Micheal Cobley

Interstellar Tactics




Primeval Season 3: What The Hell Happened? – Updated

Part The First

In which eager young(looking) Mikey sits down for episode two of Primeval Season 3, hoping for a good TV experience….

But it was sadly not to be. Sorry but I gotta say this – on the strength of the 1st couple of episodes, Primeval S3 is an unmitigated load of rancid donkey balls. I`m gonna go into this in more detail later, but even a cursory watching of episode 2 would reveal that quality control has gone into the toilet. Episode 2 is a haunted house/gremlin story, but it is also what’s known as an Idiot Plot: in an idiot plot the characters are required to behave like idiots in order for the plot to work. So, go into the possible-anomaly-concealing house, er, without backup or even weapons drawn…then have your characters do it again later, only by themselves. Yeah, in defiance of the hoariest cliche in the Big Bumper Book of Onscreen Melodramatic Cliches, have your characters wander into the House of Death Filled With Possible Anomaly Monsters, unarmoured, unarmed etc etc.

Not to mention the utterly pointless little-girl-in-a-red-coat subplot, and Cutter’s gleaming new Anomaly-Analysis Meccano Set (which apparently is more useful that modelling the data in a computer – yeah, uh huh), and the re-costuming of Abby along wacky-slacker Tank Grrl lines, and the inability to realise that slapstick is not wit or even humour, or….

I’ll go into the idiocies of season 3 in more detail later, but suffice to say that the writer of this mound of flabby pap, one James Moran, really needs to get back to script-writing school and revise the modules entitled ‘Drama Without Cliche’ and ‘Story Arc 101′. Seriously.

Part The Second

In which we delve deeper into the dank and dismal realities of scripts which, instead of being torched in a heap at the side of the road, get turned into primetime TV.

I should have seen it coming in Episode 1 when the script had Connor and Abby building a wall of crates and boxes around the suncage artefact to stop the pristichampsus coming thru the anomaly. Despite the fact that when the crate wall was partly built a pristi came through and knocked crates flying. But nevertheless, Connor and Abby dutifully build the now-seen-to-be-useless wall up around the artefact. Oh yeah, and there’s chuckles aplenty as, whoops, Connor smashes some priceless ancient Egyptian pieces to smithereens, to which the new wummin, Sarah Page (why has she been added to the team, exactly?) seems to go tut tut and rolls her eyes a bit even though egyptology appears to be her field.

And there also that feeling that Connor and Abby have been chosen as Designated Slapstick Barrel o Laffs makers, which must be why their outfits look like Barnum and Bailey clown castoffs.

Interesting that episode one had that strange hint of dastartdly goings-on by some other demonic civil servant further up the foodchain from James Lester. And then that weird artefact retreival on a outcrop with houses in a devastated, apocalyptic landscape. Yeah, that was interesting and clearly meant to be The Story Arc. Which, when we get to episode two, appears to have vanished. Except that we get Nasty Helen clearly up to no good, sending one of her identikit goons into the ARC to get something of Cutter’s (enabled by NH pickpocketing the entry key from the gormless Sarah Page – I mean, its what you do, innit, get invited to join a top secret government department then be so clueless as to have your key to the place sitting in an easily nabbable pocket)(and of course, it helps that the guards at the front door seem to be using 70s tech, or something that doesnt do a visual match with whoever used a key to gain entrance to a Top Secret Establishment).

Thing about Helen…they seem to be turning her into a pantomime villain, complete with shiny black leathers and shades. All she needs to be complete is a waxed moustached for her to tease in her fingers while she goes ‘Bwah hah hah hah!’ And then, finally, she nips into Cutter’s gaff and nicks some hairs off his pillow. At this point, I’ m getting a weird feeling of anxiety which SuperSusan, my partner in rhyme, brings to fruition by saying, `Oh, she’s going to clone him’. To which I later thought, pshaw, surely not, I mean, thats so freaking obvious, so overmelodramatically dumb, so plonkingly, stumblingly uncreative – they’d never….

But LO! for it came to pass that I did pass my gaze over the wikipedia page of Primeval episodes and there it was for all to see – “She has cloned her ex-husband, and the clone attempts to force the information from Cutter at gun-point.”

Flipping norah.

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13 Comments already, do join in...

