35 of 37 people found the following review helpful
on 15 March 2007
I didn't expect a great deal from Primeval which is perhaps one of the reasons why I now find myself pleasantly surprised by it. The casting is excellent and storylines, although sometimes far-fetched, are enjoyable. For those who are keen to compare it to Doctor Who and Torchwood, I must say I personally don't think it's similar to either of them. At the end of the day, Primeval was never going to be groundbreaking - and, to its credit, I don't think it sets out to be anything of the sort - but it is a great piece of telly fluff that'll certainly keep me tuned for series two.
32 of 34 people found the following review helpful
on 14 March 2007
I am surprised at how much I have enjoyed the first season of Primeval. I expected to see another TV series that relies solely on special effects and nothing else. Primeval is not like that. You get to know the characters very quickly, each having a distinct personality that grows as the episodes progress. The story lines are simple but not that simple that you get bored and lose interest. I would be happy to recommend this series to anyone and look forward to the adventures ahead.
4 of 4 people found the following review helpful
on 1 August 2011
I admit that bought this for it's low price.I enjoyed it first time around and thought it would be a good addition to my collection ( if it was naff it was going on ebay!)
My biggest fear was that as it was an older show the CGI would be a bit pathetic - plus the fact i was watching this time around on a big plasma.
However the show got me hooked straight away and because it was dvd i noticed stuff i missed before ( no such thing as pause t.v back then ..sigh) the characters are strong after the first episode - yes we have the cute blonde with a passion for tank tops and a Dr who wannabee type nerd.However this is the joy of saturday night t.v.
The monsters are of course what makes this show stand out and the clarity was amazing - i was tempted to try the 3D glasses.Cutter is our anti-hero the proff who finally shows a bit of backbone in the finale before he realises his besty has had an affair with his wife and his new love interest has been erased from history by him creating his own future ( it's less complicated with pictures).Ben miller also stands out as lester - the civil servant you love to hate.
The show is solid - if you liked it before then you will like it now, if your after a bit of light dvd viewing without too much thinking it's a good buy.But be warned i found the finale in particular a bit more bloody than i remembered so maybe not for the little ones.
15 of 16 people found the following review helpful
on 6 June 2007
In response to a previous review (American grit), may I please give you an American perspective on this show? True, the budget for the average episode of '24' is probably comparable to the budget for the entire series of 'Primeval'. No doubt Americans spend a lot of money creating TV "grit". However, any attempts by Americans to touch a subject like this would be far inferior to this show, and probably downright disastrous! I agree that the characters were a bit underdeveloped. Perhaps the second series will have more episodes in which to do so. I will be very happy indeed if that's the case. I've always been a fan of Brit creations like the Walking With series and 'Chased by Dinosaurs/Sea Monsters', 'Prehistoric Park', etc. To see a SciFi show based on all those familiar (yet not cliché) creatures, instead of the usual Dinosaurs or giant snakes we get all the time here was very refreshing. As I said, I don't think any TV producers here could tackle this type of show as impressively as 'Primeval' has done. I mean, if American actors threw around words like Permian or Carboniferous, the surge of infrared energy from remote controls simultaneously switching channels would be detectable from deep orbit! 'Primeval' managed to make those words seem gripping!
4 stars instead of 5 was for one simple reason: the series needed to be longer. The thread (and characters) just demanded more time to fully develop. I thought the action was very well done, despite the obvious CGI effects. In my opinion, it did not significantly detract from the enjoyment. The stories were well-paced and interesting. I thought Douglas Henshall was excellent! I'd like to see him enjoy himself a bit more in the next series. I really hope the entire cast returns. It was strange seeing Ben Miller in that type of role, having seen him first in 'Worst Week of My Life'. Toward the end though, his humorousness (if that's a word) couldn't be contained. I'd love to see this series come to the SciFi Channel in the US, but I doubt it. Geeks like me are forced to find good stuff like this on the Net. I own a DVD Player that converts PAL to NTSC, but I'm forced to buy my DVDs from Amazon.co.uk and pay a hefty conversion since the dollar is in the crapper! Anyway, awesome show! Don't take it for granted. I wish shows like this would run here in the States. I'm glad this one was renewed. I LOVED 'Ultraviolet' with Jack Davenport, and that show just vaporized after one (very awesome) series. Fox in the US tried to reprise it and balls it up big time!
37 of 40 people found the following review helpful
on 6 March 2007
I have just preordered Primeval and can't wait for it to arrive. Of the 4 episodes that I have seen so far it has been really great TV. A fab cast (with Dougie Henshall - one for the ladies, and Hannah from S Club for the kids), excellent special effects and a really good story. It's the perfect thing to watch with all the family, the kids love it! I can't believe it is only 6 episodes long - what a shame. Good to see that the DVD includes a behind the scenes feature which I look forward to seeing.
I think Primeval is great. If you or your kids liked Prehistoric Park you'll love this, it's just as good but with a better story.
Bring on series 2!
3 of 3 people found the following review helpful
Going into this show I really wasn't expecting much in the way of writing, acting... or well anything. But to my surprise Primeval is an enjoyable, witty, for the most part, solid show. Don't get me wrong it could use improvement in many areas but it's generally well written, well acted and a whole lot of fun. There are a lot of copious genre tv references which I quite enjoyed since I knew what they were talking about, Connor and his buddies did seem to spout these off at length. As a premise Primeval is an ensemble piece focusing upon the lives of five characters who are brought together by their knowledge and experience in the field of palaeontology and reptilian creatures. I found most of the characters rather well drawn for the considerably short run of six episodes (yet they do need some considerably more depth); the dorky Connor, the spunky Abby surprisingly well played by Hannah Spearritt and the leading man Nick Cutter. All of whom shine particularly in their respective roles. The weakest character is probably Stephen who was not given much to say or do, rather he just stands around looking silently pretty. The writers need to do something with him or replace the character because he just pales in characterization in comparison to the others who seem to live and breathe their roles.
