Primeval webisodes online
|NEWS - TV NEWS|
Cancellation was just an anomaly for this show…
ITV have put five short webisodes for Primeval online, ahead of Season 4's New Year’s Day premiere. The popular time-travelling dinosaur show succumbed to the all-too-frequent scourge of cancellation after three UK seasons due to financial concerns, but then was recommissioned for Seasons 4 and 5 as an international co-production after fan outcry. (However, in the US, Seasons 1 and 2 were combined to give one 13-episode ‘season’, so this will probably be treated as the third ‘season’.)
Starting off with interviews with two of the remaining (i.e. not dead, resigned or missing) characters (Ben Miller's James Lester and Ben Mansfield's Captain Becker) is a cool way of recapping the events so far. The first webisode goes on to show recruitment interviews with two new members of the team, Matt Anderson (Ciarán McMenamin) and Jess Parker (Ruth Kearney). The businessman and scientist Philip Burton (Star Trek: DS9's Alexander Siddig) is also introduced later on.
Later webisodes let us get to know the characters a bit more, as well as setting up the mysterious secret agendas of certain characters, which will presumably feed into a main storyline of the season proper. There's also some intrigue as to which of the MIA characters are going to return.
The writers also indulge in a spot of meta-textuality: “So you feel the ARC should be allowed to continue its work?”; “It was a colossal mistake to suspend us in the first place. A decision I believe the minister has already had good cause to regret…” This is followed by some humour, as we’re told of the in-universe consequences of the ARC, whose job it is to deal with creatures that come through anomalies, having been shut down: a stegosaurus in the Members’ Bar at the House of Commons…
Overall, this is a fun extension of the Primeval universe, though at this stage it’s difficult to judge if it strikes the right balance between short supplemental material and important plot developments.
Primeval returns Saturday 1 January: at 7:30 pm on ITV1 in the UK (with the second episode on at 7:00 pm on Sunday), and at 8/9c on BBC America in the US.
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