Primeval: New World: 107 “Babes in the Woods” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
It’s been a rather inconsistent series of New World; each episode has retrospectively had its pros and cons, but some had more of the former, whilst others thrived with the latter. This week, we had a Primeval that wasn’t bad per se, but not particularly good either. But it was more than watchable, and a nice bit of program to fill the small gaps between the adverts on Watch.
There was a lot of tension between the protagonists this week as Angelika (Miranda Frigon) decided to join Evan (Niall Matter) and Dylan (Sara Canning) for a dinosaur-hunting session. This caused a lot of gaucheness from all three as over the past few weeks, Evan and Dylan had shared a lot of ‘intimate’ moments; being trapped on a plane ambushed by killer insects in Fear of Flying (episode 3), being held hostage by drug dealers in Angry Birds (episode 4), and dealing with the small but smart Daemonosaurus in Clean up on Aisle Three (episode 6), among others.
Adding another to the party began an odd three-way love affair, and whilst we all want to see Ange and Evan happy together, there’s potential heartbreak for a very jealous Dylan, who we also care for. So despite this plot strand not being particularly pivotal in terms of discovering ancient secrets of the universe, it’s certainly grabbed my attention, as I’m sure it has many others.
Toby (Crystal Lowe)’s previous ‘career’ pulled in a lot of attention, and warranted a few jokes from Mac (Danny Rahim). The contrast between her and the other pin-up models was interesting; they were still the same people (presumably) as they were when Toby last saw them, whilst Toby herself had developed significantly into a mature woman.
I do, however, have some issues with her ex-girlfriend, Natalie (Tora Hylands). Her defining trait as a character seemed to be the fact that she was a lesbian – now, don’t get me mistaken for a homophobe here. I’m absolutely fine with a gay sub-plot to convey some of the discrimination/complications in modern-day society associated with homosexuality, but it’s the same case as ever where gay characters are depicted as thoughtless, brash, and overly-teasing – can’t they just be portrayed normal? What is it about this television stereotype which states that all these characters have to be driven by their sexuality, as opposed to something else?
Natalie did have her moments; she was a vulnerable and somewhat flawed individual, whilst still being fun and amusing (“Oh sure, taser Natalie and not the bear!”), but she seemed to be there purely to point out loudly that Toby was a lesbian. One day, I’d like to see a gay relationship on TV which actually follows the story of two people falling in love; not a writer trying to make a point about homosexuality.
Another poor aspect of the narrative was the Ornitholestes. They did seem quite fake to me (though this could be down to the fact that my picture was constantly interrupted by atmospherics), but that wasn’t the issue; they just seemed to be there out of necessity, but didn’t do anything, which is an easy but elementary mistake to make. The same applies for Dylan’s fall; it only seems needed to drag out the plot and make a good stopping point for the adverts. The bear scene was funny, and a nice addition, but nothing became of that, either.
The ending wasn’t bad, but not particularly memorable. I liked the idea of finishing on an anomaly scene, and the bridge jump(s) was very dramatic, though the characters recovered quickly. The short scene with Ken (Geoff Gustafson) made for an unforgettable touch, and is intriguing in terms of the series arc.
Overall Verdict: 5/10
Not quite the worst in the series, but with a lot of issues. There are some promising ideas for the rest of the series, though, and I’m looking forward to next week’s episode, Truth, which I’ve been anticipating since the start.