Primeval (2007 series)

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Primeval (2007-2011), Primeval: New World (2012)

Summary

When strange anomalies start to appear all over England, Professor Cutter and his team must track down and capture all sorts of dangerous creatures from Earth's distant past, near future, and alternate time lines.

Details

  • Release Date: 2007-2012
  • Country/Language: UK, English (Spinoff Canada/UK, English)
  • Genres/Technical: Science Fiction, Fantasy, Adventure, Horror
  • Setting: Modern UK (spin-off is set in Canada)
  • Runtime: (~1 hour TV slot)
  • Starring: Andrew Lee Potts, Hannah Spearritt, Ben Miller;
  • Creator: Tim Haines, Adrian Hodges
  • Producer/Production Co: ITV Productions, Impossible Pictures, M6 Films
  • View Trailer: (link)
  • TVTropes: (link)
  • IMDB Page: (link), (spinoff)

Ratings

MPAA Ratings

  • Rated: TV-14 (Violence, mild Profanity and Adult Content)

Tentacle Ratings

A rough measure of how "Lovecraftian" the work is:

  • S____ (One Tentacle: Debateably Lovecraftian; has almost no direct connection to Lovecraft's work)

This series has no direct connection to Lovecraft's work, though the premise of portals into Earth's distant past, future, and alternate time lines suggest some possibilities for Lovecraftian cosmicism at times, and a few of the more exotic monsters come pretty close to Lovecraftian horrors from beyond in form and function (which in many cases revels in body horror). The mostly subtle and somewhat bleak hints that characters who cross through the Anomalies do not actually return to the same world they left but are instead lost forever in time and space are a nice touch.

Note: This rating is not intended as a measure of quality, merely of how closely related to Lovecraftian "Weird" fiction the work is.

Reviews

Review Links:

  • (review needed)


Synopses of Suggested Episodes (SPOILERS)

Strange, unexplained "anomalies" have ripped multiple holes in the fabric of time and space, allowing dangerous (and dangerously hungry) creatures from the distant past to lumber onto the streets of modern Britain. A crack team of specialists were appointed by the government to investigate and control these "creature incursions," creating the Anomaly Research Center (ARC), which is now jointly owned by the government and by entrepreneurial scientist Philip Burton. The ruthless, manipulative Burton heads ARC's control center, often butting heads with government official James Lester, while zoologist Matt Anderson leads a capable crew in the field. They are under siege, however - anomalies are becoming more numerous, unpredictable and dangerous than ever before, and the end of the world seems to be just around the corner.

