Friday, 4 December 2015

Primeval Season 5 (2011)

Barring a short-lived spin-off set in Canada, this is the last series of Primeval.  Though as I have mentioned while reviewing previous seasons, it feels more like the second half of an extra-long season than a standalone story: season 4 ended with the reveal of Matt Anderson's secret mission, and season 5 is all about Matt bringing the rest of the team in on it while still dealing with the inevitable creature attacks that are the show's bread and butter.

The sense of continuity is probably reinforced by the fact that this is the first time in the show's run that the core group of characters for a season have been the same as in the previous season.  One new minor character is introduced, but other than that the cast remains consistent.

As a conclusion to the show, this is a pretty satisfactory effort.  The only real misstep is in the final scene, where they do the inevitable horror movie "it's not over yet" thing.  Probably this was meant as a lead-in to a series 6, if it had happened, but feels really unnecessary even in those circumstances: they'd given us a perfectly good ending-with-scope-for-future-dangers literally seconds earlier, and should have quit there.

That one sour note aside though, things are good.  The looming, season-long threat is kept constantly in our minds without being allowed to detract from the episode-to-episode creature incursions, and said incursions occur in some inventive locations.  Characters have understandable reasons for their actions, and act within their established and logical skill sets.  No-one asks me to believe a modern day police officer taking on a medieval knight in a sword fight, for instance.

Primeval delivered four entertaining series of adventure/action, while only season 3 was a bit of a stinker.  It's been outlasted by Doctor Who - with which it clearly shared a target audience - but in my eyes this show's hit to miss ratio was a lot better.

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