John Kahane (jkahane) wrote,
John Kahane

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Primeval Series 4, Episode 3 Review

I watched last night's episode of Primeval, the third episode of the fourth series of the show, leaving us here in Canada behind by some 3 or 4 episodes still, but hey, at least we're getting to see them. :) Anyway, here are my thoughts behind the cut...

The episode definitely had an interesting premise, with the arrival of three Victorians through an anomaly in a theatre, as well as the secondary plot of events happening at the ARC. However, as usual, the show suffered from some poor writing, and a couple of other lapses.

First off, the three Victorians - Lady Emily, Ethan, and the one who died at the beginning (can't remember her name) - were interesting characters, and I could see right off the bat that something wasn't quite "right" about the two survivors. Hints and stuff were dropped about the three throughout the episode, and Emily's telling Matt about their community was fascinating, especially in light of the fact that Ethan turns out to be a sociopath, and I had the impression that there was more to him than that. The fact that they didn't react all that poorly to being in 2010/2011 says something about their knowledge of the anomalies and having traveled to different times, and I hope that more is revealed about this in future episodes. My suspicion by the end of the episode that Ethan is the new villain for this Series of the show, even though we're already about half-way through it, promises to be interesting, and he seems to be the replacement for Helen Cutter. But for some reason, I suspect he's not a Victorian himself, although I'm not sure.

I loved the arboreal raptors, and to be honest, the stalking of their prey in the theatre was handled absolutely wonderfully, and the Impossible folks did a great job of using the element of horror somewhat, with just seeing the tail dragging its prey upward, something that had already been shown when it grabbled Emily in the trees after Matt pursued her through the anomaly. Speaking of which, I was glad to see Matt (or someone!) go through the anomaly, as the traveling through anomalies on the part of the ARC team over the course of Series 2 and 3 was rare, other than Sarah's traveling to the Middle Ages in S3, E7, and the whole pursuit of Helen Cutter in the final two episodes of S3. It was a suitably creepy setting in the past, and Becker's comments to Connor and Abby about no supposed to be going through anomalies and procedure and all shows even more than Matt is not your typical guy and that there's more to him as well. He's a maverick, something of a loner, and yet his attraction to Emily was clearly what was influencing his actions here. Look forward to the development of the storyline between him and Emily.

And then we come to that dumb plot at the ARC. Okay, I can see the reason for having a security system, and Burton's creation of one based on Connor's work makes sense. However, who on the Goddess's green earth designs a security system that no one can shut off, not even the programmers/researchers who designed it? Besides, if the whole purpose of the security system and the lockdown is to protect the ARC staff from creatures that have escape (based on Burton's comments about the dracorex incident in episode 1), why set up the system so that only one person, Burton, can access it to shut it down? Dumbass move, to be honest, and the whole part of the story made no sense. Add to this the fact that Burton didn't get rid of Connor's failsafe, and well... Silly plot. And to be honest, if this second story in the episode hadn't been there, more time could have been devoted to the story of the Victorian trio.

Something else of note is the reference by Philip Burton to his New Dawn project. This is the second time (that I can remember) that he's mentioned dawn and the whole name of this project, coupled with the menagerie at the ARC is...troubling. His reaction towards Rex at the end of the episode was annoying, and scary, and I have a funny feeling that Burton doesn't have good plans for the dinosaurs in light of the creation of the security system. I still have to wonder whether Burton's plans and New Dawn are somehow tied in to the business with Matt Anderson and his mentor, Gideon, and what they seem to be trying to prevent.

That said, the most interesting (and yet sad) part of the story was Connor Temple. The first indication of this was the fact that he's gone back to the look he had back in the days of the first series of the show, when he was nothing more than a computer/tech geek. The role he played in the Burton security system sub-plot indicated that he seems to be going back to the role of techno-geek, and to be honest, this is just shoddy writing, given that he's recently spent a year in the Cretaceous with Abby and managed to survive, and it's like the whole emphasis of Connor continuing Nick Cutter's work has been dumped by the wayside. At the end of the episode, he seemed to be infatuated with Burton and his remarks to Connor about having underestimated him, and this does not bode well for him and Abby, especially in light of the Rex incident. I really hope they don't kill off that little guy, and I am left to wonder what's happened to Sid and Nancy...

Overall, the episode had some really good moments and intriguing stuff, but that was mainly the plot with the three Victorians, and I could have done without the security system business. There was, as usual, some witty dialogue in the episode, but some of the conversations just seemed to be filler. And where was Ben Miller's James Lester? I would have thought the lockdown plot could have added him to the mix, and might have been more interesting that way. Overall, the episode kept my interest for sure, but I have to wonder about the introduction of two more new characters - Emily and Ethan - into the mix, given that the three new characters - Matt, Jess, and Burton - haven't really been developed all that well yet, and there are too many questions about things.

On another note, there is a five-minute video up on Space with viewer questions for Tim Haines that he answers. I think folks in the U.S. or Britain can access the video, and it's a pretty good watch.

Watch the Tim Haines Interview Here

The Inner Space video was an interesting piece of footage for sure, with some interesting Qs and As, especially Tim's comments to her questions about the anomalies, and that they are natural phenomena. He raised some interesting points, especially the comparison of the anomalies to volcanoes, and I can't help but wonder if that has some tie-in to the plots going on with Philip Burton and/or Matt-Gideon. That said, it was somewhat sad to realise that there's no great conspiracy about the origins of the anomalies to begin with, but such is life.

Anyway, there you have my review. Comments and thoughts always welcome. :)
Tags: primeval, review, tv hut

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