  • Suggested episodes of Primeval:
    • "S1 Episode 2" - After a London Underground cleaner is fatally bitten by some type of giant insect, James Lester brings the team together to investigate. They find another anomaly that leads to the late Carboniferous, and a colony of Giant Spiders that have come through. Using powerful lights to send the spiders back, the team are then attacked by the true killer, an Arthropleura (giant centipede), which bites and poisons Stephen Hart. The race is now on to extract a sample of venom from the giant arthropod to synthesise an antivenom before Stephen dies.
    • "S1 Episode 4" - Villain Helen Cutter escapes from custody at the Home Office by taking the team to an anomaly that unleashes a flock of dodos. These dodos are carrying deadly parasites capable of infecting humans. Unknown to the team, Connor Temple's friends, Tom and Duncan, capture one of the dodos, but when Tom is infected by the parasite and goes on the rampage, Cutter and the team must find him before they have a pandemic on their hands.
    • "S1 Episode 6" - Helen Cutter returns and informs the team that she has seen a highly evolved predator from the future enter the present day. After dispatching the adult creature, Cutter and Helen decide to take its young back through the anomaly in the Forest of Dean, hoping to locate the anomaly to the future, a decision that proves to be a mistake when the creatures break free. Upon his return to the present Cutter is shocked to discover that Claudia Brown has disappeared and apparently never existed in this world.
    • "S2 Episode 2" - Cutter and his team find themselves pursuing giant, carnivorous worms that start to appear through an eerie fog in a local office block after emerging through another anomaly. As the team deals with the problem, Cutter becomes preoccupied with the team's new PR executive, Jenny Lewis, whom he is convinced is actually Claudia Brown.
    • "S2 Episode 4" - After a teenager mysteriously disappears, the team investigate, and narrowly save Jenny from death at the jaws of a highly unusual shark lurking in the River Thames. Cutter is convinced that the shark's unique morphology is the result of further evolution – that it's a species from the future. They then split up to find the creature's lair but trouble brews when Abby Maitland is dragged through an anomaly by another carnivorous species from the future: the Mer.
    • "S2 Episode 5" - A young girl searching for her dog ends up stuck on the other side of an anomaly, leading Cutter and Stephen to mount a rescue mission into the sandy deserts of the Silurian. But when the anomaly closes, the trio end up trapped with a horde of giant Silurian Scorpions which track them from hearing vibrations in the sand. As the three of them fight for survival, Cutter realises they are not alone: someone is actively trying to sabotage their work.
    • "S2 Episode 7" - Cutter and the team are kidnapped and held in a military bunker by Oliver Leek, who has plans to be the most powerful man in the world using an army of fearsome predators he has captured from past anomalies, while his partner, Helen, furthers her own nefarious schemes. As the team fight for their survival, Stephen deals with a Silurian Scorpion which Leek has unleashed onto a busy beach. Back at the bunker, the team have found a way to stop Leek, but at the cost of Stephen's life.
    • "S3 Episode 1" - An exhibition of ancient Egyptian relics comes to the British Museum and an anomaly opens in a mysterious monument called the "Sun Cage". A Pristichampsus, believed in Ancient Egypt to be the demon Ammut, emerges and proceeds to wreak havoc in London. Cutter, Abby, Jenny and new security chief, Captain Becker, pursue it through the city while Connor and new recruit, Egyptologist Sarah Page try to stop more creatures coming through, and make some interesting discoveries about anomalies in the process. Meanwhile, Lester encounters a new adversary: the devious and ambitious Christine Johnson, who is after a strange artifact that Helen has stolen.
    • "S3 Episode 2" - Three teenage boys break into a house and a "Gremlin" (a future beast able to camouflage itself in any environment) attacks them. Only one boy manages to escape alive. Fourteen years later, in the present-day, Cutter predicts an anomaly will appear in the same house the boys were killed. He sends Jenny, Abby and Connor to investigate. However, their efforts are thwarted by the creature and the attentions of detective Danny Quinn, who is investigating his brother's disappearance 14 years before. Meanwhile, Cutter, Becker and Sarah are caught off-guard when Helen's forces attempt to infiltrate the ARC.
    • "S3 Episode 5" - Danny Quinn breaks into the ARC and is drafted in to help the team when a fast-growing flesh-eating fungus from the future is transferred to the present and infects a businessman, Sir Richard Bentley. Danny arrives with flamethrowers to try and burn Bentley as he is already infected not realising fire doesn't work. The team manage to bring the creature back to the ARC to destroy it, where Jenny is trapped in the freezing cold main operations area with it and forced to fight for her life. After her recent discovery of Cutter's picture of Claudia Brown and her near-death experience, Jenny decides that she's had enough: she resigns from her job at the ARC, leaving Danny in charge of the team.
