Tag Archives: Game of Thrones

Vicious fun with McKellen and Jacobi on PBS

Ian McKellen and Derek Jaobi

Sirs Ian McKerlen and Derek Jacobi star as devoted but bickering partners of nearly 50 years in the new Britcom ‘Vicious,’ premiering tonight on most PBS affiliates.


Two knights of the British theater, Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi, cut loose as a bickering elderly gay couple in Vicious, a new half-hour Britcom premiering tonight on most PBS affiliates (check local listings).
Created by an American, former Will & Grace executive producer Greg Janetti, the farcical comedy (which originally had the working title Vicious Old Queens) follows fading actor Freddie Thornhill (McKellen) and his partner of 48 years, Stuart Bixby (Jacobi), who share an overstuffed, overdecorated two-level London flat with their 20-year-old dog, Balthazar. The series opens on the day of a funeral for Clive St. Clair, who worshipfully adored Freddie from afar and carried a lifelong torch for him – at least, according to Freddie. Joining Freddie and Stuart for the wake is their best friend of several decades, Violet Crosby (Frances de la Tour, The History Boys), but all three of them immediately become distracted by the arrival of a new neighbor in the apartment building: Ash Weston (Iwan Rheon, Game of Thrones), a very handsome working-class lad of indeterminate amorous inclinations.
When Stuart ponders whether Ash is gay or straight, Freddie immediately promises to solve the mystery.
“After all, I did spend a year playing the detective in The Mousetrap,” he tells Stuart, referencing the venerable Agatha Christie play that has been running continuously in London since 1952.
“Oh, please,” Stuart snaps back. “Our POSTMAN has been in The Mousetrap.
Although it is set in the present, in general tone and broad performance style Vicious is a throwback to such vintage Britcoms of the ‘70s as Are You Being Served? In fact, one episode features Stuart earning some extra cash by working in the men’s section of a department store, and I half expected Mr. Humphries to pop into the scene with his characteristic “I’m free!”
Yet while Mr. Humphries’ off-camera personal life was a matter of sniggering speculation in that bygone sitcom, the loving yet fractious relationship between Stuart and Freddie is very much at the heart of Vicious. These two cranky old gents may get on each other’s nerves, but they also share a long history that stretches back to a time when things were not at all easy for men like themselves.
“The point of those old-fashioned sitcoms was that to be gay was, in itself, funny and that you laughed at the characters rather than with them,” says McKellen, who, like Jacobi, is gay in real life as well. “This is not true of (Vicious), and I don’t think Derek and I would have wanted to be involved in this script if it were old-fashioned in that sense. We don’t get laughs as Freddie and Stuart because we are gay, but because we are the people we are. … It’s just two real men surviving with all the problems that many, many people have.”
Filmed before a live studio audience, Vicious just wants to make you laugh, and it’s a treat to watch these two stage titans setting aside any traces of dignity to achieve that end. McKellen in particular is absolutely hilarious. Watch for an episode in which Freddie auditions to play a character who has a single line on Downton Abbey. He has just barely received the thrilling news that he got the job when Ash turns up at the door to announce that, despite his complete lack of experience, he has just been hired for a part in an independent film.
Watching McKellen react to that news is a master class in comedy acting, as Freddie, completely numb, at first thinks he must have misheard, then struggles in vain to process this impossible development and finally chokes back the bitter jealousy he is feeling. The actor does all of this wordlessly, too. It’s an absolutely brilliant moment.
Vicious was an runaway smash when it ran in the UK, where it already has been picked up for a second season. Meanwhile, don’t miss this chance for the next few weeks to watch McKellen and Jacobi as you’ve never seen them before.
'Vicious' on PBS

Frances de la Tour and Iwan Rheon (back row) co-star in ‘Vicious’ with Ian McKellen and Derek Jacobi on PBS

Dominion continues angel apocalyptic saga from Legion

Tom Wisdom and Christopher Egan star in 'Dominion' on Syfy.

Tom Wisdom and Christopher Egan star as, respectively, the Archangel Michael and his human hero, Alex Lannon in ‘Dominion,’ premiering tonight on Syfy.


