Monday, March 05, 2007

Primeval

I suspect that like myself, many people tuned in to watch ITV's answer to the good Doctor ... a sci-fi thriller series called Primeval. The concept is OK I suppose, there are rifts in time which open up apparently randomly and let all manner of creatures from Earth's distant past come through: like lizards, dinosaurs, giant crocodile things and Dodos. On hand to try and clear up the mess that this causes is a small group lead by a bloke called Cutter who is pining for his lost wife who vanished through one of these portals years ago.

Also in the team is a lizard expert called Abby (played by the unbearably cute Hannah Spearrit - the other blonde one from S-Club 7), a dorky bloke whose name I forget who fancies Abby, and an older cute guy that Abby fancies - is he called Stephen? Add to this some love interest for Cutter in the form of a woman who works for a time-rift-investigating government department led by a mis-cast man whose collars are too starched and too big.

Oh, and all the monsters are created by the same CGI team used on Walking with Dinosaurs and sequels.

Hmmm ... no, it's not a patch on Doctor Who. The idea is sound, but in only 6 episodes, they have already, by the end of episode four, 'rescued' Cutter's wife from prehistoric times, had her guff on about nothing and then escape again (and is it just me or is she a dead ringer for Sidney Bristow's mother in Alias?) and short circuited most of the background suspense in favour of a 'monster of the week' approach. Not that there's anything wrong with 'monster of the week'. I like monsters ... but there needs to be something of a plot to hang it all on.

At the moment, the last episode - the one with the Dodos - was by far the worst of the lot. From comedy Dodos to horrific internal parasites in two scenes. From Abby in her pants (which was the highlight - that's two weeks running now we've enjoyed Abby wandering around in her pants for no good reason) to dorky-boy's dorky pals kidnapping a Dodo and getting themselves infected into the bargain. And then a mawkish ending ... it's just not cutting the mustard.

But it's inoffensive for the most part, and watchable if you disengage your brain and skim over the inconsistencies and plot holes. The worst part though has to be the CGI. It's so obvious and unreal that it leeches all the tension from the episodes. And why do all CGI monsters, from the annoying cute lizard to the giant centipede and the comedy Dodos have to be embued with human characteristics of cocking their heads cutely, chittering at you cutely, and then attacking you and continuing to attack even when you are behind a closed door and therefore out of sight, sound, and smell range. Are there *any* animals (apart from Man) which continue to hunt and attack even when the prey is out of reach? And do this to the extent of trying to batter a door down with their head! Owch ...

Oh well ... in about4 weeks the good Doctor is back and as usual I'll try and keep up with the weekly episode reviews here once more. Until then ...

2 comments:

Matthew said...

It vaguely amuses me. But I can't help but be annoyed in every episode with all the plot holes. Like in every episode they send the useless palaeontologist into these rifts or dangerous situations ahead of the heavily armed swat team, despite knowing there are vicious monsters there. Or that Abbie (a zoo keeper) was doing an autopsy on a dodo?? In some sort of abandoned, completely unsecured building?? I could go on, but I won't.
Looking forward to Doc Who though! And your blog posts of course :).

kopicbloodaxe said...

Having now caught up with my recordings (missed first epsiode, darn it!) I can agree with matthew... Amusing but full of holes. A bit like a nice swiss cheese - tasty but not really satisfying. Whilst it's quite pleasant seeing Hannah Spearritt scantily clad, it all feels a bit, I dunno, wishy-washy? Is that the phrase I'm looking for? I just don't think it has gelled yet. Needs more heart and fewer plot holes.