The Biggest, Best and Original A-Team; in an Old Lorry Depot in Wales the Lost World of Ancient Greece Has Been Recreated for BBC One's New Saturday Night Family Drama Atlantis. Abbie Wightwick Visited the Set to Find out What It Takes to Make Fantasy TV on a Grand Scale

Western Mail (Cardiff, Wales), September 28, 2013 | Go to article overview

The Biggest, Best and Original A-Team; in an Old Lorry Depot in Wales the Lost World of Ancient Greece Has Been Recreated for BBC One's New Saturday Night Family Drama Atlantis. Abbie Wightwick Visited the Set to Find out What It Takes to Make Fantasy TV on a Grand Scale


Byline: Abbie Wightwick

Deep inside a cavernous 170,000ft former lorry depot near Chepstow vast sets have been built to recreate the lost world of ancient Greece for the 13-part series Atlantis.

Fibreglass caves rise up beside palaces strung with vines built beside streets strewn with straw, where terracotta pots rest against walls and a collection of arches transforms from a prison to a kitchen.

The king of Atlantis' palace stands near the house of Hercules through winding alleys to the temple of Poseidon, god of the sea, who casts a constant shadow on the story - Atlantis, after all, is lost beneath the waves.

It's in this spectacular fantasy land, hidden inside a gigantic lorry depot, that executive producers Julian Murphy and Johnny Capps, makers of BBC's former fantasy hit Merlin are working their magic once again.

Atlantis, like the Greek legends it draws from, is television on a grand scale.

The size and scope of special effects, sets and scenery feel more Hollywood than small screen with up to 300 cast and crew working on the Welsh set each day.

They've also filmed on location in Morocco with the Atlas Mountains as background, creating a street scene the size of a football pitch.

"In the Temple of Poseidon there is a 75ft statue of a bull.

"We have done everything on that scale," says Julian proudly.

"People want to escape on television and want this kind of experience.

"Our job is to deliver that 10 times over. "We think of (each episode) as a Hollywood film. We aspire to making Indiana Jones (each week).

"I hope when people open this doorway on Saturday night they will go to a city where they've never been and leave it wanting more."

Set in an ancient world of gods, heroes and mythical creatures Atlantis has all the classic ingredients we've come to expect from BBC One Saturday night family drama - strong characters protecting a society under threat, humour, adventure, action, love and magic, only this time there's a rich seam of storylines from the endless pot of Greek legend.

"The mythology is so rich, so much richer than the Arthurian legends," agrees Johnny.

"There are so many stories and strands. "We don't have to go to big epic battles because there are so many interesting characters to explore."

The three main characters, Hercules (Mark Addy), Jason (Jack Donnelly) and Pythagoras (Roberts Emms) are like a Greek version of the A-Team, the go-to gang when problems arise in Atlantis.

But the trio are more than cardboard cut-out heroes; these are three men who share a house and show their human as well as their mythical side.

Together the three unlikely friends tackle beasts, sorcery and even an abandoned baby.

They are definitely modern mates in an ancient world.

Their house on set, all muted colours, rugged wood and straw, is just a step away from the grand palace of the king of Atlantis.

Inside live the royals, a fractious family causing tension in the kingdom.

Ariadne (Aiysha Hart), daughter of the king and Jason's love interest, has an uneasy relationship with her step mother and yearns to join the A-Team on their quests.

Meanwhile trouble looms in the form of Medusa who mysteriously arrives to befriend the three heroes.

Although she doesn't have snakes in her hair, she may well turn out to be as wicked as Morgana was in Merlin, reveals Jemima Rooper who plays her.

"I am hoping for something similar to Morgana. I'm hoping she'll go bad. There's scope for that," she teases.

"Escapist fodder is what we all want nowadays and this series is very much that."

Mark Addy, who plays the aging Hercules, agrees.

The actor, who was stripper Dave in the film The Full Monty, is clearly having a ball making Atlantis, racing about the immense sets chasing beasts and breaking hearts.

The rest of this article is only available to active members of Questia

Sign up now for a free, 1-day trial and receive full access to:

  • Questia's entire collection
  • Automatic bibliography creation
  • More helpful research tools like notes, citations, and highlights
  • Ad-free environment

Already a member? Log in now.

Notes for this article

Add a new note
If you are trying to select text to create highlights or citations, remember that you must now click or tap on the first word, and then click or tap on the last word.
One moment ...
Project items

Items saved from this article

This article has been saved
Highlights (0)
Some of your highlights are legacy items.

Highlights saved before July 30, 2012 will not be displayed on their respective source pages.

You can easily re-create the highlights by opening the book page or article, selecting the text, and clicking “Highlight.”

Citations (0)
Some of your citations are legacy items.

Any citation created before July 30, 2012 will labeled as a “Cited page.” New citations will be saved as cited passages, pages or articles.

We also added the ability to view new citations from your projects or the book or article where you created them.

Notes (0)
Bookmarks (0)

You have no saved items from this article

Project items include:
  • Saved book/article
  • Highlights
  • Quotes/citations
  • Notes
  • Bookmarks
Notes
Cite this article

Cited article

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

(Einhorn, 1992, p. 25)

(Einhorn 25)

1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited article

The Biggest, Best and Original A-Team; in an Old Lorry Depot in Wales the Lost World of Ancient Greece Has Been Recreated for BBC One's New Saturday Night Family Drama Atlantis. Abbie Wightwick Visited the Set to Find out What It Takes to Make Fantasy TV on a Grand Scale
Settings

Settings

Typeface
Text size Smaller Larger
Search within

Search within this article

Look up

Look up a word

  • Dictionary
  • Thesaurus
Please submit a word or phrase above.
Print this page

Print this page

Why can't I print more than one page at a time?

Full screen

matching results for page

Cited passage

Style
Citations are available only to our active members.
Sign up now to cite pages or passages in MLA, APA and Chicago citation styles.

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn, 1992, p. 25).

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences." (Einhorn 25)

"Portraying himself as an honest, ordinary person helped Lincoln identify with his audiences."1

1. Lois J. Einhorn, Abraham Lincoln, the Orator: Penetrating the Lincoln Legend (Westport, CT: Greenwood Press, 1992), 25, http://www.questia.com/read/27419298.

Cited passage

Welcome to the new Questia Reader

The Questia Reader has been updated to provide you with an even better online reading experience.  It is now 100% Responsive, which means you can read our books and articles on any sized device you wish.  All of your favorite tools like notes, highlights, and citations are still here, but the way you select text has been updated to be easier to use, especially on touchscreen devices.  Here's how:

1. Click or tap the first word you want to select.
2. Click or tap the last word you want to select.

OK, got it!

Thanks for trying Questia!

Please continue trying out our research tools, but please note, full functionality is available only to our active members.

Your work will be lost once you leave this Web page.

For full access in an ad-free environment, sign up now for a FREE, 1-day trial.

Already a member? Log in now.