Saturday, 22 January 2011


[21.35 - French Time] Primeval - Series Four, Episode Five. Connor (Andrew-Lee Potts) and Abby (Hannah Spearitt) investigate an odd anomaly signal in a small coastal village.

Until now the new series was definitely a major improvement from the calamitous previous one. Some fortunate changes in the regular cast (unlike series three) and the Irish locations brought some fresh air, the scripts were good and built a promising story arc. Written by John Fay (Torchwood: Children of Earth) and Primeval co-creator Adrian Hodges, this episode opened with a Blair Witch Project pre-credits sequence which honestly didn't bode well for the rest.

And the rest looked like an episode of The Saint starring Roger Moore, with the pub or the hostile locals of the seaside village, except that the price tag of the CGI creature of course exceeded a multi-gazillion time what ITC could afford in the sixties. Thank God for Connor and Abby it was not the village of Torchwood's Countrycide episode or Lester (Ben Miller) would have to find replacements. There was even a surreal nod to the sponsor of the show on ITV1 and a Weeping Angel (hope you didn't blink).

Ben Miller really stole the episode. Only his talent, some new elements of the intriguing story arc and the direction of Robert Quinn saved the show from a total relapse of the third series. Fortunately the Primeval character who comes back next week cannot be Sarah Page.

1 comment:

Pelaphus said...

Oh, gosh, I think I disagree, to some degree. It was by no means a "golden script" (indeed, has PRIMEVAL ever truly had one? Even at its best, it's always amounted to a happy confluence of direction, SFX, actors & etc. PLUS a touch of ripping adventure.) But the action sequenes were fine, and the long arc open-ended mysteries are still holding suspense (though I will say it's time already to let us in on what higher purpose Gideon and Matt believe they're serving). In fact, what I was relieved to note was the way the creative team are managing to sustain Monster of the Week without feeling they have to be too "clever" about it. The key seems to be the relationships at stake or tested in response to Moster of the Week. And come to think of it, maybe that's why I didn't mind the derivative country bumpkin tropes so much; they're almost incidental to what's really going on week to week.