Monday, June 15, 2009

review: primeval s01

I got season one a while ago, but I watched something like five minutes of the pilot and decided to watch something else. Then, about two weeks ago, I caught an episode of season 2 on SciFi, and that was it: a new fandom. All in that one second-season mid-story episode.

So I went back and found season one, and watched it all day over this weekend while out internet was out (yet again). Season one is six episodes, which is short for a Brit Scifi show (at least for the ones I've seen), but that doesn't damage the over arcing storyline at all-- in fact, I'd say it improves it, by eliminating any chance to spin wheels, fill in with lame episodes, or get repetative.

This is the story of Nick Cutter, who gets involved with these rips in time called Anomalies that generally open up from some prehistoric place into our time (which means, temporally, our time is awfully cluttered with them, as the rest of history is so much larger, but maybe that's dealt with later?). He's a dinosaur specialist, and together with his research assistant / tracking expert / ass-kicker Steven, former student and all over tech-geek Connoor, and herpetologist and assistant zookeeper Abbie, the tracks the mean beasties that come through the Anoamies and rome around England causing trouble. His ex wife Helen is the main villain, his new love interest Claudia is their PR expert, and their boss Lester is a jerk. And the story is fun. Connor, especially knows how cool it is that they're chasing dinos, and all of them appreciate the awesomeness of getting to see them in real life. Plus, there's subplots! Helen, whatever she's up to; Nick and Claudia getting to like eachother despite the fact that they're often at odds; Connor liking Abbie while Abbie likes Steven and Steven has an off-screen girlfriend; Connor's friends who cause trouble midway through the season; the research into the Anomalies; the appearance of future-centric Anomalies and what that means; and, of course, the chasing of the monsters that keeps the show from getting too cerebral and plot-y. The characters interact well, and each has their own reason for doing what they do and for being how they are. The world isn't exactly feasable, but the science is consistent, and what they say about each creature, as far as I can tell, is pretty acurate before the necessary shinying-up for the screen.

I loved it. It makes me remember how much I liked dinosaurs as a kid, and makes me a little sad that Anomalies aren't real (unless all of SciFi is real, in which case, I feel cheated that it's being denied me). It's cool, it's fun, it's cheeky and a little intense, and it's short enough to watch in an afternoon, like a movie marathon. I've already moved on to season 2.

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