Primeval – Series 4, Episode 2

Having made us wait eighteen months for the new series, ITV decided to be kind and only have one day between the first two episodes, so here we are with another one.

We start with a brief prologue, complete with a “Five years ago” caption. A woman is disturbed by noises in her kitchen one night. The source turns out to be an odd looking reptile, which in a move that would outrage the RSPCA, she flushes down the toilet, in much the same way that New Yorkers were rumoured to have flushed their pet alligators when they got a bit too big to be cute. And in much the same way that those alligators didn’t grow up to be quite large sewer-dwellers, the little beastie settled down to a happy life of eating rats. And growing…

Back up to the present, and err, hold on. There’s something I didn’t mention in my episode one post. I’ve been wondering why the anomaly that brought Abby and Connor home managed to arrange things so that much the same amount of time had elapsed for them as it had for everyone in the present. Now if it had been the same anomaly, that might have made some kind of sense, with some doubletalk about syncro-wotsits and matched displacements or something. But, unless my memory is worse than usual, they got to the Cretaceous via the future, taking two quite different anomalies to get there. So why did they arrive a year after they left rather than the Tuesday before they left, or in the middle of 1965, or at some other point? Other than dramatic wossnameness, I mean. Perhaps all will be explained. Or perhaps not.

Anyway, after that digression, back to the story. Amy and Connor are debriefed by Matt, then given the good news about the decision that military personnel are much more suited to investigating creature arrivals, despite the fact that (a) Amy’s better with animals and (b) Connor has more of a clue about anomalies and (c) it’s always the soldiers who get eaten first, in a Star Trek red shirt kind of way. Bashir Burton[1] reminds a reluctant Lester that they agreed about this, though Lester’s look suggests that this is the kind of “we agreed” that’s more like “I told you”. Lester manages to wangle a job for Amy in the “menagerie”, where she can keep an eye on the assorted creatures the ARC team have captured. Connor, however, is not required. Lester tells him that he’ll do what he can for him, and suggests that he keeps out of trouble, presumably knowing as well as we do that he won’t.

Jess lets Connor use her flat to do a bit of house-hunting for himself and Abby, what with them finally having sorted out that will they/won’t they thing while they were avoiding being eaten in the Cretaceous. While he gets on with that, Abby checks out the creature collection, where she meets an old friend – her flying lizard thingy[2] Rex.

Matt has another chat with Gideon, while we see that there’s something nasty, but unseen in an old warehouse being cleared by builders, presumably so they can not turn it into expensive apartments that nobody is going to buy before the next decade.

Connor soon gets bored with apartments (see?), and stars searching the internet for creature sightings, which leads him to find his old friend Duncan, who has hasn’t seen since that little problem a few years back, which left him a bit upset after their other friend Tom ended up a bit dead after being infected by a nasty parasite passed on by an enraged Dodo. Duncan’s a bit surprised to see Connor

I’m not listed anywhere – how did you find me?

I called your mum.

Duncan thinks there’s something nasty nearby, and he and Connor go and have a look in the warehouse, where they soon find what’s left of one of the builders. Connor calls Abby, who heads off to join him, closely followed by a curious Matt. Matt is followed soon after by Becker and the red shirts army guys.

Which then takes us to the traditional monster chase bit. The monster in question turns out to be a Kaprosuchus, a reptile that’s something like a long-legged agile, crocodile with big tusks. And remarkably similar to the thing that got flushed at the beginning of the episode.

Lots of fun follows including a chase around a container port, one soldier being eaten, and the creature ending up dead, poor little thing.

Back at the ARC, Matt tells Lester that he wants Abby and Connor on the team, regardless of what the rules say. Lester points out that as the rule came into effect while they were missing, and they were never formally removed from duty, technically speaking, they were never off the team. Bashir Burton looks a bit annoyed about this, but since he’s not supposed to be in charge anyway, he can’t actually do anything about it.

When Abby and Connor get back after taking Duncan home[3], Connor stands up to Lester (who obviously hasn’t bothered to tell him what’s just been decided, but merely comments on Connor’s ability to not stay out of trouble) and tells him that while Lester can fire him, he can’t stop him investigating and carrying on Nick Cutter’s work. Lester tells him that if he feels that strongly about it, he might as well stay then. However, he declines Connor’s request for a pay rise. And so, that bit of pointless dramatic tension created at the end of episode 1 is resolved.

Lots more fun to come, more creatures, more adventures, more anomalies, and probably a lot more of Matt having strange conversations with Gideon.

Yup, Primeval is thoroughly back, and just as much fun as it ever was. Near perfect early evening entertainment, and one of the best things on TV that isn’t actually Doctor Who.

[1] I’ll stop doing that soon. Probably. But if I do, I’ll only bring back another gag in its place
[2] I could look up what he’s meant to be, but I’ll pass
[3] Duncan repeatedly expresses surprise that Abby and Connor are now a couple, carrying on a theme from previous years. This would make more sense if Connor was played by someone a lot worse-looking…