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Headscratchers: Primeval
Why does Helen keep coming back?

She has the entire vista of time to play around in. She clearly has access to powerful future technologies. She has no ties to the "present" so she should never have to set foot anywhere (anywhen?) near the ARC again. Especially since they're desperate to take her into custody. I would think she would just disappear into the mists of time and work her plan from the relative safety of some distant epoch.

  • Her plan seemingly involves stopping the ARC people from destroying humanity, or so she claims. Therefore she has to be in 2009, because that's the key point in history.
    • Seems to me she could stop that by pulling the same trick that turned Claudia Brown into Jenny Lewis. She seems to know enough to use the Butterfly Effect to her advantage. Whatever plan she's working seems far more elaborate.
    • Unlike her underwear.
  • Helen keeps coming back because she's batcrap insane and likes to toy with the ARC crew.

Why on EARTH, when being chased by big, two-legged dinosaurs whilst in strong, tough, roll-bar-equipped 4x4s, do they (almost) NEVER just slam on the brakes and TRIP the damn things...?

  • A large, fast moving therapod like a T-Rex or a Giganotosaurus is going to do considerable damage to a 4x4 if it collides with it no matter how big and tough the 4x4 is. Look how much damage a car can sustain just by hitting a deer. Even if the 4x4 isn't destroyed and its occupants killed there is a good chance that it will be rendered inoperable. Then you're on foot with an angry predator getting back on its feet.
    • Note also that they did use this exact tactic against a terror bird in one episode.
    • Connor tried that with a G-Rex in Series Three. It did take the 'Rex down, for about a minute, but Connor smashed his head on the back of the seat, concussing himself. When he wandered away from the vehicle, the 'Rex tried to eat him. It's possible they decided it wasn't worth the potential danger.
      • Matt does it in Series Five (although, he drives into the T-Rex's feet from the side, as opposed to Connor breaking and causing the G-Rex to trip over the car and knock Connor out) successfully. He then uses the time the T-Rex is stunned to get into a position that would allow him to shoot it.

Given how much macroscopic life has evolved from the distant past to the far future, why hasn't the ARC developed any quarantine procedures for coping with the evolution of microscopic life?

It is highly unlikely that the immune systems of present day humans is equipped to cope with microbes from the past or future. We could just as easily be wiped out by an ancient or future strain of flu as by some future predator.

  • Yeah. I'm sure some other works have done something like this.
  • Actually it's the other way around; it's highly unlikely a virus that hasn't evolved to infect humans could harm us. Bacteria are still a worry, but any bacteria from a distant time presumably wouldn't have any defenses against antibiotics.
  • There's probably some people working on that somewhere anyway. We've yet to see inside all of the ARC. And you must admit, that side of the operations wouldn't make for riviting viewing for most people.
    • And since the anomalies have been showing up throughout history, all over the world, you can safely assume we ARE equipped to handle them. For all we know, the black plague, the common cold, or ebola or could have come through one.
      • Possibly irrelavant, but Charlotte apparently had Smallpox, so it seems that the Time Tribe found some somewhere. (or maybe she just had it already, we'll probably never find out.)

In the future, why have the cliffs eroded away when the buildings are still standing?

There are these dirty great cliffs in the middle of London, and yet all the man-made structures are still standing. Wouldn't they have long since collapsed?
  • Well, Canon seems to dictate that the Anomalies only appear in the SE of England in the present (and the novels even throw that in doubt) , but the animals that have came through are from all continents so the other end has some planetary drift (how this works with the movement of earth through space, well, try not to think about it) so that city isn't necessarily London (The Arc site helen is using is not the same set that is used in the present day for example), or in England, or even a city or town that exists today. We don't know how far in the future it is, even if the cars do look decidedly modern day and British (or at least somewhere that has a lot of right hand drive cars).
    • In keeping with the south-east location and the cliffs, for all we know, it could be in the new ARC located on the Dover coast.
    • Or maybe, in the timeline that leads to that particular future, the ARC itself got moved through time, from immediately after civilization's breakdown into the distant era of the Mer creatures and giant bugs. Possibly it was some sort of last-ditch attempt to escape the disaster via an experimental Anomaly-induction device, or they'd meant to move the place back in time to head off the catastrophe, and went the wrong way. Unfortunately, some Predators were inside the radius of effect, got dragged along for the ride and killed everyone there, leaving the ARC and its surrounding structures as an inexplicably-intact enigma in a world millions of years older.

