Sunday, October 05, 2008

TV Review: Primeval, Seasons 1 and 2

(This review contains no significant spoilers.)

I recently completed watching the first 2 seasons of the ITV series Primeval, so I thought I'd post my review of the series.

The Setup

The series was created by the same people who made the Walking with... documentaries.  It follows a team of paleontologists and others who investigate temporal anomalies that appear, connecting the contemporary world with the distant past and the distant future.  Each episode consists of a self-contained plot revolving around the team's efforts to capture or kill prehistoric or future creatures that come through the anomalies or to return to the present from the far side.  Additionally there's an ongoing arc involving a contemporary human who travels though the anomalies, visiting the past and future before returning to make trouble in the present.  Other arcs include the activities of a mysterious organization, and the evolution of interpersonal relationships between the team members.

What I Liked
  • The creature-catching and stuck-in-the-past adventures are good, light-hearted fun.
  • The effects are pretty decent.
  • Several of the characters, particularly Nick Cutter, the team leader, are pretty interesting.
  • It's fun to see speculative creatures from the future, most notably the so-called future predator.
  • The series touches on some slightly more complex issues of time-travel, including changing the present while in the past, as well as issues of identity.
  • Accents are fun!

What I Disliked
  • The motivations of some characters, particularly Helen Cutter, are not thoroughly developed.
  • The more complex issues of time travel that I mentioned before aren't really addressed as much as I'd like.
  • At least twice in the first two seasons, the team encounters large multi-cellular organisms from the Precambrian supereon.  These animals are acknowledged as "previously unknown to science," or whatever, but there's no way creatures this large could have existed at that time.
  •  The Conner character is quite annoying.


Overall, I give this series 7.0 out 1o.  It's not great television, but it is quite enjoyable.  I'm looking forward to seeing the third season in January.

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