    • "S3 Episode 7" - A Dracorex comes through an anomaly, trying to escape from a 14th-century knight who believes he is hunting a dragon. The team are forced to find and save the life of the Dracorex, and then, aided with a bit of medieval research by Sarah, return the confused knight, who thinks he is a new Saint George, to his own world before he kills anyone, out of belief they are demons and he is in hell.
    • "S3 Episode 8" - An anomaly opens at a race car test track and a Megopteran, an insect from the future, comes through. It is carnivorous and lethal, and the team must draw on all their resources to get it back to its home. However, things get complicated when Jack decides to find out what his sister Abby really does for a living, and inadvertently drives through an anomaly into the future: a post-apocalyptic world overrun by Future Predators. Now the team must mount a desperate rescue mission after Jack, and then find a way to escape with their lives.
    • "S3 Episode 10" - Sarah and Becker investigate an anomaly that re-opens at Johnson's HQ and end up fighting for their lives against Megopterans, while Danny, Abby and Connor hunt for Helen in the future. The trio discover Helen plans to prevent the evolution of mankind in order to save the world, resulting in a chase across Cretaceous North America and into Pliocene Africa. Danny confronts Helen at the location of the human ancestor, Australopithecus, only to find she has poisoned a small group already. Helen delights in her apparent victory, but a Raptor that followed Danny through the anomaly charges at Helen and knocks her off a cliff, killing them both. Having ensured the other hominids have survived, Danny then makes his way back to the anomaly, but it vanishes just before he reaches it.
    • "S4 Episode 3" - Three 19th-century humans come through an anomaly in a theatre, and are followed by deadly "Tree Creepers", arboreal raptor-like dinosaurs. One of the time travellers, Ethan Dobrowski, is a serial killer and another, Emily Merchant, appeals to Matt Anderson to help catch him. After the team deals with the "Tree Creepers", Matt tells Emily that he is going to help her to track down Ethan.
    • "S5 Episode 1" - After a road worker falls into a giant opening and is killed by a Giant Burrowing Insect, presumed from the future, the ARC team are called in to investigate. Meanwhile, Philip introduces Connor to Prospero's "New Dawn" which will extract energy from the anomalies and stop the world's energy crisis. Philip also assigns Connor an assistant, April Leonard, to keep an eye on him. Connor make a late appearance and joins the team in tracking down the Giant Burrowing Insect after Abby tells him that people are starting to notice his absence in the field, and is himself captured, and dragged to its nest in a shopping centre under construction, later to be rescued by Matt by means of explosives. Matt reveals his origin in the future and his mission to prevent the ARC causing a disaster to Abby and asks for her help.
    • "S5 Episode 3" - An anomaly alert brings the team to the Gaiety Theatre where they encounter a raptor. The team send the creature through an anomaly which transpires to lead to Victorian London. Matt follows the raptor through to prevent it killing anyone. Matt tracks down the raptor but finds Emily who is doing the same. The pair then find themselves accused of being the mysterious Spring-heeled Jack, killing several people actually killed by the raptor. Matt and Emily eventually stun the raptor and send it back. Matt reveals to Emily that her husband plans to have her confined in a madhouse and the pair head back to the present, being followed through the anomaly by her husband, Henry, who holds Matt at gunpoint. The raptor awakes and kills Henry. Back at the ARC, Abby breaks into Connor's laboratory and copies the information on his computer, however Connor catches her. The episode concludes with Connor and April creating the first man-made anomaly.
    • "S5 Episode 4" - Connor uses his device to open an anomaly within the ARC. The team come to close it, but are ordered out of the laboratory by Philip who heads to "New Dawn" to collect data from the device. Connor tells Abby the purpose of the anomaly. Back at the ARC, a swarm of Future Beetles and their enormous queen come through the anomaly and kill a guard before spreading throughout the building after chewing through reinforced concrete. The ARC goes into lockdown trapping Matt, Connor, Abby, Becker, Emily and Jess inside and they are forced to fight for survival. Jess is bitten by one of the beetles and has a reaction to the bite, slipping into unconsciousness while the team's initial plan to poison the creatures fails. Connor says he can trigger a gamma ray burst from his anomaly but Matt has already disabled the computer control. Matt is forced to reveal that he and Abby have a copy of the data on Connor's computer and they then use it to sterilise the ARC while they take cover in a panic room. Becker gets Jess the adrenaline she needs while Connor discovers that Philip had tried to incinerate the ARC with the team inside, and that he had been in communication with Helen Cutter.
