Last autumn BBC1’s Atlantis became the biggest new Saturday night drama launch since Robin Hood in 2006. Almost 8.5 million people tuned in to watch Jason (Jack Donnelly) investigate the disappearance of his father and get transported to a secret world.
This month the story continues and exec producer Julian Murphy says it will be “bolder, older and darker” than before. Series two begins where we left off, having discovered that Jack’s mother is Pasiphae, the Queen of the City of Atlantis. “There are also new characters,” reveals Murphy, and the writers have left the ending open in preparation for a third series.
Much of this season was shot amid the desert landscapes of Morocco. “Morocco is a lovely place,” says Murphy. “It makes a massive difference [shooting on location], it makes it feel more real.” But he says the cast and crew had to work hard to get the series done. “They were filming in 40 degree heat,” said Murphy. “When we were out in the desert we had tents to give us shade, but nothing else. The cast was really exposed all day long and when you work for 11 hours in that sort of heat, you know about it.”
Just as with scenes from Indiana Jones, the cast and crew also had to watch out for deadly snakes when filming in the desert. The production hired a local ‘snake man’ explains Murphy, “he walked with us, around the desert, and removed snakes.
“If you go off the beaten track and start filming there will be snakes, but the ‘snake man’ caught them and got rid of them for us before we filmed. He didn’t kill them, he just removed them and puts them somewhere else in the desert. He caught a big cobra this year, it probably was [life threatening].”
Pick up Radio Times magazine on 8th December for more secrets from filming and the full Atlantis Travel Guide to Morocco.
Atlantis returns to BBC1 on Saturday 15th November 15. Watch the trailer here:
Visit Morocco with Radio Times Travel, see here for more details