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Thoughts on Primeval 3.01
In some ways a reprise of last year's opener, with much running around interesting locations shooting at, and missing, a big-bad-monster. Lots and lots of plot holes (in fact, this was a plot-what-plot episode as it seemed to consist entirely of chase-the-monster-with-added-filmic-quotes) most of which have already been pointed out. Everything was too bloody convenient - who found the gate artifact? If those hieroglyphs had been translated years ago, how come the traveling anomaly hadn't appeared and been noticed before, not to mention various Pristichampsus (Pristichampii???) but one wonders why only that beastie if this anomaly was a regular one. It was awfully lively for a ectothermic reptile on what was plainly a cold London day. And why didn't it settle down to eat Marion rather than go scooting off around London? And what time of day was this set anyway? The Museum had closed (at 6pm, if I recall correctly), quite a lot had happened but not a whole night's worth, and Cutter and his mates were running round with flashlights, but once out of the building it was broad daylight and people were eating out on the terrace of the Royal Festival Hall, but the Hall itself was not in use except for practice...

As for the bowing down - give me strength! (Would the creature actually be one of the ones that the Egyptians had worshiped, given the way the anomalies themselves drift in time? How could she be sure the Egyptians bowed at all and didn't just throw meat to the crocs, which is what I would have done in their sandals? Did Pristichampsus have the brain to recognise this? What wounded animal would react in this way? The only word for this is codswallop!)

Apart from the plotting (and some of the plotting in this series has been good!) it was okay, I guess. The new characters are fine so far, though the reasoning behind the recruitment of Sarah is ridiculous, but then the whole reasoning behind the look-for-the-legend thing suggests that Cutter is losing his tiny mind. The first thing that occurred to me is that, seeing as the Egyptians mummified everything, why haven't we found a mummified Pristichampsus? Who originates legends, anyway? Doesn't all this deny the power of human imagination - it does not need a grain of truth!

Some good one liners, though. I like the new hairstyles, and am glad that Jenny is being more practical in her dress (though did you notice the blouse?) but Abby's style sense is non-existent. I was happy to see her showing off her expertise, and I loved the humour of the episode.

I enjoyed it, but I don't like the changes much - it's going the same Science Fantasy way as nuWho. One of the things I loved about Series 1 was that it was real SF but SF plotting is hard. They're taking the soft option. Bugger.

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Having been wrong before about apparent rubbish in earlier series that finally turns out to have a sound plot base I shall see how the Egyptian stuff is used before criticising. I also was offended by the bowing down bit, but the failure to secure the perimeter at the start hurt more. How long have they been doing this now?

Cutter, it seems to me, has cracked up. I thought that was why they gave him the new hairstyle, it has the unkempt look of the slightly insane and that was why they needed the 'love Stephen' flashbacks.

Abby is one of those girls who looks splendid in anything (and even better in nothing) but I suspect the producers are trying to make her look less sexy.

However, it was worth watching for the Lester one liners alone. The character is set up for that and the scriptwriters make better use of him than Who ever did with the Brigadier.

Hmmm. Not sure about making Abby less sexy, when we had the whole "running about in her undies" thing at the beginning, much to the male members of this household's delight. Her face looks different, almost as if she had put weight on there. *shrugs* maybe it's the mascara ... I actually found it quite distracting.

A case of "what you know about" I suspect.

The inefficiency of the military on this series is a given and has been done to death. I understand that they had the estimable Derren Naish, he of the wonderful tetrapod biology blog


on Science Blogs on the end of a telephone for advise about first season creature (he was one of the advisors on Walking with Dinosaurs and, indeed, wrote the book Walking with Dinosaurs - the Evidence) but they had no-one to advise them re the military or the weaponry and, boy, does it show.

I remember spending many good times with one of my old bosses, who had been in Security in the RAF for twenty years or so, discussing the idiocy of various thriller series. He had time for only two: The Sandbaggers which he claimed was spot-on, and The Professionals because they got the weapons and tactics right. (The latter had an ex-SAS advisor.)

Edited at 2009-04-01 07:01 am (UTC)

LOL, plot-holes a plenty, but I must admit I thoroughly enjoyed it. The show's clearly as bonkers as ever, but I don't expect a great deal from tele, so I guess I was pleasantly surprised.

I actually rather liked the bowing bit, and Mr FB is now concinced that teh critter will appear in a later episode and do a Daniel in teh Lion's Den sketch and rescue them. If it doesn't happen, I may have to use the plot bunny anyway, as I am a sucker for wounded critters, to the extent that I've just had to fix lsellersfic's drabble!! It looked so sweet when it was limping through the BM, Mr FB and I were yelling "Save the critter!"

And the "I don't bow" line from Becker was a slasher's dream. I'll be importing him into the slave-verse my Evil Twin and I are writing and promptly giving the lie to that line. The bow will look good in a collar with his hair all mussed up.

Overall, it was fun. Oh, and being a shallow Hound, I also liked Christine's Captain. He's slashable too! Watching her making in appropriate remarks to Lester was rather amusing.

>seeing as the Egyptians mummified everything, why haven't we found a mummified Pristichampsus?
oh we probably have.

but between the fact that there have been 4,000+ years for the mummies to be hollowed-out / stolen / destroyed / eaten*, then its not surprising there isn't a mummified Pristichampsus on display somewhere.

* = in Europe and the US during the 19th century. at "unwrapping ceremonies".

and just because the glyphs were translated, doesn't mean it would activate. (Cutter tasked Page with finding out the where pattern of anomalies - just as useful would be the when pattern)

I have a theory that the glyphs weren't completely translated because Ammut ate most of the translators...

No we haven't [grin].

I don't think activation had anything to do with the glyphs - but their translation means that the thing has been sitting above ground for many years. It must have been fairly active for the Ancient Egyptians to bother building the gate.

true...but we don't know what pattern there is to the anomalies showing up.

the Forest of Dean took 8 years to re-open, and then it stayed open for at least one season.

(my hunch is that the Pristichampus-gate served to localize anomalies - those that would otherwise appear all over Upper and Lower Egypt - into one easy-to-handle spot)
if the writing team only thought of the magnetite prison in s3, then we can't explain why that didn't happen in s2 or s1...but if the idea was in their minds the entire time, then the theory sours

I suspect this is a desperate attempt to turn the series in a new direction because of cast changes and because, I suspect, they are running out of ideas. The Cutter/Helen arc was meant to last three seasons - they are having to cut that short and start a new arc.

"suggests that Cutter is losing his tiny mind.
Wait, he had one? But yes, Lil dear this is present-day TV and to expect tightly reasoned plotting or even continuity, (we noticed the odd changes in light, too ... ) is probably too much. Shame, as you said. But Lester's stuff is just wonderful, the new Captain-Ryan-replacement is promising, (at least one male cast member can manage to comb and shave properly) and it's still quite watchable, provided you can turn your brain off.
In this house however the moment the intrepid Egyptologist muttered the words "hasn't been translated correctly" in relation to the rather naff-looking hieroglyphs on the "Sun cage" (they certainly weren't proper bas-relief) we all fell about laughing and making cracks about "Astral Portals" and pyramids courtesy of the Stargate Universe.
Best laugh I've had all week.

I don't expect tightly reasoned plotting, I just hope that, occasionally, there might be some sort of plot and some sort of reasoning.

Neither is the case in this instance.

I'm beginning to think that Irwin Allen is now the preferred role model.

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