    • "S5 Episode 6" - After failing to stop Philip and having been pulled through the "New Dawn" anomaly, Connor finds himself in a barren wasteland where Future Predators are the only obvious life. At "New Dawn", Matt and Abby go through the anomaly to rescue Connor. In the future, Matt, Connor and Abby take shelter in an underground bunker as a vicious storm rages on the surface while back at the ARC, Connor's original anomaly reopens. The anomaly at "New Dawn" starts to cause atmospheric changes to the planet and as chaos breaks loose, Philip realises Helen Cutter has been using him to achieve her goal of destroying humanity. Matt, Connor and Abby are able to fight off Future Predators and make it back to the present. With their help Philip is able to gain control of "New Dawn" once more and Philip decides to sacrifice himself to destroy the installation with the hope that the anomaly will close. "New Dawn" is destroyed but the giant anomaly continues to grow. Back at the ARC several Future Predators come through Connor's anomaly, leaving Lester and Jess to hunt the beasts alone until the team returns. At the ARC the team join forces to defeat the Future Predators and Connor comes up with a plan to merge his miniature anomaly with the giant one and hopefully close them both. Using a containment device, the team are able to take the miniature anomaly to the "New Dawn" site where Matt drives it into the giant anomaly causing them to implode. Matt survives and the team are reunited and return to duties at the ARC. With everything seemingly back to normal and Connor and Abby going to get married, a new anomaly is detected and as the team head out to the field, Matt comes face to face with a battered version of himself who says: "You have to go back". Matt realizes this could be a warning, from a different future. (series finale)
  • Suggested episodes of "Primeval: New World":
    • "Sisiutl" - Lieutenant Leeds approaches Evan to offer his cooperation on the anomalies, but is rebuffed. Toby creates an anomaly detection system by hacking the local cell phone network, and immediately detects an anomaly near an oil tanker facility, where two researchers have been killed. Facing a psychological assessment, Dylan is approached by a cryptozoologist who shows her video of what he thinks is the inspiration for Sisiutl; a sea serpent from First Nations mythology. They encounter Evan and Mac at the anomaly, and discover that the creature is a Titanoboa. With the help of Detective Harlow, the Titanoboa is returned to its own time. Having missed her assessment, Dylan is offered a place on Evan's team.
    • "Fear of Flying" - An anomaly opens at an airfield, and a descending cargo plane passes through it into the past. Evan and Dylan venture into the anomaly in an attempt to save the occupants, while Mac stands guard outside in case any creatures pass through it. Though the pilots survived the crash the electronics did not, and while attempting to make repairs the pilot is killed by a swarm of beetles, whose hive the plane landed in. As Evan, Dylan, and the co-pilot attempt to finish the repairs from inside the plane, Mac and Sam, his girlfriend, battle with the hive's queen, who has flown through the anomaly into the present.
    • "Sound of Thunder" - Connor Temple enters an anomaly in London to rescue a colleague chased by an Albertosaurus, and arrives in the Spaghetti Junction. Spotting Dylan's visual aid, Connor enters the anomaly to the time period in which Evan is trapped, and meets Dylan, who has returned from delivering the scorpion tail that is used to cure Toby. Evan realizes the Albertosaurus is the one that killed his wife, and the trio enter Cross Photonics in the past to find the ARC team member. When they return, Colonel Hall has his men tranquilize the dinosaur, seemingly in violation of the original timeline, and Evan knows he has until the anomaly closes to repair it. Connor returns to his time, and the Albertosaurus escapes, rampages, and kills Hall. As Evan, Dylan, and Mac push the Albertosaurus back to Cross Photonics in the past, they realize that with the original Mac erased from the timeline, there is no-one to rescue Evan in the past; Mac enters the anomaly, albeit with a different uniform, and rescues Evan once more in the past. When the Albertosaurus re-emerges from Cross Photonics into the Junction, Evan shoots the dinosaur dead, its rampage in the past complete, but the anomalies begin to disappear one-by-one. As Dylan and Evan realize something must have changed, they dash towards the anomaly to their present.