Dominion, a new action-fantasy series premiering tonight on Syfy, starts about 25 years after the events of Legion, a so-so 2010 end-of-days horror movie that saw mankind beset, not by devils, but by a militant host of heaven led by the Archangel Gabriel. In that film, God finally had gotten fed up with humanity and simply walked away from the entire mess, leaving Gabriel to unleash throngs of lower angels that possessed the bodies of their human victims, beginning the biggest mass genocide in world history.
One of the few things standing in Gabriel’s way was his angelic brother, Michael, who took the side of the humans and did what he could to protect his frail mortal charges against their powerful foes. During the course of that earlier film, Michael managed to find and save a “chosen child” who seemed predestined to save the human race one day – if Gabriel and his minions didn’t kill him first.
Even with Michael’s help, things went badly for humanity and, as Dominion opens in the near future close to the rubble of Las Vegas, heavily fortified city-states have risen from the ruin. One of them, the re-christened Vega, is home to a large population of humans split into a harsh caste system and ruled by two houses: the benign House Riesen, led by a high-minded military general (Alan Dale, The O.C.), and House Whele, overseen by a ruthless and manipulative politician (Anthony Stewart Head, Buffy the Vampire Slayer).
Vega also is home turf to Alex Lannon (Christopher Egan, Kings), a young soldier who has grown up in the retinue of House Riesen and shares a secret crush with lovely Claire Riesen (Roxanne McKee, Game of Thrones). A headstrong maverick, Alex is given to making forbidden solo patrols outside the walls of Vega, looking for pockets of Gabriel’s killer angels. Those forays always earn Alex some stiff punishment from Michael (Tom Wisdom, 300), but as we watch the two of them together, it’s not hard to figure out that Alex is the chosen child Michael rescued years ago.
Meanwhile, in the mountains to the north, Gabriel (Carl Beukes) is again massing his own forces, which now include some higher angels, for a final series of assaults to exterminate mankind forever.
For my money, the creative team of the long-running CW hit Supernatural handles much the same story with a good deal more wit and ingenuity, but if you’re in the mood for straight-on summer action, Dominion turns out to be fairly entertaining, at least in tonight’s 90-minute pilot, which is all I’ve seen. Egan make a very likable human hero, and the special visual effects, still incomplete in the screener I viewed, promise to be pretty eye-popping.
The only real debit I noticed was the performance of Wisdom, who seems entirely too lightweight and bland as Michael, a role played by the formidable Paul Bettany in Legion. The rest of Dominion isn’t boring, however, although Beukes’ Gabriel, the big bad of the show, is barely in tonight’s opener, so he’s still an unknown quantity.
From 'Dominion' on Syfy.

From left, Claire (Roxanne McKee), Gen. Riesen (Alan Dale), the long-MIA Jeep (Langley Kirkwood) and Michael (Tom Wisdom) attend a Vega jubilee that goes horribly wrong in tonight’s premiere of ‘Dominion.’

Tennant plays a courtroom Houdini in Escape Artist

'Masterpiece Mystery!' returns Sunday on PBS.

From left),acquitted murder suspect Liam Foyle (Tony Kebbell) thanks his defense team (Roy Marsden and David Tennant) in ‘The Escape Artist,’ a taut, two-part thriller premiering Sunday on PBS’ ‘Masterpiece Mystery!’


Masterpiece Mystery! gets its summer season off to a white-knuckle start Sunday night with The Escape Artist, a two-part thriller (concluding on June 22) about a brilliant defense attorney whose life and career go off the rails. David Tennant (Broadchurch) stars as Will Burton, the top criminal lawyer in the UK, whose perfect record of courtroom wins has put him on the fast track to ‘’take the silk” as Queen’s Counsel. He even has a perfect family – vivacious wife Kate (Ashley Jensen, Ugly Betty) and young son Jamie (Gus Barry) — to round out the idyllic portrait.
Will’s cases often find him sparring with legal adversary Maggie Gardner (Sophie Okonedo), who is fed up with always coming in second to Will. What seems to be lost on both of them is that their cerebral legal games in the courtroom usually take a heavy toll on the victims, defendants and their loved ones.
Invariably, Will often winds up defending and getting off some characters who most likely should be behind bars (hence his nickname of “the escape artist”), but as he somewhat idealistically explains to anyone who questions him, “Everyone deserves a defense.”
Then, just as Will and his family are heading out of town to their vacation getaway, his bosses hand him the case file on Liam Foyle (Toby Kebbell), a reclusive bird lover who stands accused of the horrific torture-killing of a young female medical student. Liam is a self-confessed misanthrope, but he adamantly insists that he is innocent. As Will, on vacation, studies the file, he can’t help seeing that there’s a ton of compelling circumstantial evidence against Liam, such as how his credit card statements reflect that he was a frequent user of “extreme porn” websites featuring the kind of activity that figured in the gruesome and extended killing of the victim.
Once in court, however, Will grows convinced that Liam is being rushed to judgment, especially after the judge refuses to grant a continuance to allow Will’s DNA expert to complete his research. Based partly on that, Will is able to get the judge, in effect, to declare a mistrial on the basis of procedural error. Chalk up another win in Will’s column.
And then Will makes a tiny error in judgment, a small yet crucial misstep that sets into motion a series of tragic, violent events. Even worse, he finds himself compromised by the very trial strategies that once stood him in good stead.
That’s all I’ll reveal about this edge-of-your-seat suspense drama, which has a very satisfying quota of twists and even shocks. Tennant is sensationally good in a role that forces him to play things straight, with none of his trademark Doctor Who twinkle. Okenodo, who picked up a Tony Award just last Sunday night for her performance in the current Broadway revival of A Raisin in the Sun, is also good in a role that could read as a one-dimensional villainess with a different actress.
Among the other recognizable faces in the large ensemble of The Escape Artist are veteran Masterpiece character actor Roy Marsden as another member of Foyle’s defense team and Kate Dickie (Sansa Stark’s mad aunt Lysa in Game of Thrones) as a Scottish barrister trying to offer Will some urgently needed legal advice in next week’s conclusion.
It’s easy to see why The Escape Artist earned rave reviews when it aired recently in the UK, and the two 90-minute episodes should whet viewers’ appetites for more mysteries to follow under the Masterpiece Mystery! banner.
David Tennant and Ashley Jensen star in 'Masterpiece Mystery!' Sunday on PBS.

