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Primeval: New World: 113 “The Sound of Thunder: Part 2″ Review


Reviewed by David Selby.

I’m very sad. Primeval, the show of my childhood, has finally reached its end. It’s very unlikely now that I’ll ever see a dinosaur emerge through an Anomaly for the rest of my life (excluding the inevitable re-watches). But it’s an end I’ve prepared for before; in fact, I thought I’d experienced it on two occasions (end of Series 3 and end of Series 5).

The worst part is that the end wasn’t even known about, meaning that this episode was written for more to come afterwards. We already had an answer to the show’s core mystery (why Anomalies are appearing), but there were a lot of loose ends. How many were actually tied up?

I find The New World’s effort to remain faithful to the original quite frankly embarrassing, at times. There’s a big thing made about Connor (Andrew-Lee Potts)’s return – now, he was fabulous in the episode, and one of the best aspects of it, but that’s about all this Canadian spin-off has managed to remain true to in terms of the original series (even that brief future reference in The Inquisition could mean anything: with the worldwide conflicts and environmental issues around at present, the future isn’t going to be too good anyway). We’ve had absolutely no confirmed future creatures, to my understanding (what happened to the future predators?), no reference to the global Anomalies and Dinosaurs from the Convergence, and now, in the final episode, Connor’s back, but with just one brief mention of the old arc team. Where are Matt, Becker, Abbey and Emily? Usually one of them is out doing fieldwork, at least. There’s no clarification to what the Series 5 cliff-hanger was all about; you’d think, in the instance of Mac (Danny Rahim)’s doppelganger, it would be the perfect time to bring up Matt’s mysterious double.

What particularly ticks me off, though, about not having seen any of the old team members, is: why? There’s been no actors, from what I can remember, who turned down the opportunity. I highly doubt any of the original cast wouldn’t be able to make it out to Vancouver to film the show they know and love – even someone like Jenny, who could be brought back for a couple of episodes. It seems mad, to me: as much as I love Connor, it’s not only about him.


Then there’s the fault with Mac’s sacrifice; it would have been very easy to keep it accurate to the first version back in Truth. Say, on Connor’s way back, he is attacked by the Albertosaurus, and rushes through the Anomaly, but it’s latched onto his jacket (not damaging it too much). After it’s gone through the Anomaly, Mac could then grab the jacket and put it on, realising what he has to do. It wouldn’t have to go exactly like that, but the jacket would have been a good catalyst; Mac looking at it, in a moment of awareness, observing destiny play out before his eyes. It would have been an excellent twist that the jacket we’ve seen is, in fact, Connor’s, and that the reason that Mac died was because he was working with Evan. That could have raised some interesting questions: if Evan hadn’t gone back and found Mac, would Mac have died? It could have had some fascinating implications on certain characters. It seems mad, to me, that with such an obvious way to stay truthful to the original events of Brooke’s death, they chose to completely ignore it.

And the infamous Colonel Hall (Louis Ferreira) was just horrible; I hated him, and I rather hope that blow towards the end was fatal. He was quite an absorbing character back in The Inquisition; determined to change Earth ‘for the better’ by whatever means possible, clever, authoritarian, serpentine and manipulative, willing to listen, but very much with his own agenda. In this, though he was irritating, interfering, and simply obnoxious. I could hardly watch him – I really hope he’s not brought back (if the show itself ever is), and if he is, that he has vastly improved.

My problems don’t end there. Once again, it was a ‘shoot the dinosaur for drama’ routine, when, really, it was only doing what its instincts told it (poor thing was being chased by flames towards the end of its tragic life). Furthermore, if Evan (Niall Matter) was so concerned about preserving the past, why did he decide to shoot it dead and thus cause the elimination of its children, grandchildren, and mess up the prehistoric food chain? Did it not occur to him that he may return to the world and find it overrun by insects? This is the man who was, after all, earlier on warning of all the infinite dangers of changing one small thing.

I was a little annoyed at the cliff-hanger, too. I’m always welcome to ending on a cliff-hanger because it pulls in a larger audience for the next series and increases the demand for its return. But if you’re going to, do the likes of the Series 3 cliff-hanger, where our protagonists have accomplished what they’re supposed to, but have found themselves in a tricky situation. If you start up an actual mystery (as this episode did), then if the series is never brought back, we’ll never know the answer. It also means that if another country such as the USA decides to make their own version (like the truthfully plagiarized USA usually does), we’ll have a brand new team, and two mysteries left over: one from the original series, and one from the Canadian spin-off.

After over 900 words of complaining, though, I’m still vaguely positive. The opening sequence was the best from the whole series, and wasted absolutely no time in bringing Connor back into the picture. It was one of the more ambitious, high-budget shots of the run of episodes, and brought back recollections of the UK series. Connor’s introduction to Dylan (Sara Canning) was amusing and we weren’t left waiting for her to ask him any obvious questions.

I’m glad that Angelika (Miranda Frigon) finally did the right thing in letting Connor and Kieran (Robert Lawrenson)back through the Anomaly, but she’s become very parochial lately, and seems to completely block out any visible risks to suit her and make her happy. But that’s fine; it’s not a writing fault, and if that’s how she was intended to be characterized, I’m happy about that.

Possibly the best scene, in my opinion, was Toby (Crystal Lowe)’s revival: it was dramatic, suspenseful, and poignant. I was genuinely glad to have her back (as was Mac). Mac’s sacrifice was a close second place; a superb twist; moving and thought-provoking, and brought great closure to his character.

