Primeval season 3 episode 4 review

Rob's once again impressed by this week’s episode, giant dinosaurs and all.

After last week’s explosive finale that left the team in pieces with both the ARC smouldering away and the death of Cutter hitting everyone hard, Primeval for me has finally reached its potential for greatness. Taking nearly two years, we finally get to the juicy stuff – things are darker, characters more rounded and the events, it seems, are all linking together to make a solid and well-defined sci-fi show.

It seems that the team have to fight bad guys from every side. From dinosaurs (which we will get to in a minute) to nosey journalists to other members of the home office with more influence than Lester, the team is having to navigate through some very perilous waters at the moment. Added to all this, there is also still the ongoing issue of Helen Cutter lurking in the background and her goal to claim the artefact, which, it seems, is to be the crux of this series.

While the nefarious former wife of the dearly departed Nick is nowhere to be seen this week, her influence and handiwork is seen throughout the episode. Examples? The captured ‘future-predator’ that the shadowy Christine Johnson (Lester’s new home office boss) has trapped and experimented on, the fact that there is the possibility that her department can open anomalies at will, and also that Cutter’s complex work at anomaly spotting has quite literally melted away. Helen is still the major threat this week and while the ‘big-bad’ has a lot more teeth and is a lot scalier, it again is just a distraction from the intriguing overall series arc.

It’s not just the darker over-arcing story that’s got better, but also the action sequences and ‘monster of the week’ concepts. As this week we get to see some fantastic giant dinosaur action.

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As sleazy journalist Mick Harper continues with his hounding of the ARC team he manages to steal Jennie’s portable anomaly detector, tracking down an anomaly to an airfield. As mentioned, Helen doesn’t appear this week but to keep the guys and gals at the ARC busy, we do get a rather large and nasty G-Rex that appears through the monster-sized anomaly. And while it seems that the team are out-gunned and outmatched there is a little help at hand with the reappearance of Danny Quinn, whose timely helicopter skills come in very handy indeed with tackling a 60ft armoured killing machine.

Once again it has to be hats off to the SFX crew who rendered the G-Rex (or Giganotosaurus) perfectly. Looking like a steroid-taking version of the raptors from Jurassic Park III, the G-Rex and its interaction with the actors, props (especially the shots of the G-Rex’s head trying to get into the plane’s hold) and the helicopter is all superb and makes for some great action set-pieces. It’s only really let down in the finale, where it’s tricky to see what happens to Harper and his editor when the G-Rex crashes back through the anomaly. The entire sequence is really well put together though, and even the little in-joke of having Nigel Marven (from Walking With Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Park) becoming a nice appetiser for a hungry dinosaur assists in making this a fun and action-packed episode.

As week by week the team get more confident and get a few more new gadgets to play with (such as Connor and his new anomaly-locking device) the writers are slowly getting to grips with the potential for the show and drawing out a lot more ideas and drama to the entire thing.

Once again I was entertained and really enjoyed the whole thing and will indeed be back next week glued to the set when it seems the entire team will be facing off against an angry monstrous mushroom man.

Check out Robert’s review of episode 3 here.