|The Earth Bull
Episode 1, Series 1
|Broadcast:||28th September 2013|
|Starring:||Jason : Jack Donnelly|
Hercules : Mark Addy
|Following:||A Girl By Any Other Name|
The Earth Bull was the first episode of Series One of Atlantis. It was first broadcast on the 28th September 2013 on BBC One. A repeat was broadcast on the following Thursday on BBC Three. It was directed by Justin Molotnikov and written by series creator Howard Overman.
When Jason goes in search of his father he finds himself washed up on the shores of a mysterious land - a world of mythical creatures, soothsaying oracles and palaces so vast it is said they were built by giants: this is the city of Atlantis but it seems the newcomer has chosen the wrong time to arrive in the fabled realm and Jason soon finds himself at the mercy of a deadly ritual, from which there can be no escape.
Jason is aboard a modern day ship, and talks to his uncle Mac about how he is looking for the wreckage of his father's sub. He has a necklace his father left with him before the accident and says his father knew he wasn't coming back and wants to know what happened to him. Jason reveals that his father told him that one day he would understand.
Jason takes a small sub down into the ocean and finds wreckage printed with the words "The Oracle". The sub gets into trouble, there is a bright white light and the sub window starts to crack.
Jason wakes up on a beach, naked and wearing just the necklace, having been washed onto the shore of a strange island. He tries to attract the attention of some people near a boat but cannot and takes some clothes. Jason walks inland and finds the ancient city of Atlantis.
It is a bustling city with a busy marketplace, merchants, guards, beggars and strange creatures – including a strange two headed lizard that attacks Jason. He kills it and is chased by guards, taking an arrow to his arm and jumping off the city walls to escape them.
He lands onto Pythagoras' roof, who saves him from the guards by hiding him under the floor of the house in a secret compartment and treats his wounded arm. Pythagoras tells him his necklace is the symbol of Poseidon and to ask at the temple for the Oracle as she may be able to help.
Jason goes to the temple of Poseidon and Melas takes him to see the Oracle. She tells him he feels at home in Atlantis because he was born there and that his father took him to the modern world when he was a baby to protect him from his many enemies. She also tells him that his father "walks among the dead". He asks about his mother who he was told died after he was born, but the Oracle says there are some things she cannot see. She tells him he has a great destiny and was drawn to Atlantis.
After Jason leaves, Melas asks the Oracle why she didn't tell Jason the truth, she says it will be safer for Jason if he doesn't know who he really is.
Pythagoras tells Jason about the Minotaur and the tributes of human sacrifices that are given to it every year. The people believe that seven tributes die so the city of twenty thousand will live – they believe the gods will punish them and destroy the city if they do not comply.
Pythagoras lives with Hercules – he saved Hercules' house from being sold to pay his gambling debts. Hercules doesn't want Jason staying with them as he is wanted by the guards – but Pythagoras speaks up for him and Hercules changes his mind. Hercules tries to flee the city in the night as he has been told by the Oracle he will be chosen to enter the Labyrinth and face the Minotaur. He doesn't want to die so tries to flee. Pythagoras goes to stop him as he will be banished forever for this and they are chased by guards.
The next day the whole city lines up to draw lots in front of King Minos, Queen Pasiphae and their daughter Princess Ariadne– a white stone means they are spared, a black stone means they will be sacrificed to the Minotaur to keep the city safe. Hercules picks a white stone, Jason a white and Pythagoras a black. The next day Jason sneaks away and takes Pythagoras' place. Ariadne knows that he drew a white stone and asks him why he is doing this. Jason says that he owes his friend Pythagoras his life and that he feels certain it is his fate to kill the Minotaur. Ariadne tells Jason she used to play in a Labyrinth as a child and gives Jason a skein of thread enchanted by the witches of Caucus. She says it will not tangle or break and hopes it will guide him out of the labyrinth.
Pythagoras and Hercules attempt to help Jason by taking weapons into the caves before the tributes get there. They are discovered by the guards and forced to also enter into the Labyrinth with Jason and the other tributes.
They enter with flaming torches and hear the roaring of a beast. They get separated as the Minotaur attacks and Pythagoras is injured, falling and hitting his head.
Jason is attacked by the Minotaur – a monstrous creature with a massively strong humanoid body with a bulls tail and the head of a bull with massive horns. He fights it and manages to stab the beast in the stomach.
The Minotaur falls to the floor and turns into a normal human man as he dies. The man says to Jason that he knew it would be him to lift the curse that was placed upon him by the gods. He says that he betrayed Jason's father, and tells him that he must never find out who he truly is, he says to Jason that he has a great destiny – and then he dies.
Jason, Hercules and Pythagoras are later thanked by King Minos. The King says that the curse has been on the city for 20 years and that the gods look favourably upon the city now.
- Main article: The Earth Bull Transcript
- “There is no greater honour than to give your life for your city, and your king.”
- ~ King Minos.[src]
- “Whoever heard of a hero called Jason? Now Hercules, that's a name to father a legend.”
- ~ Hercules.[src]
- “I'm not fat, I'm big boned.”
