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Primeval: New World: 103 “Fear of Flying” Review


Reviewed by David Selby.

Episode 2 had been, irrefutably, a large mark better than Episode 1. But it still wasn’t ‘Primeval’. It felt like cheap rip-off of a brilliant show. Spotless sci-fi edging on tawdry gimmick. I was fairly doubtful. Then came along Episode 3. My mind is now completely made up…

This week saw yet another unique concept established. A cargo plane headed for its destination, drawn off-course by an Anomaly and ensnared in the past. Of course, this wasn’t any ordinary past.

The use of the plane really added to the isolation of the story, particularly when the pilot was killed. How would they get back? If the Anomaly closed, where else was there to go? Admittedly, this was a bit of a wasted opportunity, as a full passenger plane could have been an excellent adventure, but the small-budget idea they used worked, notwithstanding the other potentials. It endorsed far more focus on the show’s protagonists.

These protagonists were Evan Cross (Niall Matter), Dylan (Sara Canning), Mac (Danny Rahim), Toby (Crystal Lowe), Samantha (Jodi Balfour) and Sandy (Pallavi Grewal), and each had some superb moments. Evan and Dylan interacted well together as ever, placed in close proximity due to the nature of the story. One of the narrative’s defining moments was Evan harshly remarking on Sandy’s behaviour, drawing a comparison between her and Dylan. This was a good move; it interlinked the events of the season opener, as well as providing a thought-provoking question on how much sympathy we should have for Sandy. Conversely, Sandy was developed more along with Evan when the pair spoke about how close relationships people can have within their work communities. There was a lot of emotional value in this story, complemented by the comical flirting between Mac and Samantha to lighten the tone when necessary. Even Toby improved, with two signs of human emotion: a) concern for her team and b) jealousy that she must stay in the base. I’m nigh on impressed.

The ambiance remained dark, quite rightly; hitting a more adult, horrific tone that its predecessors. The fact that the other side of the anomaly wasn’t a full-FX shot proved for the better; concealing the world behind, and adding a large element of mystery to the unfamiliar location.

The creatures from the episode were also some of the best Primeval has given us: absolutely unbeatable, and equally different to the ‘usual’. The queen beetle was well-utilized but not overused, and the flesh-eating bugs were a very chilling concept, plus the method of escaping them was well-thought up.

The resolution was very tense and had me on the edge of my seat. The music was outstanding and the whole scene encapsulated exactly why I’m turning to love The New World.

The only criticism I can find is that the series arc seems to have been abandoned, but it didn’t detract from my enjoyment of the episode.

Overall Rating: 9/10

Close to perfection; one of the greatest stories ever to come from Primeval. A strong narrative structure, accompanied by some very poignant, stimulating sub-plots, plus with an added element of horror. For the first time, I’m really looking forward to the next episode.

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  • Nova Doctor

    Great Review I have to admit I have never seen primeval but this article has persuaded me to give it a go.

    • Nova Doctor

      Any Advice on where to start would be appreciated.

      • TheGenie

        Like I said, Series 1. The DVD is quite cheap on Amazon, I think.

    • TheGenie

      Thanks! (Comments are back working for me, or replies at least) I’d start from Series 1; it’s a fantastic series which I’d even compare to Doctor Who. I know you’ll love it.

  • TheDoctorIsAwesome

    Great review. I also loved this episode (although not quite as much as you)

    • river song

      Is primeval any good????

  • thelonelycenturion

    And here I thought I was out of good sci fi shows to watch. Just finished my rewatch of the Sarah Connor Chronicles and only a few eps of Star Trek Voyager left. Now I’m excited to see Primeval

  • Calebxy

    I did like this episode a lot, but I really hated the excessive gore featured in it.

    So far, episode 1 is my favourite, then episode 2, then episode 3 (this would be second if it wasn’t for the fact that I found it really difficult to watch, and generally unpleasant).

    • TheGenie

      I think you’ve got to allow for a bit of gore because it makes it more realistic.

      1. Episode 3
      2. Episode 2
      3. Episode 1

      • Calebxy

        No, not showing them take the eggs out of that person’s mouth wouldn’t have made it any less realistic.

  • That Awkward Silent

    Hmm. I may consider picking this up on DVD then. To be honest Series 5 was a huge turn off for me so hopefully this may reignite my interest in the show.

    • TheGenie

      This is the first one which has really sparked an interest for me. The others so far have been pretty mediocre, and still not as good as the ‘classic’ Primeval in my opinion. But yeah; give it watch anyway.

  • IAmTheCommenter

    Thank you for these reviews, David. I’m considering buying the DVD when it comes out (I can’t watch the series as I don’t have Sky), so these reviews have really helped me in making my decision. Thanks again! :)

    • TheGenie

      No problem, thanks for watching. You’ve seen the original series, I assume.

      • IAmTheCommenter

        Yes I have. :)


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