Sunday, May 03, 2009

Primeval: Why Hath Thou Forsaken Us?

I have given Primeval a lot of leeway. I've done that because I find the concept so appealing. Prehistoric animals, time travel, action, adventure and a little bit of geekiness all thrown in together to create a show with near endless possibilities. It's Doctor Who Mark 2. Sadly, and with much regret, this show has become what Sliders (another show I truly, passionately adored and dreamed of being so much more than what it became) became.

Firstly, the cast changes. Getting rid of Stephen Hart at the end of series two was alright. I'd never really taken to him as he just seemed to be there to provide the macho man that such shows seem to assume is required. But I hope Nick Cutter leaving was because Douglas Henshall wanted to move on and not because the producers thought he wasn't what was needed in the lead role. Because him leaving was a very bad thing for the show. The Cutter character was great as a leader, heroic when needed but intelligent and reflective too. Plus his oft broken heart gave the character a quality to empathise with. Plus getting rid of hard but soft Jennifer Lewis was just as silly a mistake.

Now we have this Danny Quinn bloke. What are we meant to think of him? He was introduced as a police officer who had

1) failed to notice a rather violent and aggressive future animal living in an abandoned house which was the centre of his obsessive investigation into the death of his brother FOR TEN YEARS. Hardly what we'd call a super sleuth. You'd have thought he might have noticed this creature before.
2) he had relentlessly pursued an innocent boy/man who he thought had killed his brother and when he discovered he hadn't barely even apologised to him!

And we are meant to believe he is some sort of super cop and accept him as the leader of the ARC team and a hero? He seems more like a stupid tosser to me, but maybe that's because I've been following the character development unlike the writers.

Season 1 was written to an acceptable standard. You could watch it, enjoy it and forgive the slight slips into cliche and sometimes plagirism. Season 2 was much improved, sharper writing and even a season long build up of a story that was brought to a close with the end of the season.

Season 3 has been... rubbish. You have an almost limitless set of scenarios and they seem trapped around the same ones. Ooo... let's bring in mythology. Ooo... let's do a scary horror in a house. Ooo... let's have one where Helen is really evil. Ooo... let's have a dinosaur one again! Each of those is the ENTIRE plot of each of the first four episodes. In order.

Last nights was the last straw. It was so bad it didn't even actually have a plot and seemed just an excuse for some Jurassic Park-esque shots of Terror Birds (oh God I'm lying in the back of a trailer and the T-Rex Terror Bird is CATCHING UP). It was truly atrocious, and wasn't helped by the really awful editing. The car chase scene was so badly edited that at times the car was being put into reverse and then the shot would show it going forward. AH! Plus one scene includes a car hitting a mine. It was obviously edited badly because the effects were so badly done. Why did they do them in the first place? Was it necessary to the story to have the car explode? No. But they did it, they did it badly and then edited it so it looked even worse.

It's frustrating to watch and so I'm left with only one choice. I'm never watching this show again. It is a disgrace for such a wonderful concept to have been destroyed by lazy writing, cheap effects and bad acting (Connor, Abby and Lester are the only ones left who can act and really I'm being kind to Andrew-Lee and Hannah there...)

Such a bloody shame.

This blogger works for nothing but the joy of writing but always appreciates things bought from his wishlist

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