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"Primeval" More at IMDbPro »

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4 out of 10 people found the following review useful:

Passable but unoriginal dinosaur caper

Author: David Martin from United Kingdom
15 March 2007

I thought Primeval was quite derivative of current TV science fiction. Hoping this was going to be a hard-edged, modern and gritty sci-fi in the wake of Battlestar Galactica and Millennium as trailed, my heart sank when I heard it was dinosaurs. Not again! It's a sort of X-Files meets Jurassic Park made by Impossible Pictures, who produced Prehistoric Park and Walking with Dinosaurs. Obviously, they're not straying from their tried and tested formula. Douglas Henshall is the head of team of dinosaur experts whose wife disappeared eight years earlier in mysterious circumstances, much like Mulder's missing sister. The team meets up with a Home Office trouble-shooter whose job is to cover and clean up the dinosaurs that are strangely appearing in modern-day Britain. I was concerned by the casting of Hannah Spearitt. Predictably, she was so-so. Andrew Lee-Potts from Band of Brothers played a nerdy conspiracy nut who has a database of dinosaurs in his computer. This cast of characters we have seen in a number of other programmes. I just wonder how ITV are going to sustain a series only on chasing monsters and being chased by them.

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14 out of 30 people found the following review useful:

Clichéd twaddle-shame!

Author: dgrs101 from United Kingdom
26 February 2007

It would seem that Sci-fi at the moment is treading a well worn path of cliché and laziness that does nothing to enhance the imagination that Sci-fi is supposed to!

Consider this scenario... The writers get together after someone has postulated an idea for a story, in this case "It's time-portals, with Dinosaurs!" and then pulled out their sci-fi checklists to make sure every lazy plot device and hackneyed cliché was used.

I give you..

Maverick- check Hard bloke- check Blonde haired bird- check Techno geek, font of knowledge- check Shadowy government department- check Dodgy official- check official secret/ homeland security/ it's classified- check easily manipulated/ignored public- check Fabric of space time- check Atrocious dialogue- check

I could go on, but you get the idea, although funnily enough "token Black bloke" is missing...!!!

I really wish that somebody would explore stories in a way that totally contrasts the approach used in this series. Dumbing down TV to the lowest common-denominator might keep 8 year olds interested for a while, but once the "whizzo scary CGI dinosaur" effect has worn off, kids will soon get bored and turn off because they've seen it all before.

Anybody with more than half a brain will tire of this series very quickly as it offers nothing new.

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

The Story is there

Author: spasserfiskens_lillebror from Denmark
23 February 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

But the plot is a mess, at least from a scientific perspective.

It can be described in a quite simply way: Prehistoric animals appear through worm holes, and the characters deal with them.

The characters are actually quite believable, though some of them, like Hannah Spearrit's reptile lover, seems too shallow.

Having only seen one episode, I can't tell you much else, but I can give you one big rant, and that's where the scientific part comes in.

The fact that such wormholes can't exist, according to Einstein's Law of Relativity, is probably not something I should break my head with, but I had just gotten to understand that theory, and it the whole thing up.

PS: In episode one, when the nerd guy loses his pen and his keys, as a way to explain the magnetic powers of the wormhole, or Anomaly, how come all the other metal parts around the whole, aren't drawn to it as well? It seems the guys behind the show realized that showing the magnetic powers of the Anomaly wasn't really linked to plot, after they had cast the scene with the pen

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3 out of 9 people found the following review useful:

If you don't have a good book...

Author: Guillermo Raposo from Argentina
13 February 2008

A little introduction... when I was around 10 years old I used to watch, of course at that time cable didn't exist, in channel 11 in my home country a lot of B class movies ( Corman is one of my idols since then) in a program called Super Action Saturdays. The program was devoted to movies ( 3 films or more on Saturdays ) , many horrendous, some good.

OK, so...?

Primeval transported me to that time, one where the monster were almost laughable, made of Japanese plastic and difficult to feel frighten of (eg: Godzilla ); a script lacking logic in some parts, heroes that could outperform the army's / police special forces even though they have never seen a gun, etc. etc.... but a film you could watch on a rainy Saturday in winter.

So, if on any Saturday, you don't have a good book, or a mediocre it otherwise, I would recommend a good Patricia Highsmith book.

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4 out of 11 people found the following review useful:

entertaining but annoying

Author: Madolyn Griffith (maddymoo) from Sydney NSW Australia
28 April 2007

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

We watched the first episode last night. The trailers had caught our interest and we probably expected more than we got.

