BBC America is adding “Atlantis” as the newest treasure in its Supernatural Saturday line-up.
Aiming to score a big audience out of the gate, the network plans to launch the new series Nov. 23, with an encore of the Doctor Who 50th anniversary special as a lead-in. While BBC is hoping you’ll come for The Doctor, they’re betting you’ll stay for the drama, adventure and host of mythological figures and beasts sure to inhabit the Lost City.
Although told on an epic scale, the story is accessible and familiar. At its heart “Atlantis” is a coming of age story about a boy, Jason (Jack Donnelly, “Dancing on the Edge”), trying to find his missing father and unearth the secrets of his past. But while the premise may seem ordinary, the setting is anything but.
For starters, there’s Atlantis itself — teeming with magic and political intrigue, it’s a world in which Jason finds himself struggling to adapt. Amidst the new customs and landscape of alliances and enemies, Jason must also face the very real dangers posed by friends and foes alike. It’s a big job, to be sure.
Along the way, Jason meets a veritable who’s who of mythology. There’s Hercules (Mark Addy, “Game of Thrones”), robust and larger than life. A bookish take on Pythagoras (Robert Emms, “War Horse”) and an unexpectedly sweet Medusa (Jemima Rooper, “Hex”) soon join the mix as well as a star-crossed Ariadne (Aiysha Hart, “About Time”), a dark-arts practicing Queen Pasiphaë (Sarah Parish, “Hatfields & McCoys”) and the Oracle (Juliet Stevenson, “The Hour”).
The goal of the series, according to creator and executive producer Howard Overman (“Merlin,” “Misfits”), is to tell a classic adventure tale in “new and exciting ways.” The creative team behind “Atlantis” is no stranger to the concept of re-imagining familiar legends as modern adventure, boasting two other creators, Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, and a director, Justin Molotnikiv, who were also involved with the long-running “Merlin.”
Three episodes of “Atlantis” are available for viewing via BBC America’s online screening room, with the remainder of the 13-episode season to be released at a later date.
“Atlantis” also features Alexander Siddig (“Da Vinci’s Demons,” “24”) as Minos, and Bethan Jones (“Sherlock,” “Mistresses”) as executive producer.
The series airs Saturdays at 9 p.m. ET starting Nov. 23.