Primeval: New World: 104 “Angry Birds” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
Last week left me positively overwhelmed. Primeval, it seemed, was finally back! There were some deep characters and some very suspenseful, dramatic and emotional moments. Let’s hope this week lived up to those high standards…
Once again, the cast was small, using only nine characters. These were the usual: Niall Matter as Evan – showing nothing particularly special this time around, Sara Canning as Dylar Weir – demonstrating courage in a tough situation, Danny Rahim as Mac Rendell – proving a commitment to protecting all his team, Crystal Lowe as Toby Nance, finally getting some development (more on that later), and Angelika Finch (Miranda Frigon) along with her associate from Project Magnet, Ken Leeds (Geoff Gustafson), who will be focused on in the latter half of this review.
On top of that, we had two drug dealers, ‘Blake’ and ‘Skeezer’, played by Patrick Gilmore and Kett Turton respectively. These two were interesting characters as they felt pressured by Evan and Dylan: should they hand the animal over? Should they keep them hostage? Should they shoot them? As they became more and more stressed, they even began to doubt themselves, and ended being outnumbered when Toby came along to aid the team. Toby was far more significant this week, gaining bravery in helping her teammates and understanding what the ‘fieldwork’ is really like (the portrayal of Toby’s first reaction to the anomalies made them seem far more mystical than ever before in The New World). By the end, she felt much more like ‘one of the gang’.
The plot wasn’t that much different from last week: Evan and Dylan finding themselves trapped with two characters who are severely doubting them, having to escape from their location and face the creatures outside. However, I must guiltily confess that I preferred last week’s take on it – by a fair amount. There wasn’t really anything memorable this week, apart from the enthralling hostage-taking scenes, I can’t really recall much about what went on without going back over the episode. That’s not a sign of a particularly successful story, and the fact that I had to give it a re-watch before remembering how it ended is very, very worrying.
The ‘Terror Birds’ were quite strong as monsters, but not as much as the last offering we had. The addition of a baby was good because, as with Primeval in the past, you were waiting for ‘mummy’ to turn up. The subtle clues to what the birds could do added tension, fully illustrated in the nail-biting scenes towards the episode’s close.
The setting of the vintage train yard wasn’t a bad move, and the idea of it being used as a ‘drug farm’ was also very original, even if it did seem to be pushing the boundaries of the show.
The final point I’m going on to is Ken Leeds’ character. I really like the fact that he’s now being shown to be ‘not all that good’, de-familiarizing the audience with him: what could he want with a baby Terror Bird? If it is following a plot like the classic Primeval (protagonist loses wife in situation surrounding anomaly, forms team who are gaining the gradual support of the government), then who’s the say that he won’t take a similar route to Oliver Leek? That would be a fantastic twist if he did, and would allow me to finally have confidence in this new series.
Overall Rating: 4/10
A fairly nondescript story with a lacking plot and very unmemorable in comparison to last week. There are, however, some good aspects, such as the developments on Toby and Ken, but overall this was quite a disappointment.