Tad awkward when wife shows up in time
Primeval 7.30pm, Nine
THIS is your last chance to see one of the freshest, most imaginative shows to air this century. If it seems like only yesterday we were reviewing Primeval , it was in fact six weeks ago.
That’s certainly a fast turnaround for The Australian ’ s television pages, but there’s a good reason: this is the final episode. A short season, to be sure. A second series is in the works, to be shown in England on ITV next year, but the Nine network cannot say whether it has decided to buy it.
By American standards, six episodes is a miniseries. If the makers of Primeval make seven episodes in the second series, they will have a respectable 13, about half the run of Law & Order or Lost , which manage about 22 shows a year.
Still, it can’t be easy to create a menagerie of monsters that interact almost flawlessly with human characters on demand. Primeval was born of the creative pairing of TV writer Adrian Hodges ( The Lost World, Charles II: The Power and the Passion ) and screenwriter and director Tim Haines, who made his name in BBC popular science programs such as Walking with Dinosaurs and Walking with Beasts.
There was a hint of the humour and imagination of Primeval at the end of the last episode of one of those quite serious programs, which used digital media to bring the dinosaurs to life. Those who made it to the end of the credit roll were rewarded with a small but stunning encore. A dinosaur walked on with a cigarette in one hand and a glass of champagne in the other. ‘‘ You know what I hate?’’ he began in a plummy, English actor’s voice. ‘‘ Animators!’’
At the time I remember thinking that the makers of the groundbreaking series were not going to be content to play second fiddle to the science for long. Voila! Eight years later we have a bold, character- rich ensemble, set in the present with visitations from the past through temporal portals.
Six weeks is a long time in politics and it can be an eternity in TV. Lead character Nick Cutter ( Douglas Henshall), who was grief- stricken when he lost his adventurous wife to the portal in episode one, seems to have fallen for a stunningly beautiful Home Office official. Which makes it a bit awkward when the wife returns tonight. There’s a new predator on the loose in London, but it’s not from the past. Now where else might a temporal portal open its uncanny doors? I can feel a second series coming on.
Brilliant: Hannah Spearritt, Douglas Henshall and Ben Miller in Primeval