Primeval: New World: 110 “The Great Escape” Review
Reviewed by David Selby.
As the final series ever of Primeval draws to a close, we’re slowly starting to tie up some of the series’ loose ends. In this week’s episode, The Great Escape, we were treated to not just the conclusion of the cliff-hanger from Angry Birds (Episode 4), but also to an interesting scenario where we actually felt more for the creature than we did for those hunting it.
Strangely, this creature was actually a ‘Terror Bird’, first introduced in Series 3 as a lethal killer whose death (in the case of that series, being blasted by an unexploded mine) wasn’t a misfortune; rather a lucky convenience. So whilst Ken Leeds got the bigger share of character development this week (discussed later), it has to be said, ‘Leggy’ was quite fascinating from that angle, because his ancestors/descendants weren’t anywhere near as easy to sympathize with.
The episode began with possibly the most effective opening of the series so far, and, as brief as it was, the insight into Leggy’s torture at Project Magnet was enough for me to feel pity for the bird, and also truly despise those experimenting on it (I will be extremely disappointed if the folks over at Project Magnet don’t get their comeuppance eventually). I think perhaps that the one scene; the creature screaming in agony, trapped in a ridiculously small place, and trying desperately to escape, was more successful than more scenes, in the way that it left the rest of its brutal treatment to the imagination – quality over quantity, so to speak. I think the escape was executed perfectly, especially leaving the creature to be seen later on.
One of the most intriguing parts of the episode was seeing how well the Cross Photonics team and the Project Magnet soldiers cooperated (or not..?). I notice there’s often tension between characters in The New World; between Mac and Evan in Clean up on Aisle Three, between Dylan and Ange in Babes in the Woods, and between Evan and everyone in Truth. It was particularly prominent in this episode, I think, because of the problem at hand, and the likelihood of our heroes succeeding; there was a Terror Bird on the loose, which they were happy to kill, and Evan and Dylan’s chances were slim due to the sheer number of soldiers. The soldiers themselves were particularly easy characters to hate, too; especially Major Douglas, who even grated on the nerves of Ken Leeds.
On the subject of Ken Leeds (Geoff Gustafson), his presence was more noteworthy than perhaps ever before. He underwent some superb character development, as we finally saw him do the right thing. He’s a bit of a loser, but that’s what makes his character so well-written, because deep down, he does have good intentions.
Evan (Niall Matter) and Dylan (Sara Canning) very much took centre-stage, with some interesting but not particularly noteworthy nods to the latter’s past career. Dylan’s decision to kill the creature was a particularly moving one, due to her revelation last week. The scene overall was very poignant, and definitely the best in the episode.
It has to be said, though, that whilst this was a good episode (the setting being a particularly refreshing change), there wasn’t anything especially ‘amazing’ about it, like there has been in several over the past few weeks, so this somewhat detracts from my overall score.
Overall Verdict: 8/10
Not the best in the series, but also without any noticeable faults, and strong entertainment for forty minutes. Some interesting developments for Ken Leeds, and a good conclusion to a nearly-forgotten string in the complex web of Primeval – I cannot wait to see what Project Magnet are really up to. The rest of the series is shaping up to be a good one, though I have high expectations for the last three episodes; I hope they don’t disappoint.