:Why do the bodies of the 13 dead hominids show up in the fossil record and not the corpses of Helen or the Velociraptor
?
  • Because really, if the conditions preserved them then the same conditions should preserve the corpse of the modern human and dinosaur. And if you are a palaeontologist and you find the corpses of 13 hominids plus a modern human and a fucking dinosaur all in same place you are going to make a big deal of it, cause those are the sort of discoveries that over turn paradigms and make you famous!
  • I assumed that the Paleontologists didn't dig their trench quite far enough.
  • Maybe Danny went off and found somewhere to hide them where they wouldn't be fossilised...?
  • Maybe the place where those two were at weren't fossilized, or scavengers got to them first.
  • The hominids were poisoned, so their bodies may have been toxic enough to discourage scavengers. Helen and the velociraptor died by falling off a cliff, so were perfectly edible.
    • Also, getting fossilized is actually incredibly difficult, requiring exactly the right conditions to preserve and fossilize the body. Being able to sink into mud helps though. The hominids died while drinking from the poisoned river, so they were in a better position to end up as fossils than Helen and the Raptor, who died up on dry land.

ITV's treatment of this show
  • They cancel it on the grounds they can't afford the effects. Yet they pay 2 million to Cheryl Cole to host some shows?
    • The usual reasoning is that reality TV will make more money than science fiction drama (I am furious about this decision, but unfortunately, they're probably right).
  • Apparently its been revived and is set for two more series starting 2011

Why, after the ancient Egyptian crocodile incident, does Nick instantly assume that every mythological beast is the result of an anomaly?
It's one thing to assume that some are, but another to just pretend that there could be no other reason for any of them.
  • It was an excuse to get Sarah to join the team on a permanent basis. Considering how sexy Laila Rouass is, I'm not complaining.
  • It also set up the "haunted house" plotline for the following episode, IIRC. Sarah was also necessary as the Token Minority, since some people (like Russell T Davies) had previously criticised the show for being all about white folks.
  • Catalogue them all and then work backwards weeding out the ones which are obviously bullshit until you have your anomaly map left?
  • Maybe the records got mutated as they were passed through the generations.

Helen's Plan
  • According to her, the world would be better of without humanity. This is arguable, but she actually goes so far as to claim that there would be "No war, no pollution, no predators." Again, "No predators." And on top of that, how is killing the "first family" supposed to erase humanity?:
    • A.) It's known that they were not the only members of their species alive at the time.
    • B.) They're already dead in the "normal" timeline, and Homo sapiens still evolved.
    • C.) Erasing humanity would prevent her from existing and from killing the first family to begin with. I understand that the creators went with the "history can't be changed" rules (with the exception of the Jenny/Claudia thing), but how can Helen not realize the paradox of what she's trying to do?

    • Not predators, Predators. As in, the big ugly mutant bat monsters which humanity bred for military purposes. Anyway, in response to your actual IJBM, Helen wasn't planning to just kill that one group. She said that she was planning to move on to other pools and poison them as well, and she explained that at the time the population of hominids was very small, so that it would be possible to wipe them all out before they became widespread. So that was all explained in the episode. No clue on the time paradox thing, though. Time paradoxes give everyone headaches. (Tagged because it's a spoiler for the last episode.)

    • plus Helen's grasp on sanity by that point isn't exactly what you might call strong. Or to put it another way, she's batshit insane, having gone mad from the revelation that humanity wiped itself out with some Damn Dirty Mutants and screwed up the planet in the process.

    • Regarding point C, the Back to the Future system where changing the past causes you to disappear and possibly destroys the Universe is not the only model of a mutable timeline and is actually quite rare in serious time travel fiction. The most common way of handling a single mutable timeline is to essentially "overwrite" time from the point when the time travellers appeared similarly to a New Game+ - Helen appears back then with all her levels and equipment, but future events are no longer set in stone and can happen differently with no consequence to her. Of course Primeval is firmly a Timey-Wimey Ball series, so time travel basically works however the writers want it to at that moment.

Why, in season 2 episode 1, do they not give Cutter a gun when they go looking for raptors?
They're going to take down an unknown creature. Didn't somebody think that giving him a gun might be useful if they might be faced with another future predator/gorganopsid/giant centipede thing?
  • Look at it from an in-universe perspective: "Okay, Cutter's lost his mind and is ranting about some chick... is this the kind of guy you want to trust with a gun?" The thing with Cutter being a sort-of Technical Pacifist doesn't work- he's perfectly fine with tranquillisers.
  • I'd assumed he didn't want one, in case killing a creature (as opposed to putting it back) might cause another Butterfly Effect and another big and potentially catastrophic change.
    • They took weapons, Stephen had that rifle in his truck.

