Primeval: New World: 109 “Breakthrough” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
The last episode left off with a few faults, but also with the greatest twist yet: Mac is, in fact, an ARC solider (a great nod to the original series), who has somehow ended up on the other side of an Anomaly, and gave his life to save Evan (this was reflected on in this episode in some great scenes, though the focus was mainly on the Anomaly).
Interestingly, this was possibly closest to the classic style of a Primeval episode since the show finished off in Series 5; a story based around a prehistoric creature and an Anomaly, with the media also pressuring the team to build tension. The episode wasted no time posing a threat, and had as captivating a start as ever.
Howard Kanan (Colin Ferguson) was a very original and deep character, and had a unique relationship with Evan. It was remarkable to see how Evan’s actions in the past had such an impact on an individual; leading them to becoming a recluse, spending their days hidden away imagining what could have been. I won’t say that Howard was characterised perfectly, however; sometimes his over-excitable moments were quite irritating, and he could have been explored further.
The triceratops was the best use of a creature since Undone, and had amazingly never appeared in a Primeval before. Whilst being a herbivore, the story still allowed it to be a threat, and used a lot of what we know about it to provide a stimulating change from the usual ruthless killers that come through. This was what sparked Dylan’s epiphany; my favourite scene. As someone who feels strongly for animal rights myself, I could completely see where she was coming from about humans ‘screwing up the planet’. Therefore, since Ange has (unfortunately) left (for now?), Dylan has become a new favourite; a sympathetic, caring and wise individual, who reminds me in many ways of Abbey from the original series.
One of the things I found most interesting about this episode was the combination of emotions; the poignant backstory behind Dylan’s motives, the tension around Evan’s new discovery, the humour involving the team’s ingenious, if a little unconventional methods (the flower-bed scene springs to mind here; that was hilarious), and the real feel-good feeling when they just for once managed to save a creature and get it back unharmed. This was something which I felt the other stories were lacking in; Truth was too drama-heavy, and Babes in the Woods didn’t have enough. It’s the sign of a good script, and is one of the reasons why I was such a fan of the third series.
I could’ve done without Howard’s last-minute ‘suicide’ though; I don’t think it was quite explored enough. From one angle, I liked it, but it seemed to put to waste all the character development and self-discovery that he’d been given. Howard could have been a very interesting returning character.
Finally, Ken Leeds’ involvement this week was different to the usual, as he appeared more obedient, clearly trying to cooperate (but with a darker intention?)
Overall Verdict: 9/10
Whilst Howard’s development was just a bit inconsistent, I love the way that for once we weren’t given a somewhat morbid, adult-themed episode and that like in classic Primeval, the team dealt with a creature incursion and an Anomaly, getting the creature through in the nick of time. It’s the show I know and love, and it’s a shame that it’ll be over so soon.