  1. Mark Chitty Says:

    April 5th, 2009 at 2:52 pm

    Mmmm, I’ve got this one recorded and series linked on Sky, not sure whether I should bother now. I didn’t think the first episode of series 3 was too bad, it at least added something a little new – plus some new eye candy, but I would never be as shallow to watch something just because of that….

  2. rockitboy Says:

    April 5th, 2009 at 3:21 pm

    Sad to say, S3 episode one is rife with idiocy as well – shall get into that later, once I got my vitriol tank filled!

  3. domonique barnes Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 2:45 pm

    What is sarahs’ character suppose to add! There is an anommily out in the city and she is shopping for an outfit??????? Is it your plan to show women are stupid and only know how to shop?????? Plus we go from shopping to her going into the anommily????? I am sorry but I feel I will be erasing Primeval from my DVR recording instructions. The writing seems so different and perhaps not thought out, as from previous seasons 1&2. I don’t have a ton of time and I can’t be bothered watching poor Sci-Fi, I love Sci-Fi and take a lot of heat from my family and friends for being so devoted, with these present presentations I am rethinking if it is worth it for this season??????

  4. Primeval fan Says:

    May 12th, 2009 at 4:22 pm

    The cothes shopping was relevent to the plot.

    The scene with her walking out of the shop to her car, then driving to the anomaly would be pointless and boring.

  5. cade Says:

    May 23rd, 2009 at 7:24 pm

    What the heck happend????

  6. Shelley Says:

    December 24th, 2009 at 3:15 am

    I’m late to comments here, but I’m watching the show on Netflix Watch Now. Season 3 was so stupid, I had to look up the words “Primeval season 3 stupid” to see if I was the only one who thought it so.

    Evidently not.

    Seasons 1 and 2 were so good, too.

  7. rockitboy Says:

    December 24th, 2009 at 9:40 am

    Heard a rumour that the show is coming back – hope they get some decent writers.

  8. Mobeydog Says:

    February 25th, 2010 at 4:03 am

    Love the rambling, ranting attacks of the blog post, and the comments – it’s how I feel/sound when I try to describe the crap-fest that was Primeval season 3.

    I can’t believe I even watched all of season 3. I was putting pins in my eyes by the end.

    If the wimpy writers of season 3 were responding to an anomaly alert with God-know-what waiting for THEM they would carry guns. So why did they make their characters so vulnerable/stupid? Did all the stupid characters have a death wish? I would have been decked out Matrix style if that was my job, not just randomly putting myself in harms way with my fingerless gloves and funky sneakers. And if the show was trying to be wholesome then at least give Abby back her f-ing dart gun! No T-Rex’s were harmed in the making of this crap-fest.

    The women were reduced to simpering fools except for the evil Susan who got a gun and a makeover! wtf?

    Cutter wasn’t a better actor then Danny but the writing was better when he was on.

  9. rockitboy Says:

    February 25th, 2010 at 10:25 am

    I think you`re right about Dougie Henshaw and Jason Flemyng – I’ve seen them both do good stuff on other progs, but the direction and writing on PrimeWeevil season 3 was dire, and Jason F just came across as a mouthy, fuggy action boy. God help us if it returns with the same bunch of writers; guaranteed, no barfbag left unfilled.

  10. Jane H Says:

    January 8th, 2013 at 5:57 am

    Well I’m a few years late to this thread. I just recently started watching Primeval. I watched the first season and enjoyed it, so I got the second and third season and started walking through them.. Upon watching the first episode of season 3, I winced and got a little sick to my stomach.. I’ve experienced this before. A show is great, and for whatever reason, new writers or showrunners are brought on and they do an astounding job of ruining the show – like that’s their intent or something.

    Season 3 of Primeval seems to have taken this turn. The poster called it an “idiot plot”, a term I’d never heard. That’s exactly right. I hate watching an episode where everything that happens is dependent upon the characters behaving like complete morons and are constantly plagued by ridiculous, improbable “accidents.” For instance, Abby getting into a car to get away from the big G-Rex, and.. oh no! her car won’t start! The tension! The drama! As if this is a perfectly reasonable. After all, expensive new cars tend only to work unless you REALLY need them too, right? Or the evil journalist who manages to “trap” the “experts” of the team not once, but twice! Oh, and this while the “backup” team of soldiers are stuck in traffic…. Stuck in traffic. Of course. COME ON! Grrr. And what’s with this evil grin of Helen Cutters? Every evil, horrible thing she does is accompanied by a six second drama shot of her smiling cruelly, and now, this new lady in charge of the rival military base.. she does exactly the same thing… Evil smile… Sheesh.. It’s frustrating to see characters you were interested in and beginning to care about turn into one-dimensional cartoons in a puff of smoke. And what’s with Connor’s stupid scarf? Dude, just take that thing off, you look like an idiot! Maybe that’s the idea. sigh.

