As we approach the 60th Anniversary of Doctor Who, revisit the story of Doctor Who, the occasional series written for the 50th Anniversary, explaining the origins of the programme.

Episode 31 - An Unearthly Series - The Origins of a TV Legend: First published 23 Nov 2013

New Publicity Picture And Launch Trailer Released for AtlantisBookmark and Share

Sunday, 8 September 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC released a new promotional picture for its forthcoming fantasy drama Atlantis today, following on the heels of yesterday's debut of the programme's launch trailer.

The series, which will start on BBC One this autumn on a date yet to be announced, stars Jack Donnelly as Jason, and is set in an ancient world of legendary heroes and mythical creatures, on to the shores of which the young Jason washes up.

Aided by his new friends Pythagoras and Hercules - played by Robert Emms and Mark Addy respectively - Jason embarks on a voyage of discovery and salvation that sees him brush shoulders with Medusa, come face to face with the Minotaur, and do battle with the dead.

The 13-part series has been created by Howard Overman, Johnny Capps, and Julian Murphy and made by Urban Myth Films, shooting in Wales and Morocco. BBC America has given it a start date of Saturday 23rd November as part of its Supernatural Saturday strand.

FILTER: - Atlantis

Atlantis Promotional Picture ReleasedBookmark and Share

Sunday, 11 August 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
A promotional picture for BBC One's forthcoming new fantasy drama Atlantis has been released.

In the 13-part series, Mark Addy stars as Hercules, with Robert Emms as Pythagoras, Jack Donnelly as Jason, Aiysha Hart as Ariadne, Juliet Stevenson as the Oracle, Sarah Parish as Pasiphaë, and Jemima Rooper as Medusa.
The city of Atlantis is a mysterious, ancient place - a world of bull-leaping, of snake-haired goddesses, and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants. It's into this strange, compelling realm that the young Jason arrives and an amazing adventure begins, bringing to life the vast store of Greek myths and legends reimagined in the series.
Shot in Wales and Morocco by Urban Myth Films (originally called Little Monster Films) for BBC Cymru Wales and as a co-production with BBC America, no date has been given yet for when it will start in the UK, although BBC America will be airing it as part of its Supernatural Saturday strand this autumn after its première in the UK, and has given it a start date of Saturday 23rd November.

Howard Overman, the show's co-creator, writer, and co-executive producer, said:
It is both a privilege and a delight to have the opportunity to take audiences on a journey into the fantastical world of Atlantis. Drawing on the Greek myths for inspiration, we aim to tell classic, action-adventure stories in unexpected and exciting ways – weekly mini-movies that we hope will appeal to young and old alike.
Co-creator and co-executive producer Julian Murphy stated:
This ambitious new series will see us push production values to the limit as we endeavour to bring the epic world of Atlantis to life. By combining state-of-the-art technology with timeless film-making techniques, we want every episode to have the star quality of a Hollywood movie.
Meanwhile, fellow co-creator and co-executive producer Johnny Capps commented:
When we initially conceived the idea for Atlantis, we knew it would not be possible without the best possible team behind us. From actors to costume, prosthetics to lighting, that team has not disappointed. Indeed, we are lucky to have superb talent on both sides of the camera, who have come together to make Atlantis something truly thrilling.
A huge set was created on the site of an ex-Tesco cold store at the Newhouse Farm Industrial Estate in Chepstow, after it was converted into a television studio for the production.

UPDATE - SATURDAY 17th AUGUST: The BBC yesterday uploaded a teaser trailer for the show.

FILTER: - Atlantis

Atlantis Casting AnnouncedBookmark and Share

Wednesday, 27 March 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
Casting for the new BBC One fantasy drama Atlantis was announced today, with Sarah Parish among those signed up for the 13-parter.

The line-up also includes Mark Addy, Juliet Stevenson, Jemima Rooper, Robert Emms, Aiysha Hart, and Jack Donnelly.

The series is set in a time of legendary heroes, mythical creatures, and gods, with the programme reimagining Greek myths and legends. The fabled city of Atlantis is currently being built at sites in Wales and Morocco. Filming starts next month and the programme will air this autumn.

Parish said:
I am thrilled to be part of Atlantis. It's a very exciting project and I can't wait to start filming.
while Addy commented:
I am very excited to be invited along on this epic adventure. The scripts bring to life ancient myths with such a vibrancy and sense of humour; I knew I wanted to be a part of it.
and Stevenson said:
I am delighted to have joined the cast of Atlantis, and very excited to be working with the team. This genre is new to me, so I am looking forward to a great adventure.
It has been created and written by Howard Overman, whose pedigree includes writing for Merlin and creating, writing for, and executive-producing Dirk Gently, which was based on the Douglas Adams novels. Merlin co-creators Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy are, along with Overman, the executive producers of Atlantis. It is being made by Little Monster Films and being executive-produced for BBC Cymru Wales by Bethan Jones.

Ben Stephenson, the controller of BBC Drama Commissioning, said:
The fantastic cast announced for Atlantis is testament to the ambition and scale of Howard Overman's scripts. Some of the UK's best-loved actors are joining our newest talent to take the BBC One audience to a rich and wonderful world where any adventure is possible.

FILTER: - Atlantis

New Drama Atlantis Announced And Death In Paradise RecommissionedBookmark and Share

Monday, 11 February 2013 - Reported by John Bowman
The BBC announced a host of new drama commissions tonight - including a series set during ancient times: Atlantis.

Created and written by Howard Overman, the show will occupy the autumn Saturday teatime slot on BBC One left vacant by Merlin when it ended its five-series run last December. However, two names familiar to Merlin viewers will be involved in the 13-parter about the mythical city: Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, who were part of the quartet of Merlin's creators, will executive-produce the show with Overman for the trio's new production company.

The city of Atlantis is a mysterious, ancient place; a world of bull-leaping, of snake-haired goddesses, and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants.

It's into this strange, compelling realm that the young Jason arrives and an amazing adventure begins, bringing to life the vast store of Greek myths and legends, re-imagined for a new generation.

Shooting begins in Wales and Morocco next month. The 45-minute episodes will be executive-produced for BBC Cymru Wales by Bethan Jones.

In addition, during the event this evening at which BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson set out his vision for BBC Drama, it was revealed that the BBC One crime-drama Death In Paradise - currently averaging almost 8 million consolidated viewers per episode in its second run on Tuesday nights - would be recommissioned for a third series of eight 60-minute episodes, to be shown next year.

Stephenson said:
Drama and the BBC are inseparable – it is written through the BBC like a stick of rock. No other broadcaster in the world has drama so firmly in its DNA. I want to make BBC drama a cultural institution – a touchstone for quality and modernity with all the excitement and glamour of a curtain going up.

My aim is to build a BBC drama department that has an enormous international reputation. That means making us more British than ever - it is about applying the Danny Boyle vision to our work - a bold, adventurous, authorial approach that exports because of its Britishness not despite it. A BBC that feels inspiringly creative - where there is a buzz and creativity and anything goes optimism.

Ultimately, I can boil this down to one thing – I want to make the BBC the hallmark of quality drama and the automatic home for the best talent in the world.

The full list and details of commissions and recommissions is given here.

FILTER: - Atlantis - Drama - Death In Paradise