Review: Primeval 2×6

It's unnatural

Remember Crimson Tide? No, probably not.

It was this submarine movie starring Gene Hackman. Thing was, they had Quentin Tarantino as script advisor.

You’d have never known for most of us. It chugged along like a regular movie. Then all of a sudden, out of nowhere, there’s this bizarre scene where they all discuss which version of the Silver Surfer was their favourite. Stood out like a bodybuilder at a vegetarians convention.

I mention this purely because tonight, I seemed to wander into a completely different show from the Primeval I’ve been watching for the last few weeks. No surprise there though: it was written by Paul Cornell.

Cutter is convinced there are traitors in the team and he’s quick to point the finger at Lester and Jenny. He tries to get Abby and Connor to buy into his theory but needs Stephen to back up his stories. But there is no sign of Stephen… or Caroline… or Rex. What’s can be going on?

While Cutter and his team face the nightmare of a giant Colombian mammoth rampaging through a busy road, in broad daylight, Stephen is with Helen. Will he rekindle his feelings for her or demonstrate his loyalty to Cutter?

Was it any good?
While it wasn’t exactly The Wire, it was certainly a bit harder edged than your normal Primeval. People being betrayed by their friends, left right and centre, and pulling guns on each other; booby traps and double crosses; bad guys that don’t roar or lay eggs; covert meetings that don’t employ every cliché ever written; shagging: it was all a bit interesting.

We even got to see Dougie aroused from his lethargy into nastiness and actual fights. Ooh. It’s good to see that Dougie’s still not action man enough not to telegraph his punches, but I’m sure he’s working on it. 

But even he wasn’t the hardest member of staff, this time. Ben Miller’s bureaucratic Lester turns out not only to be more hardcore than the rest of the Team Cutter, he’s got more brains than the lot of them. It’s like the Keystone Cops have been running the whole operation only because their boss, Robocop, has had some important reports to file until now.

That’s not to say it was perfection. Whether Cornell just has some good days from time to time (cf Doctor Who‘s Human Nature) or whether the Primeval producers decided to dumb the script down a bit, we still had a reasonable degree of dumbness. Why exactly did no one remark about the oddness of having a white van suddenly installed in the middle of "The Ark"? Why would anyone rig up a car bomb to be powered by its battery? Why would any reporter issue threats that he was going to get to the bottom of a top secret government cover up?

But a pretty surprising diversion from standard Primeval fare. And I’m actually looking forward to the finale, next week. How odd.