Primeval Season 3 Finale: To Helen Back Again
(Previously, the title of this post was ‘Pre-emptive Disappointment’)
Okay, okay, that’s probably what’s known as prejudice, as in pre-judice, pre-judgement. But the track record of Season 3 has been unrelentingly dismal. One glance at the wikipedia page of series 3 episodes reveals that Adrian Hodges has written not ONE of them. This seems very weird to me; if I were the main man and originator of a TV series which becomes very successful after two seasons, the last thing I`d do would be to drop the ball like this. My spidey senses tell me that there’s something going on behind the scenes which has led to what is in effect a complete revamp of the cast and the direction and the intent that is driving the programme.
To repeat what I know, apparently the concepts/ideas for each episode are put together in-house at Impossible Pictures who then hire writers to flesh out the ideas into workable shooting scripts. Steve Baillie, who wrote the daft runaround of episode one, has also written tonight’s season finale. God alone knows what idiocies will be shoehorned onto the small screen, but at least I know that, for myself, this’ll be my last Primeval analysis – heck, life is too short, donchaknow.
(More later, ie tomorrow)
Torch batteries……BWAH HAH HAHHAHAHAHAHAHA!
If I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes I just wouldn’t have believed that a scriptwriter could dare employ such a technically ignorant plot solution. But they did, right there, in full view of the audience. Look, it’s like this – the very notion of powering a large desk-sized megaprocessing device, complete with fancy holographic projections, off a pile of car batteries is, to use an analytical term, bollocks. Sure, many mainframes have what’s known as a UPS, an uninterruptable power supply, fed from battery cells in the event of a break in the mains supply, but these are only meant to keep the system going for several minutes while essential filesaves and backups are made. Not, as seems clear from last night’s finale, running Diabolical Helen’s big fancy cyberanomalydesk for, what, weeks? months? Years, even? And then to suggest that a small heap of TORCH BATTERIES will spark it up and get it running is nothing short of totally sodding demented.
And did you notice that the batteries were stacked next to each other then had a strip of duct tape wrapped around them, which had me wondering if they were going to wire them up in parallel or what, and why? Then I stopped and remembered, hey, the entire notion is complete pants – you may as well try to run an industrial power lathe off a coupla PP3 batteries, or knock up a handy, DIY gene-splicing kit from the stuff in Abby’s pockets, or slap together an animatronic version of Danny Quin using his jacket, half an Ikea bed assembly kit, and 3000 calculator batteries (or did they do that?). Point is, its fatuous and insulting, and illustrates the programme makers’ attitude as this – “Well, we think that Primeval’s general viewer profile is someone aged roughly 8 to 10, in terms of a rational ability to spot complete bollocks, so yeah, we`ll go with the batteries idea. Cool!”
There were numerous other clanging duds in this extravagantly clodhopping dudfest, like the usual Abby & Connor duet romsitcomflop (now a regular and deliberate suckup feature for the Abby-hearts-Connor crowd), with its deadass dialogue and meaningful looks. Or Becker and Sarah scurrying around in Christine Johnston’s now cavernously empty Evil Genius hideout, evading a bunch of plot devices sent thr0ugh from the future. Or Danny Q getting the drop on Diabolical Helen in her future, battery-powered Lair of Evil, by holding a gun on her; only it seems that Danny Quin has forgotten everything he learned during police training cos he lets her shuffle up close to him with the gun pressed against her forehead, just close enough…for her to taser him. Yeah, makes sense, if I had in my sights an evil genius known for her perfidy and ruthlessness, I would certainly let her get within arms length of me and not notice what she has in her hands.
Then there’s Danny chasing after Helen through the Great Rift Valley, to stop her wiping out Humanity’s ancestral hominids (and thus the human race) – only it ends with Diabolical Helen being chomped by a velociraptor which just happened to follow the Quinster through from the Cretaceous. Nah, sorry, this was about as dramatically unsatisfying as it is possible to be – after all that Helen had done, all the betrayal and intrigue and killing Nick, for her to end that way makes all the other effort and struggle seem pointless. She may as well have just tripped and fell and broken her neck, for all the actual human dramatic impact that it had.
There is a quote from the writer and poet, Ben Okri, which goes -
“To poison a nation, poison its stories. A demoralised nation tells demoralised stories to itself. Beware of the storytellers who are not fully conscious of the importance of their gifts, and who are irresponsible in the application of their art.”
As you might gather, story telling and writing is important to me – I try to do the best I can in my writing by first not committing obvious errors, by not choosing a safe, easy route. Primeval season 3 is full of lazy, negligent writing and, sadly, I have to say that I hope that there isn’t a season 4.
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