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Literature / Primeval Extinction Event

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Primeval: Extinction Event is a spin-off book for the ITV television series Primeval. It was written by Dan Abnett. The novel is considered canon within the Primeval universe (as confirmed by the creators of Primeval themselves), and it is set between Episode 2.7 and Episode 3.1. In Primeval, mysterious holes in time called anomalies begin to open up, allowing animals from millions of years in the past to time-travel into the present-day, causing massive death and destruction. A secret government organization called the Anomaly Research Centre (ARC) is formed to combat the threat.


The novel begins in Siberia, where a Russian man named Dima is ambushed and silently killed by a Tyrannosaurus rex while smoking a cigarette. Meanwhile, in London, the ARC team is busy dealing with an Entelodon incursion. Afterwards, they head to the Central Metropolitan University. While the team is at the university, Nick Cutter, Connor Temple, and Abby Maitland are kidnapped by two mysterious Russian men, who then take them to Siberia. When they arrive in Siberia, they discover that the Russians are dealing with the same problem that they have in England; prehistoric animals (in this case, Late Cretaceous dinosaurs) are appearing and wreaking havoc, and the reason why the Russians kidnapped the team was because they thought that they could help them with their dinosaur problem.

After several incidents with the dinosaurs, Cutter soon realizes that they are facing an even bigger problem, much more serious than the dinosaurs. If they don't stop it, it could possibly wipe out all life on Earth in two distinct eras.


This book provides examples of:

  • Apocalypse How: What would have happened if the Chicxulub impactor struck Earth in the Late Cretaeous at the same time that the anomaly to present-day Siberia was open, leading to massive concurrent devastation of present-day Earth. In the words of Professor Nick Cutter: "An extinction-level event. We could lose vast areas of Russia and Continental Europe. To put it bluntly, it is going to be a very bad day for mankind." Fortunately averted due to the ARC team firing an EMP into the anomaly using Russian military technology, managing to close it in time before the Chicxulub impactor can strike.
  • Mercy Kill: While the team are in the Permian, a soldier named Tim Jenkins is attacked and severely injured by a Dimetrodon. Helen Cutter then suggests that they should kill him immediately so that he doesn't suffer anymore, but Jake Hemple refuses. Later, while the team are in the Cretaceous, Jenkins is killed by Troodons. Hemple is devastated by his death, and realizes that Helen was right.
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  • Raptor Attack: Several Troodons appear in the novel, and are compared to the raptors that the team had encountered in the previous book, PrimevalTheLostIsland The Lost Island. They kill Tim Jenkins, one of the British SAS soldiers accompanying Jenny Lewis and Helen Cutter on their journey to Russia to retrieve the kidnapped Nick Cutter, Abby Maitland, and Connor Temple, in the Cretaceous, and later, they attack Jake Hemple and Jenny Lewis when they are trapped in the wreckage of a car that had been demolished by an Ankylosaurus.
  • Stable Time Loop: A massive anomaly leading to the Cretaceous opens up in Tunguska, Siberia, causing asteroid/comet fragments (impactors) to come through the anomaly and impact present-say Siberia, while simultaneously disrupting the space-time continuum and creating the anomaly that would allow them to come through it and impact Siberia and create the anomaly – the problem is that there is no way of knowing how this loop originated, i.e., which came first, the impactors or the anomaly. When Nick and Helen are discussing the origins of the gargantuan Tunguska anomaly, and how it might be connected to the numerous asteroid impacts that have occurred in the region, they both realize that the origin of the entire situation is nearly impossible to find, as it is nearly impossible to ascertain whether the impacts themselves had occurred first and disrupted the space-time continuum, therefore creating the anomaly, which in turn caused more asteroids to enter the present-day from the Cretaceous and impact Tunguska, or whether the anomaly itself had appeared first, and the impactors then came through it, which in turn made the anomaly bigger and allowed more impactors to come through it. Helen even lampshades it by referring to it as a "chicken-versus-egg question"; which came first, the anomaly or the impactors?
  • Tyrannosaurus rex: T. rex appears as the main dinosaur antagonist in the novel. A large female tyrannosaur comes through an anomaly into Siberia, and is nicknamed Baba Yaga by the Russians. A male tyrannosaur also appears. The tyrannosaurs end up killing several people, including Nikolai Medyevin, who was eaten by the male when it was attracted to him by the smell of the cheap cologne that he was wearing. At the end, the male and female tyrannosaur fight. The female wins, and ends up killing the male. Afterwards, she continues to roam the forests of Siberia.
  • What Happened to the Mouse?: Captain Jake Hemple is replaced by Captain Hilary Becker in Episode 1 of Series 3. He is never seen or heard from again, and it is implied that he has departed from the ARC. It is possible that the injuries he sustained while him and Jenny were being attacked by Troodons at the end of this novel might have had something to do with his departure from the ARC.

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