Primeval – Series 2 Episode 1

After a little bit of scene-setting involving a bowling ball disappearing into a strange sparkly thing anomaly[1] and coming out somewhen else, we rejoin Nick Cutter and his colleagues where we left them at the end of the last series. If you have no idea what I’m going on about, you might want to click that link and catch up. ITV kindly showed that last episode earlier in the day, which helped…

Having established that nobody knows who Claudia Brown is, that the person who’s been doing her job for months is a man called Oliver Leek, and that the team, rather than being based in Cutter’s research lab, are apparently based somewhere called “the Ark”, Cutter is quite convinced that history has been changed, and that the only other person who knows this is his wife, who quite naturally pops into the anomaly before it disappears.

While Cutter is trying to get his head around all that, we’re taken to a shopping centre. It’s night, and there’s nobody there apart from the security and maintenance people. One of the security guards sees something strange on a monitor – a ball rolling out of a lane of the deserted bowling venue. Thinking that it’s kids messing around, he goes to investigate. And when he doesn’t come back, so does his colleague. Both seem to get nibbled by something you wouldn’t normally expect to see in the average shopping mall…

Cut back to Cutter, who’s arrived at the Anomaly Research Centre (aha! ARC, not “Ark”). This seems to combine the functions of the research lab with Lester’s admin mob who were previously located at the Home Office. Whatever else has changed, it seems that anomalies are a higher budget priority in this world. And Cutter seems to have a lot more people working with him (for him?) than he’s used to. They all know him, but he’s a bit confused. But there’s no time for confusion – they’ve been alerted to strange happenings at the Castle Cross shopping centre, so off they go.

Once at the centre, the team arm themselves with tranquilliser guns. Well, all except Connor. For some reason, nobody wants to trust him with a gun. Oh, and not knowing what they’ll be dealing with, Abby has had to guess at a suitable dosage. This may be important later…

After scaring some of the remaining staff, the gang get to the security room and start looking for whatever has come through. Soon enough they spot it – some kind of raptor. Not huge, but fast, moderately intelligent and with lots of sharp teeth and claws.

Lots of fun follows, involving a very silly chase around the deserted shopping centre during which we get to see the rare sight of a raptor in a china shop[2], a baby raptor leaping out of a locker, and Connor, who’s still providing the comic relief, managing to shoot Abby with the tranquilliser gun that he persuaded her to let him carry. Eventually, the team manage to shoot the raptor.

But it’s not over. They decide that as there’s a baby raptor, and they’ve got mummy, then daddy can’t be far off. And sure enough, there’s a bigger, badder raptor around. This one proves to be more of a challenge, and keeps going after a couple of doses of tranquilliser. It gets into the car park, where some kids are messing around on motorbikes. When one of the kids sees the raptor, Cutter tells him that it’s a new radio control toy…

Cutter and Stephen borrow a couple of motorbikes for a more advanced game of raptor chasing, eventually heading back into the mall, where they manage to lose the bikes but not the raptor. Fortunately, Connor manages to shoot the right biped this time, and just in time, too.

While the raptor is asleep, a quick examination shows that there’s something unusual about its bone structure. Another sign of things being changed? Or just a previously unknown species?

While all this was going on, Cutter has made another discovery. While raptor-dodging in John Lewis, he noticed that radios were picking up interference. He gets Connor to tune them all to the same frequency – if the interference stops when the anomaly closes, then they’ll have a method of detecting the things immediately…

Cutter takes the raptors back through the anomaly, but doesn’t rush back. Stephen follows him through, and persuades him that his plan to follow other anomalies and try to put things back as they were isn’t an altogether good one, and they head back. To make this more interesting, two things happen: the raptors wake up and the anomaly begins to close. Stephen only just makes it in time. The raptor that had a grip on his boot loses its head.

Back in the electrics department, the interference has stopped. Now the team can detect anomalies[3], and they know how Cutter’s wife Helen always knew where they’d appear.

Lester orders Cutter to return to the ARC, saying there’s someone he wants him to meet. Whoever’s in charge has decided that the project should have a public relations person, and she’s just arrived. Her name is Jenny Lewis, but she looks exactly like Claudia Brown. It seems Nick Cutter’s confusion is just beginning…

So, it was a good start to the series. The “changed history” thing should create some interesting plotlines, and allow for some more “interesting” monsters. Good stuff!

[1] Sorry, it’s a running gag thingy
[2] A bit like a bull in a china shop, except it leaps around a bit more
[3] Subject to having enough radios…

9 thoughts on “Primeval – Series 2 Episode 1

  1. Les Post author

    Varina – we’ll have to see how things develop…

    Rita – I don’t know about all the mall scenes, but that was a real branch of John Lewis they used. Details here

  2. Hypatia

    Just found out that shopping mall in the episode, Castle Cross Shopping Centre, was shot inside the Bentalls Centre in Kingston upon Thames. Still looking for the building that was used for the mall exterior in the episode.

  3. barney

    i Know for a fact that that episode was filmed in kingston in the bentall center and john lewis the bowling alley was the mega bowl in the rotunda and the car park was the one below john lewis! and i have been to all those places

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