Wednesday, January 12, 2011

Primeval: Series 4 Episode 3

Perhaps it was just the mood I was in when I watched this, but I found this week's Primeval episode to be a little rubbish. Okay, maybe that's a bit harsh - it wasn't that bad - but it did seem somewhat flawed. There were some interesting things dotted around but it was padded out with the obligatory monster chase sequence. Oh, and a daft ARC shutdown bit.

We start with an anomaly opening in a theatre somewhere. Not sure where this was supposed to be but, like nearly all the other anomalies, it seems to be within an hour or so of the ARC. Why are all the anomalies in the south of England, I wonder? Three people emerge from this anomaly, one of whom is ill (and promptly dies before they can get her to a hospital). A couple of lizard men also pop through. I have to say that the CG work on the lizard men (called Tree Creepers here) was generally excellent and one of the few highlights of this episode.

Matt arrives on the scene first - after chatting with the mysterious Gideon bloke, who it appears hasn't long to live, about potential traitors. He sees the woman from the anomaly return back through the shimmering portal and decides to follow her. After tracking her for a while she hits him on the head with a branch. I thought he was supposed to be ex-military? She was just standing there and he just ran into the branch she was wielding - there was no sneaking up behind him or anything!

Then the woman just stands there and lets a lizard men wrap its tail around her. You'd think she'd at least try and move out of the way. This leads to the rather pathetic fight between knife-wielding Matt and powerful, leaping, clawed lizard man. This wasn't helped by the fact that they didn't have enough budget to show a tree creeper and an actor in the same frame. So it kept cutting from Matt waving his puny knife to the creature snarling and hissing but doing very little and then back to Matt.

Anyway, eventually Matt takes the injured woman back through the anomaly to our time just in time to hunt down the two tree creepers in the theatre - one of which eventually makes its way outside. Cue the (slightly boring) monster hunt.

Meanwhile, new owner Philip Burton asks Connor to integrate and trial his new dino detector system installed in the ARC. Problem is, this new system detects Rex and initiates a complete lockdown of the ARC, trapping Philip in a room where the air is slowly being sucked out.

Now, why the supposedly super-intelligent Philip would attach the lockdown procedure to the initial trial run of his dino-detector system is somewhat suspect. Even worse is getting someone else to run it when only he can disable it. Plus, why can't people unlock the doors during the lockdown? It's only supposed to stop dinos from getting out (and, as we've seen in this episode, they're quite happy to just smash through doors and windows).

Anyway, it provided a convenient excuse for the folk hunting lizard men out in the field to lose comms with one another and for Philip to let slip something about a secret project called "New Dawn". I thought that was a bit heavy-handed.

In the end, the tree creeping lizard men are downed and we find out that the woman, called Emily, is originally from the Victorian era. Together with around 15 others, she got lost through an anomaly and is now managing to survive by traveling through random anomalies and eating grilled dino meat. Of course, this isn't the first time humans from earlier periods have come through one of the sparkly time-holes; the medieval knight from Series 3 galloped through one chasing a 'dragon', for instance. But it is interesting to see confirmation that these anomalies have been occurring throughout history (and into the future, of course!).

Unfortunately, we don't discover much more about Emily and the other time-lost humans in this episode. It seems this week was just a set up for future episodes, as she is now staying with Matt. We also have the companion of hers - he may or may not be Jack the Ripper (and if it is, then I did something very similar with a PBeM character of mine) - who also came through the anomaly and is now going around killing people for no particular reason. Again, more set up for future episodes.

So, some interesting titbits regarding a secret project at the ARC and time-lost Victorians plus some great lizardy tree creepers. Oh and a rather foxy looking Jess! But the rest was just okay and, sadly, a little embarrassing at times.

No comments: