Wednesday, January 05, 2011

Primeval: Series 4 Episode 2

Although this show is never going to win any prizes (except, perhaps, for its CGI effects), I felt that this second episode of the revived series of Primeval was a little better than the first. It felt more... focussed or straightforward or something. Whereas the first episode had to establish Connor and Abby back in the past, then somehow bring them back, set up a new ARC and some new characters and also have the obligatory dino-encounter, this second episode just concentrated on that dino-encounter whilst dealing a little with Connor and Abby's roles in the team.

Abby was accepted into the team as the keeper of the "bestiary", which meant they didn't compromise the ARC's new rule of allowing only (ex-)military personel to go out into the field to investigate anomalies. We only got to see a vague glimpse of this "bestiary"; I'm not entirely how it's supposed to work. Are the dinos left to wander around some large room or are they kept in cages? Why are they kept at the ARC and not some other, perhaps open-air, facility? These dinosaurs would be of great scientific interest so I can only assume they are being studied at length behind the scenes.

Meanwhile, Connor is kicked out. Despondently he uses Jess' computer (she seems far to friendly and accomodating to be true. Is she the enemy in the ranks that old man Gideon keeps going on about?) to try and find a place to stay but ends up discovering that his old mate Duncan is hunting 'monsters'. Tracking him down, they head to a building site where they find a half eaten body - and a dino-croc! Apparently, this dino came through anomaly as a baby five years ago and thus before the ARC and its anomaly-detecting apparatus were established. Since then it's been living in the sewers - just like the urban legend of giant alligators underneath New York.

Connor contacts Abby to get her help, Matt follows Abby after she sneaks away and soon the whole of the ARC team are involved in a dino hunt within a maze of large transport containers. Nameless extras are eaten (off camera), cowardly Duncan is left in a green container somewhere and eventually the dino is put down or stunned or whatever. The day is saved and Connor is brought onto the team because, well, he's in the titles so he has to be.

It's good to see that, although Primeval generally does the whole "dino of the week" thing, each episode progresses things from the weeks before. There's a feeling of continuation and evolution (hah!) rather than reset button pressing at the end of each episode. The new characters are also settling in quite quickly - I quite like Jess (she's certainly easy on the eye) but Matt sometimes seems a little too stilted and aloof. We also still haven't seen much of Dr Bashir - I mean, Philip Burton - which is a pity. Then there's the mystery of this enemy - or enemies - on the team that Gideon keeps talking to Matt about. The writing's far from brilliant but the show is interesting and entertaining and this ongoing mystery adds to that.

Next week sees some people from the future (?) coming through an anomaly. Sounds like fun and makes a change from a dino, although I'm sure they'll be one or two of those as well.

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