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Sat Oct 5, 8.25-9.10pm, BBC1

Series one, episode one
His heroic status established after conquering the minotaur last week, Jason’s already getting itchy feet. ‘I don’t understand my place in this world!’ he yells, helpfully, while his chums Hercules (lazy braggart) and Pythagoras (brainy prig) bumble around trying to make a living as funds dry up.

Handily, a new quest arrives in the nick of time when a young woman is abducted by followers of Dionysus. But, this being a pre-watershed fun-for-all-the-family affair, we’re talking about an unusually chaste band of satyrs and maenads. ‘Atlantis’ means well, but it’s hard to overlook its many shortcomings. In this post-HBO world, any series striving for an epic, mythical feel needs an awful lot more money behind it than ‘Atlantis’ has, with its sparsely populated streets and ropey effects. The dialogue is camp without being knowing enough to carry off the dafter exchanges (‘I’m surprised at you, Pythagoras!’) and few of the performances leave much of an impression.

Both ‘Robin Hood’ and ‘Merlin’ survived rocky beginnings, but ‘Atlantis’ is already sinking fast.