Brilliant defense attorney Will Burton (David Tennant) watches helplessly as his happy marriage to wife Kate (Ashley Jensen, ‘Ugly Betty’) is destroyed in Part One of ‘The Escape Artist,’ premiering Sunday on the PBS series ‘Masterpiece Mystery!’

Orphan Black returns with more head-spinning twists

'Orphan Black' returns to BBC America starting tonight.

Tatiana Maslany stars in multiple roles, including Sarah Manning, and Jordan Gavaris plays her madcap gay friend and foster brother, Felix, in ‘Orphan Black,’ which begins Season 2 tonight on BBC America.


Single mom Sarah Manning and her “sister clones” continue their desperate search for answers as the critically acclaimed thriller Orphan Black returns for its second season, tonight on BBC America.
Produced in Canada, the series moves at a breathless pace as it chronicles Sarah’s (Tatiana Maslany) dangerous adventures, which began the night she watched in horror on a nearly deserted subway platform as Beth Childs, a woman who looked just like Sarah, calmly threw herself in front of a speeding train.
Destitute, Sarah decided to steal the dead woman’s identity, not knowing that Beth was a local police detective. Worse, and far more puzzling, Sarah eventually discovered that there were many more women out there with her face, laboratory-engineered clones produced for an unknown purpose by unknown persons.
By the end of Season 1, Sarah had befriended two of these clones: Cosima Niehaus, a graduate student doing medical research in a bid to identify and cure the mystery malady that has hit her and many other clones, and Alison Hendrix, a very uptight suburban soccer mom. Their joint investigations eventually led Sarah to the Dyad Institute, the company that created them, which is partly run by icy “pro-clone” Rachel Duncan, the only one of their number who was raised self-aware of her genetic identity as a clone.
Tonight’s season premiere picks up where last season’s finale ended, with Sarah’s terrifying discovery that her young daughter, Kira (Skyler Wexler), and Sarah’s foster mother, Mrs. S. (Maria Doyle Kennedy), are missing from the home they were sharing. Sarah jumps to the conclusion that they’ve been kidnapped by the ruthless Rachel as part of her strategy to force Sarah to cooperate with the ongoing research at her institute.
Cosima, meanwhile, experiences failing health as she studies more and more medical data concerning the condition that killed the other clones. Elsewhere, Alison is struggling to keep her fragile emotions in check since realizing that she let a close friend die last season, thinking that the woman had some sinister connection to the Dyad Institute.
As if all this didn’t provide enough jeopardy for these primary female characters, Season 2 also introduces a bizarre group of religious extremists under the leadership of a charismatic rancher (Peter Outerbridge), who is utilizing yet another clone in some bizarre ritual. Other newcomers this season include Michelle Forbes as a formidable new power player at the Dyad Institute, Dutch actor Michiel Huisman (Nashville, Game of Thrones) as a man from Sarah’s past and Patrick J. Adams (Suits) as a gutsy, good-natured guy.
But can Sarah, Alison and Cosima trust any of these people? That’s one of the most pressing questions that keeps popping up in every episode. Certainly Sarah had grown to trust Paul Dierden (Dylan Bruce, Arrow), her confidant and sometime lover last season, only to discover that he works for her Dyad nemesis Rachel. Cosima badly wants to trust Dr. Delphine Cormier (Evelyne Brochu), who has taken a very personal interest in Cosima’s case. While Delphine is looking fairly trustworthy at the moment, her boss, Dr. Aldous Leekie (Matt Frewer) definitely seems to be working his own secret agenda, which may or may not be helpful to the clone trio.
Clearly, Orphan Black doesn’t skimp on story, but for fans, the real kick of the show is watching the stunning Maslany so convincingly embody all the very disparate clone characters. It’s a true tour-de-force, since the actress has come up with distinctive looks, accents, physical tics and personal styles for each of these characters. Orphan Black also utilizes state-of-the-art computer techniques allowing Maslany to occupy the screen as several different characters simultaneously, even appearing to physically touch and otherwise interact with one another. Even as part of your brain is nudging you, demanding to know how Maslany is pulling it off, another part is fully accepting the fact that you are seeing multiple females instead of just a single incredibly gifted actress.
If you missed Season 1, it’s probably not a good idea to try to jump into this new season of Orphan Black cold, but Season 1 currently is available via a number of On Demand services, as well as free streaming to Amazon Prime members. But I do wholeheartedly recommend this audaciously original series. It’s like nothing else on television right now.
Dylan Bruce stars as Paul in 'Orphan Black.'

