The long awaited airing of the next installment of our favourite science fiction series is finally upon us. Primeval is back with a bang, some of our cast members are back, some are to be lamented, or still lost but not forgotten. There are new members to be welcomed along with an array of new wee beasties.
So grab a snack, a cup of tea or just make yourself comfortable and sit back to take a trip into the past, the present and the future! Such is the magic of Primeval.
Spoiler warning for United States Primeval fans: This review discusses episode two of Primeval series four as well as episode one. If you do not like spoilers, please stop reading now. For those that do enjoy spoilers, the special BBC America eight minute promotional trailer is included below.
Series 4 episode 1 and 2:
Series 4 opens with Sir James Lester providing a brief explanation of anomalies and how the A.R.C came into being through the works of Nick Cutter and his team mates. Sir Lester goes onto explain how Nick was killed and the culmination of events that led to Danny Quinn, Abby Maitland and Connor Temple being stranded in the past. He explains that in the year they have been missing, there have been many changes.
There is a new team in place of Danny’s, along with more sophisticated equipment at the disposal of the A.R.C. what else has changed in that year?
Matt Anderson, a zoologist with military experience sits in a lab in a state of contemplation; his thoughts are interrupted by a warning siren. A Dracorex has become free, and is giving the scientists the run around. Matt calls Jess (Parker); the new field coordinator. She admits releasing an air lock in the menagerie area, whilst repair work was being carried out. Matt soon encounters the dinosaur in a corridor, and despite a brief tussle with a metal tray, they both escape reasonably unscathed.
However, the Dracorex is now headed for the ops room, and Jess is warned to vacate the area. She refuses to leave until the system is backed up, and ends up running into the dinosaur’s path. Sir Lester emerges from a lift wanting to know what is so urgent, although no further explanations are necessary as he also walks into the path of the creature. Matt and the rest of the team including Captain Becker (looking as handsome as usual) emerge from the corridors to help.
Sir Lester is not happy when Matt intervenes and coaxes the Dracorex into his office. The emergency over, Matt takes the blame for the blunder much to Jess’s relief.
We now meet up with Abby in the cretaceous period, digging for bulbs and roots. A noise disturbs her, and she pauses from her dig to concentrate on her surroundings. She is attacked from above, and a short scuffle reveals the attacker to be Connor. A year in the cretaceous era seems to have done him some good, despite Connors typical geekiness, there is an air of strength about him borne from the need to survive. Mr Temple, it seems, has grown up, but just a little.
In their makeshift den, Connor hears a noise. A tin can strung between branches is a crude device to alert them to an anomaly. Connor runs in hope to the device, but it’s another false alarm.
Connor still has not given up hoping the anomaly will return, Abby is much more philosophical, all she thinks about is staying alive. Poor Abby looks desolate, like she has given up, battle worn almost, not the normal spunky little fighter we have come to appreciate in the previous episodes.
At the A.R.C, Matt explains the reason for the events of the Dracorex,s escape. Sir Lester is still not happy about the destruction of his office. Becker enters and drugs the creature, then prepares to return it to the menagerie. Matt instructs Becker to pay a visit to the armory when he is finished. Becker’s inquiry as to why is answered by Jess. The E.M.D,s have arrived (electro muscular disruption weapons), Becker jovially quips, “argh yes, the toy guns”.
Back in the cretaceous era, Connor is doing a spot of fishing, when a Spinosaurus turns up for a drink. It chases him back to Abby and their den, where Abby has thrown Helen Cutters journal into the fire in a distraught fit of angst. The pair will now have to move, as the dinosaur will never leave them alone now it knows their location. Connor is unwilling to leave the site of the anomaly as they could miss it re opening.
Abby stands her ground, as far as she is concerned, they are stranded, and will never make it home. Connor begs her to not give up, he really believes one day they will make it back. Again we see how the pair have grown in the past year. Abby was always the practical reliable one, Connor the hapless dreamer. Abby’s vulnerable side now appears, as practically speaking, they could well be stuck here, but she appears to be resigned to her fate, an opposite to Connor, who always had a more idealistic approach to life. He will not give up, and is determined they will return.
Becker catches up with Matt and Jess in the armory. His sense of humour still as wry as when we left him, refers to the e.m.d,s as tasers. Matt is unimpressed with the comparison till Becker reminds him of the friends he has lost, and will not risk losing more because Matt wants his team to use pea shooters. A bravado argument between them both ends in Matt shooting Becker with the gun at its lowest setting to show its potential.
