Tuesday, December 31, 2013

Atlantis - The Song of the Sirens

Although initially it gives Hercules (Mark Addy) everything he could have wished, the warrior's deal with the witch Circe (Lucy Cohu) for a love spell to win over Medusa (Jemima Rooper) doesn't take long to take a turn for the worse as Medusa becomes ill from a curse which threatens her life. The introduction of Circe, a new character also tied to the throne of Atlantis and to Jason's (Jack Donnelly) destiny, allows the show to have fun with the witch's known use of transforming those who offended her into animals and force Jason and Pythagoras (Robert Emms) to deal with a version of Hercules who is even more of a pig than usual.

Hercules' failure to get the witch to release the spell forces Jason and Pythagoras to accept the quest as their own, but it seems that is what the witch has intended all along. After taking Pythagoras out of action with an attack, the witch meets with Jason alone, who despite the warning from the Oracle (Juliet Stevenson), is forced to make a deal with the devil to save the lives of his friends and agree to murder Circe's sister - Pasiphae (Sarah Parish), the Queen of Atlantis.

Given that the spell makes more of a difference on Hercules' behavior than Medusa's, by having the warrior finally have the courage to show his true feelings, the show raises an interesting point about whether or not Medusa could love him. As for Circe, the blood bargain she strikes with Jason seals the fate of the Queen as well as perhaps our hero whose heroic journey takes its first big misstep when Jason chooses the fate of his friends over the warnings of the Oracle. Allowing Jason to wait for the "proper moment" gives the character time to brood on his fate, the Oracle a chance to try to undo his actions, and the show time to build-up to a fight between the witch queen and our hero.

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