Primeval season 3 episode 9 review

It’s the calm before the storm as we reach the penultimate episode of ITV’s dino-drama...

After last week’s giant future bugs and Half-Life 2-like search and rescue plan, the team of Primeval return back to the present to de-brief about their mission. However, they are not the only ones who have things to explain about last week’s events, as Captain Wilder has a ‘prize’ from the future for Christine Johnston in the form of Eve, a woman who he was seen kidnapping last week.

With Johnson’s schemes for the trapped anomaly slowly unfolding, Danny is given the job of breaking into her ‘anti-ARC’ to try and see what nefarious plans she has up her sleeve. And in true Mission Impossible style, she uses a fake guard’s uniform and ‘hiding under a truck’ to get to the base, and then to make his way through the building’s man-sized air ducts to conveniently crawl through and find out all the bad guys’ cunning plans.

While cliché-ridden and generally silly, this obvious rip-off of every TV show and film ever is still directed pretty tightly, with a good dose of tension and suspense added to the proceedings. The conversation between Johnson and Eve is also quite intriguing as we find out that in the future ‘everybody is dead’ thanks to the Future Predators. With a cunning escape with Eve in tow, Danny gets free from the base and finds that Eve has a portable anomaly opener which comes in very handy as, while Danny has been skulking around, the rest of the team have been elsewhere, tackling giant prehistoric rhinos.

While not really relevant to the overall story, the dinosaur diversion this week is again quite good fun. The groom to be/stag night situation (something I knew a bit about this weekend), the quad bike chase, the action and CGI work with the rampaging Embolotherium (the giant rhino thingies) is pulled off really well. The creatures look convincing and menacing, with the right amount of ‘weight’ in the CG to make the threat of such huge stampeding monsters a real danger.

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After a timely arrival by Eve and Danny to help out the rest of the team, Eve is given a guided tour of the ARC, something that really should not have happened as it seems there is a lot more to the future visitor than meets the eye. We find that her interest in the ARC and the artifact is not general curiosity, and that Eve is, in fact, Helen Cutter in disguise (using a future hologram thing…..neat!).

In a tense showdown between the team, Lester, Johnson and Helen, things go horribly wrong as Helen tells the team that the ARC is the reason why the future is so bleak and that it is only with the destruction of the base that the future will change to become a whole lot more bright and shiny. Even Johnson’s pleading that she will share power with Helen does not convince the busty menace as she opens up the anomaly, leading Johnson to a very nasty and bloody death at the hands (or rather teeth) of a Future Predator.

With the team in shock, and the cataclysm that will help create the dark and horrible future they visited creeping up on them, they decide it is time to stop Helen once and for all and at any cost – and follow her through an anomaly to the future.

With a superb cliffhanger this penultimate episode really delivers, setting up the right amount of action and plot for next week as the surprisingly fun series reaches its climax. Even with the odd homage and cliché here and there, Primeval really is a great piece of Saturday night telly that has gone from strength to strength over the past few weeks.

Check out Robert’s review of episode 8 here.