Primeval: New World: 106 “Clean Up On Aisle Three” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
It has to be said, there’s not a huge amount to say about this one. In terms of storytelling, it has a simple (but arguably effective) premise, strong but slight characterization, and very little of the ‘classic’ Primeval facets. That’s not to say that it’s bad as such, but the focus seemed to be more like a soap opera rather than a sci-fi show.
In terms of setting, the home and garden store kept filming relatively undemanding and budgeting low, but still made for an interesting new Anomaly siting; a maze, if you will, of household appliances, where the crafty little creatures can kill off innocent humans unnoticed.
The Daemonosaurus were a lot less dangerous that last week’s horrific prehistoric canines, but made up for their lacking strength with intelligence. The build-up to the proper encounter was very tense and keeping the dinosaurs in the shadows made a change to the typical ‘in-your-face’ characteristics we’re all used to.
The episode once again took a darker turn as it progressed; the macabre fate of the security guard and its implications springing to mind here. It’s a very poignant scene and shows how distressed Mac is. Mac (Danny Rahim), in fact, shows a whole new uncompromising and somewhat scary side to himself that I’d doubt he’d be capable of. His belligerence towards the dinosaurs is largely uncalled for, and actually made me feel a lot less sympathy than I did before, but it’s clear that he’s psychologically damaged by Sam’s death, and is evidently struggling to cope with his emotions. Mac could also end up seriously damaging the chain of evolution if he continues with his ‘killing spree’ on primordial animals.
The most interesting part of the episode for me, and I’m sure many others, was how Angelika (Miranda Frigon) and Ken (Geoff Gustafson) were built on. Angelika was given more depth, and became less and less like the tyrannical executive she’d been made out to be before – in fact, I’d go as far as saying that she was almost like the audience surrogate this week. She had a very compelling story which really stemmed from her love for Evan (Niall Matter) and her craving devotion from him, and was made even more likable by her shocking juxtaposition to Ken, who is becoming more and more repulsive every week, as the man who makes ‘dead people go away’. But Angelika’s subplot meant that The New World was once again not just a show about ‘busting dinosaurs’, but also about love, sadness, and some large moral dilemmas. I’m very curious to see how both characters develop.
Finally, I really enjoyed the ending. As well as the charming variation on the theme tune, Evan’s need for Angelika finally allowed him to get over his wife’s death, beginning a new relationship with her, which, giving as this is a TV show, will probably go horribly wrong later in the series. (And before I stop, although this isn’t the fault of the program, the adverts are driving me mad. They’re always placed right in the middle of the action and completely ruin the ambiance. As well as complaining about it, I’m certainly going to be buying the box-set so that I can watch them without interruptions!)
Overall verdict: 8/10
Whilst excelling in what it did do well, this one felt rather bland in parts, and underused a lot of Primeval’s main features. Despite this, it was a refreshing change on what we’ve been given before, and a superb character piece.