Review – Primeval: Series 4 Episode 5

Erin Willard reviews the latest episode of Primeval. Airing on BBCAmerica, Primeval indulges sci-fi fans with a prehistoric twist.


Photo courtesy of BBCAmerica

Photo courtesy of BBCAmerica.


cross posted at Simply Television


Tune in to Primeval – airing Saturdays, 9/8C on BBCAmerica.
Visit the show website for more Cast, Character information, Recaps and Online Exclusives.


Oh YAY it was better!  Far fewer ridiculous lines, most of the time spent investigating, another decent-looking and -sounding monster, and – could it be? – movement on the Matt/Mystery Man front, tying in with Ethan!  Please don’t get our hopes up for nothing… But as for this week’s episode:

The BlairWitch-style opening was fun, and added a bit of something different to open the programme.  I was pleased that they are continuing, in an admittedly very minor way, to show that these incursions are actually being noticed, and it harkens back to the other good episode of the season, with Connor’s geeky friend.

“Creepy village people” is a hackneyed element but one that hadn’t yet to my recollection been used by the series, so
no discredit there.  They did drag it out a bit longer than necessary in the pub, but mercifully only for a few extra beats. It was nice that they were able to add a new twist to the anomalies by having one affected by chemical dumping, and somewhat easier by having that dumping done by villagers.   Perhaps it was a little too pat to have the perpetrators get eaten, but as they do have a number of storylines to work on, adding “prosecuting villagers for homicide through creature” would be more than this show could manage at this point.

I’m hoping that the reason that Phillip doesn’t want Connor in the field is a good one… “the animals are a distraction.”  Given his suspicious behaviour, it wasn’t clear if Phillip’s stated interest in the anomalies was itself a distraction from his clear animosity towards the animals, but this episode seemed to support that he is indeed focused on the anomalies.  I wonder if we’re supposed to wonder why he took over Jess’s spot and how he was able to make the anomaly appear, if that is in fact what he did.

Connor is still being written as goofy.  I am hopeful that, as things at Prospero become suspicious as they most surely will, the showrunners and writers will do something interesting with Connor.  He’s extremely bright and survived a year in the cretaceous period; surely they can do something with that.  Nice moment when we thought Abby might have been eaten… “Don’t shoot, there’s petrol everywhere” was good, “they just want to go home” was not.

Still hating the ridiculous way they write for Jess.  Is she smart, or is she not?  I’m starting to dread her appearances.

“I should be out there looking for them both.  This Ethan guy is dangerous.”  An example that the actual lines are still pretty dismal.  But it’s nice that they have Matt finally concerned with quickly locating a man he was told was a homicidal maniac.  Which brings me to another good part:

I LOVED the twist about Ethan, it’s great that they’re making something out of that group-of-travelers storyline.  It had good potential which was seemingly disregarded in its first two episodes.  Maybe they were trying to lull us into a state of not expecting anything interesting, which made the twist all the more surprising.  “I am the future, I am the past” was nicely creepy, and “I’m gonna make them see what I’ve seen, and suffer like I’ve suffered” was somewhat intriguing.  They are going to have to work hard, though, to escape this being a rewrite of the Helen story.  It was reassuring that the Mystery Man referenced her in this episode.  It felt like a nod to those of us who’ve watched the whole series, a confirmation that they realise we are wary of a revisit of the single-person-troublemaker scenario. 

We didn’t have the Mystery Man last week, but he was back for some crucial lines in this episode.  So, Ethan may be responsible for destroying the world?  “One life above billions of others…  Ethan is to blame for what happened… This has never been about fighting an army.  This isn’t about battles, money, power… it’s about one person with enough knowledge to bring down the entire world.”  Could it be that they really will tie this all together?  Or maybe it isn’t Ethan, maybe it’s Phillip.  Or Connor, for that matter.

Overall I was pleased that this episode had some good elements, and I’m hopeful that it will continue to get better.  There is so much potential here.

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