Moving away from the writing, it was interesting how the director chose to film the final scenes in slow-motion again. It was a technique I found incredibly effective in some of the final scenes in Fear of Flying, and I felt the same way here. That scene wouldn’t have been a patch on what it was without the directing – nor the music. The music was another facet of the aforementioned scene from the third episode which made it so powerful and memorable. Something this series definitely got right was its choice of composer – mind you, the soundtrack to Primeval has always been superlative, anyhow.

Overall Verdict: 8.5/10

Despite all that moaning at the start, this episode wasn’t at all bad: it had a sound premise, linked well into the other stories, and Connor’s appearance was utilized to its fullest. But the faults are still very noticeable: the Colonel’s characterization was unbearable, and the ending wasn’t the way I’d hoped the show would go out. It seemed to make a huge thing out of bringing back Connor, but that’s all it seemed to respect about the original. But, I enjoyed it, and I suppose that’s what matters.

Goodbye Primeval.

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  • Missing Dr. Who and Angry PK-S

    I have never watched Primeval, I’ve only heard about it and it brings much joy to people such as yourself David. Now it’s over you must be devastated and I really feel for you.

    What will you next be reviewing for Cult Fix? I like your angle on things, I’d like to see more from you.

    • Harry Jewell

      I agree.
      I think that 2012/2013 has been terrible for TV.
      Merlin was axed.
      Being Human was axed.
      Primeval has now finally been axed as well.
      Misfits has been axed as well.
      I can’t think of many hard hitting TV shows still on, that are dramas.
      Well… Sherlock but that is one in a small number that are good and surviving.
      Doctor Who, but the BBC are hugely fond of the show.
      How many other good shows are there left?
      Doctor Who and Sherlock. Is that it? Because if it is then this is a terrible time or British entertainment. Are there any only UK shows that are good left as Homeland is based in the US.
      Maybe Broadchurch will help British TV? But as Broadchurch is a crime series, the killer will be found out at the series climax, so what then?
      Maybe it will become a story arc spread across a few series, 1 or 2 more?
      I hope I have gotten my message across.
      Goodbye…. For now.

      • Missing Dr. Who and Angry PK-S

        I’m devastated that one day unfortunately soon Broadchurch will end.

        I don’t think I’ll be reviewing much after that but there’s something very exciting coming up.

        • Harry Jewell

          That is unfortunately true.
          Also what is that “exciting thing coming up”?

      • The Consultant Detective

        Calm down. Those shows were not ‘axed’. They came to a natural ending. If anything, this is great as we’ll get to see what the BBC can create next.

        • Harry Jewell

          I guess i was a little hasty. The BBC are now at a point where they have mostly, the right budget and the right producers and writers, maybe the future for British TV isn’t so bleak after all…

    • TheGenie

      It’s pretty bad, yes. But it was axed back in Series 3 and brought back so it’s not what I’d call a novel experience – I guess it’s like losing a pet for the second time; really sad, but not quite as hard as the first one.

      I’m doing a full-series review and a few one-off articles for Primeval. After that, I’ll have to see. We’ve had a few discussions but haven’t come to any definite conclusion about anything yet.

      • Harry Jewell

        Well…I’m looking forward to your full series review and one off articles. But possibly Primeval hasn’t ended as the producers (maybe someone else official, I’m not 100 percent sure), said that they are looking for another network to pick up the show. I hope this is true.

  • Calebxy

    “It seems mad, to me, that with such an obvious way to stay truthful to the original events of Brooke’s death, they chose to completely ignore it.”

    Umm… that was kind of the point. They changed a whole bunch stuff that was supposed to happen, so now time is changing/in chaos/whatever. That was the entire point of the ending.

    Also, the ending of this (and the whole idea of going back to what happened in the first episode of the series, sort of) reminded me a lot of series 1. The cliffhanger was quite similar.

    • TheGenie

      I understand your point, it just seemed to me like the jacket actually being Connor’s would have been quite a good twist. But if it’s the jacket which caused all those Anomalies to shut, then I sort of get the idea.

      Yes, and me. It just seemed pointless, really; the show was already in jeopardy, whereas in Series 1, the writers were almost certain that it would continue.

      Also, I don’t know why editing time would cause the Anomalies to close. That’s the main thing I want an explanation about.

      • Calebxy

        Ah, I see what you mean. But I think since they still would have changed a lot anyway (for instance, he didn’t have the anomaly detection device), the fact that he was actually wearing different clothes made it more evident to the viewers that yes, this is different to how it happened before. If he had been wearing the same jacket, then it would seem at first glance that it was the same, even though there was a bunch of other vitally important stuff that was different (though perhaps that would actually have been better, because then the viewers don’t know why time is being effected until they think about it more).

        I admit, I was quite annoyed at the fact that it ended on a cliffhanger, but at least it left me extremely intrigued as to what life is going to be like when/if they get back through the anomaly. I sincerely hope that another channel picks up this show so it can continue.

        Though overall, I thought this was a very good episode. I liked it a lot, though I thought the slow-motion at the end was much too excessive.

  • Ninth Time Lucky

    This wasn’t a good show. It did not live up to the standards of the British Primeval series. Actually, series 1-3 of Primeval is how I like to remember it. I always felt even Series 4 & 5 were a bit weak.

    • Harry Jewell

      Yo aren’t the only person who thinks that. A lot of people think Series 4 is where Primeval went wrong.

      • Peripherus

        Series 3 was where it went wrong, look at the ratings. As soon as Cutter dies, and Danny comes, the ratings go down from 5-6 million to 0.5 million.

        • Harry Jewell

          Too True. Doctor Who hugely beat it in ratings, from past Series 3 onwards. Series 3 and before it was close but Doctor Who mostly won.


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