Friday, 6 November 2015
Primeval Season 3 (2009)
At 10 episodes, series 3 of Primeval is almost half again as long as any other season. At least if one goes by the official count. I think an argument could be made (and possibly will be, in a future review) that series 4 and series 5 are really just one season that got broadcast in two parts.
I've never seen any official word about the reasons for the extra length of this series, but I suspect it stemmed largely from the need to farewell old characters and introduce new ones. If you look at the cast picture from this DVD and compare to the one from my review of last series, you'll notice 60% turnover. That's a pretty rough thing to juggle for any series, especially one that also saw the need to introduce new human adversaries over and above the group's existing nemesis and all the beasties that once were the focus of the show.
That 'were the focus' part is one reason for why I haven't given this season a recommendation. Series 3 of Primeval just doesn't deliver on the creature feature stakes, in my opinion. It too often plays the monster incursions for laughs (even the ones where the dialogue is all about how dangerous they are), and/or embellishes them with goofy additions, such as the episode where a Dracorex is pursued into the modern day by a medieval knight. Much more focus is given to the ongoing antics of Helen Cutter (which are pretty meh) and the new human adversaries (who show initial promise, but their arc gets hijacked by Helen's stuff).
The second reason I haven't given this season a recommendation is front and centre in the picture of the DVD. I find Danny Quinn (he of the cocked eyebrow and silly hair) to be thoroughly annoying, a feeling that is exacerbated by the fact that the writers so clearly intend us to see him as a charming rogue. As far as I am concerned, he's not charming in the slightest, and the narrative cartwheels the scripts do to make him the central figure in the show are like fingernails on a chalkboard for me.
On the plus side, this was the series I liked least when I watched the show on TV, so maybe things are going to look up again now that it is over.