The first problem we had was understanding the dialogue. The accents were pretty heavy and some of the characters mumbled. Actually, the first problem I had was with the opening sequence. At first I thought it had to be a dream, then it says "eight years later". I thought, surely, they mean "eight years earlier"?? But no, eight years later is what they mean, but it took me quite a while to figure out that the woman running in the car park was the missing wife.

Rex the flying dinosaur is cute, in fact, too cute, and too obviously CGI. My partner predicted it would grow up to be Jar Jar Binks, and I can see the resemblance. I know there needs to be cute stuff to appeal to the kids, but I wanted Rex to at least bite someone, or pee on the floor like a puppy.

The professor wanting to stay on the far side of the anomaly to look for his wife was just too predictable and pathetic. It's been eight years, what makes him think she's still alive? Much more likely she's been eaten, or fallen into a volcano. The soldier guy should have decked him again and dragged him back to the present.

We'll watch the second episode to see how this continues, but at this point I'm not that impressed. I've rated it higher than 5 for not being an American production, with an extra point for potential, but I'm not expecting great things.

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12 out of 27 people found the following review useful:

Just not up to par...

Author: dftwilight from United States
12 August 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I saw the Primeval commercials on BBC America, I was "chuffed". It looked like it had a great sci-fi concept and I was prepared to see an innovative UK television series.

The first episode aired this weekend in the states (I had my DVR system set up to record the series) and what an abysmal failure this show is. It's hard for me to even find a place to start.

The first couple of minutes start off with a bang as a woman is being chased by a prehistoric creature. But after that, the plot moves forward WAY too quickly to be believed by anyone.

The professor seems restrained and by the time he sees his first dinosaur, I still don't know anything about him except that his wife disappeared (which he seems to harp on at every moment) and that it appears he works in a lab with a bunch of fossils.

The annoying "conspiracy" theory college student is just that. Annoying. And somehow he's allowed to tag along with the "professor". If I was the professor, a restraining order would have been implemented a long time ago.

The hunky teacher's assistant seems to just be around as eye candy. Otherwise I'm at a loss as to why he's even there.

The platinum-haired female seems to be the only saving grace as we know more about her than the supposed main character.

Editing and the flow of the story is jilted. Jumps to short bursts of conversations does not make an interesting story. Just a confusing mess of dialogue scattered about lest we forget about the other characters. In some moments the jump cuts to other scenes are so distracting that I thought at first that is was probably just my DVR screwing up on me. But as the hour progressed I dismally realized that it was the show itself.

Onward to character actions. A kid runs to his home, goes to his bedroom, and sits under the window after wandering around in the forest being chased by a dinosaur. Said dinosaur follows him home (of course). Enter Jurassic Park mode and the dinosaur breaks through the window and tries to eat the kid. What does the kid do? He jumps on his bed instead of flying straight out of his bedroom via the door he just came in. All the while the dino is trying to eat the kid while he's sitting on his bed throwing things at it. I mean, come on!! The most inane part though is when the professor and his entourage of stooges attempt to cover up the incident with the kid's mom. A dinosaur punched through the window of a kid's room leaving a gaping hole, possibly some saliva, and even some skin fragments of where he was trying to push through, but nnnoooo. The professor and the gang said it wasn't a dinosaur just to appease Mom despite the kid's lamentations that it was. So what the hell exactly punched through his window that sounds like a reasonable explanation? Swamp gas? A weather balloon?? Also, I love how the mom comes up AFTER the attack. "Jimmy? What are you doing in there? You better not be messing up your room!" Sheesh.

Needless to say I scrubbed my DVR of that episode and promptly canceled the series from recording. I would say "Nice try" to the creators, but then I would be lying. I say back to the drawing board.

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6 out of 16 people found the following review useful:

Oh dear

Author: georgia-mills from United Kingdom
25 February 2008

I thought that this looked like good fun to watch, and the animation didn't look to bad from adverts. A promising idea- but with a major flaw: the dialogue is actually terrible. I've only seen one episode, but something a series needs without fail is a well flowing script, and that certainly doesn't feature. Maybe the writers improved for the next series but the writing isn't the only problem. The characters seem cliché and dull, there is no dramatic build up or tension, and it just doesn't seem scary or exciting. No one seems particularly surprised to see monsters, and a large proportion of the cast don't seem to want to act. It feels rushed and uncomplicated. A shame, because I had high hopes for this.

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1 out of 7 people found the following review useful:

Not a bad show...not a great one either though

Author: choda1977 from Seattle, WA
6 October 2008

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

I think like a lot of Americans, I don't always enjoy British TV. Some aspects are just foreign enough to me that it makes the show less enjoyable.

