Mark Addy reveals Atlantis is a very changed place when it returns to BBC1 for a second series.
Mark Addy, who plays Hercules, explains the decision behind the show’s darker, new edge and what’s in store for Hercules, Pythagoras and Jason…
When we return to Atlantis, a year has passed and a lot’s changed. What can you tell us?
“This series is darker and a little bit more grown-up than the first one. It reflects the fact the shows on at a later time, so it has a different feel to it. In the first episode Ariadne (Aiysha Hart) has inherited the throne and the new queen is under attack right from the word go.”
Who is attacking Atlantis?
“Atlantis is under siege from Pasiphae (Sarah Parish) in the first two episodes. There’s an army outside the city gate and we have to defend ourselves. Right from the off there’s a very real threat of danger to everyone living there! The stakes are higher. People are being killed, frequently…”
How are Hercules, Jason and Pythagoras helping the new queen?
“Ariadne trusts Jason and his men to get messages and run errands outside the city. She’s surrounded by enemies and we are her go-to guys. We do get lumbered with a lot of dirty work. But everybody’s in peril, so it’s all hands to the wheel!”
Did you, Jack Donnelly (Jason) and Robert Emms (Pythagoras) continue playing pranks on each other this year?
“There have been a few! We did convince Jack they had a huge musical finale planned. I can’t believe he bought it! Rob set up fake emails from a singing coach and Jason really did believe he was going to have to sing.”
Why is there so much mischief on this particular set?
“It kind of keeps you sane! It’s an odd place to work for seven months, so you need things like that to keep you bubbling along.”
Did you manage to leave the warehouse set in Chepstow and film at other locations?
“Most of the filming is in Chepstow, except for some scenes in a forest, which were shot in Redcliffe Caves in Bristol. We also filmed in Morocco for two weeks to get the sky, desert and rocky gorges. They do amazing and brilliant things with our sets, but the shots in Morocco give you a certain scale that lifts the show.”
Is there any chance of Hercules being reunited with his snake-haired girlfriend Medusa this year?
“We last saw Medusa left cursed in a cave. She’s back on the scene this year and there will be a bit of happiness for Hercules. But like Atlantis itself, their relationship is doomed from the outset. It isn’t going to end well!”
The new 13-part series of Atlantis kicks off on BBC1 on Saturday, November 15 at 8.30pm. Keep an eye out for guest star Robert Pugh, who plays Lord Sarpedon, a former exile returned to the city.
Watch the trailer for the new series here