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TOP 500 REVIEWERon August 31, 2008
Possibly a few scattered SPOILERS...

Okay, the Brits have sure been bringing it to the TV sci-fi genre. Originally aired on the U.K.'s ITV network, PRIMEVAL is the latest offering to reach the States, and, to me, it's just as addictive as DOCTOR WHO (Doctor Who - The Complete First Series) or TORCHWOOD (Torchwood - The Complete First Season).

PRIMEVAL basically plonks prehistorical and futuristic monsters into the present and has them scaring the bejesus out of the unsuspecting British population. These often frightening beasties come from rifts in the space-time continuum which are manifesting unpredictably in the U.K. A small team of scientists, led by maverick evolutionary professor Nick Cutter, investigates these temporal doorways. But Cutter and company are often hampered by the British government, which (perhaps understandably) seeks to keep a lid on these mind-boggling goings-on. But it's hard going, keeping it all on the covert, what with these things occasionally popping up in public areas and a certain young member of the team unable to quite keep his mouth shut. Anyway you slice it, to quote the resident nerd Connor Temple, "I think the scientific term is 'really bad news.'"

As the team encounters each new anomaly, the mystery just deepens. Each anomaly presents its own challenge, as a different and often lethal entity seems to emerge each time. Cutter states that "Some force out there ripped the boundaries of space and time to shreds." I can't say how far away this show is from answering that big conundrum, but the journey to that revelation can't be any more fun and exciting. Meanwhile, a running story arc involves Cutter's long-vanished scientist wife, Helen, whose mysterious disappearance eight years ago has been torturing him ever since. Ensuing episodes provide an answer, and it's one that Cutter doesn't feel too good about. Anyway, Cutter's wife proves to be crucial to figuring out what's going on.

What first jumps at you is how convincing these paleontological horrors look. And what a range of nightmarish creatures. The pilot features a killer dinosaur and a lovable flying lizard. Further episodes would provide creepy arachnids and monster centipedes skittering and crawling in the London Underground, sea monsters in the basement, dinosaur raptors tearing up shopping malls, and a mammoth rampaging on the freeway. It makes for an arresting contrast and it's so dang cool, seeing these fantastical hundred-million-years-old creatures messing about in modern-day U.K. That they're so realistically rendered allows these episodes to generate ample levels of suspense and fear. Those spiders... Uuuuggghhhh...

But not all the creatures are gross and scary. One of my favorite and funniest episodes features the now extinct dodos, who are cute and bloody stupid (they also come carrying deadly parasites). By the way, I really like this one also because it shines the spotlight on Andrew-Lee Potts, who is simply fantastic in the episode's closing minutes.

The acting is far from shabby. While the characters initially play second fiddle to the creatures, most of the cast do grow on you. I happen to think that the most endearing ones are the aforementioned Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts) and Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt). Connor is the most sympathetic character here, a student of Prof. Cutter, although Connor never went to any of Cutter's seminars. He also gives us the most laughs. Abby is the reptile zoologist but, more importantly, she looks smoking in skimpy undies. The team's leader, Nick Cutter, is reserved and brooding and obsessed in all the ways that render me indifferent. Stephen Hart is the lab technician, and, for purposes of good TV ratings, fills in the role of all-around handsome devil and intrepid man of action. As a fellow guy, I'm rather jealous of him. Rounding out the core characters of Series 1, the lovely Claudia Brown, of the British Home Office, serves as the team's supportive government liaison.

Meanwhile, a character pops up the third episode, someone who's been temporally around the block and now touts a more clinical and longview perspective with regards to humanity and its future. This character would prove to be the most fascinating person in the series.

Series 2 introduces several new key characters: Jenny Lewis, a public relations officer, and Oliver Leek, another of Cutter's assistants. I don't want to spoil anything, so the less said about them, the better. Series 2 tends to focus more on futuristic and even more dangerous predators. Series 2 also really puts the characters thru the wringer.

There's a bit of a soap opera factor here. These actors are beautiful folks, so romantic tensions are expected. Assorted crushes and pinings develop, and, yes, I've my own ideas as to who I want paired up. Connor's my dude, and he's liking someone fierce. But the odds are against him. To my regret, PRIMEVAL doesn't even try to be as racy as, say, TORCHWOOD. Did I already mention that Abby looks really good scampering about in her undies? It bears repeating, says the pig in me.

Time twists and shocking reveals and the deepest of betrayals. And heaps of cool monster action. Keep on watching, and don't be too surprised when you get rapidly drawn into the story. PRIMEVAL - THE COMPLETE SERIES 1 & 2 collects Series 1 (six episodes) and Series 2 (seven episodes). The good news is that production for Series 3 is already underway. With the bar having already been raised so high, I can't imagine what's in store for us in Series 3, which is projected to contain 10 episodes. But keep raising that bar, ITV...
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VINE VOICEon July 30, 2008
Those of you who subscribe to BBC America, you are in for a treat - Primeval (Series One) is coming soon. For the rest of you, here's your chance to buy a great series ahead of the curve. I have the Complete Series One and Two from Region 2 (UK) and I'm going to assume that they are the same even though no details were provided.

