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BBC (ended 2015)

Episode 1x01 'The Earth Bull' Discussion Thread

  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [1]Sep 27, 2013
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    Please post your opinions/comments/discussion topics on episode 1x01 "The Earth Bull" here.


    Rules are simple:


    - Spoilers are not allowed;


    - No bashing of characters or the cast;


    - Discussion is encouraged, but arguing is not;


    - We shall show no tolerance to trolls and suchlike;


    Enjoy!

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  • Avatar of illegalferret

    illegalferret

    [2]Sep 28, 2013
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    Hmm interesting.


    The set up is a good one a modern (21st century raised at least) man gets sucked (back) to Atlantis. I thought his reactions would good, he coped well with being in Ancient Greece he didn't demand a phone or the like which i thought was good. Pythagoras. I like, he's a nice character, the instant friendship between Jason and him works i think. The humour is good to, funny in a straight forward way. Tho i must stand up for triangles, I didn't find them boring at all when i was at school! But hey having Pythagoras as a kind of action hero may do wonders for maths in schools!!!


    The Minotaur part was interesting, he unwound the spiel but you never saw him following the thread, so him telling the girl it was a great help, seemed a little odd. Also you'd have thought Jason (being modern and all) would know the story of how the Minotaur gets killed, turns out not!!


    Overall I'm a little unsure about it, yeah it alright and entertaining enough for a saturday night, but i felt there was something missing. Will continue to give it a go though.



    PS. Hey look i managed to get through the whole review without mentioning Merlin and it's many similarities.... oh wait...

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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [3]Sep 28, 2013
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    I liked this episode. I agree with you, Sarah, about the set up: I'll mention Merlin in saying it's the exact opposite Indeed, he didn't demand phone or anything like that! I was very much immersed that I didn't notice how well and quickly he adapted.

    Pythagoras was very nice, and his obsession with triangles nicely parallels the friendship triangle that is forming. I think the three of them work really well, and yes Hercules is genuinely funny!

    I liked the city of Atlantis, how basically it is formed like a Greek polis, what with the acropolis at the top, with palace & temple, and the lower town. It's both different and alike to what we have seen in Merlin. I believe the two shows sort of inhabit the same fantastic universe, which is nice, I constantly get reminded of that other kingdom far away, and the recollection adds another depth to this show. I think if BBC pulls out several shows like this in sequence, in the end it will become an interconnected web of fantasy worlds - all linked by locations in the forests of Wales xD

    Of course as a romance (an adventure genre, not love story) it has the almost ever-present question "Who am I?" and I am curious to discover the answer.

    All in all I look forward to it. As for something missing, Sarah, I actually got a sense like that. I think some of it maybe went too fast for the first episode, the whole story 'you're special', 'there is something', 'you have a destiny'... Maybe some of that should have waited for some time. I think in Merlin they had a slower pace: he didn't talk to the dragon until the second or even third episode, I believe.
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  • Avatar of illegalferret

    illegalferret

    [4]Sep 29, 2013
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    I agree they jammed a lot into this episode, but maybe it was because they wanted to try and set it up quickly for the rest of the series. Merlin met the dragon in epi 1 but it took him along time to accept his destiny! Merlin took a good couple of episodes to get going, so i'm definitely going to stick with Atlantis to see if it improves. I'm also interested to see where the characters will go, part of the enjoyment in watching Merlin was watching the friendship between the leads growing, Atlantis lacks this as they're good friends after about 20mins!! I didn't think about triangles and the 3 friends (main heroes) good spot sir!!

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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [5]Sep 29, 2013
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    Yeah, I agree with you that they wanted to set it up as fast as they could. Maybe Merlin was too slow at times, so it was kind of a reaction to that.

    Indeed the character have become instant friends, so it'll be interesting to see the dynamic between them, they could fall out at some point, and there are other characters, some of which are yet to appear on the show, who bill bring in more dynamics.

    I also agree about giving it a chance, for me Merlin became really good towards the end of the first series, so Atlantis definitely deserves a chance!

    And yeah, I also noticed a moment similar to a scene in Beowulf, when he fights with Grendel's mother, and just when he is about to be slain, he notices a magical sword nearby. Something like this happens during the fight with the minotaur.
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    boom-moo

    [7]Sep 29, 2013
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    I found the pilot entertaining enough. Since I didn’t approach it with any expectations I think that it fulfilled its purpose. I’m not bothered by how much got jammed into it; quite on the contrary, it sort of gives me a reason to keep watching as I look forward to all those questions (his destiny, the truth behind his father's death, the extent of his friendship with Pythagoras and Hercules, and a love story with Ariadnes I assume) being answered.

    Jason comes across as a likeable character from the get go. He is strongly attached to the memory of his father and would risk much to throw some light upon his final moments which is something sweet and easy to relate to. Then he quickly accepts the consequences of his decision and even though he finds himself in the most bizarre of scenarios he is yet willing to keep playing along to carry on with his mission. He makes a friendly bond with Pythagoras and Hercules and risks his own life to pay for their help and kindness (even though Hercules wasn’t too kind at first). He also cares about Helena and the rest of the group while in the Minotaur’s cave.

    Apart from likeable he is very clever. It didn’t take much for him to grasp the meaning behind the Oracle’s words when the first morning light shone upon the black stone, I really liked that.

    And he is also brave. In the scene with the hunting lions (lionesses more like) Jason left his own skin as the last one to save. I think the scene was pretty well done (as usually scenes with beasts turn out quite cheesy). And speaking of well done things, the CGI on the Minotaur was really good in my opinion.

    All in all, it seems to be that whatever Jason is bound to achieve, he won’t lack friends, skills, brains or motivation. A true hero in the making already.

