Following the footsteps of Pompeii – The Last Day and Krakatoa: The Last Days comes a new drama for BBC One and documentary for BBC Two telling the story of a devastating volcanic eruption that ripped apart the Island of Thera and flooded Crete the centre of the Minoan civilization. The volcanic eruption and flooding of Crete is believed to be the basis for one of history’s most famous of myths – the lost city of Atlantis.
BBC One is to tell the dramatic story of the greatest natural disaster to shake the ancient world, a disaster that triggered the downfall of a civilisation and spawned a legend. Around 1620 BC a gigantic volcano in the Aegean Sea stirred from its 19,000-year slumber. The eruption tore the island of Theraisland of Crete, the centre of Europe’s first great civilisation – the Minoans. This apocalyptic event, many experts now believe, provided the inspiration for the legend of Atlantis. apart, producing massive tsunamis that flooded the nearby
Based on the work of leading scientists, archaeologists and historians, this drama immerses viewers in the exotic world of the Minoans. Starring Reece Ritchie (The Lovely Bones; Prince Of Persia ) and Stephanie Leonida (Yes; MirrorMask), Atlantis is the first British TV drama to use the virtual backlot production technique of the movie 300. Incorporating the latest CGI technology, the film brings viewers face to face with one of history’s greatest disasters – from the precursory earthquakes through the eruption sequence to the pyroclastic flows and tsunamis.
“Atlantis will immerse the viewer in a world they’ve never seen before, in a brand new, exciting way. The world of the Minoans and the disaster that wiped them out has been created using visual effects that have, to date, only ever been used in Hollywood movies. It offers our audiences a unique viewing experience – the closest they’ll ever get to one of the greatest natural disasters of all time.” – Executive producer Ailsa Orr
The programme is a co-production with Discovery, BBC Worldwide, Pro Sieben (Germany) and France Deux (France). In a companion documentary on BBC Two, historian Bettany Hughes traces the origins of the Atlantis myth and presents compelling evidence that the Thera eruption inspired Plato’s account of Atlantis.