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"The Final End?"
on 15 August 2014
Similar to the end of the original run of classic Dr Who this ends on a story never really intended to be the end. The team in the final scenes are clearly heading off for new adventures with a cryptic hint of what series 6 might have had in store, had they been able to go to another year at that time. As it stands though, barring a possible feature film and spinoff New World (haven't seen it), that about wraps it up for Primeval.
Series 4 & 5 are much of a piece & stand as the most consistent 2 series made of the show. They look as if they were shot back to back and there are story arcs (no that really is not intended as a pun) which run across both notably the fate of Victorian Adventuress Emily (she reappears here), Connor and Abby's relationship problems, Matt's foreknowledge of a global disaster plus Philip Burton & New Dawn.
Good range of stories and creatures (well realised as ever) even if the percentage of creature action could perhaps have been a tiny bit higher.
Standout episodes include Matt's trip to the Victorian era where Emily battles against the dinosaur that has given birth to the legend of Spring Heeled Jack (Matt fears Emily's actions may result in her being confined to a mental institution which is where history says she ends up) and a Hunt for Red October style number where the team take a submarine trip through a deep underwater anomaly.
Connor creates a man made anomaly which results in a lockdown as the team battle against swarming insects which come through.
For the last 2 episodes a giant man made anomaly threatens to bring the disaster Matt feared & anomalies open up beyond the capacity to contain them. Eagle eyed viewers will spot some cleverly used footage of earlier episodes to represent them.
The characters are all still working. Even despite the ill advised relationship issues plaguing them, Hannah Spearritt & Andrew Lee Potts are still deservedly most viewers' favourites. Even tough it's been done before they do make the problems the pair are having very real. But please if we ever get series 6, let them be a happy couple between anomalies.
Ciaran McMennamin's Matt seems to be in the ascendant and I'm pretty sure he would have become more central had series 6 been possible. This is no complaint as the character's good and well played, particularly strong on a solo mission rescuing Emily. Speaking of which it's good to have Ruth Bradley back as Emily, now very much a Victorian Ema Peel type. I wonder were the producers building this pair up against Hannah and Andrew possibly declining to return for more?
Ben Mansfield and Ruth kearney are much as in series 4 as Becker & Jess which means just as good, both feature strongly in the lockdown episode.
Ben Miller as Lester is always able to make an impression with the odd put down etc. and it's great fun to see him tell off an admiral and uncomfortably try to encourage the team as he assists Jess in her co-ordination role.
Alexander Siddig still draws the short straw as the thinly written Philip Burton. he's much as in the last series until they finally give him some depth toward the end of the final episode but at the 11th hour, it's just too late. He gets a I don't know, henchwoman? April played by Janice Byrne who although a fun character is only really there to drive a wedge between Abby & Connor. She gets a memorable faceoff with Abby though.
1 extra only and not a good one (that's why it's only 3 stars) "New Dawn: Making the New Primeval part 2" which at 15 minutes is too short to get into anything properly.
Not quite the send off the series deserved but then it was never intended to be, but still some fun adventures and well worth completing the set with.