Atlantis (2011 film)

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DVD cover
TV movie
Written byRhidian Brook
Directed byTony Mitchell
Narrated byTom Conti
Country of originUnited Kingdom
South Africa
Original languageEnglish
Running time60 minutes
Original release
NetworkBBC One
Release8 May 2011 (2011-05-08)
Pompeii: The Last Day

Atlantis (also titled Atlantis: End of a World, Birth of a Legend) is a 2011 BBC docudrama which portrays events surrounding the volcanic eruption which destroyed the island of Thera, an incident portrayed as having inspired the parable of Atlantis. The hour-long programme featured Stephanie Leonidas and Reece Ritchie as individuals of the Bronze Age civilization. The film was narrated by Tom Conti, and made its debut on BBC One on Sunday 8 May 2011.[1]


With voiceover from Tom Conti, the film tells the story of Yishharu, an apprentice bull-leaper who has recently returned to Thera from Crete with his new wife, Pinaruti. They discover that Thera is beset by earthquakes and volcanic activity.[1] Over the course of the story, the volcano erupts, throwing out ash and molten lava, and destroying the island with pyroclastic flows. Although the couple survive the first stages of the disaster they are separated after Yishharu is left behind when Pinaruti and other islanders escape by boat. The nearby island of Crete is then engulfed by a giant tsunami which was triggered by the eruption, and Pinaruti is washed up on the shore of a nearby island.



Reception from critics was generally negative, particularly for the hammy acting and silly dialogue.[citation needed]

Zoe Williams, writing for The Guardian said: "The heavy-handed doomsday lighting made it look like the build-up to a joke on a Pot Noodle ad. The dialogue sounded like Holby City...The more dramatic the narration tried to be, the more mundane it sounded...The truth, I think, is that someone somewhere was looking for the new Pompeii, because we've all heard that one, and decided this was it: the second-best ancient disaster status clung doggedly to the project.[2] An equally unfavourable review in The Independent suggested: "The final explosion has been calculated to have been 40,000 times more powerful than the Hiroshima bomb, and it would have been a great mercy if it had occurred 50 minutes earlier in Atlantis. That would have given us the bull-jumping – which was rather excitingly filmed – and spared us the catastrophe that followed."[1]


  1. ^ a b c "The Weekend's TV: Atlantis, Sun, BBC1; Perspectives: Robson Green and the Pitmen Painters, Sun, ITV1". The Independent. London: Independent Print Ltd. 9 May 2011. Retrieved 9 May 2011.
  2. ^ Williams, Zoe (8 May 2011). "TV review: Atlantis and Lord Sugar Tackles Football". The Guardian. Guardian Media Group. Retrieved 9 May 2011.

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