- ~ Hercules.[src]
- First Assistant Director - Simon Aguirre
- Second Assistant Director - Adam Byles
- Third Assistant Director - Delmi Thomas
- Floor Runner - Jonathan Warrilow
- Production Manager - Alexandra Kosevic
- Production Co-ordinator - Claire Riley
- Production Secretary - Chris Rankin
- Runner/Drivers - Lauren Smith & Hannah Cooke
- Rushes Runner - Paul Atkinson
- Unit Driver - Brian Scott
- Script Supervisor - Lucy Enfield
- Location Manager - Paul Pearson
- Assistant Accountant - Helen Searle
- Second Assistant Accountant - Owen Neary
- Casting Associate - Alice Purser
- Casting Assistant - Ri McDaid-Wren
- Head of Production for Urban Myth - Sara Hamill
- Assistant Script Editor - Delyth Scud
- Unit Photographer - Nick Briggs
- Language Consultants - Dr. Nicholas Ostler & Dr. Jane Montgomery Griffiths
- Second Unit Director - Louisa Fielden
- Second Unit director of Photography - Dave Garbett
- Camera Person - Ivan Meagher
- Second Camera Trainee - Katy Kardasz
- Camera Trainee - Max Friswell
- Key Grip - Craig Atkinson
- Assistant Grip - Sam Reeves
- Gaffer - Gary Chaisty
- Best Boy - Mark Day
- Electricians - Owen Richards, Simon Tanner & Danny O'Brien
- Rigging Electrician - Shay Gallagher
- Second Unit Sound Recordist - Adam Ridge
- Additional Boom Operator - Mark Elson
- Art Directors - Tristan Peatfield & Stacey Dickinson
- Draughtsman - Mark Stonehouse
- Art Department Assistant - Matthew Clarke
- Storyboard Artist - Jenny Turner
- Production Buyer - Katie Scopes
- Property Master - Jason "Big J" Wood
- Dressing Props - David Chisholm & Huw Pearce
- Standby Props - Silas Williams & Ron Dowling
- Construction Manager - Joseph Craig
- Scenic Artist - John Pinkerton
- Special Effects - Colin Gorry Effects
- Stunt Co-ordinator - David Forman
- Stunt Performers - Andrew Lister, Cedric Proust, James Embree & Tolga Kenan
- Wireman - Jason Oettle
- Costume Supervisor - Samantha Cousins
- Costume Standbys - Beth Johnson & Lloyd Middleton
- Crowd Costume Mistress - Amy Clarke
- Costume Assistant - Andrea Davies
- Make-up Artists - Maria Zimmerman, Rosie Octon & James Spinks
- Assistant Editors - Laura Kettle & Dean Harding
- Colourist - Kevin Horsewood
- On-Line Editor - Scott Hincliffe
- DI Editor - Damion Katwaroo
- Dubbing Mixers - Ben Baird & Chips Paul
- Dubbing Editors - Jamie McPhee & Alexej Mungersdorff
- Production Supervisor - Claude Albouze
- Production Executive - Benedicte Bellocq
- Production Accountant - Touria Benali
- Production Co-ordinators - Saida Yahyaoui & Simo El Meziane
- Location Manager - Touria Benali
- First Assistant Director - Tarik Ait Ben Ali
- Gaffer - Driss Marzak
- Grip - Abdelghani Rifki
- Art Director - Aziz Hamichi
- Props Buyer - Abidenbi Izlaguen
- Moroccan Production Service Facilities Provided by - Agora
- Casting Director - Andy Pryor
- Make-up and Hair Designer - Jody Williams
- Costume Designer - Jane Spicer
- Production Accountant - Laurence Parker
- Sound Recordist - Adrian Bell
- Post Production Supervisor - Clare Buxton
- Visual Effects - Vine FX
- Editor - Simon Reglar
- Music composed by - Rob Lane
- Vocals by - Azam Ali
- Music performed by - BBC National Orchestra of Wales
- Production Designer - Paul Cripps
- Director of Photography - Dale McCready
- Associate Producer - Gareth Williams
- Co-Producers - Rachel Knight & Amanda Wilkie
- Commissioning Editor - Bethan Jones
- Executive Producers - Johnny Capps, Julian Murphy & Howard Overman
- Director - Justin Molotnikov
- Writer - Howard Overman
The episode received an overnight rating in the UK of 5.8million. Final ratings revealed that the episode had 7.34million UK viewers overall. The episode is currently top request on BBC iPlayer. The episode repeat was broadcast on the 3rd of October 2013 on BBC Three. 
In his spoiler-free review for CultFix, Patrick Kavanaugh-Spraull gave 8/10 for the episode and called it "good". He added "the hero is genial enough as are his sidekicks and there isn’t really a dislikeable character". During his review of the second episode, he replaced the 8/10 with 6/10.
Morgan Jeffery for Digital Spy gave Atlantis three out of five stars and said that it "boasts both a strong cast and terrific visuals". However, he also said that the script was a little "heavy-handed" in establishing the characters and premise and that the pace was a little quick, especially in the defeat of the Minotaur. He also said that it was very similar to Merlin and that the show was "sticking far too rigidly to a tried-and-tested format". He summed up by calling it, "good, solid fun and, with a few tweaks, absolutely has the potential to become the next big family-friendly hit."
Gerard O'Donovan for the Telegraph gave it four out of five stars and said it was "a rattling good yarn with pots of action and humour". He praised the cast and the special effects and said of Atlantis, that, "as action-packed, big fun Saturday evening entertainment this really did work".
- Atlantis: 101 “The Earth Bull” Spoiler-Free Review, Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull, CultFix.com, 26th September, 2013.
- Atlantis: 102 “A Girl By Any Other Name” Spoiler-Free Review, Patrick Kavanagh-Sproull, CultFix.com, 3rd October, 2013.
- 'Atlantis' review: Is BBC One's new series a gift from the gods?, Morgan Jeffery, Digital Spy, 28th September, 2013.
- Atlantis, episode 1, review, Gerard O'Donovan, The Telegraph, 28th September, 2013.