BBC One recommissions its new fantasy drama series for a second run...
The BBC have this week announced the commissioning of a second season of their fantasy drama Atlantis. Currently broadcasting its initial run on BBC One each Saturday night, the show depicts protagonist Jason's trip through time to the ancient lost city of Atlantis, and the destiny that awaits the unexpected hero upon his arrival in this magical realm.
On first glance, Atlantis' recommissioning makes perfect sense, with the first three episodes of the first series having averaged 6.65 million viewers in their final BARB ratings and yesterday's première broadcast of Episode 5 accumulated 4.39 million viewers. The latter figure is more concerning, though- even when its promotion was at its very weakest this Spring, Doctor Who didn't drop as low as Atlantis has just a few weeks in, and the same goes for the Beeb's other popular dramas such as Luther and The Village. It's clear that BBC One were in desperate need of a Merlin replacement this year, but that Arthurian drama's constant 5-6 million viewership must not have fully transferred over due to its Greek follow-up's underwhelming premise.
Another aspect of speculation here will be how and when Atlantis will return beyond 2013. Season Two is confirmed to enter production, of course, but no firm production commencement dates or transmission windows were offered by the BBC in their official press release. As of now, it seems that Doctor Who will return for Series Eight in Autumn 2014, broadcasting twelve consecutive episodes and a Christmas Special in the latter months of the year. Where does Atlantis fit, then? It's unlikely that BBC One will play host to two of its flagship dramas at once, which could lead to a transmission delay for Howard Overman's latest creation. As ever, time will tell!
Atlantis continues next Saturday, November 2nd at 8.15pm on BBC One.