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25 November 2012 @ 07:47 pm
Primeval - New World { Review }  
Primeval - New World
Spin off of Primeval
Stars: No one that I have ever seen.
Guest appearances: Andrew Lee (GOD) Potts from the original.
Director: Martin Wood - Amanda Tapping.

Notes: I watched and mostly loved the original despite its inconsistent characters (they kept dying!) and long gaps between seasons when networks squabbled over it. I have come into this show with every intention of wanting to love it (as it's one of a very few shows I have left after Sanctuary finished).


{ Has anyone noticed that the lead bears more than a passing resemblance to John Sheppard from Atlantis? I can't be the only one that does a double take. }

The Characters:
Dreadful. They are flat, increasingly stupid and do not seem to have any kind of natural reaction to the extraordinary scenes that they are placed in. At no point do I believe that IF there were space time anomalies opening up across Vancouver these people would be left in charge of controlling them. In fact, three episodes in I know neither their names nor the corporations they work for. Sometimes they appear to be in the same building - other times they have no relation to each other at all.  Without a clear chain of command, it is never clear what people's roles are in the show. The forced romance in the show is either cringe worthy or entirely bland depending on which actors are involved. Oggling each other with an angry, hungry raptor next to you? I don't think so. You'd be screaming, crying or unconscious. Seriously. It's a freaking Raptor.

Actors: So far the only actor with a pulse and hint of charisma is Geoff Gustafson playing an X Files agent (essentially). He's doing his best with a script that gives his situation absolutely no credability. If you're department is so underfunded that you're the only staff member working on a black/green monitor screen from the 80's then I guarantee you don't have access to the highly classified files regarding dinosaurs walking the streets of the modern world.
Adrian Holmes - plays a very bored but decently acted detective who looked properly scared when a giant snake checked him out.

The women are poorly written and dreadfully acted. I have no real objection to women being pretty sidekicks on a TV show but these ones have lines like, "it must be underwater" when the whole team are staring at an underwater anomaly. I could go on and on about how bad they are (and more of them keep appearing) but you get the idea.

The men are almost as bad (save the exceptions above). They are all idiots and have no clear strengths/weaknesses/personality. They all sound as though they're just prattling off lines with no concept of OMG THERE ARE DINOSAURS HERE. SciFi acting takes a special class of people - people who can look at a green screen and SEE what the script says is there. I have a feeling that these are acting school kids running through the motions. What they should do is put real snakes/bugs/emus in front of them and get them to actually react.

The Hub: It's just awful. No idea where it is, who owns it or their motivations behind allowing these kids to play around with dangerous time traveling animals. No wonder Conor strutted straight into it.

Direction: (sorry...): it's uninspired and lazy. The old TV show (and many others unrelated to this) give you a chance to appreciate the remarkable scenery. Let's face it, you have magnificent ancient animals and lost landscapes that lend well to a visually beautiful television show. These are instead reduced to a couple of seconds if at all. Most of the time you'd have no idea you were watching a show about the ancient world bleeding into ours. We learn nothing about what we're seeing. (As a point I'm currently watching a bug the size of a rhino eat a person and the two actors also watching are just calmly standing around. You'd be HORRIFIED).

Script: Dreadful. Seriously, close your eyes and just listen. The very very very basic monster of the week plot is fine - except that nearly the whole story is repeated expose on subjects the audience is already familiar on. Example, in episode two every time a new character ran on set they REHASHED the plot about an underwater snake. Over. And over. And over. And over... You really don't need to hand hold the audience that much. The minute we saw the image of the thing sliding about under the surface WE GOT IT.

Again, just watched a guy suffocating and the line - 'his airway is obstructed'. No. Really? They draw out a nasty looking thing from his throat. 'What is that?' These are things that you just don't need to put into script. It's lazy and most editors would draw big red lines through all of it.

Believability: Now, I know this is a show about time traveling (impossible) dinosaurs BUT that's fine. What's not believable is the characters and their role in the show. Not one of them would be allowed to control this situation - not one of them is even capable of it. The handling of the creature incidents is equally implausible. Raptor in Stanley park. Do they warn anyone? No. Do they close it? Why would we do that... it would have been funny with a throw away line like, 'yeah but, most things in this park will kill you - what's one extra Raptor? Hell it might even be good for tourism'.

The ancient climates. I'm sorry but the other tv show was at least aware that you can't just walk into the ancient world. Not all of it has a breathable climate - not all of it is particularly friendly to humans. It makes me wonder if the writers had any - even a fragment - of history behind them before embarking on this.

Also, just watched them throw a metal claw through the anomaly. IT'S A MAGNETIC VORTEX DOUCHBAGS.

What I like:

The opening credits.
Andrew Lee Potts when he makes brief appearances.

Anyone have any thoughts on it?
Feeling...: calmcalm
The Nikola Tesla Protégé: Jonathon: Anitardis_mafia on November 25th, 2012 04:07 pm (UTC)
I never saw the original, but I know who Andrew Lee Potts is. This show sounds awful, and it's only the first ep, right? Eek.

I'd watch if Jonathon were on it...
nikolat3sla: after dinner snacknikolat3sla on November 26th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)
You should watch the original - lots of fun - like a better-written version of Sanctuary. <3
The Nikola Tesla Protégé: Jonathon: Promotardis_mafia on November 26th, 2012 03:11 pm (UTC)
I might. It's on my list of shows I wanna watch, but sadly not at the top.
eh - no subject - doylefan22 on November 25th, 2012 05:47 pm (UTC) (Expand)
nikolat3sla: i - i can'tnikolat3sla on November 26th, 2012 04:15 am (UTC)
I know - such a shame! i wanted to like it...

Primeval (UK) season 5 was epic btw - their best season and a proper conclusion to the series. Highly recommend you give it a go!