Bookmark and Share New Drama Atlantis Announced And Death In Paradise Recommissioned

2/11/2013 10:47:00 pm - Reported by John Bowman

The BBC announced a host of new drama commissions tonight - including a series set during ancient times: Atlantis.

Created and written by Howard Overman, the show will occupy the autumn Saturday teatime slot on BBC One left vacant by Merlin when it ended its five-series run last December. However, two names familiar to Merlin viewers will be involved in the 13-parter about the mythical city: Johnny Capps and Julian Murphy, who were part of the quartet of Merlin's creators, will executive-produce the show with Overman for the trio's new production company.

The city of Atlantis is a mysterious, ancient place; a world of bull-leaping, of snake-haired goddesses, and of palaces so vast it was said they were built by giants.

It's into this strange, compelling realm that the young Jason arrives and an amazing adventure begins, bringing to life the vast store of Greek myths and legends, re-imagined for a new generation.

Shooting begins in Wales and Morocco next month. The 45-minute episodes will be executive-produced for BBC Cymru Wales by Bethan Jones.

In addition, during the event this evening at which BBC drama controller Ben Stephenson set out his vision for BBC Drama, it was revealed that the BBC One crime-drama Death In Paradise - currently averaging almost 8 million consolidated viewers per episode in its second run on Tuesday nights - would be recommissioned for a third series of eight 60-minute episodes, to be shown next year.

Stephenson said:
Drama and the BBC are inseparable – it is written through the BBC like a stick of rock. No other broadcaster in the world has drama so firmly in its DNA. I want to make BBC drama a cultural institution – a touchstone for quality and modernity with all the excitement and glamour of a curtain going up.

My aim is to build a BBC drama department that has an enormous international reputation. That means making us more British than ever - it is about applying the Danny Boyle vision to our work - a bold, adventurous, authorial approach that exports because of its Britishness not despite it. A BBC that feels inspiringly creative - where there is a buzz and creativity and anything goes optimism.

Ultimately, I can boil this down to one thing – I want to make the BBC the hallmark of quality drama and the automatic home for the best talent in the world.

The full list and details of commissions and recommissions is given here.