Prime Time

Primeval b

Anyone for a Catfight?

So, what is that intangible “something” about Primeval that leads me to both love it and hate it at the same time? Series Two came to an end at the weekend with the 13th installment of dino-fun and I have to acknowledge that the second set of seven episodes were a distinct step up from the first six. For every positive that I find there is a niggly little piece of the puzzle that doesn’t quite fit….

  • It is refreshing to see escapist drama on primetime Saturdays, following in the footsteps of Doctor Who’s recent success and Primeval gains more than respectable viewing figures. It’s not quite as exciting as one would expect, though and I’ll happily pop into the kitchen in the middle of an episode to make a coffee without bothering to pause the TV.
  • The CGI is probably about 85% as good as it should be. So, more than satisfactory but not the jaw-droppingly cool stuff that I unrealistically expect(ed).
  • The stories seemed to be on the brink of getting repetetive but have been saved by a nicely developed little story arc. The “super soldier”, or whoever the square jaw’ed chap is supposed to be, was cleverly and quietly introduced and then killed off, in the lead up to his cloned (or stolen-from-time) multi-self appearance at the end.
  • The refresh that the series underwent after the end of episode six has added a bit more of a cutting edge with the inclusion of the Hub the Arc and the re-invention of Claudia into Jenny but the why‘s and wherefore‘s have never been satisfactorally addressed.
  • The characters are always on the brink of being interesting without ever straying over that line. Abbey and Connor’s relationship is a little bit Hollyoaks for my tastes but, even so, I find them both eminently watchable (I’m not sure what happened to Hannah Spearritt’s gratuitous underwear scenes in Series Two… I guess they’ve been replaced by catfighting). Nick Cutter’s permanently miserable demeanor brings me down, as does (well, as did) Stephen’s angst-ridden troubles.

Series Three will be thirteen episodes long, which will prove to be a challenge I think. I’m not sure whether the special effects team are going to able to maintain/improve their standards given twice as much work to do. I’m not sure whether the stories (anomoly -> creature -> mild peril -> rescue) can keep going for 13 consecutive Saturdays. I’m not sure whether I’ll care more about the characters than I do at the moment (Stephen’s death and funeral left me somewhat cold). You see, I’m just not sure.

Oh, I hadn’t noticed until I read Rob’s review… doesn’t Ms Spearritt look like a cute little Lego person?

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