    The Oracle being at the verge of tears during her conversation with Jason and her lying to protect him spoke volumes, I think that we are strongly hinted towards her being Jason’s mother. As for the Minotaur, it’s very interesting that he offered yet another riddle before finally passing away: he betrayed Jason’s father. The queen is very evil as it should be when there’s a pretty princess involved. I assume that she isn’t Ariadne’s mother, although the king didn’t come across as particularly likeable either.

    illegalferret wrote:
    I thought his reactions would good, he coped well with being in Ancient Greece he didn't demand a phone or the like which i thought was good.


    dpebbleson wrote:
    Pythagoras was very nice, and his obsession with triangles nicely parallels the friendship triangle that is forming.


    Those are two things I failed to notice, very good points!

    illegalferret wrote:
    he unwound the spiel but you never saw him following the thread, so him telling the girl it was a great help, seemed a little odd.
    I think that he did, he can be seen carrying the thread all the time and even though he leaves it on the ground for a couple of times he does pick it back before running back over his own steps.

    dpebbleson wrote:
    I also noticed a moment similar to a scene in Beowulf, when he fights with Grendel's mother, and just when he is about to be slain, he notices a magical sword nearby. Something like this happens during the fight with the minotaur.
    I was afraid that Jason killing the Minotaur would be an eyeroll moment but I actually found it rather acceptable. Since Jason was “lucky” enough to stumble upon the chamber with the remains of those who had fallen before, it’s within the realm of possibility for a sword to be found there. I’m not sure why neither Jason nor any of the other 6 people thought of carrying a weapon with them (how are they supposed to stand a chance and defeat the Minotaur otherwise?). It might be that it wasn’t allowed (in which case it doesn’t make all that much sense for a sword to be lying about the Minotaur’s dining room but hey).

    Nice, entertaining and uncomplicated watch so far
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  • Avatar of ACDiNosey

    ACDiNosey

    [8]Sep 30, 2013
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    Ah well, I got coerced into watching it too...
    I must admit I was doing something else at the same time, so I actually missed the whole part about the thread and the actual killing of the Minotaur. I don't think I'll bother watching it again though

    The whole thing felt kind of flat to me. I had a big "suspension of disbelief" moment when Jason arrived in Atlantis and discovered that speaking English is perfectly acceptable and miraculously spoken and understood everywhere in Atlantis.

    I like Pythagorus and Hercules but I'm not that keen on Jason. The plot was a bit predictable but hey, that's fine.

    The parallels with Merlin (for those who used to watch) were a bit too much for me. Pretty much every other scene was a direct copy of a scene from Merlin. That was particularly true in the first 5-10 minutes (if you omit the 21st century scenes). I'm not going to name all the scenes as that would be neverending, but let's just say that there was a strong feeling of déjà-vu for me. I just feel it shows a little lack of originality... We all know Merlin worked really well, but reusing the concept in a different setting isn't really enough.

    I'd also have liked to see at least one woman in a prime role (Jason/Pythagorus/Hercules type role) but hey, we'll have to make do with weirdos and royals with a penchant for sponge-bathing handsome men...

    I'm still not convinced the Minotaur wasn't Jason's dad... He "knew" Jason's father very well... Yeah, well, you could interpret that as you wish...

    Anyway, it was by no means abysmal (lol, pun sort of intended), but I'm not sure I'll find the will to stick to it, especially if "external pressures" push me to switch to a different channel.
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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [9]Oct 2, 2013
    • member since: 11/06/09
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    ACDiNosey wrote:
    I had a big "suspension of disbelief" moment when Jason arrived in Atlantis and discovered that speaking English is perfectly acceptable and miraculously spoken and understood everywhere in Atlantis.


    Indeed it was somewhat too much. I'm not the kind of person to notice such stuff (too gullible ), and I suppose in fantasy we're not supposed to expect much realism of that kind (as in SF); then again, it's 21st century, you can't expect viewers not to notice and take issues with it.


    ACDiNosey wrote:
    The parallels with Merlin (for those who used to watch) were a bit too much for me. Pretty much every other scene was a direct copy of a scene from Merlin. That was particularly true in the first 5-10 minutes (if you omit the 21st century scenes). I'm not going to name all the scenes as that would be neverending, but let's just say that there was a strong feeling of d?j?-vu for me. I just feel it shows a little lack of originality... We all know Merlin worked really well, but reusing the concept in a different setting isn't really enough.


    I sort of interpreted it as a service for Merlin fans, so that they feel comfortable being in the same world. It could be lack of originality, though, and I suppose we'll see in the next couple of episodes whether it's former or the latter. At least we no longer have the 'keep the magic secret': I wouldn't, however, be surprised if Jason, discovering he is of huge importance, keeps that secret away from everyone...


    ACDiNosey wrote:
    I'd also have liked to see at least one woman in a prime role (Jason/Pythagorus/Hercules type role)


    True, true, looking forward to that, and I think they'll give more space to women in the future.


    ACDiNosey wrote:
    I'm still not convinced the Minotaur wasn't Jason's dad... He "knew" Jason's father very well... Yeah, well, you could interpret that as you wish...


    I also thought the Minotaur was his father when I watched the scene, and was surprised when he said he (merely) knew his father "very well". Maybe it turns out he is his father after all, in some rather morbid episode in the future. It's based on Greek myths after all, in which it isn't unusual for sons to kill their fathers and sleep with their mothers...

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  • Avatar of Merkavar

    Merkavar

    [10]Sep 11, 2015
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    What was the point of the future start point?

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  • Avatar of dpebbleson

    dpebbleson

    [11]Sep 28, 2015
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    Obviously, there was no point... The second season was radically different... That's prolly one of the reasons it got cancelled.
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