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Primeval 4.3
I didn't see the original broadcast, and therefore didn't participate in the livewatch – nor have I read anyone else's reactions, save a couple of 'liked it', 'didn't like it much' from people posting links to longer reactions, so this is simply what I saw last night and my own reaction to it

From my point of view, what this episode suffered from is lack of Lester. It's amazing how Ben Miller lifts an episode, often simply by standing around with a disgusted expression on his face. Also, I miss the snark. It was interesting that there were only a couple of memorably funny lines in this episode, and they were both given to Connor. In fact, there was very little to smile about this go round.

This was definitely the worst episode so far, mainly because what characterisation there was – and there wasn't much of it – was occasionally odd. Connor was pretty much the Season 3 Connor, allowing himself to be bullied and manipulated by Burton, whose own part in the lock-down he summed up pretty succinctly: Burton is an idiot. I wonder, did he really invent the room temperature super-conductor, or did he steal it out of time, come back and give it to himself? Naw, these scriptwriters are not clever enough for that. Apart from being an idiot and a big shot in the commercial world – and therefore, of necessity, at least dubious if not an outright baddie – there still isn't a lot to Burton. In fact, the whole computer sequence appears to have been inserted to give Connor and Jess something to do, and to have Burton utter those lines about the "New Dawn", therefore inserting a new mystery. But why the heck would he tell Connor?

Jess seems to have been cast because Hannah wouldn't be filmed wearing her panties any more. Jess's skirt was short enough (and unfashionable enough) to be panties! Other than that, she simply passed Connor electronics and information. Incidentally, Burton said that only military personnel were now allowed in the ARC, so is he telling me that Jess is military? The mind boggles!

Turning to the real military, Becker, though highly efficient and actually right for most if not all of this episode, seems also to have reverted to the lack of personality he had in Season 3 (and, incidentally, did not seem at all upset at the idea of trapping Matt in the past, which won't stop the Denial mob slashing them but does make it a little more unlikely.)

As for Matt himself: is he really that stupid? He also fails to show any leadership ability (he has been placed in command, which is not the same thing at all.) Why he should chase Emily (and we'll get to her later) through the anomaly is obscure, but why he should think it will still be open when he knows that Becker and Abby are close and that the first thing they will do when they find the anomaly is close it. Gosh, Matt, it was really clever to throw your phone/tracker whatever away without at least telling Abby or Becker or someone what the fuck you were doing, even if it was against standing orders. Emily clobbers him, yet it never occurs to him that she might do the same thing to someone else and escape the hospital. In the end he trusts her pretty much for no reason and swallows her story whole, without any evidence, though she certainly does not seem very upper class Victorian to me. My dear, she wears her hair like a hussy or a child, for starters.

As for his flat, I reckon he must be on the take too. (Actually, the real reason these flats are so swish is simple enough. They are filming in Dublin. Before the big crash, the Irish were building very, very expensive properties all over the place, and many of these are now empty, and available to rent for filming for a comparatively small fee. It is also why they are furnished like show flats, without any personal touches, because that is what they are.)

Abby was, thank goodness, efficient as she always is when Connor isn't around and she doesn't care about standing orders, and has been through far too many anomalies to be as scared of opening them as Becker now is. (Did they lose Sarah through one?) However, she really should know better than to go along with Matt over Emily...

You will note I have said little about the plot of this episode, and there is a good reason for that – neither of the plot strands was particularly interesting or original. The scriptwriters and the directors have got to learn how to create tension, and it is not done by having people prowl around interminably with guns, whether it is in a dockyard or the flies of a theatre, or have people you know are in the cast list for next episode sit around apparently choking to death. I'm sorry, but the whole lockdown thing was totally ridiculous! The creatures could have been interesting but the scriptwriter and director seemed to have no idea what to do with them. I was bored, and I don't expect to be bored by people I like chasing monsters.

