Friday, 27 November 2015
Primeval Season 4 (2011)
Season 3 of Primeval did pretty well in the ratings stakes, but it was an expensive show to film at a time when the broadcasting network had got itself into financial difficulties. They elected not to renew the series and the producers began to look for new partners.
It took about a year, but ultimately a deal was struck to film two additional series - 13 episodes in all - thanks to the co-operation of several channels (including the original broadcaster).
I'm pleased to say that I enjoyed season 4 a lot more than season 3. First and foremost because it has precious little Danny Quinn - just a guest spot in one episode - but also because the creatures in this series feel like much more credible dangers than they did in the last one.
Just as in the real world, a year has passed in the show. There's a new team responsible for the anomalies, headed up by newcomer Matt Anderson. Matt's a man with secrets, as is made clear from his first appearance, though it won't be until the season conclusion that he clearly states what it is. This is a thread that runs though both this series and the next one, which is why to me they feel a bit more like one season in two parts than two genuinely separate series.
Jess Anderson (in the red dress above) is also new to the show. She oversees things from back at base, using advanced computer systems to coordinate the team's actions and to keep the public out of harm's way.
The other important new face in the show is Philip Burton, a technological genius whose company has been brought on board to help fund investigation of the anomalies. Exactly what he gets out of the arrangement is left ominously unsaid (dun dun dun!).
The other main cast members are all returnees, including three veterans (four if you want to count a CGI lizard) who've been on board since season 1.
Despite all the changes, this series feels more like the show going back to its roots than anything else, with its renewed emphasis on menacing creatures and will-they-won't-they romance angles, both of which were staples of the first two seasons.
It's nice to be having fun while watching this show again.