Becker is pole axed by the power of the machine, and reluctantly agrees to use it.
Abby and Connor on the move to find a new place to live hear a memorable sound; a raptor is on the prowl. Tripping as she runs, Abby loses her backpack, and the raptor, alerted by a new smell, rummages through her pack, stealing her blanket. Not best pleased by the raptors magpie like instinct, she runs off after the raptor and her belongings.
Becker still reeling from the effects of the e.m.d reveals to Matt that he almost quit after he lost Sarah (she was killed during an attempt to find the others), that he felt to blame for the loss of all of them, a loss he felt was almost too much to bear.
Another new face enters the array in the form of entrepreneur Philip Burton (actor Alexander Siddig, Dr Julian Bashir of Star Trek Deep Space Nine). Philip Burton, is a private business man, and a brilliant scientist, who,s donations to the A.R.C give him a say in the running of it. Seeing Sir Lesters trashed office, he quips that Sir Lester should keep his tantrums under control, but if he needs more help dealing with the animals, Sir Lester only has to ask.
Philip reveals he has just had dinner with the minister, who has asked for another half a billion pounds to be put into the A.R.C project. Uneasy about Philip Burtons motives, Sir Lester asks Jess to hack into Philips diary and warn him of any more interesting dinner dates that come up. Jess, smiling, reminds him its illegal, but you cant help thinking she will do just that anyway.
Abby and Connor follow the raptor back to its nest, its apparently raptor breeding time, and this female wants to make her nest as appealing as possible. Connor searches the nest to find Abbys blanket and makes a momentous discovery. The clever little beast has squirreled away Helen Cutters anomaly device. Its not working but in the hands of Connor Temple, any computerized device will succumb, and soon enough, the device comes to life. He presses some buttons, and suddenly the tin can warning device begins to rattle. Dashing to the original anomaly site, they behold a wondrous vision; an open anomaly.
Unfortunately, just to prove its stubbornness, the Spinosaurus blocks their way. Using the raptor as bait, the pair manages to circle the two fighting dinosaurs and enter the anomaly. Where will they end up?
Meanwhile, back at the A.R.C, an anomaly has been detected, and the team is sent off to investigate. Abby and Connor are unsure where they have landed, a squad of cars pull up, and they are forced onto the ground at gunpoint. Connor watches as the anomaly is closed by a similar device he built. Suddenly a familiar voice rings out, “ I hope you brought me back a souvenir”.
Becker reaches out his hand, and the three hug each other in relief.
Jess brings Sir Lester the good news that Abby and Connor have returned safely. Pleased with the news, he inquires as to Danny’s whereabouts, but Jess has run off before answering him.
Becker introduces Matt to Abby and Connor, who orders Becker to keep three men on the anomaly until it closes. Connor removes Helens anomaly device from his bag, and boasts that he can shut it down. Unfortunately, the device reopens the anomaly, and the Spinosaurus barges through escaping past the team.
Jess is called into action, and her skills become apparent as she sorts out a location for them to trap the Spinosaurus in, sends in the coordinates, and shuts down roads to keep the public out of the way. Sir Lester remarks that only Connor could bring back a pet with him. Abby and Connor steal a car and chase after the team. Between them all, the dinosaur is herded into an unoccupied arena.
As the team prepare to take down the animal, Connor still believing he can open an anomaly and send it back, steps into the line of fire; the team have no choice but to retire. The device is taking its time to work, so to give Connor more time, Abby distracts the dinosaur with a light and sound display (ironically and funnily enough, with a song from the group S Club 7, which Hannah Spearritt used to sing in).
Temporarily preoccupied by the noise and flashing lights, Matt swings down on a rope and pulls Connor out of the way of the thrashing animal. The rope pulley freezes leaving the pair dangling perilously close to the proximity of the jaws of the dinosaur. Unwilling to vanquish the anomaly device for the safety of Matt’s arms, Connor again tries to open an anomaly. The device slips out of his hands and into the animals open jaws. An anomaly opens, and the creature implodes taking the device with it.
