BBC’s “Atlantis” Brings Greek Mythology to Life

atlantis_BBCA fantasy drama set in a world of legendary heroes and mythical creatures of ancient Greece starts through a new adventure series “Atlantis” on BBC America on Saturday. It is already a sizable hit in Britain.

The protagonists of “Atlantis” are three characters and the story starts with a young man named Jason — played by Jack Donnelly — washing up in the city of Atlantis, disoriented but somehow instantly at home. The Oracle hints at big secrets to be revealed. Jason then meets Pythagoras, the ancient Greek philosopher and mathematician, played by Robert Emms.

The third character of the triangle is Hercules, in the form of Mark Addy, the burly actor who played a steelworker-turned-stripper in “The Full Monty” and King Robert Baratheon in “Game of Thrones.” Addy said “They wanted it to be epic in scale and in feeling, and that’s what they’ve managed to do.”

The casting is a sign of the show’s flexible approach to the Greek myths. This Hercules has superhuman strength, but he’s no bronzed muscleman. Such mix-ups probably ended as soon as the first episode of “Atlantis” was broadcast in September. The show is watched by seven million people a week in Britain, and a second season has already been announced.