The BBC Turns To The Gods

Merlin was born out of good reasoning: the BBC wanted a family friendly show, that adults and kids alike would enjoy, to air at tea-time on Saturdays, during those months when Doctor Who wasn't around. After five series, Merlin finished this past Christmas, leaving them with a hole in their schedule, a hole they wasted exactly no time plugging, green lighting a pitch from Merlin co-creators Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, and Misfits/Dirk Gently creator Howard Overman. The pitch: Atlantis.

The series will be set in a “strange, compelling realm populated with snake-haired goddesses and palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants”. It will centre on Jason (unknown if the same of Argo fame or not) “bringing into life the vast store of Greek myths and legends re-imagined for a new generation.” So, essentially the basic Merlin formula, but set in the mythic days of Greece.

I'm excited about this. Setting aside that Mythic Greece is one of the areas of my expertise and a subject that I'm always interested to see reinterpreted, when Merlin was good, it was very good. It took a couple series to mature properly, and another to appropriately balance tone. They had an issue with pacing right up to the end, but they never had a problem when it came to character development, and the emotions and acting on the show were always bang on. Hopefully they'll be able to bring some of that over to this new series.

The new series has also been cast, and again the Merlin formula of a combination of unknowns and seasoned actors has been replicated. We don't which roles they'll be playing, but after the jump you see who will be part of this mythic cast

Mark Addy, recently of Game of Thrones, and my guess is the King of Atlantis (that beard is practically Agamemnian).

Juliet Stevenson, known for roles in Emma and Mona Lisa Smile, and most likely to either be a Queen, or a mother figure to Jason (possibly filling the Gaius role).

Sarah Parish, who appeared in the Hatfields and McCoys, guested as the Troll in Merlin, and the Racnoss on Doctor Who. Has shown no qualms about sitting in the makeup chair, and might be a regular less-then-human character.

Jemima Rooper, a British TV regular, having been part of the casts of The Time of Your Life and Hex. 

Robert Emms, a relative new comer, having appeared in War Horse, Mirror Mirror, and the upcoming Kick-Ass 2.

Aiysha Hartis, another newcomer to the scene, by which I mean she has only four credits on IMDb, two of which are as of yet unreleased, and one of which is in production. With her exotic looks (compared to the rest of the English-pale cast) could she be the romantic lead, the Medea of the story?

Jack Donelly, yet another absolute newcomer, having appeared on the mystery series House of Anubis, and as White Rabbit in the fourth series of Offerman's Misfits. This also appears to be the only picture of him on the internet. Considering his shorter CV (and using Colin Morgan's casting as Merlin as evidence), I'm guessing this is Jason.

At the very least, Atlantis stands to be better then those Clash of the Titans remakes. Filming begins in April, with an expected air date of the autumn.

Via Den of Geek, and again.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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