Wednesday, February 27, 2008

Primeval - Love It Or Hate It?

Primeval - The end of the second series has come and gone, but was it any good?

I'm still struggling to like this show and sometimes I'm not that bothered if I catch it or not, evidenced by the fact I missed two and a half episodes this season. I want to like it because it has so much going for it; Douglas Henshall is a fantastic actor, Ben Miller adds the aloof comic touch, Connor and Abby's will they/won't they relationship, a good sci-fi premise, and bucket loads of creatures. Where the series fails are the gaping holes in logic and the formulaic episodes.

Gaping Holes:
  • Why are all the anomalies located within an easy car journey from the hub?
  • Why are there never any recorded instances of past anomalies appearing and letting creatures out, say for instance in Victorian times?
  • Why are only creatures stumbling through the anomalies? Surely if there are ones in the future people from that time period should be able to visit?

Formulaic Episodes:

  1. Anomaly appears.
  2. Monster enters through it and starts killing people.
  3. The team wade in with out any preparation.
  4. One or of the team find themselves in danger and in need of rescue.
  5. Team member is rescued.
  6. Creature captured.
  7. The team realise there is another creature on the loose.
  8. Other team members put in danger.
  9. Team members rescued yet again.
  10. Second creature captured.
  11. Anomaly closes.
  12. Rinse and repeat.

The other thing that gets me is that Prof. Cutter never carries a weapon...never, ever!!! Now I'm sorry, I don't care how high it is you don't go after monsters armed only with your I.Q. If I was chasing monsters, deadly ones known for their killing abilities, I'd be armed with as many big fuck off guns as I could carry. You just wouldn't walk into a situation and hope you will find a matchstick with which to fight off a Sabertooth Tiger.

The early episodes of Smallville were formulaic, centering around the 'freak-of-the-week'. The producers soon realised that this format wasn't going to work if they were to retain their viewers. So the formula changed and the series became a hit. I can't help feeling that if the producers of Primeval don't up the ante, move away from the formulaic, and start taking some risks with the story, then there won't be a fourth series.

So what do you think of Primeval?


Matt M said...

The only reason I keep watching it is because there's so few British SF/Fantasy shows. Hopefully, if stuff like Primeval gets good ratings then they make other, better SF/Fantasy shows as well.

Lucy V said...

I enjoy Primeval in a way I don't enjoy Dr. Who. They have to get a much better, more enigmatic lead than Douglas whatsisface though.

Chris Parr (ukscriptwriter) said...

I saw a few episodes from series one when I was visiting my sister (she's into it).

I thought it was average and seem to remember thinking that they had cast too many 'pretty people' in it (I could be wrong) - got to be good looking to deal with nasty monsters!

I also remember thinking her out of S Club 7 (or whatever group it was) needed some acting lessons.

Was that overly harsh?


Chris (ukscriptwriter)

Dominic Carver said...

No, not at all, Chris. Then she doesn't need to act, she just needs to look good (Dom gives a hearty sigh and thinks of Hannah).