Paul (Dylan Bruce), Sarah’s former lover, may still have her back, but he’s also working for someone who definitely does not have Sarah’s best interests at heart in ‘Orphan Black.’

Silicon Valley gains confidence over time

'Silicon Valley' premieres tonight on HBO.

T.J. Miller, Martin Starr, Kumail Nanjiani, Zach Woods and Thomas Middleditch (from left) star in ‘Silicon Valley,’ premiering tonight on HBO.


Like one of its nerdy principal characters, HBO’s Silicon Valley, which premieres tonight, seems painfully unsure of itself during its first half-hour episode. Co-created by Mike Judge (Office Space, King of the Hill) and based partly on Judge’s personal ’80s experiences as a Silicon Valley engineer, this sometimes savage new sitcom takes awhile to find its tone and comic groove, but improves steadily over the course of the initial five episodes HBO sent out for preview.
Set in the tech-centric region of Northern California where everyone, it seems, is looking for the next hot app, Silicon Valley focuses primarily on a group of socially awkward programmers sharing quarters in the Hacker Hostel start-up “incubator” owned by dotcom millionaire Erlich Bachman (T.J. Miller, The Goodwin Games). In exchange for their room and board, the resident nerds toil away at the programs they have in development, to which Erlich is promised a 10 percent share.
One of the group, Richard (Thomas Middleditch), is concentrating on Pied Piper, an app for songwriters, but billionaire venture capitalist Peter Gregory (Christopher Evan Welch) passes on his pitch. Some senior programmers at the tech giant Hooli, however, discover that Richard’s Pied Piper program contains a powerful data-compression algorithm that has limitless commercial possibilities.
An intense bidding war breaks out between Hooli’s hyper-intense CEO, Gavin Belson (recurring guest star Matt Ross, Big Love), who wants to buy Pied Piper outright for $10 million, and a newly interested Gregory, who offers to help Richard develop and grow Pied Piper while giving him a $200,000 cash infusion for start-up costs in exchange for five percent of the company.
Overwhelmed by his good fortune, the deeply insecure Richard opts for the latter, dreaming of creating his own Google-like success story, joined by the other house nerds: Big Head (Josh Brener), his longtime best friend; sly Pakistani programmer Dinesh (Kumail Nanjiani, Franklin & Bash); arrogant Gilfoyle (Martin Starr, Party Down); and, in episode two, business guru Jared (Zach Woods, The Office), a former Hulli executive.
Alas, Richard – whose social ineptitude is matched only by his naivete – quickly finds that he lacks the right stuff to swim with the big Silicon Valley sharks and he must weather one staggering blow after another as the series unfolds.
Co-creator Judge, who also directs four of the eight episodes in Season 1 of Silicon Valley, clearly has, at best, mixed feelings about the time he spent in this world, given his merciless take-downs of many of its personalities (real-life Silicon Valley engineers reportedly have given the series very high marks for accuracy). Anyone who tunes in expecting a variation on TV’s other hot nerd comedy, The Big Bang Theory, is in for a shock.
Straight-on heroes are hard to find in Silicon Valley, and most of its characters are emotionally stunted, if not obsessively selfish. In some respects, Richard is the most admirable, but he’s a techno-Forrest Gump whose successes are, for the most part, flukes. He doesn’t even grasp the most valuable part of his own computer program until someone else points it out to him, and even then, he can’t even articulate what he wants to do with it.
“You turned down $10 million to be able to develop something that you, as the head of the company, cannot even describe to another human being,” an exasperated Dinesh points out to him at one point.
After weeks of unusually heavy promotion, HBO is giving Silicon Valley a platinum-level launch tonight, positioning the new comedy behind the Season 4 premiere of the very nerd-friendly smash Game of Thrones, and if tonight’s pilot is uneven, by episode three or four Silicon Valley pretty much hits its stride and delivers a reliable number of belly laughs. Among its tight ensemble, I’d give top honors to Welch, who raises social awkwardness to epic new heights, and Woods, whose hilariously self-effacing Jared (“I like angry people, because I know where I stand with them”) is perhaps the show’s most endearing character.
A friendship is tested on 'Silicon Valley.'

