After weeks of hints, secrets and double dealings, this episode of Primeval shows us shock and horror. The bad guy was Leek (aka Martin from Green Wing) all along and his motivation for being a baddie was….erm, sorry I didn’t get that bit. Although we all knew it was him, it took the obviously slower cast of Primeval a little more time to figure it out, and with the dawning that Helen Cutter and Leek have been manipulating the team it’s a good job that they found out in time as there is a ‘Future Predator’ on the loose in the ARC base.
This was actually a surprisingly good episode and is really split into two. First of all we have the minor threat (if it can be called that) of a massive mammoth on the loose on the M25, and with the use of effects and camera techniques all in all this makes for a pretty impressive set piece (with a little bit of a homage to Jurassic Park thrown in). The only complaint is that the mammoth they encounter just happens to be the non-woolly kind, but knowing a thing or two about computers and the difficulty in rendering hair or fur, I can see the meeting with the techie guys and producers. Cue a heated argument about budgets, time and not having a server farm to do all those follicle calculations and “could we look though a few dinosaur book to find a non-woolly mammoth” conversations going on.
With this mammoth task (sorry) out of the way, thanks to Abby’s quick thinking, a sports car and some elephant wee, Cutter then begins the task of tracking down the mole in his team. And after a false start we see that there is a whole lot more going on than it seems. We also get to see Lester being all gung-ho and cool as he gets to go to toe-to-toe with the future predator, and wins hands down by cracking open the munitions cabinet and going all Rambo on the CG creature. He also used his head a little, and once again takes a page or two out of the finale of Jurassic Park, as Mr Director and Mr and Mrs Producers with the help or Mr Writer takes us all back again to 1993 with an ending we can all see a mile off. Yet even though it’s packed with cliché, it’s still pretty cool.
So with Lester showing he knows one end of a machine gun from another, and everyone realising he isn’t a baddie after all, Leek’s plan is uncovered and even a well placed bomb cannot stop Cutter tracking him down. It’s just s pity that Leek has so many armed guards to help him out in the finale.
We are left with a big ‘to be continued’ for next week, as its revealed that the evil Helen and Leek have been gathering all the dinosaurs from the series together in one place for a purpose that so far is unknown (it’s bound to be evil). And from the preview of next week they also have a legion of mind-controlled ‘Future Predators’ at their disposal. It looks like that the series pay off will be impressive, and even though some of the CG creature creations are a bit ropey, it’s still impressive to see them all up on screen ready for a prehistoric showdown on Saturday.
Overall a great episode with both the mammoth plot (annoying kid and all) and the ARC showdown scenes being some of the most impressive bits of action telly ITV have done for a while. This, coupled, with some interesting twists and turns and even a potential change of sides and defections going on, means we are in for an exciting finale next week