Also, plant-carrying man (okay, okay, Gideon, if you insist) is not adding anything to these episodes. So he's dying. So what? Matt may care, but why should we? The whole scene was boring, once again. Are we supposed to be intrigued by this 'mystery man'? If so, it would be a good idea to drop a few more hints before we are bored out of our collective skulls.

It looks, from the names on the cast list, as if Ethan (Dobrowski) is not only sinister but a sinister Russian (or at least Eastern European), to boot! Stereotyping, anyone?

And Dublin does not look like London – and why the heck should Emily be impressed by the view from that window? She wasn't impressed by the hospital, or the office block, or the cars, or, indeed, any of the tech. Why not? Can you see why I have suspicions about her story? Shouldn't Matt?

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Someone from The Mill could easily have painted out all the mountains in the background. Dublin still wouldn't have looked like London but it would have been a little less distracting.

I fear that there are too many cooks spoiling the broth on Primeval, or rather too many head chefs with competing recipes.

I don't think they actually know what they want to do with this series - except have Jess wear very, very, very short skirts.

Cutter might very well have gone through the anomaly without telling anyone, but he'd been set up from the start as a headstrong type who often did the right things in the (sometimes) wrong way. Matt hasn't. As team leader he could easily have announced he was going through, told them to lock it for a certain time, then unlock and see if he returned, if not, to consider him dead or something. It's not as if anyone could have stopped him at that point.

His flat was quite bananas, if interesting, but the Dublin skyline (which I admit I didn't notice at first!) is unforgivable.

I enjoyed the ep a lot, but they do need to work some things out, especially the sense of time.

Cutter would have gone through, but then Cutter would have never accepted or taken any notice of standing orders. Furthermore, he was a loner by nature and a leader by default, and not very good at it.

What astonished me about Matt's flat was that it appeared not to have any bedroom. Or indeed, furniture.

The lockdown plot was very stupid. The main purpose appeared to be to get New Dawn mentioned.

I think Sarah was killed through an anomaly, hence Becker's paranoia. And nope, lack of reaction from Becker won't stop us slashing them! *g* We have to be allowed our childish diversions.

I think the Emily storyline has possibilities. She seems a reasonably strong character and it'll be interesting to see how she reacts with Abby.

Emily does have possibilities, for good or ill. I wouldn't, until now, have thought Matt such a sucker for a pretty face and a sob story.

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The Brontes is a nice idea, but I can't see either of them with those hairstyles. On the other hand, Hodges and Co probably could....

They need some new ideas. The scripts this series have been like the ones Irwin Allen used to have his writers do when in a hurry - cobbled together from two or three other episodes in the same series.

Emily did have a nice skirt though.

I didn't watch the episode until last night either and I'm still processing what I think of it. My feeling is that as a stand alone it is undeniably weak but it left me speculating a lot more about what else might be going on (is Danny with these lost time travellers? Who, if anyone, is a villain and who a red herring?).

I'm not going to touch the lockdown software - everything about the whole situation including the words coming out of both Connor and Burton's mouths was so monumentally stupid I just shut my brain down and sang "la! la! it's not happening" quietly to myself. Although, if they were going to go down a path quite that dumb I think they should have gone the whole hog and Connor and Jess should have been forced to cross a room full of swinging metal blades or similar in order to reach the off switch.

I am always interested in your well-thought-out Primeval posts.

Oh and I've always assumed Primeval's predilection for nice flats was a basic aspirational thing - a world full of pretty people living in large minimalist spaces.

Well, Stephen's flat, though nice, was small enough to be believable, and Cutter's house seemed just right. Lester's pied-a-terre last season was okay for a man on his salary.

And though Abby could not have afforded her place in Seasons 1 and 2, there was a perfectly reasonable backstory for it on the website.

I really liked it! I thought it was the best episode so far, a return to the good old days. I reckon it was written for me.

I hate Matt, but I thought he was rather more interesting in this episode, plunging through the anomaly to rescue a girl he thought was from the 21st century, who'd inadvertently stumbled into the prehistoric past and, from then on, generally thinking with his dick.

