Welcome back to the Primeval New World!
We are pleased to include with our analysis of the Primeval New World “The Great Escape”, an exclusive interview with the gifted actor Geoff Gustafson who portrays the enigmatic character Lt. Ken Leeds in the great series about dinosaurs on the loose in Vancouver, British Columbia!
Geoff is well known for many his science fiction acting roles including Supernatural, Psych, Eureka, Once Upon A Time, 2012 and many other fine entertainment feature products! Thank you Mr. Gustafson! We look forward to Primeval New World coming to the United States on Syfy later this year
Geoff is a wonderful person and we hope you enjoy his interview as much as we did! Click play below.
MAJOR SPOILERS FOR NON CANADIANS:
The Great Escape:
This episode opens in a lab with a young scientist (Sashin Sahel – who appears to be as big a sci-fi geek as we are, so follow him) charged with getting a sample from a caged dinosaur.
Anyone who has watched the show from the beginning probably already suspects where the dino came from, and, therefore, who currently has possession of it. Naturally, as the young scientist is doing something rather unpleasant to the poor thing, it becomes more and more agitated until the locks on the cage give way, and it escapes. Cue opening credits.
Evan Cross (Niall Matter) and Dylan (Sara Canning) are practicing their marksmanship back at Cross Photonics. It turns out that they are testing the accuracy and range of a dart gun while hoping that it is not lethal on creatures without armor plating. This is not an easy task, apparently, as they discuss the possibility that they may require more than one gun for different circumstances.
Again, as in the previous episode, Dylan reminds Evan that he also has a company to run. “You can’t do this alone”, she tells him, and to his comment that they are working on improving their gear, she replies, “…a trank rifle is useless without someone to carry it”. Evan does have a point, however, that he cannot simply interview someone for this kind of position.
Dylan gets a call from Detective Harlow (Adrian Holmes), ending the conversation. He is calling from a parkade (the Canadian tern for a parking garage), and his description of the beast that Evan and Dylan will have to track is that it is big and pissed off. Despite the attempt at mystery, we know what it is.
Meanwhile, Warrant Officer Merriweather (Rukiya Bernard) is in Lt. Leeds’ (Geoff Gustafson) office reorganizing the files, which sets Leeds off just a bit. Merriweather, the smart woman she is, acknowledges that Leeds has been alone for a while and might get his feathers ruffled if she rearranges his stuff.
This seems to make him feel better. For Americans, a Canadian Warrant Officer is among the most senior non-commissioned officer ranks. Master Warrant and Chief Warrant Officers are the only non-commissioned ranks above it.
At the parkade, Evan and Dylan meet Detective Harlow. They look over a car that was trashed by the dino. But wait, there is more. They have a witness (Darren Dolynski). The witness describes the dino as big and mean with a beak. This is sounding more and more like the dino that we suspect it is, especially, since there was no opened anomaly.
As Evan and Dylan search for the creature, hoping it is still in the parkade, they discover that, no, it likely is not. A door to the roof is open. They head toward the outside of the parking garage in the hope that they catch a glimpse of it. They are rewarded by a woman’s scream. Evan and Dylan rush toward the noise.
Two fast food workers run off as they approach. Something is scavenging in the dumpster in front of them. At this moment, our suspicions about the dino are verified. It is the wee little bird-like dino that Lt. Leeds kept instead of sending back through the anomaly. Evan explains it well, “We couldn’t find an anomaly because there isn’t one. That’s the terrorbird from the train yard”.
The terrorbird jumps out of the dumpster and heads toward the street. As it does, Evan notices that it has a radio transmitter around an ankle. Just when it looks like they will have to run after it, it turns around and runs back toward them; odd behaviour, to be sure. Evan asks, “What could scare a terrorbird?”
We find out moments later. It is the military. Despite Evan’s offer of help, the guy in charge, Major Douglas (Dan Payne), tells him “I cannot willingly and knowingly put civilians in danger”. They do not have to. Evan has his own ideas. Time to go talk to Lt. Leeds. A warning for non-Canadians, it may come as a bit of a shock, but not every Canadian is nice. Major Douglas is a bit of a jerk.
This is obviously not the response they expected from him, which, seems to be part of who he is. Leeds seems hard wired to think in ways that are not common to humans as a whole. Maybe he is a great military officer after all.
“You stole a dinosaur to keep the lights on” questions Evan, “…and to provide you with the support you needed,” Leeds finishes. Dylan is still very annoyed. The terrorbird has scars to prove it has been mistreated. This surprises Leeds, as well as the fact that the dino has escaped and is loose in the city. Leeds takes a moment to put the pieces together, then answers, “oh, Major Douglas. Of course…”
Evan tells Leeds that he needs the radio frequency of the radio bracelet on the dino. When Leeds attempts to give it to him, Leeds discovers that he is locked out of the system. Fortunately, genius Evan is handy. He breaks into the encrypted system and gets the frequency leaving Leeds to mull over his next move.
Major Douglas and his team have arrived at a sports arena. Stargate fans will recognise Major Douglas as the one and only super soldier, Dan Payne. In this episode, he gets to order around another Stargate alum, Sgt. Macready, played by Eric Breker, who, in several episodes of Stargate SG-1, played Col. Reynolds.
Thinking that the dino has made its way into a cargo truck, Sgt. Macready and two soldiers aim their weapons inside, only to terrify the delivery guy(Joe Allard). So far, this military team is not doing so well. Maj. Douglas reasons that there must be maintenance tunnels under their location since they are right on top of the signal. This means they get to chase a bunch of civilians out of the sports center. You go, major.
