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Primeval - 3.06 (The Birds, take two)
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lil_shepherd
I'm not yet sure what I make of the new Primeval which seems to have been made by excising off all the complex characterisation and any trace of logic and research.

Terror birds. Well, apart from one shot of utmost stupidity, these were rather fun, so long as you didn't think too much about avian behavior amongst either raptors [Edit: I mean Birds of Prey here] or the ratites. In fact, behaviour amongst all the carnivores that come through an anomaly seems to consist of berserker rage and attacking anything that moves, whether familiar or not.

I quite like Danny, but he is completely one-dimensional - and, fellas, however much we complained about Cutter's instinct-for-being-right it has nothing on the Mighty Quinn. I like Becker even more, but he doesn't even seem to have one dimension, and as for Sarah...

I'm sorry to disappoint Hodges and Co, but Civil Servants tend to be too concerned about keeping their jobs to bad mouth ministers in the presence of the enemy. Furthermore, since our current Lords and Masters came into office with the idea in their heads that Yes, Minister was completely true, instead of partly true, the Civil Service has learned to tell them precisely what they want to hear - with any hint of manipulation heavily punished. I was happy with Lester as a No 10 hatchet man, because they do behave that way, and Claudia was correct in her attitude as a middle ranking Civil Servant. Leek, was also believable. Christine is not. Period.

I liked Lester saving the day, though why didn't the stupid bint lock him up somewhere?

Others have remarked on the ludicrous safe-house, and what the scientists there were or were not doing. What period were they supposed to be there, anyway? It seems to me that there was a bad case of Ranald-Graham-ities in that the writer plainly had a picture in his mind of Our Heroes fleeing Terror Birds in evening dress, and manipulated the plot against all characterisation and internal logic to "Make it so."

Sorry, that does not work for me. At all. Nor it is in character for Abby, and probably not for Sarah or Quinn, if they had any characterisation at all so far. I daresay Connor would love dressing up, though.

Hasn't Abby warned her brother about keeping the temperature up in the apartment (they seem to have forgotten that) or made it clear to him that if he brings his mates in she will chuck the lot out. Rex is too much of a secret. In fact, this episode recycles old themes and makes a hash of them.

Sure, there were some nice lines, but really, it's like chewing on candy floss.

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Others have remarked on the ludicrous safe-house, and what the scientists there were or were not doing. What period were they supposed to be there, anyway? It seems to me that there was a bad case of Ranald-Graham-ities in that the writer plainly had a picture in his mind of Our Heroes fleeing Terror Birds in evening dress, and manipulated the plot against all characterisation and internal logic to "Make it so."


It looked like it was meant to be late Thirties, I think, but that would mean a wind-up gramophone, among other things, and a bunch of government scientists in a hut wouldn't be changing for dinner anyway, I wouldn't have thought.

Part of the problem is, I think, that all the writers are new. The old ones would have been less inclined to make those out-of-character mistakes. You couldn't imagine Cutter doing - or allowing - such a thing when they were in a dangerous situation like that.

In the late thirties we weren't doing very much of this undercover scientist lark - that really started in the war, and in that case the hut would have been properly camouflaged and those clothes would definitely have been inappropriate.

Besides, the minefield would have been mapped and cleared after the war. There are, as far as I am aware, no unmapped and uncleared minefields from that period, and certainly none in the middle of farmland that is still being worked.

Yes, the minefield was definitely silly. And if an untrained type like me can see that, why can't the bally writers? :-)

Because they have a complete contempt for their audience.

Which strikes me as a not very smart attitude now that expensive dramas like Primeval are being eyed up for the axe.

The plot holes annoy the hell out of me, and Mr FB was making exactly the same points as you earlier about Christine! But all in all, it was a fun romp. Shame about Captain Hotty, though.

You be pretty, you be killed - seems to be a Primeval rule, and is presumably why they cast Mr Flemyng...

The Terror Birds reminded me of giant turkeys - very fierce creatures indeed.

Though they are also known as "Terror Cranes".

Second week in the row I can't be bothered to put my thoughts together for a review. It looked pretty but there didn't seem to be even the pretense that there was anything more there to sink your teeth into.

Yes, I know. It's sad, isn't it? It happens to every series, but this is so soon for this one... and it isn't so bad that it is totally ignorable (like Season 5 of The Professionals, and Season 4 of Blake's Seven and Seasons 3 & 4 of Starsky and Hutch and all seasons except Season 1 of Voyage to the Bottom of the Sea and Season 3 of Beauty and the Beast and I think I go through life expecting to be disappointed... but it does explain why I have so few totally complete DVD collections)

Edited at 2009-05-04 04:54 pm (UTC)

I was browsing the ITV.com Primeval forum, where they do occasionally have vaguely interesting posts, and someone had a look at the credentials of the new writers. Apart from James Moran, most of them seem to have come from shows like Taggart and Spooks. Whether this has anything to do with the way the show is going I don't know... the original writers may not have been brilliant, but they did seem to know the characters better. The S3 lot are all new to it, plus Adrian Hodges hasn't been as closely involved as in previous years, and hasn't written any episodes himself.


I think Hodges has lost interest since Dougie quit and buggered up his part of the arc. He was always the one interested in the characters and their relationships.

Could be :-( A pity he didn't consider the fact that a lot of us fans might feel the same, and make more effort to at least keep that thread alive in some more roundabout manner, rather than landing us with superhero Danny, entertaining as he is.

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