What Is It?
Primeval was a British sci fi TV series which aired from 2007 to 2011 (2013 if Primeval New World is included.) The show follows Professor Nick Cutter, whose wife disappeared eight years previously, and a small, ragtag team as they investigate anomalies which are allowing dinosaurs from Earth’s distant past to infiltrate the present. From season 2, this extended to dangerous creatures from the far future.
Why Do I Love It?
Primeval is a team adventure series that has a little of everything – mystery, romance, and epic battles against prehistoric creatures. There is a thread throughout the series, though most episodes can be watched independently. There was actually a lot of research into the dinosaurs and eras featured, with them behaving in the present day as science believes they would, and I found this fascinating.
I also love the character interactions. They start very much as individuals, but grow to work as a team as each series progresses. I was a little disappointed that the Nick/Claudia romance got dropped, but there was Connor and Abby to root for.
James Lester (Ben Miller.) James is a civil servant specialising in disaster contingency – basically how the government would handle anything from a major earthquake to an alien invasion – who gets the team dumped on him. He is thoroughly unimpressed with this development. He’s a prickly, sarcastic character… at least at first. He has a wonderful arc and the audience witnesses a slow but sure softening.
One of my favourite scenes is his standing up to Christine and protecting the team, which ends up in him losing his job, yet he refuses to back down. No one gets to mess with his people. I could write an entire blog post on James, because he’s one of my favourite characters ever. Instead, I’m going to drop this and you can see for yourselves.
<3 <3 <3
Sci Fi Connections
Ben went on to play the Sheriff of Nottingham in Doctor Who‘s Robot of Sherwood (doing a fair impression of Ainley’s Master into the bargain) while Andrew Lee Potts (Connor) has his own webseries, Wireless. Douglas Henshall, who played Nick Cutter, has been in Outlander. Jason Flemyng (Danny Quinn) went on to star in X-Men: First Class and Black Mirror, and will be in the Batman-adjacent Pennyworth.
Should You Watch It?
Heck, yes. The CGi does look a little ropy now, but it’s still an enjoyable ride. However, do stop watching the last episode before the team goes out to investigate another anomaly, as the series ended on a very frustrating cliffhanger.