The special effects are mostly solid and real looking yet there are the few shots where it becomes all too obvious it's CGI. The animated dinosaur pet (Rex) Abby ends up keeping in the first episode is particularly adorable and well animated. The types of creatures the team encounter range from the extinct Dodos, to dinosaurs to bat-like creatures from the future. There is some range here but there is something limiting about the premise all the same... we'll have to see whether future episodes can do better in this aspect or whether they will feel the strain. Despite the limiting premise and at times dodgey CGI, Primeval is very funny which is one of the great strengths of the show. While it takes itself seriously to a degree there is a fair amount of meta jokes and humorous exchanges between the characters to relieve tension. Even though Primeval is about dinosaurs it's quite mature, especially in regard to its humor -- one can tell that the writers love and understand what people want from a sci-fi fantasy style television show. Among other things there is of course the obligatory love triangle... or rather there's two in this show! None of which get resolved so its a case of 'it's only just beginning'. So while Primeval suffers from lack of time in which to fully establish the characters too deeply it has strength in other areas and progressively gets better as the series goes on. By the last three episode it would seem both the writers and the actors are more comfortable and turn out some excellent scripts and performances. There is an arc running through each episode concerning Cutters missing wife who appears to not be so dead after all, in fact she's been busy learning about the anomalies -- the continuity if which is pretty well done. The level of episode to episode continuity in a show can make or break it quality-wise, and Primeval is pretty good at referring to past and generally remembering what the characters were doing in the prior episode, which would in turn effect their actions in the next. All in all Primeval is well done, but could use improvement, for what it is it's darn enjoyable.
13 of 14 people found the following review helpful
on 2 March 2007
I was a little sceptical about this show at first. But after watching the first episode on ITV about three weeks ago, the scepticism had all but melted away. This is quite an interesting, intelligent and entertaining show. The fourth epsiode airs in the UK tomorrow (Saturday 3rd March 2007). I particularly liked last Saturday's episode. It featured aquatic dinosaurs, one of which ate a poor guy in a swimming pool after diving from a high diving board. My only real complaint, is with special effects. They're not terrible or embarrasing. But in some scenes, it's patently obvious that the creature, or whatever they're using SFX on, is a computer generated image. Being something of a perfectionist, I find it spoils the show somewhat. Not much, but enough to give this just four stars. If the CGI's were improved slightly, it would deserve five stars. Finally, I really hope there is a second, third, fourth etc, series. This is a very good show.
Infinitely better than Come Dancing.
11 of 12 people found the following review helpful
on 10 March 2007
Five episodes in (at the time of writing) and I have to say, that this is highly entertaining and charming stuff which doesn't take itself too seriously, plus it does exactly what it says on the tin, and each week it's of a consistently high standard with great location work. Admittedly, the CGI effects may not be that convincing, but who cares? Primeval maybe lightweight, but it's effortlessly enjoyable to watch, plus there is totty for both sexes in this, and it's great solid entertainment for kids. This show maybe about prehistoric creatures, but there's nothing prehistoric about this fun and funky show.
9 of 10 people found the following review helpful
I am a big sci fi fan and also have to confess to a complete weakness for James Murray, so the combination of the two was enough to make me switch on for the first episode and keep me hooked throughout and I can't wait for the next series. I thoroughly enjoyed this first series and pre-ordered it from Amazon. Since the dvd arrived, I've watched it all over again, spotting clues I'd missed out on the first time.
I don't think it's very helpful to say this is ITV's answer to Dr Who. Dr Who is a very long running series with a huge fan base, a lot of familiarity and has almost become a cultural icon in English society. Primeval is entirely new, although it deals with the time-honoured question of whether the past can be re-visited and what might happen if you interfere with it.
I agree with the reviewer in the Radio Times, the scariest thing to come out of the anomalies was Helen Cutter!
I'm not a tekkie so I was perfectly happy with the quality of the special effects and thought the monsters were particularly well imagined and very scary.
I agree with another reviewer that the writers cleverly kept the storylines twisting off in unexpected directions and the cliff-hanger at the end was excellent. I can usually spot plots at 40 paces, but this time they kept surprising me - I love that!
Roll on series 2!
If you are a sci-fi fan, this is definitely one to watch.
2 of 2 people found the following review helpful
I didn't expect much when I stuck the first disc in my DVD, but was pleasantly surprised by what I saw. The premise is interesting, if far from original. The script is pretty good, although some things are over-explained jus to make sure the Saturday night prime time audience understands what's going on. The main cast is very good, their acting is superb throughout, but I couldn't heklp feeling that some of the extras and bit-players could have been better. Special effects are good - for a British TV show, you have to understand. All in all, a fun sci-fi/action romp that your grandmother could understand!
One thing to point out though, you will not appreciate how good the series is unless you watch the last episode. I was thinking it was pretty average up until then - the twist ending (not really a twist, more just a clever "ah" moment) really went down well with me. Apparently, there's a second series on the offing. I for one am looking forward to it!