Review: Primeval

Last Saturday ITV started their new Saturday night flagship Sci-Fi/Fantasy programme “Primeval.” I set my DVR to record it and I watched it a couple of nights ago. Here’s my review:

Short version.

If you like good quality science fiction programmes with a good plot and intelligently delivered, forget this programme.

Long version.

This program really should be retitled “Primeval Cliche: Fighting with Dinosaurs.” The initial pre-title squence pretty well set the scene for the whole programme with a woman running away from a large predatory reptile (not dinosaur as the “time portal” (more later) is currently connected to the Permian era snd hence it’s too early for dinosaurs) with cars being thrown around (and exploding) all “filmed” on a cheap digital camera system.

Now, the premise for the story might have been interesting. Indeed, some of the ideas, such as a sceptical university researcher being the main character, obviously slipped past the commissioning editors. I could almost hear the executives saying “we need more chases, and more dinosaurs, and action. There’s not enough cute charaters or love interests.. Oh, and of course you need a really annoying geeky character, don’t you to sell to the demographic!”

There are lots of chases, a cute flying reptile, a really silly characture of a Home Office official and an extremely annoying geeky student who is into conspiracy theories who I kept on hoping that the reptiles would eat as soon as possible. Add to this that the university’s researcher is pining for his long-lost love, who just seems to be using these time portals for some other nefarious use and it just becomes laughable.. except it’s not even laughably bad.

Now, if this weren’t enough there are really poor plot holes, such as: At one point there is an expedition through the time portal thingy with military involvment. Now, what tactics would you think would be involved here? Probably a team with some quite nasty heavy weapons who deploy a group just on the far side of the portal before the second group go exploring with the researcher? Erm, no. It’s the researcher with one soldier with a standard assault rifle which wouldn’t even stop an buffalo quickly enough in an emergency… oh and the researcher wanders off on his own and.. surprise, surprise, stumbles on his wife’s camera!

I could go on, but it would get rather repetative. The trailer for next week had giant insects in it.. probably from the Carboniferous. *YAWN*

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