I loved Robin Hood and it is definitely my favourite kids BBC drama (well, up to the point where they stupidly killed off Marian). It took a couple of episodes to get into it, but I really enjoyed Merlin as well (forgetting the last episode which contains the most stupid decision in BBC drama history). So now we have Atlantis…
I watched the first episode last night and thought it was pretty good. It always takes a little while to get to know the characters and really get in it, so I’m quite happy to keep watching until that happens. However, I have one massive complaint: WHERE IS THE FEMALE LEAD???????
In Robin Hood I loved the way Marian turned from just a romantic interest to a kick-ass side-kick, but she still was a minor character with not enough screen time, if you ask me. In Merlin, Morgana wore some very cool clothes, but just went around killing people and being evil; while Gwen had a small role as the love interest whose job it was to be kidnapped occasionally and help out a little every now and then.
So now we have Atlantis, a mythical place with a mix of characters from various points in history and myth and there are THREE main characters, but not one of them is a women! Come on BBC, this isn’t good enough. Don’t get me wrong, Jason, Pythagorus and Hercules seem like very likeable people and I’m sure will do the job well, but once again, the girl is the pretty princess who will no doubt keep glancing slyly at Jason, and once in a while go against her parent’s wishes to help him out a bit. The King makes the speeches while the Queen stands by his side. (She will no doubt get her own evil way by talking to the king and making him think it was his idea.) Helena looks like she might be interesting and I’m looking forward to meeting Medusa, but they are still not main characters.
This series is set in a mythical land. There are no historical constraints to worry about – there are no history books to prevent women being the dominant – or at least equal – rulers. It is about time BBC realised the girls need role models on telly as well; not just eye candy to keep us happy. Less than five minutes into the programme, Jason is standing naked on the beach. The probability of seeing Arthur with his shirt off was my daughter’s highlight of the week while Merlin was on, and those Knights of the round table were just phwoarr! I’m not complaining about that! But please next time, can we have a female main character who makes decisions, takes a lead role in the action and maybe has a boy or two glancing slyly at her.