    What moron ran season 3? I assume the show had to do pretty well, so why go out of their way to screw it up? Were the good writers too mouthy? Too expensive? Did an executive producer think that he could do the show better, so fired the good talent and brought in some cousins or something? These are all things that went through my mind while waiting into the unbelievably bad season 3.

    Oh, and I found this page by googling “primeval got stupid in season 3″. Glad I’m not alone in thinking so.

    Alright.. Thanks for letting me vent, random blog post that probably nobody will ever read. :)

  11. Eric Brooks Says:

    March 17th, 2013 at 9:11 am

    So sad to agree so strongly. Primeval season 3 is a total load of crap. And I am now fully done with watching it after episode 3.

    This is the episode in which Cutter unfathomably just stands there and doesn’t try to get out of the way when Helen takes a good 20 seconds giving a speech while pointing a gun at him – already having warned him previously she intends to kill him to save the future – and then he takes several -more- seconds to casually respond to her that she’s not as smart as he thought she was – before continuing to stand there like a post letting her pull the trigger to shoot him straight in the chest.

    This is by far one of the most inane things I’ve ever seen on television. Although perhaps slightly -less- inane than the very -next- scene in which Conner even more unfathomably does not go into rapid action to save Cutter’s life after finding him shot but still conscious – and instead just does as commanded and sits down next to him for a weepy good-bye chat.

    What an utterly dismal joke.

    After spending two full seasons brilliantly, boldly, and just barely, dodging and battling their way out of hair thin scrapes, suddenly in the course of three episodes the characters all become a bunch of meek suicidal idiots who respond to danger by constantly walking directly in front of it, but with the speed of a tortoise wading through molasses, and the intelligence level of a wet lump of clay.

    It’s hard to say which is worse and more disappointing – this, or the final season of Community; the latter which suffered a similar writing and inner-soul melt down after the firing of the series creator, and which I likewise found so terrible, I simply stopped watching it.

    Fans of Primeval seasons one and two – trust us. Just don’t watch season three. It is heart crushingly bad.

    Savor your love of the final episode of season two and keep it intact by stopping there. Leave it with fond memories that will last, rather than having everything you loved about the programme dashed on the rocks.

  12. rockitboy Says:

    March 17th, 2013 at 11:54 am

    Eric, what can I say? – you’ve nailed it, right to the core. I understand that the new upgraded Primeval has better writing, or so I’ve heard, but honestly I cant work up the enthusiasm for it at the moment – not when there are other great series ongoing in the States (Grimm, Justified, & soon Game of Thrones 3) or older stuff which we’re just discovering for the first time like Life On Mars! Cannot understand why we missed this first time round.

    Anyway, good comment, and good call.

  13. Eric Brooks Says:

    March 18th, 2013 at 6:46 am

    Important follow up. Season 4 gets it back on track.

    Hey all. There is hope in the world yet.

    I decided to brave the waters of trying season 4 of Primeval (after absolutely and wisely refusing to suffer episodes 4 through 10 of season 3) and I was very, I mean very, pleasantly surprised.

    Season 4 has gotten the piece fully back on track. So far I’ve seen the intro webisodes (which are an important bridge and reset of the mood. so watch them) as well as episodes 1 and 2 now, and so far there have been brilliant scripts, directing, and acting, and not one stupid moment in the lot. It is fully back to the same feel and professionalism of the first two seasons.

    And the best bit is that in the first episode there is a nice, subtle, tongue in cheek reference from one of the characters saying how the new team and new ARC facility had to make up for the complete disaster of the previous team and ARC. This was -clearly- a nod and message to the fans, along the lines of “Yes. We know. We screwed up. And we’re fixing it. Welcome back… Enjoy the show… We promise it will be good.”

    And it is. Salvation!

    I’m crossing my fingers that it is staying this way through to the end of season 5.

    cheers all :)

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