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.