him on the small screen again even for a short time now that young Pyp is no more.

Finally, although we’re told that the amount of CGI monsters of the week has been curtailed, there are actually a couple that pop up in this first instalment. Vine FX continues to do a stellar job of not only bringing these mythical beasts to life, but having them interact with the cast and their surroundings in a credible manner. Their work for Season 1 has recently earned them a nomination for this year’s Royal Television Society Craft and Design Award, and after seeing the two creatures already showcased I look forward to what else they have to offer the series.

A New Dawn: Part 1 airs on Saturday 15th November at 8.30pm on BBC 1 and BBC 1 HD in the UK, and at 9pm on BBC America. Below are a few dialogue teasers to see you through until then, any guesses on who says what? Don't forget to come back to vote in our poll after the episode and let us know what you thought.

“I’ve done my best to guide you, but there are some things that you must see for yourself”

“Perhaps you have lost faith in your new Queen?”

“It seems our luck has run out”

“It’s been many years since I left Atlantis, didn’t know if I would ever return”

“It can only be a matter of time before word of this spreads”

“There is no-one else I can turn to”

“There are bigger things at stake than one man’s life”

“If you’re done playing the hero we have to get out of here, now!”

“It seems our destiny is to die following him on this suicide mission”

“You expect him to see sense but it strikes me that love is entirely nonsensical”

About the Author - Sandi
Sandi is part of the Senior Staff at SpoilerTV having been a contributor from back in the Lost days of DarkUFO, and who now writes previews for Banshee, The Musketeers, Atlantis, and other BBC shows. She also enjoys watching and commenting on other shows such as Sons of Anarchy, Hannibal, Game of Thrones and Elementary.
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