The ITV chequebook was waved very firmly in the direction of Primeval
, a big-budget prime-time Saturday rival to the success of the BBCs Doctor Who
. But unlike some efforts to buy big ratings, theres actually a lot of entertainment throughout the episodes here that make up the complete first series.
The crux of the programme surrounds a series of strange creatures from both the future and the past who appear to be roaming around in the present day. So whats going on? And what can be done about the dinosaur-esque creatures, big insects and assorted parasitic lifeforms that are suddenly roaming the Earth? Thats where Nick Cutter and his team come in, and the fun really begins.
A surprisingly human action-drama, Primeval clearly draws influence from the BBCs megahit, and while it never really threatens to rival it, it is nonetheless a good show in its own right. The special effects are suitably smart, but theres also, more importantly, a half-decent script at the heart of things, and that really does help lift the show.
Already commissioned for a second series, these maiden adventures for the Primeval team offer some rollicking entertainment and plenty of rewatch value. And with that in mind, this complete first season is a smart buy. --Jon Foster
When evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter discovers prehistoric creatures alive and well in the present day the natural world is turned on its head and humanity faces a threat to its very existence. Unexplained anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the very earliest stages of Earth's development to roam the modern world. Cutter and his team struggle to keep the looming disaster secret while dealing with savage dinosaurs and other deadly foes. Cutter also has to deal with a deeply personal dilemma - he discovers that his wife Helen, missing believed dead for eight years, has actually been travelling in the past; now she is back with possible answers to the riddle of the anomalies, but is it an answer she is willing to share? Primeval combines the dazzling special effects of Walking With Dinosaurs with a haunting love story, and asks a terrifying question - has mankind come to the end of the evolutionary road?