Notes

Comments, Trivia, Dedication

  • The series was sometimes promoted as "Torchwood or Doctor Who with Dinosaurs" and was stereotyped as a "dinosaur-of-the-week" show; very few actual dinosaurs actually appeared in this series (many of the monsters-of-the-week actually came from alternate timelines and the future, and many of the prehistoric monsters came from ages predating dinosaurs, or after dinosaurs went extinct)....


Associated Mythos Elements

Precambrian Worm Monster from Primeval (2007 series)....
  • TO DO
  • organization: ARC (organization), the Anomaly Research Centre
  • race: (monsters)
    • "Giant Solifugae" (a carboniferous-era creature resembling a large spider)
    • Arthropleura (huge centipedes)
    • "Future Worm" (a large maggot-like creature from the future which shoots a foul-smelling slime or mild venom at victims)
    • Cestoid Dodo Parasite (a foot-long deadly worm-like parasite found infecting a large, extinct bird species, and transmitted to humans; the parasites transmit eggs through bites and saliva, and can affect their host's brains to cause violent, feral biting behavior and light sensitivity; the results provide a variation on vampires and the "zombie" movie)
    • "Future Predator" (a blind, grotesque, vaguely humanoid mammal believed to have evolved from ancestors of bats; the creature is a fast and aggressive hunter, and finds its prey with echolocation)
    • "Precambrian Worm" (large, carnivorous, venom-spitting worms, believed to come from a pre-oxygenated Precambrian era, which live and hide inside a dense fog that humans cannot breathe; similarly, oxygen poisons the worms; exposed to heat, the worm explodes, showering the surrounding area and bystanders with small parasites, believed to be its young, which then burrow under skin)
    • "Future Shark" (theorized to evolve from sharks, hunts using a spiked, prehensile, harpoon-like tongue)
    • Mer (theorized to be the fish-like descendants of humans in a future or alternate timeline; may show crude signs of intelligence; compare to Deep Ones)
    • Silurian scorpion (giant, primitive scorpions, ambush predators which exhibit burrowing behavior)
    • Silurian Millipede (large millipedes; apparent a food source for Silurian Scorpions)
    • "Devonian Slime Shooter" (a vaguely-defined organism that sprays a foul-smelling slime; appears off-screen as described by Helen Cutter)
    • Pristichampsus (a prehistoric crocodile-like which escaped into historic Egypt, where it may have influenced Egyptian mythology)
    • "Camouflage Beast" (a gremlin-like mammal with octopus- or chameleon-like camouflaging abilities)
    • "Future Fungus" (a parasitic fungus that covers and slowly replaces its host's body, spreads by touch and inhalation of spores, and reproduces explosively when exposed to heat)
    • Dracorex (a dragon-like prehistoric creature which escaped into classical and Dark Ages Europe, where it may have influenced European mythology)
    • Megopteran (large, aggressively carnivorous wasps from a future/alternate timeline, reproduce by laying eggs in live hosts)
    • Australopithecus (Voormi)
    • "Tree Creeper" (ape-like tree-climbing "dinosaurs"; exhibit a great but roughly animal-like curiosity about humans; compare loosely to Serpent People)
    • Gigantic Burrowing Beetles (flesh-eating car-sized beetles from the future)
    • "Future Beetle" (a fist-sized beetle from the future that moves in vast swarms led by a "queen"; the insects are omnivorous and capable of chewing through concrete)
    • Titanoboa (a gigantic snake which escaped into precolonial North America, where it influenced First Nations mythology)
    • "Jurassic beetle" (a generally small social insect that uses live hosts as incubators for its eggs, which an 8' "queen" injects down a victim's throat; possible related to the Burrowing Beetles and Future Beetles)
    • Brontoscorpio (giant, primitive scorpions which can scale walls, inject victims with paralytic venom, and then suck out their blood and soft organs at leisure)
    • "Future Bird" (a large bird-like creature theorized to evolve from predatory birds, which escaped into several eras including the past in South America, where it might have influenced human mythology; appears in a novelization)
    • Meganeura (large carnivorous dragonflies)
    • Ammonite (a prehistoric, spiral-shelled, aquatic mollusc related to the modern squid, octopus, and cuttlefish)


Keeper Notes

  • The investigators are members of a secret semi-private organization which tracks "anomalies", portals in time and space, and "locks" them shut so that bizarre monsters from other places and times cannot slip through the portals into our world to cause havoc.