Safe and sound back at the A.R.C, Abby and Connor are greeted by a pleased Sir Lester. Jess introduces herself, and Connor is impressed by the new equipment in the ops room. Catching up, they hear of Sarah’s death, and Danny’s disappearance. Philip Burton makes an appearance, and although Abby is unaware of him, Connor is over the moon to meet the brilliant scientist/business man, calling him a living legend. Sir Lester fills them in on a few updates. After the catastrophe of their last mission, it was deemed the A.R.C needed new guidance under the pro
tection of private sector management.
Philip and Sir Lester take Abby and Connor to one side and explain that there is no place for them in the new team, all members have to have military based training. Abby does not take kindly to being called amateur, and Connor cannot believe Sir Lester let this happen, until its pointed out that the idea came from Sir Lester himself. Connor is beside himself with anger, he will not forget the work of Nick Cutter, and all he and Abby have endured in the last year would have boiled down to nothing, they will not quit now.
In the gardens of some country house, Matt has a meeting with an unknown older man who seems to know a little about botany. Matt brings the man up to speed about Abby and Connor, he seems to know rather a lot about the A.R.C, but who is this man, and how come he know so much?
Perhaps we will find out next episode.
Connor wakes up to find the other side of the bed empty, walking out onto the balcony he finds Abby, who could not sleep. Old habits die hard, and when one slept, the other would keep watch. Connor offers to keep watch while Abby sleeps, instead she says she would rather stay with him. Connor wraps his arms around her, and they gaze out onto the morning view of London town. The relationship between the two has obviously solidified in the last year.
Series 4 Episode 2:
Series 4, Episode 2 Promotional Eight Minute Trailer (courtesy BBC America)
A caption tells us, this scenario happened 5 years ago.
A couple are sleeping in their bed, when the woman is woken by a noise downstairs.
Unable to waken her partner (this part must have been written by a woman), the woman steals downstairs with a golf club in her hand. Crouching to see under the table reveals a rather ugly looking creature. When approached, it takes a bite at the woman, in retaliation she hits it with the club, and flushes the animal down the toilet (so written by a woman…joke). The animal turns up in the sewers where it immediately attacks a rat.
Connor and Abby are separately interviewed by Matt. They both feel let down by the new regime. Connor desperately wants to carry on Cutters work, and Abby, still reeling from the past year, tells Matt not to wish he had seen and experienced what they had. Sir Lester would rather they return to the A.R.C, but Philip stands his ground; no non-military types in the field team. Sir Lester manages to wrangle a job for Abby in the menagerie, but Connor is left out of the loop. Sir Lester begs him to be patient and not get into any trouble, as he will still try his best to get Connor back in the team. A worker is ordered to get rid of a massive pile of junk, quite a job considering the amount of debris.
At the A.R.C, Connor prepares to make his exit. He and Becker give each other a knowing nod, then Jess gives him her address and keys so he has somewhere to go, stunned by her generosity, he reminds Jess that she does not know him. “I’ve read the files, I know you” she replies; gratefully Connor accepts.
Placing an identity bracelet on Abby’s wrist, Jess proceeds to show her the menagerie area. Abby then has a wander around preferring to be alone; she is reunited with her old friend Rex.
Matt still makes his reports the strange old man; when will it be revealed who he is? The worker is startled by a strange noise, a closer inspection proves fatal for the poor man, and he is dragged into the pile of rubbish by a large animal.
Wow, Jess’s flat is amazing, and Connor soon makes himself at home at the computer. Meanwhile Abby has a chat with Matt, she has always gotten on with animals, in fact, it’s a shame people aren’t more like them in some ways. She wishes they could all be sent home, as they do not belong here, she is surprised when Matt agrees with her. Thinking he was military though and through, Abby is surprised to hear Matt only served a few years before leaving, “it didn’t make him trigger happy”.
Tired of flat hunting on the “net”, Connor turns his attention to dinosaur sightings. Imagine Connors surprise when Duncan (series ). Connor nearly got fired for revealing his involvement in the A.R.C to his college mates Tom and Duncan. Tom died after a dodo bit him), his old college mate turns up as a source for some interesting images. After contacting Duncan’s mother, Conner, armed with his address, pays Duncan a visit.
Duncan is skittish and wary as he believes the conspiracy theory Connor spun Tom as he was dying is still true, but he does agree to show Connor where the photos were taken. Duncan hands Connor a walkie talkie, and they proceed to the very area where the worker was snatched. Apparently, according to Duncan, there used to be a thriving homeless community till they started being killed off. “Nobody is interested in the homeless” is Duncan’s reason for the lack of interest in the deaths.
