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

Primeval: Series 5 Episode 3 Review


Written By: Philip Lickley

** Warning: contains spoilers **

Series five hits the half way point with an episode set in Victorian London and an explanation for the old tale of Spring Heeled Jack, the weird figure with razor claws and a great jumping ability that allegedly killed people back in the 1800s, though the episode couldn’t explain the fire-breathing reports of the time but we’ll gloss over that.

The episode kicked off back in Victorian London, a beautifully recreated landscape complete with smoke, St. Pauls and Victorians, a fantastic balance between sets, probably some form of museum, CGI and characters that must have cost a fair few bob to create. There, in London, we find series 4 character Emily struggling to adjust to Victorian life where a woman knows her place. Her husband is none too impressed by her change in character and deems her to be mad, sentencing her to be locked away in Bedlam, a Victorian mental hospital, unbeknownst to his wife who is fleeting around trying to track down Spring Heeled Jack, e.g. the raptor.

Meanwhile in the present Matt is continuing to try and get Abby on his side to find out what Connor is doing for Philip but she is reluctant to do so in fear it will put a strain on her relationship with her boyfriend. However, after an encounter with assistant April, who might as well have a sign hanging round her neck saying ‘I’m trying to split you both up’, convinces Jess to leave her computer, allowing her to look at the CCTV records and find out the code for Connor’s lab and knocking out the camera, allowing her to break in and steal records of the computer, using that typical sci-fi file copying screen that involves no log-ins, dragging files or indeed anything technical. Naturally her phone call to Connor to get him out of the lab leads him to bump into April who smells a rat who, following a tense series of cut-aways between them, Abby and the transferring files, returns to the lab but Abby has managed to conceal herself away in the corner. It might be a bit clichéd but was a pleasant enough addition.

But before a lot of that happened there was this week’s anomaly to deal with, opening up in an art exhibition snappily called ‘intimidation’. There they discover a raptor which they quickly return through thanks to some snappy running by Becker. Unfortunately the dating detector shows it to be an anomaly to the Victorian age and not the prehistoric, leaving Matt with no choice but to go through to rectify their mistake though it’s obvious Emily is on his mind after last week’s revelation in paper form. If you think some of these seems always coincidental then there is that feel to it. What are the chances of another anomaly opening in that time?

That shaky plotting aside Matt goes through to track down the raptor, stumbles into Emily and her husband, warning her about Bedlam, and managing to catch up with the creature, all whilst avoiding an angry mob of Victorians intent on killing Spring Heeled Jack that Emily, thanks to her get-up of body gear and knives, resembles. The raptor is soon through the anomaly, giving Matt the chance to tell Emily his true feelings. After being rebuffed by her, he returns through, just in time for Emily’s husband to come through having shot Emily, holding Matt hostage. Luckily for our team Emily’s body armour saved her and the re-awoken raptor does in Lord Merchant before being dispatched himself by Becker.

With Emily and Matt back together, it’s over to a less than happy couple as Abby is spotted sneaking about Connor’s lab by the man himself. There they share some choice words over how Abby doesn’t trust Connor and how Connor knows Philip was mentioned in Helen Cutter’s notes when Danny returned last series. Could this be the end of their relationship?

The episode ends with Connor creating the first ever man made anomaly, leading to progress with Philip’s ‘New Dawn’ project, and leading to a major beetle-based problem in next week’s episode.

Overall it was an interesting episode but not as good as the previous two. The coincidence of Abby’s discovery about Emily in the last episode and an anomaly opening up in Victorian London this week in Emily’s time seemed too forced, but the other elements of the story made up some of the way with interesting developments in the personal lives of the characters. Not a bad episode, with some great locations and CGI, but not the best.

Primeval is on Watch, Tuesdays at 8pm.

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