The home of Critic, Writer and Film-maker: Liam Walters

Primeval: Series 5 Episode 2 Review


Written By: Phillip Lickley

** Warning: contains spoilers **

Series five goes from strength to strength in one of the most tense episodes yet with an amazing playoff at the end. The episode opens with a nuclear submarine in distress due to being pulled off course, and its electrical systems disrupted, by an anomaly. Throw into the mix a large sea creature bashing it from the outside and a comatosed raptor inside and, before the credits even role, you have a nuclear submarine in serious distress.

Aware that something is not quite right, the crew of the submarine call on the Arc team to investigate. Pulling Connor away from his role doing Philip’s work, Abby joins Matt in going aboard the sub to investigate what has been happening. Soon they realise the supposed dead raptor onboard is actually just in suspended animation due to the North Sea being colder than its usual Jurassic waters – identifying that raptors can swim – so is put in a fridge to keep it that way. However, soon the sub finds itself under attack once more from the outside and loses power, sending it on a direct course to the anomaly with no way of getting out of it, as well as allowing the raptor to defrost in the fridge. Cue two crew members being killed by said creature and the Arc team having to both restore power to the craft whilst avoiding the dinosaur loose on board, in what is one of the tensest half hours in Primeval history.

But that’s not the only issue the team face. Back in the Arc Lester finds his workplace has been invaded by members of the Admiralty who proceed to flex their muscles against some more quality – and funny – lines delivered perfectly by Ben Miller. Soon the head of the navy has launched a nuclear weapon in the mistaken belief it will close the anomaly, threatening a change in history that the show has seen before.

Luckily the team aboard the sub manage to restore power and, using the raptor as bait, escape the pounding by the giant sea creatures. However, even when they return to the present back through the anomaly, they then have to avoid the nuclear weapon which, thankfully, they do. Whether the said nuclear weapon passing through the anomaly will have any repercussions further down the line remains to be seen.

With Lester managing a series of put-downs on the Nasa, the team return to the Arc and to two impressive scenes that bring this episode to a conclusion. Firstly there is an almost heart-breaking scene between Abby and Connor, the latter of whom is putting his work on ‘New Dawn’ ahead of his relationship with Abby, who doesn’t trust Philip due to her chat with Matt. The continued erosion between the pair is done beautifully in the episode and, even without Philip or April appearing in the episode, their actions are having an effect on what the characters are doing.

But it’s the final scene that impressed me the most and harks back to series three, where monsters out of time being passed down in history as myths and legends is referenced. I would like to say I considered that it would be great if this legend was explained away as a monster out of time way back during series three and it was brought back to me when there were internet rumours of Ethan being Jack the Ripper in series four, but to see it on screen in front of me in the newspaper cutting just filled me with absolute geek delight. To someone who has always had an interested in the paranormal this was a dream plot development for me. With two references to Emily in this episode and her due return next week, I am really looking forward to where this series is going.

Overall I get the feeling that the good, but not excellent, series four was set-up for series five, which is so far up there with the best episodes so far. Following an excellent first episode this second one includes a lot of tension and plot development and, balanced again the cliff hangers but overly confusing series six of Doctor Who, is standing up there with the best of sci-fi. The CGI in this episode was, once again, excellent even if there weren’t that many lengthy CGI sections, though the submarine shots and those of the submersible were incredibly realistic.

A marvellous episode in both plotting, character development and effects. I can’t wait to see how they move on with the cliff hanger to this episode, the return of Emily and, of course, the uncovering of how the sterile earth comes to be…

Primeval is on Watch, Tuesdays at 8pm.

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