I loved the way Becker freaked out about re-opening the anomaly: "No exploration, no rescue missions." It certainly suggests that that's how they lost Sarah. Someone really needs to teach Ben how to move like a soldier, though!

I loved the creatures (though I thought the prehensile tails were mad).

I can't stand Jess, so I don't look at her, and I agree that Philip isn't sufficiently developed yet, but I liked the lockdown subplot, because it gave Connor the chance to do what he does best: crack one-liners, meddle with computers, rescue Rex, and moon over Abby.

And I really liked Emily. Yes, her hair is a mess (though beautiful!), and her clothes are shabby, but that's because she's living nomadic life, hopping through anomalies. (Are her 13 companions all from the same time? I think it was implied that they were not -- interesting!) Maybe she wasn't sufficiently surprised by the hospital, but she was surprised by the mobile phone, and by the phrase 'fry your brain'. But she's travelled, and she's seen different eras -- she says, "We don't stay where there are humans" -- so she's used to seeing strange things, and who would be more open-minded about technological advances (other than us) than a Victorian? To explain her pluck, they could have made her a street urchin or a 'Lady', and I personally think that a Lady is more interesting.

I'm uneasy about that title. I need to check Debretts - which is online somewhere - but I have a feeling that that particular way of expressing a title is, well, odd.

Like your thoughts. I still enjoyed the episode, myself, but that's probably because I have really low standards. Still, some parts of it were just STUPID. Electricity might not travel through glass, Matt, but arboreal raptors sure do. (I shouted that at the screen!) I also missed snarky!Becker. :(

The lockdown was pretty dumb, but I spent some time rambling in a post in my journal in order to semi-justify it because, well... I kinda like Phillip. What annoyed me the most about that scene was Jess not doing anything. We established that she's computer savvy within the first few minutes of episode 1! I love Connor and all, but really, writers?

Oh and you have absolutely no idea who I am. Um. Hi? (Kinda new...)

When I put a link to my journal (or even when I don't and it's an open post) it's because I want people to comment, so hello and welcome.

I think what bothers me at the moment is that a lot of the ideas are repeated from earlier series. Less than 25 episodes in, and they are running out of ideas.

>is an idiot
how was he supposed to know that there was a Creature roaming freely in the ARC?

its like blaming Connor for dodos infecting Tom.

>Burton said that only military personnel were now allowed in the ARC, so is he telling me that Jess is military?
I thought they meant that only military can go on ARC missions.

(they didn't have a problem with Abby being assigned to care for the Menagerie)

>But why the heck would he tell Connor?
a few possible reasons:
* he's read ARC files, and knows that Connor will find out anyway (based on past hackings)
* the kid invented the ADD - so Philip may be curious what Connor will contribute to New Dawn.
* Burton thought he was dying, and didn't want the project to die with him.

I suspect Ethan was Jack the Ripper. assuming they were from Victorian England.

I still haven't got Matt's personality (maybe due to the fact that he is quite expressionless), but I was a bit surprised when he run after Emily, because he knew the rules very well (and what would be Becker's reaction). At first I thought there was some explanation (maybe he knew her or something like that), but I guess there wasn't, we have to believe that he was, what, impulsive? *frowns*

The flat was very cold (at first I thought he was showing her an empty place to stay O_o). Lack of female touch? More like lack of human touch.

Anyway, not my favorite episode, but it was ok, thankfully Emily was not the typical damsel in distress and I loved her steampunk outfit.

Does Matt have a personality? He seems to me much like Becker was last season - pretty much a blank in that department, though others see him as more complex.

the lockdown was stupid and set up the new dawn storyline - but they could have done that far better. I did like the arboreal raptors and Emily - even if Matt believes her far too easily.

I've yet to make up my mind about Emily. She could be really good, but the competent female Victorian explorer is right out of the version of The Lost World with which Haines and Hodges were closely involved. Ho-hum.

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