Thomas Middleditch and Josh Brener star as two longtime best friends whose relationship is sorely tested in ‘Silicon Valley.’

Discovery hits pay dirt with epic Klondike

Discovery Channel makes its first foray into dcripted drama with the miniseries 'Klondike.'

Bill Haskell (Richard Madden, right) and Byron Epstein (Augustus Prew) make their tortuous way up Alaska’s Chilkoot Pass on their way to the Canadian Yukon in ‘Klondike,’ premiering Monday on Discovery Channel.


Klondike, which premieres this Monday-Wednesday, Jan. 20-22, on Discovery Channel, signals its epic intentions right from the get-go. The opening credits for the three-part, six-hour miniseries – Discovery’s first foray into scripted drama – strongly evoke HBO’s massive fantasy series Game of Thrones, right down to composer Adrian Johnston’s propulsive music.
That makes sense, I guess, since the main character in this sprawling chronicle of the last great Gold Rush in North America is played by Richard Madden. If that name doesn’t ring a bell, the Scottish actor starred in Thrones as Robb Stark, the King of the North, before his character was written out last season (in the worst! wedding! ever!).
In Klondike, Madden portrays Bill Haskell, a recent college graduate (class of 1897) who’s persuaded by his best friend, Byron Epstein (Augustus Prew), to postpone a business career in favor of striking out across the American frontier in quest of adventure and fortune in the gold fields of the Canadian Yukon. Their journey takes them up steep, snow-covered mountain passes fraught with avalanches and down icy whitewater rapids before the pair reach the mining town of Dawson City.
Situated in the Canadian wilderness near Bonanza Creek, the current hotspot for gold-hunters, this thriving frontier town, ironically dubbed “the Paris of the North,” makes Deadwood, S.D., look like Mayberry. Riddled with corruption, bigotry and any of the seven deadly sins you’d care to name, it brings out the worst in most of its residents. As Klondike unfolds, bodies go into the ground far more frequently than gold comes out of it, and the few miners who strike precious ore immediately become the targets of such truly heinous villains as Soapy Smith (Ian Hart), who preys on the misfortunes of others, and The Count (Tim Roth), a possibly insane Brit with a working-class accent and a ready willingness to murder his adversaries in cold blood.
After their harrowing journey across country, the partnership of Bill and Byron turns out to be shockingly short-lived, leaving a cash-strapped Bill to work their claim alone as he obsessively tries to uncover the identity of a killer among the Bonanza Creek miners. As months pass, he forges alliances with Goodman (Greg Lawson), a world-weary war veteran; taciturn miner Joe Meeker (Tim Blake Nelson, giving the most endearing performance in the miniseries); and Belinda Mulrooney (Abbie Cornish), a resourceful local businesswoman.
Using Charlotte Gray’s book Gold Diggers: Striking It Rich in the Klondike as his primary source material, writer Paul Scheuring – who, quite unbelievably, was the guy behind that truly terrible ABC drama series Zero Hour with Anthony Edwards from last season – has crafted a teleplay that is taut and sharply focused, deftly sidestepping the soapy melodrama too many historical dramas slide into. Among his relatively minor stumbles, an 11th-hour tragedy involving a main character is telegraphed with a heavy hand, and a Dawson City parade in the final moments – which bizarrely evokes HBO’s New Orleans drama Treme – feels tacked on just to give the audience a feel-good moment after all the bleakness.
Performances are generally excellent across the board, with the charismatic Madden handling a pitch-perfect American accent while subjecting himself to all manner of challenging physical ordeals. Cornish walks a fine line in showing both Belinda’s toughness and her vulnerability and Sam Shepard is admirably unsentimental yet compassionate as Dawson City’s resident priest, Father William Henry Judge.
I also want to single out New Zealand actor Marton Csokas for his heartfelt portrayal of conscience-stricken Superintendent Sam Steele, a Mountie character stuck in a subplot that, alas, feels somewhat dragged in from another movie.
Even without its other virtues, Klondike would score several points simply based on degree of difficulty. Directed by Simon Cellan Jones, the production wasn’t filmed on soundstages, but either out in the staggering natural wonders of Calgary, Canada, or within sets especially constructed out in the middle of nowhere. Buildings look convincingly weather-beaten and costumes look worn and lived in, adding to the verisimilitude.
In sum, Klondike isn’t just a success on its own terms, but it also leaves me eager to see what other, similar forays into scripted television Discovery Channel may make in the months to come. For now, job well done.
Abbie Cornish plays Dawson City businesswoman Belinda Mulrooney in 'Klondike' on Discovery Channel.