Evan and Dylan arrive in time to watch all the excitement from the safety of their jeep. Major Douglas has arranged for a truck full of soldiers to keep an eye on the outside of the building. Looks like that Dino will not be leaving the arena.
Now that the building is evacuated, Maj. Douglas heads inside to go dino hunting. However, it seems that the dino has the same idea toward the soldiers. Shortly after the doors are locked, the terrorbird attacks one of the lone soldiers. As Douglas attempts to locate Corporal Turner (Christopher Pearce), we see what has become of him. Poor Turner, he was just following orders.
Can a terrorbird skate? I bet that is a question you have been asking yourselves since the beginning of the episode. While you are pondering that relevant question, Evan is busy in the data room messing with the military’s ability to use their tracking system on the terrorbird.
Just as Major Douglas discovers that the tracking system he is using is not working, Lt. Leeds calls and wants to know why he knows nothing about what is going on. It is all Col. Hall’s fault, according to Douglas. Then he twists the knife by stating that Leeds “is not in the loop”. They are obviously such good friends – not.
After a brief but nasty exchange about who is in charge and who is taking responsibility, the call ends aggressively. At this point, we have to consider, will Leeds follow military procedure, or do what he has done for some time, follow his own personal code of conduct? In the real world, not being a team player with the military would get him kicked out.
Evan and Dylan discuss how they are going to get the dino, that Dylan is now calling, “Leggy”, back where he belongs. There is no anomaly, and Evan has not yet figured out how to create one, let alone one that would connect to the right time and place. I find it interesting that Dylan has named this dinosaur, since she has not done so previously. I suspect this was done by the writer so that we would see the dinosaur as a more sympathetic creature – we would feel sorry for it.
Meanwhile, as Douglas walks with his men, one of them tells him that he has punched through the interference (that Evan created), but now they are getting two signals. Douglas always seems impatient and snappy, a trait that he is not abandoning anytime soon. He demands to know which signal they should follow. “The stronger one,” comes the reply. When they reach, “ground zero”, Douglas reaches up and knocks Dylan’s cell phone off a girder. There goes the fake signal. Evan and Dylan are running out of time.
Seriously annoyed, Douglas phones Leeds. He wants to know the specifics of Leeds conversation with Evan. Leeds replies, “perhaps you should tell me why you are asking.” To which, angry major replies, “You’re not a major anymore Leeds, so you don’t get to talk to me like that.” This is intriguing.
We know that Leeds has not always been a team player, but this is the first indication that he has been demoted for it. Douglas wants to know if Leeds told Evan and Dylan where to find the terrorbird. He tells Douglas, no, but he did buy them coffee which he paid for himself. Douglas gets even more angry and says, “I don’t care about the coffee!”
Leeds then asks if that means the major is authorizing that he can claim the coffee in his expenses. I love that. Major Douglas then demands, “I can never tell if you are extremely stupid or extremely smart”. I think he is smart enough to know how to irritate someone he does not like.
Evan and Dylan have reached the concession area. It looks as if the terrorbird has been there as well. Dylan is not very happy about what she sees. The terrorbird is acclimating to people, becoming a scavenger. They discover, as they look around, that “Leggy” has chewed off the radio bracelet. He could be anywhere. That is when the dino calls out, giving them a direction to pursue.
In fact, it turns out that the terrorbird has found Major Douglas and his team. One man is down, and the dino is aiming to make Douglas the next victim. Sgt. Macready fires his pistol at the dino, wounding it in the leg.
Evan and Dylan come across the injured dino, trailing puddles of blood as it attempts to get away. They fire tranquilizers at it. The terrorbird still manages to escape, even though it has been hit with a dart. They find the creature hiding in the zamboni garage.
Dylan tells Evan they will have to lure the dino out and put another dart into him. They use cheese puffs, something that the marijuana growers at the train were feeding it several episodes ago. They successfully lure it out into the open and tranquilize it.
As Dylan examines the wound, she comes to a realization that, even if she could do something about the wound, they could not get the animal past the soldiers. She now looks for a way to euthanize the terrorbird. Cue Major Douglas who aims a gun at our two renegade dino savers. Evan states, “No one is shooting anybody”, just in time for someone to shoot Douglas. Great timing.
Oh, hey, it is Lt. Leeds. Now he is really in trouble. Dylan takes the opportunity to use Douglas’ weapon to dispatch the dinosaur. The noise attracts the other soldiers who are now on their way. Leeds gives his car keys to Evan telling him to move it for him, “I don’t want it to get towed”. There is obviously something more to this than just Leeds concern for his car.
Once Evan and Dylan are safely out of the building and Sgt. Macready and team arrive, Leeds tells them that he is taking full responsibility for what has happened. He is lead away. Evan opens the door to Leeds’ vehicle to discover an I.D tag with a note attached.
I have a prediction for episode eleven, aptly named, “Inquisition”. I think that Lt. Leeds will be dishonorably discharged but then get hired to work for Evan Cross as the administrative head of Cross Photonics. What do you think?
One final note of interest is a recent tweet by Executive Producer, Gillian Horvath. She has provided a tease about who Colonel Hall is. Episode 11 sounds like a ‘do not miss’ episode.
We look forward to seeing more of you here at our review site dedicated to our wonderful science fiction series Primeval New World!
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