The Masquerade
This Headscratchers partly because I generally dislike Masquerades in the first place, but also because this one doesn't seem justified. If the public was informed about the anomalies, it'd make handling the scene much easier, and would have been a great way of finding them as they occurred before Connor invented his magic detector. Plus, what about the scientific opportunities that are being wasted? Most obviously, it'd shut down the creationists once and for all, but apart from that the scientific community would get a great look at creatures from earlier eras. The reasoning given - "it'd cause panic" - doesn't really gel because obviously the anomalies wouldn't cause panic if the public knew about them, and as it is people panic anyway.
  • If the general public knew about the anomalies, then:
    • A) it wouldn't shut up the creationists, it'd just provoke some of them
    • B) the ARC team (which, remember is currently about six people) would have to deal with a million more Helen-esque Well Intentioned Extremists trying to tinker with time
    • C) it'd help the cause of people like Christine who want to shut down the ARC team and replace them with her own soldiers (which Lester would rather die than see happen)
      • Cover got blown in season 5 episode 5 when a T-Rex attacked London and footage was shown on the TV news.
    • D) Somebody would probably try to cash in on the anomalies by launching dinosaur-hunts or whatever, potentially sabotaging the timeline without necessarily even meaning to a la Bradbury's The Sound Of Thunder.

Future Predators as flightless bats

If they turned out as being genetically engineered why are they flightless? They could be far more efficient if they kept flight. And before you ask, flying things bigger than that existed in the past.
  • That's debatable. Based on their physiology, I'd guess that they were engineered more to be assassins than shock troops. And to support something the size that these things are in flight, I'd estimate at least a thirteen foot wingspan, probably more. It's hard to be silent when you're flying around on giant, leathery wings, and these guys seem more than efficient enough.
  • Flying animals as big as that, yes. As big and bulky as that, no. Making them light enough to allow flight would have also made them more fragile. If the designers had wanted flying attack-animals, they'd have probably started with birds of prey as a baseline; the fact that they used bats suggests they were aiming for sensory acuity and a bit more brainpower than a hawk could offer, not flight.

Johnson's anomaly and the racetrack anomaly apparently go to the exact same point in time.
That seems pretty unlikely. Same general time period is one thing, but when they go to the future through the racetrack anomaly in the third series finale, Helen is there and seems to have been there for the amount of time that has passed since she entered Johnson's anomaly, which implies that if they're different, they're within a few minutes of each other, if not to the exact second. What are the chances?
  • Given how anomalies work (i.e. however the hell the writers want them too because there are no set rules yet) the answer to your question is "The odds are 100%".

Future Predators lose all their fights.
The Gorgonopsid, the Columbian Mammoth and the Future Insect proudly present the Predator Ownage Club. It seems like mankind was wiped out by one of the weakest monsters in the show.
  • weakest creature...you mean Rex. That little bastard, I knew it!
  • Future Predators lose all their one-on-one fights with things bigger than hem. So, if you think about it, do most creatures. I'd like to see anything survive a brawl with an angry Gorgonopsid or a Columbian freakin' Mammoth. Every time they fight something smaller than them (say, a human) they always win, except when the human in question is as awesome as Cutter.
    • The Columbian Mammoth fight seemed to just be good timing, as the future predator wasn't attacking the mammoth.
  • To clarify, the Future Predator may start falling to The Worf Effect if the writers keep measuring it to animals it can't kill. Sure, a lion is no match for a Future Predator, but that's a modern beast in a show about Prehistoric Monsters.
    • Exactly Worf Effect in action. We introduced them as big and scary, so if we want anything to be scary-awesome then the FP is the thing they have to take down to prove it.

Where is Sarah in the new series
  • Did she go because of the military personnal only rules or was her death the cause of it?
    • It's implied she got a Predator dropped on her in an attempt to rescue Danny, Connor, and Abby shortly after the S3 finale during the recap for S4. I'm more curious about where Danny went.
      • Still stuck in pre-historic Africa?
      • Danny came back at the end of season 4, only to depart again with his brother. And yes, Sarah is dead.