It's a great series about time portals being discovered by the British government when creatures from prehistoric time (and the future in the second season) suddenly appear to wreck havoc on it's citizens. An evolutionary zoologist named Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) is brought in to contain the problem. He brings his assistant, Stephen (James Murray), the UK equvilent of post grad assistant (Hannah Spearritt), and the newcomer - a geeky college student with a gift for prehistoric info (Andrew Lee Potts).

Of course this group butts heads with the government types but there is romance too between Dr. Cutter and the government agent (Lucy Brown). At least until Cutter's lost wife (Juliet Aubray) reappears with one of the time portals. There are romantic undercurrents with the grad student and the assistant and the college geek as well. It all plays out nicely. There is plenty of witty banter and cool creatures to keep everyone entertained. Although none of it is very scary, I know the spider and bug episode from Series One really creeped me out.

For the parents out there: it's rated PG. It has some prehistoric creature violence but it is not too gory. There is a scene of a woman walking around in her underwear and tee shirt but nothing serious.

I predict this series will be a huge hit here too. The special effects are outstanding for a tv series. This show was made by the same guys who did Walking with Dinosaurs and Prehistoric Park. My only problem was with the poor production value in the transfer to dvd, some scenes are totally washed out and others too dark. I did not deduct any points since it is not the series fault.

Each series is made up of six episodes on two discs. My version contains extras on the making of the series on Series One and commentaries on Season Two.

co-creator - Tim Haines
co-creator & writer - Adrian Hodges
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VINE VOICEon November 1, 2008
I'm not going to go on another rant about canceled sci-fi/fantasy series again. I'm not! Instead, I'm going to praise the good people of Great Britain for bringing us quality entertainment when nobody on our side of the Atlantic will do so. God bless the BBC for giving shows like this one and Hex room to grow. "Primeval" is packed with cool characters with charming accents, great-looking CG beasties by the boatload, beautiful women with the inevitable sexual tension that results from hot people working together under high-stress situations, some wicked good humor, and more of the mind-bending time-travel conundrums that sci-fi fans flip for than you can shake a velociraptor at. If you like dinosaurs, time-travel, or science-fiction thank the BBC for this gift.

The series follows a group of scientists whose job it is to keep under wraps a series of anomalies in the form of space-time rips. Through these rips, something inevitably comes out and other things go in which could potentially lead to world-ending results. What if an advanced predator from the future got loose in our time and bred, leading to the extinction of the human race? Or if a diseased rat went back in time and ended life on Earth before mankind ever existed? And ain't it a pain when you go back in time just as you're about to seal the deal with the hottest girl on the show and come back only to find that nobody knows who the hell you're talking about? So whenever one of these portals opens, our protagonists have to track down the monster-of-the-week, solve the problem, attempt to study the cause of the rift, and then lie like hell to cover the whole thing up. But wait, there's more! There's always more. One of our heroes' ex-wife left ditched him years ago to become a time-travel survivalist and now she's back. Just what for? Probably has something to do with the other strange people who keep showing up at the sites of the anomalies. Just a guess.

The show starts off admittedly slow. it took me several episodes just to decide who was hotter: Claudia, the voluptuous brunette, or Abby the tomboyishly cool bleach-blonde. Adding to the cast who seem devoid of personality at first but soon grow on you are geeky-chic Connor, Nick Cutter the stoic bada$z of the group, and his aforementioned AWOL wife Linda (manly, but still hot). The monsters vary from an evolved predatory sea lion from the future to a mammoth rampaging on a freeway to a sabre-toothed tiger lurking in the woods near an amusement park. That last one leads to a blatant Jaws homage that is as amusing as it is embarrassing for our friends. Naturally, no prehistoric monster show is getting too far without a few raptors wrecking up the place after Jurassic Park made them everybody's favorite, but they're saving the really big gun for a later date in a grand show of restraint. Bravo! My only complaints are of a nerdy nature and involve things like the scientists mixing up the meanings of "venom" and "poison", the notion of surviving a giant centipede bite when a regular centipede bite can potentially kill a man, and Tremors-inspired menace that turns out to be an arthropod that is not only not streamlined for rapid underground travel but can walk normally above ground yet doesn't bother to do so when it's prey scrambles onto a rock. Trying to build suspense, I suppose. [rolls eyes] These are the kinds of useless predators that would go extinct before they could evolve. Nitpicky, yes; but these problems could have been fixed with a little common sense and/or research.

More high points include the hottest girlfight I've seen since Buffy Season 3's Slayer showdown, an evolved bat that makes for the most terrifying of the show's monster gallery (until it's sadly overused in future episodes), a romance that's too good to be true, and a second-season finale that brings the whole gang together and gives you a final scene that will drop your jaw at the possibilities of the show's next volley. It can't come too soon for me. This is highly recommended science-fiction hotness with killer special effects, a rock-solid cast, and more mysteries to solve yet. The episodic nature of the shows makes it possible for casual fans to drop in and out without getting too lost, but there is a definite arc that fans will absolutely want to follow to it's conclusion.

