TV Highlights

What was on Saturday 15th November

Atlantis

BBC One - 8.30pm

Who's in it?

Stop thinking about Peter Capaldi, the Tardis, and Missy. Stop it right now! Because your Saturday night fantasy fix will now be provided by Mark Addy, Sarah Parish, Jack Donnelly and the other good citizens of Atlantis.

In a nutshell

Blimey, it's almost as if Atlantis was horribly aware that it's stepping into the space still hot from Peter Capaldi's first series as the Doctor. What else could explain the frantic, fast-paced style of its return to our screens last night? The action came in such a flurry that idle viewers would have been forgiven for thinking it was the climax of the season rather than the opening salvo of series two. Net result: we were so swept away, we almost forgot the sadly departed Time Lord. Doctor "who?" indeed.

Anyway, so times have changed, but also haven't. For one thing, Mark Addy is still the number one reason to watch the show. Never mind the pretty boys and girls populating this version of Atlantis – it's Addy's larger than life Hercules who steals every scene. But there was plenty of tumult for him and his pals to get stuck into, in the aftermath of King Minos' death and the savage war between Ariadne and her stepmum Pasiphae. There was ultra-violence and breathtaking setpieces, but also just enough emotion to keep us caring about the characters. Plus, a big ole' rope bridge Indiana Jones would have been proud of.

What's the verdict?

Proving that nobody can do Saturday night family adventure like the BBC, Atlantis should certainly keep us busy until… well, until the Doctor returns for Christmas. Guess we haven't forgotten him after all.

Star rating: 4/5

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07-07-2011