Primeval: Stop!

I’m only blogging about this because Primeval always showed so much promise, but sadly fails to deliver.

It started at the end of season one, where one of the leads was erased from time, only to return next season as a different person. This created some mystery and philosophical questions, but they were never explored. No drama came from such a great idea, and she was killed off properly before anyone got too annoyed that nothing was really happening. Prof. Cutter was a little love sick, but before we could see this really go anywhere, he was killed off too.

Things have continued in this vein, raising great ideas but rarely doing anything with them. Now in a surprise season four, we’re no longer shown fights with monsters; the camera switches between close quarters shots of human and monster with no interaction, leaving the viewer to watch a sub-par rubber animal fight without the rubber animal. The Victorian woman taken by the giant lizard looked bored rather than scared or angry. No one really seemed to care about anything, except for Connor and Abby, and they’re not given the chance to properly shine when they’re two of the most interesting characters in the series.

The characters are now behaving way out of their personalities too; an ex-soldier who used to insist upon searching for comrades that have gone through the anomalies, and then led those searches, now refuses to lead a search for no other reason than protocol; and that protocol is never given satisfactory explanation.

The new ‘military’ head of the Arc, who in fact is just a business man with no known expertise in anything related to the Ark (though this may change…) writes a new security system that is untested before placing it into a live environment. Lockdown ensues with no reason other than to have him hint to Connor that something darker is going on behind the scenes… this guy would have been fired for setting up a system where, not only was he the only person in the world who could deactivate the system, but he couldn’t deactivate it because he wasn’t in his office when the lockdown occured. Wow. Competent.

Fringe manages competent characters; people who are supposed to be smart that are smart and do smart things. It’s not hard to follow, there’s no need to dumb it down. Is it too hard for ITV to write something where the characters, flaws and all, do what they’re qualified to do, even with added struggle to heighten drama?

After my eyes stopped bleeding, I began to wonder how this series always misses the mark, when its potential is pretty strong. When did it become ok for characters to behave unrealistically, even when you allow for the suspension of disbelief? And why show great monsters when you can’t show your actors interacting with them? People have managed that since the early days of cinema, and there are lower budget shows out there that manage this in spades whilst still managing to look good.

Shame on you ITV, your content is still decreasing in quality, and this seemed like an attempt to correct that.

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4 Responses to “Primeval: Stop!”

  1. If you can’t even be bothered to spell “ARC” correctly, I’m not sure your opinion on this show matters much.

    Did you watch any other episodes of series 4? Did you watch the webisodes? I’m guessing no.

    • Wow! Granted, I mis-spelled ARC as Ark, dumb-ass me huh?

      Yeah, I’ve watched all the episodes of all the series and, before you get your fan-rage back on, my point was that the series could be so much better, it has the ideas, the direction, the production values, the acting can be good, but you chose not to see that. If you like Primeval as it is, then great, and I’m not arguing that it should be cancelled, I’m arguing that it should be better. Don’t you think that? They haven’t tried to make it better, it’s more of the same. Interesting, but not living up to its potential. That might be why ITV cancelled Season Four until a generous co-production deal was agreed, to pay for the series and make it worth ITV’s time and money based upon the ratings and ad revenue they get from the series.

      If you think that my opinion that the series shouldn’t be better, that the team shouldn’t try to make the series live up to its great potential, just because I mis-spelled ARC, then what planet are you on? If you don’t think that something you care about shouldn’t have the effort and care put into it that it deserves, I don’t think you should be watching.

  2. The Independent described Primeval as ‘ITV’s answer to Doctor Who’, but frankly, it’s always come over to me as a pre-watershed version of ITV’s answer to Torchwood.

    • I think that’s a good analogy, they have a similar feel to one another. With new Torchwood on the way, it will be interesting to see how they stack up against on another.

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