4 1/2 stars rounded up for giving the people what they want: monsters and lots of them!
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on August 3, 2008
I sooo agree with the First Review If I could I woud give Primeval 10 Stars. The Past Creatures and the Future Creatures are Fantastic. My Fav Star is Rex, The Last Show in season 1 the Battle of the Gorgonopsid and the Future Predator (Bat Critter) Was Great,
I Own Season 1,2 from the UK. I Look forward to season 3,(And getting the DVD season 3 when it comes out!!) and they are Making more shows (10 I belive,They wanted 13, Hears Hoping) Watch it you will Like it.
And the Book "shadow of the Jagaur" Is Just as Good.
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on May 27, 2009
Yes, this series is a "monster of the week" show, but
it is a lot of fun, the monsters are so realistic that
you would swear they are real, and the characters are
very likable. Some TV series just don't work because the
characters don't "click" with each other, but all of the
characters in Primeval do. After watching the first two
episodes, I figured the character "Connor" would be a
pain to watch, but after watching several more episodes
he became very likable - mostly because his character
is so honest and open. Then there is the character "Abby",
who - besides being terminally cute - is also a strong
young women who adds a lot to the show besides just eye-
appeal - especially when running around in her underwear.
The plots are very interesting & most of all - they are
original, and since the characters can visit both the past
and the future, the variety of sub-plots is unlimited.

Despite the fact that the characters speak a strange version
of English (bits of which is barly intelligible), & drive
their cars on the wrong side of the road, I find this show
very enjoyable. In fact it is much too good to watch on TV,
where it is interrupted constantly by commercials. Therefore
after seeing only two episodes on the Sci-Fi Channel, I
quickly ordered this package of 4 disks from amazon, & have
now watched the series multiple times commercial free. I
wish this show a long run, and I hope to be able to order
many more DVDs of new episodes. Of course I will instantly
order Series 3 as soon as it becomes available on DVD.
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on January 24, 2011
I've seen a lot of really great TV shows, but Primeval is the best ever, it's exciting, scary but has a lot of heart. I even showed a few tears when it was canceled. Glad your back.
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A clever, well written series put into production to compete with "Doctor Who", "Primeval" focuses on a team of scientists dealing with a series of anomalies that create a tear in time and space allowing creatures from other time periods in Earth's future and past to slip through to the present. Eschewing the sexuality that "Torchwood" seems to focus on (sometimes to its detriment), "Primeval" works primarily due to some strong scripts, strong performances and some very good CGI to created convincing dinosaurs and monsters from other times.

Professor Cutter (Douglas Hensall) and his team Stephen (James Murray), Abby (Hannah Spearritt) and Connor (Andrew-Lee Potts)must contend with these creatures and find a way to prevent them from chowing down on humanity. There is a wrinkle in their plan--Cutter's wife Helen (Juliet Aubrey) shows up after having disappeared eight years ago and knows more about the "anomalies" than she's telling.

This set contains all 13 episodes which comprised both the first and second season of the series. Although the series could easily become repetitive (and there are a couple of episodes that don't live up to the promise of the first season), the second season makes up for that by including an unusual story arc that alters Cutter's team significantly. I can't say much more than that without spoiling the show but if you enjoy "Doctor Who" and "Torchwood" you'll enjoy "Primeval". I actually found it to be better than "Torchwood" and almost on a par with the best episodes of "Doctor Who".

The DVD set includes two featurettes one on the series creation and other that takes us behind-the-scenes with Andrew-Lee Potts. We also get two commentary tracks on episodes 7 & 10 (which was the 4th episode of season two). I would suggest beefing up the extras next time perhaps giving us behind-the-scenes footage on the story planning for season three (which I understand will be shooting next year) and commentary tracks with a mix of cast, crew and visual effects wizards to give us a better perspective the making of the episodes.

Overall, this is quite a good show with some nice but limited extras.
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on March 8, 2012
The plot concept is interesting. The acting is great. The only bad actor is the bad guy. (SPOILER ALERT) I am lead to speculate that maybe there were personality conflicts, so they played rock, paper, scissors to decide on who to cut. With a cast this strong, I can't believe they have such a tendency to kill main characters. The writing is mediocre, but is carried off really well. The suspense is well done. Everytime I watch one of these episodes, I swear I'm never going to watch another one because they ticked me off so much getting rid of character a, b, or c, but they keep me coming back and watching. Go ahead, grab the popcorn, and watch all of them. It's really worth it over all.
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on July 14, 2013
Primeval is good entertainment, but I found it manufactures the tension on the single premise that "holes" open up in the space-time-continuum and dangerous creatures from the past slither through. And, to my mind, that's all there is, while the good guys battle the bad animals.... so to speak.

I did not watch the entire first season. I lost interest after three episodes. The romantic triangle that developed early on did little to spark enthusiasm.
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on October 26, 2012
I also watched this movie on Netflix...and found that it was a bit different, yet interesting...but as I continued to watch it, I became addicted to it as well and I was so hooked, that I watched all 5 seasons within a week's time...It was simply an exhilerating experience and just leaves you looking for more.
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