What happened to Nancy and Sid?
  • Seriously, where are they? Did Lester keep them? Did Lester kill them? What?
    • This one's been answered - they found an anomaly back to their home era.
    • Or maybe they're still at home

In Series 5, why hasn't Connor realised...
  • ... that in creating a device that generates Anomalies for Philip, he's most likely leading to whatever massive screw-up caused the Anomalies to themselves appear throughout history? Seriously, considering that he's both created the Anomaly Detection Device, the Locking Device, and seems to have an intuitive grasp of the Artefact that predicts Anomalies, its pretty clear he's in some way responsible for their creation.
    • Matt seems to believe the Anomalies are a natural phenomenon, caused whenever the Earth's magnetic field does anything unusual. Of course, we know from experience that just because Matt says something does not mean it is true...

Why is the armed support so inconsistant?!
  • Right, so the first series was rather consistent about it, there was a military support in every episode. But, as soon as Tom Ryan's character was killed off, they disappeared. In Series 2, we hardly saw them. Why? While the core team were quite adept at their job, there main role in the organisation was to investigate the anomalies, supply info on the creatures, and assist in their capture and containment, but not by themselves, surely? It's not as if there was a limit in staff! There was no support with the raptors, worms or the sabre-tooth! (Although, they could have decided not to use them with the worms because of the space in an office, and I think it was handwaved with the sabre-tooth as the owner of the park didn't want loads of armed soldiers around). They finally appeared in the episode with the Mers, but didn't really do anything. They were missing in the next three except for the part where they were with Jenny in the church and with Lester hunting for Leek. There absence in the Series 2 finale is understandable, given the group was held hostage by Leek. Now come Series 3, and because we now have one of the armed support guys as a regular (Becker), the armed dudes now have more of a presence. They appear in the first episode, their absence in the second is understandable, as they were investigating the house. In the third episode, they were in the hospital, but when they got back to the ARC, they all disappeared except for Becker. The units who were in the ARC were presumably captured, but the units who had come in with the team just disappeared. Were they all captured as well except for Becker, who somehow managed to stay under the radar? They were similarly missing in the episode after, however they were present in the rest of the series except for episodes where it is obvious why they are not there (the team is hiding in the terror bird episode, and the Megopteran one was a rescue mission without much time for backup). Now here's my biggest beef. Series Four and Five. It is specifically mentioned that the ARC was going to be more pro-military because of all the losses. But it only stays this way for like the first two episodes. Then they disappear again until the series finale, only really appearing in the background doing nothing. Most jarring is in the school episode. They really needed them then, and they weren't there. It wasn't even handwaved (something simple like the traffic could've worked!). Series 5 deals with it better. The middle three episodes have them on a submarine, in the past (where only Matt went), and in lockdown in the ARC. The two final episodes explains that all of the armed support were on duty covering other anomalies. But it's really inconsistent about the armed support the team are getting.

How the HELL did Connor create a device which could make anomalies?
  • See, when the anomaly lockers and detectors were invented in Series 3 and 2 respectively, we knew how they worked (the former used electricity to lock them, while the latter was influenced by radio interference). We then had Series 4, where Connor and Prospero made a device which could work out what time the anomaly links to. We didn't learn how it works, but it didn't bother me too much because it wasn't that important to the plot. However, in Series 5, Connor is successfull in creating a machine which freaking opens anomalies, and we don't know how it works! To make a machine like that, wouldn't you need to know everything about the anomalies, and how they work? Wouldn't working out how to control and create anomalies be one of the biggest and most important plot points in the entire series?! Well, the writers obviously didn't care, because we had Connor build one, as well as Prospero. Sure, Helen had dealings with Philip, but I got the impression that they (or at least Connor) worked out how to build the device on their own (and then, with New Dawn, how could they work out how to tap into every anomaly open on Earth and draw all of the power into that one device?). Seriously, such a big factor needed a decent explanation. Heck, they could even make a series on the subject!

In Season 2 Episode 5, why does Cutter deny that there's a conspiracy?
  • When Cutter and Stephen are in the Silurian desert and they find the remains of Leek's secret band of mercenaries, Stephen says that there's a traitor within the organisation. Cutter's response is: "I don't know that and neither do you!" Why the hell would Cutter say that when he himself saw the Cleaner who was supposed to be dead in the previous episode? If Cutter had agreed with Stephen and been a little more open with him in the first place Stephen wouldn't have been kicked off the team and probably wouldn't even have been killed.

Caroline?
  • Seriously what exactly was Caroline up to? Leek is paying her a huge stack of money to just sit around Connor and Abby's flat and do what? It was never explained what he was paying her to do. One episode has him telling her to delay them but why does she need to pose as his girlfriend to do that? So was he paying her all that money to hang around in the flat on the offchance that something would happen?

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