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Reviews Series / Primeval

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04/19/2009 09:00:38 •••

Hugely enjoyable science fiction series

Primeval is an imaginative science fiction series about a team of experts who do battle with time travelling creatures from the past and future. Silly though the premise might sound, the show is great fun, with each episode providing the perfect mix of action and drama.

The story revolves around Nick Cutter and his team as they investigate a series of "anomalies" which have sprung up all over the country, which appear to be connected to the mysterious disappearance of Nick's wife, Helen. The characters are believable and interesting, although some are more memorable than others; Ben Miller is particularly brilliant as the dryly funny "government hatchet man", Sir James Lester.

The creatures themselves are a varied bunch, ranging from giant arthropleura and woolly mammoths to parasitic worms and chameleonic gremlins - a mixture of classic dinosaurs, more obscure prehistoric beasts, and invented monsters. These are all fairly convincing looking, although occasionally the CGI is a little obvious. Not all of these animals are antagonistic: the show's mascot, Rex, is an adorable flying lizard.

The soundtrack is decent, incorporating sweeping strings, synths and upbeat alternative rock, which fits the mood of the show nicely. The dialogue is entertaining and well-written.

Although most episodes are their own self-contained stories, there are also various individuals and organisations who step out of the shadows from time to time, with increasing frequency as the Myth Arc develops. For this reason, the series is best enjoyed when watched in numbered order, allowing the viewer to follow the intriguing story of what happened to Helen Cutter. At times, this story can get a little dark, and quite literally Anyone Can Die, but this is balanced out by the show's upbeat and optimistic tone.

As with many British series, the individual seasons are very short. At the time of writing, there have been just 17 episodes aired. This does not seem like very much, but on the plus side, it means that the show is easy to catch up with if you haven't started yet.

I would definitely recommend this series, particularly if you enjoyed similar shows such as the BBC's Doctor Who. It's action-packed, suspenseful, funny and highly enjoyable.

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