Connor spots something suspect on the floor; further investigation reveals the mangled body of the worker. Connor calls Abby for help in assessing the workers wounds to make sure it is the work of a dinosaur. Before leaving, Abby consults the “net” for directions unaware that she is being watched by Matt. Intrigued by her behaviour, Matt scans her last entry, and decides to follow her to see what she is up to. Unknown to him, Jess has her eye on Matt, and as he leaves, she reminds him to keep his black box on incase she needs to get hold of him; also she asks him to bring back a bar of chocolate without orange in it. Jess confides her suspicions to Becker that Matt is acting out of character, but he waves away her thoughts, Matt knows what he is doing. Jess follows Matts transmitter to be on the safe side.
By the time Abby has arrived, the workers body has gone missing, but from Connors description of the wounds, it is clear this is no ordinary death. Time is not on their side as the rest of the workers return to work. Acting as health and safety workers, the pair try to convince the builders not to go back to work. Undaunted by their warnings, one lights a fire and the unhappy dinosaur makes its appearance. Everyone scatters, and Connor, Abby and Duncan flee to the safety of Matts vehicle (nice timing if I do say so myself).
Jess finally manages to convince Becker that all is not right with Matts behaviour, his movements seem erratic, either he is being chased, or chasing something. Becker calls up the team ready for action just as Matt finally calls in for backup. Becker concedes to Jess and whispers to her “yes ok, you’re brilliant”.
Matt and Connor have no visual, but Abby hears a splash, the creature has entered the water. Commandeering a boat, she chases the dinosaur across the water to the docks. Connor and Matt head on over by car. The creature boards a ship, and gets lost in the cargo area. Chasing after it, Matt manages to get trapped by the animal. Just as it is about to pounce (more brilliant timing) Becker rallies off a shot with the new e.m.d gun, and the creature falls to the ground stunned.
Caged in a cargo container and ready for transport back to the A.R.C, the dinosaur wakes up. The thrashing of the trapped animal works the holding straps free, and the container crashes to the floor narrowly missing Duncan.
An inspection of the crate reveals it to be empty. Duncan is missing, and so is the creature. The stacked crates provide a warren of alleyways. Each alleyway looks like the last, and its almost impossible to track the animals movements. Connor manages to track down Duncan just in time, and locks him in a crate for his own safety. Connor now finds himself on the receiving end of the dinosaur attention and ends up having to run for his life.
Fortunately he runs into Abby, who manages to let off a flare disorientating the creature momentarily, before it runs off in another direction towards Becker. Unknown to Becker the dinosaur is stalking him from above, as it is about to pounce on him, Matt Abby and |Connor let off a volley of shots, and the creature is killed.
Connor now has to find Duncan whom he locked in a green crate, unfortunately for Duncan most of the crates are coloured green. On a personal note, I know it’s sometimes a bit cheesy, but I do love the odd quirk of humour that Connor brings to the show. I was worried that it may be written out, but bless him, Connor still has the ability to make me smile.
Duncan is driven home by Abby and Connor, and on a touching note, Connor tells Duncan that Tom would have been proud of him, and to keep in touch if he finds anymore interesting photos. Duncan thinks Connor has done well with the hot blonde, and they part company with a ritual handshake.
Back at the A.R.C, Jess asks Matt for her bar of chocolate, Matt has forgotten, but much to Jess,s delight, Becker supplies her with a bar, and she blushes as he also remembers no orange in it.
Sir Lester, shouts at Connor “I suppose you think this what you mean by not getting into any trouble”. Connor stands his ground. He can be sacked, but nothing will stop Connor doing this work, he can be pushed aside, but he will investigate if he thinks an animal or anomaly is out there. Smirking, Sir Lester replies that since he put it like that, Connor was back on the team. Connor walks past Becker and they high five each other.
The team is now complete. Matt, Becker, Connor, Abby and Jess become the new A.R.C team. Jess gives Connor and Abby a place to stay while they sort out a place to live, she wants the low down on what used to go on, and is especially interested with Becker, it seems she has a crush on him.
I hope you have enjoyed this review. As always thank you for reading and visiting WormholeRiders News Agency.
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