What will you miss most about Primeval?

Aw, man! ITV have announced that they’re cancelling Primeval, so it won’t be returning for a fourth series. This is an utter disaster.

I’ve been watching Primeval alongside the BBC’s Robin Hood since both began their third series – and Primeval has been wiping the floor with the pansy outlaw and his Emo adversary. OK, I get that Primeval eats up the special effects budget, but it’s really worth it, and with a little intelligence they could have marketed it overseas too. Damnit.

Having skipped the first two series of the show, I found myself as a Primeval newbie in series 3. After the first few episodes of the series, they killed off Cutter and got rid of Claudia Brown (or whatever she was called). In came Sarah Page and Danny Quinn. Quinn especially was an unlikely action hero, looking very unconventional but behaving in a brilliantly gung-ho manner. I had high hopes for him, but he’s now stuck in the past with a bunch of hairy half-humans, stranded by ITV’s decision to cull the show.

How long before he decides to mate with them, thereby irreversably fucking up the fossil records forever?

Anyway, having grown fond of the show over the last ten weeks, I’ll miss Danny’s thoughtless leaping into scary prehistoric situations and baiting Valociraptors. I might even miss Abby and Connor a little bit. I’ll certainly miss those femme fatales – Christine Johnston and the MILF-ishly evil Helen Cutter – but then they got themselves eaten by razor-toothed dinosaurs anyway…

What will you miss about Primeval?

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  1. Gridman

    Mostly I’ll miss the weekly build-up… the dream that Primeval had the potential to be one of the coolest Sci-Fi shows ever produced, and each week I might see something really, really entertaining.  

    Less so, I’ll miss the utter letdown each week, getting progressively worse each new series and each new episode.

    I’ll miss the weekly opportunity to rake the writers over the coals due to their complete lack of consistent internal story logic, either within a single episode, or over the span the series as a whole.

    Most of all, I miss Claudia Brown, and even Jenny Lewis a bit.

    1. priyabhakta

      Dear Gridman, I love you and agree completely.


      Here are some other, additional thoughts…

      Regarding the cancellation I was kind of surprised but not overly disappointed. I was a huge fan of the show from the start and then S02 occurred and that was even better than the first but S03? I remember when I found out Douglas Henshall was leaving, I was disappointed but both he and creators of the show seemed to think it might be a good thing, invigorate the show and give it a new edge. And it could have, it really could but Nick Cutter, Stephen and Jenny Lewis (who were never the most complex of characters to begin with) where shunted out by a series of fairly weak characters; I admit I thought Danny was wonderful, but still he was a fairly 2D action hero; I think Sarah was greatly underused and, when she had the potential to be great, we often saw her being bossed around and manhandled by Danny or shrieking over bugs (yes, everyone’s allowed a phobia – Stephen hated bugs too – but seriously, bugs?!); Becker, well I think we’re best off forgetting Becker altogether, right? …Christine Johnson (prior to the penultimate episode) I thought they might be pegging s a ‘replacement’ for Helen, and Helen would have hard shoes to fill because everyone thinks she’s so schizo batshit and maybe, just a little bit, she is. Also it was a longer series than the past two and it seemed like less happened – it was very much Monster-of-the-Week rather than story arcs across series and the such (I know they had the tie-in with the online dama but if you didn’t play Evolved then you’re scarcely likely to have noticed), by the finale I was expected loads of small threaded clues to come together in some amazing collision but it just didn’t happen – it could have been just any other episode.

      With the finale they did that thing I hate (Merlin did it too, though to a lesser degree), they left it so open – Connor, Abby and their tree, Sarah’s idea, Danny doing his 2D action hero stuff, Rex dinositting Sid and Nancy… it was clear they thought the show was refreshed and they’d get their fourth. We’d all hoped it, I think.. But it wasn’t and also it’s become this hugely expensive show – originally it was a limited budget and they only ever showed you as much as they needed to, with S02 they got a bit of a bigger budget and, in my opinion, it looked really cool, and then S03 was just an ‘OM NOM NOM ITV BUDGET’ SFX-showcase which just isn’t affordable in the current climate.

      1. Gerard McGarry

        I was expected loads of small threaded clues to come together in some amazing collision but it just didn’t happen – it could have been just any other episode.

        You’re 100% right on that score – after breaking the schedule for a week, they came back with the final and I found myself scratching my head at the ending. Was that the ending? And then I realised that the series was over – how frustrating, running with that cliff-hanger instead of a tidy-ish ending.

        Gridman – I’ve checked out some of your Primeval posts on your blog – really good, thought provoking stuff.

  2. Gridman

    I almost hate to admit it, but Primeval is a bit of a passion for me.  The concept of the show is… well, I can’t think of a concept I’ve ever liked better.

    When I was getting ready to go to university, it was almost down to a coin-toss as to if I’d go to computer science or paleontology.  In the end, computer science won, but I’ve never lost that passion for paleontology, and so I can imagine myself (in a different timeline) being in Nick Cutter’s shoes.  What an amazing adventure for a paleontologist!

    To be able to observe and study actual prehistoric life.  To be able to step through a hole and see another time and place.  To learn if all the work we’d done on fossils had been leading us to correct conclusions.

    That’s certainly what drew me back to Primeval episode after episode, but what rankled me time and time again is that Cutter and the team never acted like scientists.  They never collected samples – not even atmosphere.  Only once did they try to send a camera through.  (Despite having the whole ARC dedicated to…  what exactly?  Seems Cutter did everything from paleontology to the quantum physics with enough time to be the action hero in between.)

    Dangerous though the anomalies were, they represented too great an opportunity to learn more about our planet’s history.  Neither Cutter nor Conner nor even Steven could possibly have resisted at least sticking their head through every anomaly and at least seeing what was on the other side.

    In the series one conclusion, Cutter is back in the Permian, with a camera, and he takes pictures of Helen posing, rather than the landscapes, flora and fauna. How could we possibly believe that?

    Only Helen even acted like paleontology was her passion.  (And for what paleontologists get paid, it has to be your passion or you wouldn’t be one.)

    Sarah Page, in the dragon episode, showed a glimmer of that when she had to go through the anomaly.  What historian wouldn’t lie, cheat or steal to get such an opportunity?

    Once they completely missed what would have been the overriding motivation for the main characters perhaps it’s not surprising that the show was fun, entertaining, ultimately empty-headed and never quite hit the bullseye of greatness.

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