Having said that, this show actually is't too bad. I think for me personally, I put this show in the category of "if I have nothing to do" in my determining if I will watch it or not.

The concept is interesting and definitely original but I find that the execution of the overall show just isn't as polished as I'd like. Some of the characters are just not interesting and other then the random butt shots of the blonde girl, I have yet to see what she really "adds" to the show. I mean would a highly secret government agency protecting the public from these anomalies really let a woman like that come work for them? Yeah I think not.

The main character is definitely the highlight of the show and without him I certainly wouldn't be watching this at all. Maybe the production values aren't as high as their American counterparts but I find that a lot of these Brit shows lack in polish and substance.

Oh well...i'd give the show a 5 out of 10...not bad but not a great show by any means either.

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4 out of 13 people found the following review useful:

hope and failure

Author: Talis Briedis from Latvia
6 March 2008

Watching the first season I was impressed. Great FX and interesting concept. But alas, being a British production, it is victim of the many mistakes the British commonly make. Putting recycled celebrities in to target an audience. Commonly rehashed British dialog and concepts to keep the feel British (or maybe they just don't know how to write anything else). There are just too many elements in personalities and inter-character situations that have been done over and over and over, that I have a hard time not turning off the program. The main concept is great, but it little develops in the episodes to keep it afloat. Way too much is focused on the characters and there is nothing new, interesting or captivating there. If the writers could just concentrate on the basis of the show and not the soap opera that is supposed to carry it (because it will give it a quick and painful early death if they don't). The ending of season 1 was pretty good, but season 2 has become a bore with again, the main plot not going anywhere. Just a powerful vehicle spinning it's wheels. The British are also amazingly cheap. They will only budget 6 episodes to a season. Unless it gets astronomical viewership. Then they will milk it for all it is worth and spend money on useless material (Dr. Who and Torchwood Confidential for each episode). WHAT A WASTE!!! Save the money, get some better writers (that know how to focus on a concept), make a FULL season of episodes (13-22). So that you don't loose the few good actors that you have remaining.... I do hope this show develops to it's full potential, but alas, if you look at how the British have compared up till now, it probably wont 8(

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0 out of 6 people found the following review useful:

Fun Saturday night drama with dinosaurs

Author: Tweekums from United Kingdom
22 July 2012

*** This review may contain spoilers ***

When I first heard that ITV were going to have a new Saturday night drama featuring time travel and dinosaurs I immediately thought it was going to be a Doctor Who rip off; thankfully it managed to be quite different. That than having a time machine that enables the protagonists to travel between eras 'anomalies' appear at random locations and these act as a gateway between eras that enables dinosaurs to come to the present and cause mayhem. An agency is set up to investigate the anomalies and deal with anything that comes through; this agency is lead by Professor of Palaeozoology, Nick Cutter, Zoologist Abby Maitland and science student Connor Temple. Over the course of the five series the agency changes quite a lot with new characters coming and going and a change in the time line leading to it becoming the Anomaly Research Centre (ARC) with a large complex without the hassle of having to show it developing!

The anomalies can lead to any time but inevitably whenever they go something dangerous will come through; almost always a large creature that quickly starts eating people! The creatures aren't the only danger though; Cutter's wife was lost in an anomaly several years before and now she has an agenda that is a danger to the team in particular and the Earth in general.

I didn't think I would enjoy this at first; and the first episode had enough silly moments that I almost gave up on it; I'm glad that I didn't though as it soon improved and the characters grew on me. Douglas Henshall did a good job as Cutter; bringing some seriousness to the proceedings; it is a shame that his character didn't stay with the show till the end. Hannah Spearritt and Andrew Lee Potts were fun to watch as Abby and Connor; the former is clearly intended to appeal to the male viewers as she was frequently to be seen in her undies in early series... there was a plot driven reason for this but it is obvious that the real reason is the creators thought she'd boost ratings! Its Saturday evening timeslot ensured that there was nothing too gruesome or scary in it although it certainly has some moments that might frighten some viewers; this was helped by some great CGI dinosaurs. There is a decent amount of humour to be enjoyed too; frequently provided by Ben Miller's character James Lester; head of ARC, at first I thought the character was annoying but as time passed he came to be became one of my favourites.

I'd certainly recommend this to anybody wanting some enjoyable sci-fi action who wants something other than aliens, robots and space battles. It can probably be enjoyed by anybody ten or older although what is too scary and what is exciting will obviously vary with the child. Just don't compare it to Doctor Who; it is probably better described as 'Jurassic Park' with some time travel!

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