Abbie Cornish stars as Belinda Mulrooney in ‘Klondike.’

BBC America’s ‘Atlantis’ far from all wet

Jack Donnelly, Mark Addy and Robert Emms star in 'Atlantis,' premiering tonight on BBC America.

Jason (Jack Donnelly), Hercules (Mark Addy) and Pythagoras (Robert Emms, from left) find themselves in a bind in BBC America’s new fantasy series ‘Atlantis.’


Hardline classicists probably will want to give a wide berth to BBC America’s Atlantis, a new fantasy series premiering tonight. For the rest of us, however, this lavishly produced and imaginatively written riff on well-known yarns from mythology adds up to some first-rate and generally family-friendly entertainment.
Tonight’s premiere opens in the modern world, where a young man named Jason (Jack Donelly) is preparing to make a dive in a mini-sub in search of some clues to what happened to his father, who vanished from this particular stretch of ocean without a trace. Jason has had only a glimpse of what may be some related underwater wreckage when his craft is rocked by mysterious turbulence and bathed in eerie lights.
The next thing Jason knows, he is regaining consciousness, naked and disoriented, on a beach. Grabbing some conveniently abandoned clothing, he makes his way to a nearby city that looks to be the stuff of legends, where he inadvertently sets off a ruckus in the marketplace before being rescued by a bookish math geek named Pythagoras (Robert Emms, War Horse). Jason learns he is in Atlantis, where he feels an uncanny sense of familiarity. This impression of déjà vu is only heightened after he meets the revered Oracle (Juliet Stevenson, The Hour), an enigmatic seeress who offers Jason guidance and her personal protection.
He’ll find use for the latter almost immediately, too, because Jason has appeared in Atlantis on the day when all local citizens are required to draw stones in an annual lottery ordered by King Minos (Alexander Siddig, 24) to determine which of them will be sacrificed to the town’s fearsome monster, the Minotaur. Offering further help in this quest, however reluctantly, is none other than Hercules (Mark Addy, Game of Thrones), a formerly great hero now gone to seed.
Sharing the nearby palace with Minos is his beautiful but cruel queen, Pasiphae (Sarah Parish), who may well have a secret command of the dark arts, and their daughter, the princess Ariadne (Aiysha Hart), who takes an immediate liking to Jason.
Created and written by Howard Overman, who did likewise on the British cult hit Misfits, Atlantis has top-notch production values and zippy dialogue that mingles pseudo-classical speech with contemporary, self-aware irony (Jason tells Pythagoras at one point that his triangles and theorems “are destined to bore children for centuries!”), while the extended sequence inside the dimly lit maze of the Minotaur is satisfyingly creepy and suspenseful.
“It is both a privilege and a delight to have the opportunity to take audiences on a journey into the fantastical world of Atlantis,” Overman says. “Drawing on the Greek myths for inspiration, we aim to tell classic action adventure stories in unexpected and exciting ways.”
'Atlantis' is ruled by Queen Pasiphae (Sarah Parish, left), King Minos (Alexander Siddig) and Princess Ariadne (Aiysha Hart).

Queen Pasiphae (Sarah Parish, left), King Minos (Alexander Siddig) and Princess Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) make up the royal family of ‘Atlantis’ on BBC America.