That’s right, people, I’m finally getting around to sharing my love for Primeval with you. I blame my new obsession with this show on Tom Green over at Titan Books. Who knew a simple review copy of Primeval: Extinction Event would lead to a new obsession??
Now I’ll be honest, I had no idea this show existed before Tom contacted me. In fact, even after he contacted me I thought this was just a book series from some TV writers. HA. It is, in fact, a TV show from the UK that airs on BBC. (And is being shown on BBC America as well.)
The show begins with evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter being called in to investigate some strange animal sightings. Only these aren’t just any animals, they’re the animals Cutter’s been studying all these years. The actual animals. With help from his lab tech (and good friend) Stephen, his grad student Connor, and zoologist Abby, Cutter discovers the animals are crossing over into our time through an anomaly, a rip in time/space. When they realize this isn’t an isolated incident the Anomaly Research Center (ARC) is created as our team tries to figure out why the anomalies are happening and how to contain/stop them. There’s more of course but you get the gist of the story. Each week Cutter and friends have to find the latest anomaly that’s opened and figure out a way to capture the creatures that have come through.
So why do I love it? Well, there are lots of reasons this show is fun… Like the dinosaurs. Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur sighting?! And it’s fun to try and figure out what time period this week’s dinosaur is from… The effects on these creatures aren’t great but, honestly, that’s never bothered me. For one, it’s a TV show that has to come up with new creatures each week. They don’t have the budget to go all out and make them look as real as dinosaurs we see in the movies. Plus, I actually like the tone the cheesy effects give the show. The show’s as much a comedy as it is a drama and the effects help with that. More importantly, they do a good job creating the tension and building the suspension when they need it. The creatures can be scary without looking real and that’s really the more important aspect.
but I had to include this picture because I love it.
So why do I love it? Well, there are lots of reasons this show is fun…
Like the dinosaurs. Who doesn’t love a good dinosaur sighting?! And it’s fun to try and figure out what time period this week’s dinosaur is from… The effects on these creatures aren’t great but, honestly, that’s never bothered me. For one, it’s a TV show that has to come up with new creatures each week. They don’t have the budget to go all out and make them look as real as dinosaurs we see in the movies. Plus, I actually like the tone the cheesy effects give the show. The show’s as much a comedy as it is a drama and the effects help with that. More importantly, they do a good job creating the tension and building the suspension when they need it. The creatures can be scary without looking real and that’s really the more important aspect.
Then there’s the cast who I kind of adore. It won’t shock that the kick-ass chick is at the top of my list of favorites. Abby’s spunky and tough and she’ll take you down if you threaten to hurt an innocent animal. What’s not to love? Stephen though… Hellllloooo Hottttieee! But the real man of the hour is Connor. Imagine that Willow and Xander got together back in high school and they had a kid. Connor would be that kid. He’s ridiculously smart and hilariously inept at taking care of himself at the same time. The way he and Abby play off each other will crack you up. Guaranteed. As for the others, well I love them as well but these are the three that hooked me right from the beginning.
The show’s also really good at continuity. Things that happen in the very first episode will seem unimportant but will come back in a huge way several episodes down the line. You guys know how I dig shit like that. The show continues to use elements from the very beginning. Fans picking it up in the middle won’t necessarily miss out on anything by not knowing that but it is fun for us who have seen all of the episodes.
But, ultimately, what makes me really love this show is how much I care about comes next. Even now I’m dying to try and search down spoilers for the show. Because of the idea of time travel and jumping between eras in history means lots of things are possible on this show, I really want to know what’s in store for this cast. I feel anxious every episode not knowing what might pop up during their explorations. How could it affect their futures? Or their pasts? Like I said above, I love just about everyone on the cast so I’m crazy invested in their stories.
I don’t think the writing is OMG! AMAZING! or anything. I do think it’s good and fun. They do a good job of coming up with new week to week adventures for these guys while still advancing the overall arc. It’s made me realize how few shows out there are actually good at balancing the two. I’m always interested in what new creatures we’ll meet this week and never feel like they’re stringing me along. Plus, I think it’s pretty easy for people to jump in on any given episode and not be too lost. Some episodes are extremely arc heavy for obvious reasons but, generally speaking, it’s not hard to figure out what’s happening. Of course, the show’s in its third season and still hasn’t had as many episodes as are typical in one US TV season. I’m sure that helps. The stories seem to zip along because they’re being told in shorter spurts.
Of course, you know what that means? It won’t take you very long to catch up! Seriously. The first two seasons of the show are 13 episodes combined. And the third season just started last weekend on BBC America so you can get caught up in no time! I’m following along the UK schedule myself and, eight episodes into the third season, I’m still loving it as much as I did when I watched those first six episodes.
Better yet, since I’m re-watching as they air the episodes on BBC America, soon I’ll be blogging about them each week. There are things coming up that I’ve been DYING to talk about. So, see, you gotta catch up. I need to discuss this show with you!
I wish there was a way to catch up online but, alas, all of the players that have episodes available are restricted to outside the US. If you have Netflix, though, you can rent the first two seasons. Or you could check your local library. Best Buy and Barnes & Noble both have it as well but you should probably try an episode or two on BBC America before you put any money down. If you do watch, be sure to come back and let me know if you liked it.
In the meantime, here’s a little taste of the show. It’s from the third season opener but, no worries, it won’t spoil anything: