Atlantis is the story of Jason (yes, I'm pretty sure he's meant to be the Jason of Argonaut fame), a modern day man who, while exploring underwater, finds himself transported back to the world of Ancient Greece, and the City of Atlantis. The show is brought to us by the creators of Merlin, who we all know like to stretch their history a bit.
Fair warning, there are spoilers ahead.
Another fair warning, I'm about to spend an inordinate amount of time complaining about a show that I actually like.
Seriously, I think the only reason that the show is set in, and entitled Atlantis is because it sounds better than calling it Crete. Because honestly, that's probably where it should be set. Now to be perfectly fair, I don't exactly know how much of this stuff would bother the average viewer, but I am working on getting my degree in History and Ancient Studies, which means I will be doing this for a living one day soon (with any luck), so the complete disregard for Mythological accuracy drives me absolutely insane.
Because last I checked, Minos and Pasiphae were the King and Queen of Crete, not Atlantis (which was already myth by the time Mythological Greece was in 'existence'. By Mythological Greece I'm referring to the 'heroic' characters like Jason, Theseus, Hercules, Odysseus and Achillies. Characters like Pythagoras are actual historical figures proven to exist outside of myth and legend. Ariadne's hero was Theseus, not Jason, and Medusa certainly did not become a Gorgon because she opened Pandora's Box. And last time I read a Greek Mythology book, the Minotaur and the Labyrinth were also in Crete, not Atlantis. There's basically no semblance of accuracy in any of the Mythology. Admittedly, they do get some stuff right, like the relationship between Circe and Pasiphae, the story of Oedipus seems to have its roots in accuracy, and the stuff concerning the Gods thus far appears to be pretty much correct.
To be perfectly honest, it would have been much worse if they had actually tried to get it right and still failed this badly. It's actually easier to swallow knowing that they haven't even made an effort towards accuracy. Its very similar to Merlin in that respect; the changes made were easier to go along with because they weren't really trying to keep to history.
For all it's Mythological faults, Atlantis has a lot of good points that more than make up for its flaws. Mark Addy (recently best known as Robert Barantheon in Game of Thrones) as Hercules provides most of the comedy for the series, and beautifully so (the return of Merlin's 'I've been in the tavern' joke did not go unnoticed. Well played boys). Hercules is foiled well by Pythagoras (Robert Emms), who plays off Addy's humour exceedingly well. Jason, played by Jack Donnelly, reminds me a lot of Colin Morgan's Merlin, as I think they have a similar dry sense of humour. The characters and settings are both beautiful and vibrant, even better that the costumes seem to be correct for the period (let's face it, Morgana's dresses were never period accurate).
Overall, this is a very well put together show, and if you can ignore the Mythological inaccuracies you will get real enjoyment out of this show. It's definitely worth watching.