PRIMEVAL (UK) Series 5 Episode 1 Review

Primeval 5.01

PRIMEVAL Series 5 Episode 1 – When a roadworker falls into a sinkhole and is eaten the existence for an entirely new species of giant beetle-thing is revealed. The team try to track the beetle down before it can do even more damage and manage to fatally injure it. Alas, the beetle abducts Connor before it dies.

Is it even a beetle? I have no clue.

An injured Connor wakes up in a new, empty shopping centre, the dead creature’s nest, and discovers the area teeming with even more beetles. He decides to turn on the gas and, with help from Becker and his detonators, fry them. Thankfully Matt manages to get to Connor and help him to safety before the explosion.

Meanwhile, Lester takes part in a character interview for a knighthood (just not his knighthood, it turns out) and Abby’s suspicions lead Matt to tell her why he joined the ARC; he’s from the future, he’s trying to save earth from life-ending anomalous anomalies and Connor plays some part in it all.

Primeval suffers from the same malady that affects other British prime time television shows in that it has to cater to both children and adults. Sometimes the series gets it right and it’s fun to watch while being thought-provoking. Other times, Primeval skews too much to the left and we’re left with a kids show worthy of being on the CBBC channel. Sadly this was one of those times.

The episode was incredibly straight forward and obvious. It was clear that Lester wasn’t getting a knighthood and that April was/is a ‘bad’ guy. Matt didn’t even attempt to explain away his knowledge of the beetles’ behaviour, which telegraphed him revealing all to Abby at the end of the episode. There was no big twist, no surprises, nothing to really grab the viewer’s attention.

Notice that I can summarise the entire episode without mentioning Jess – although she was in it? This pretty much sums up my thoughts on the character. I don’t want to hate on Jess (I did that enough in series 4) but I really do find her completely pointless. Lester asking why he needed a SatNav when he had her was very funny because it’s sadly very true. The ARC team went three series without needing someone to man the phones and Look Very Worried whenever a team member is in peril. It’s distracting and wastes screentime that could be used for something more important like bettering the plot.

(I promise I won’t be mean about her for the rest of the series. Maybe.)

In case one dodgy female wasn’t enough for the show, we now have two. Meet April, Connor’s new assistant. She’s a geek. We know she’s a geek because she wears glasses with thick black frames and she has slightly untidy hair, both of which cover up the fact she’s actually pretty attractive. She’s also a bad guy because she takes the glasses off to call Burton, her boss.

My theory: because she’s a pretty geek, she’s probably going to try and create tension between Connor and Abby and then seduce him. But Connor is loyal – and a bit dippy – and he’ll resist her charms and be firmly back on Team Good soon enough. (If this doesn’t happen I’ll eat my T-Rex.)

It wasn’t all bad though. Abby still manages to be kickass even when she’s not really doing much except worrying about Connor and frowning at Matt, and Becker got a few funnies in too.

Overall, a decent episode if you want a really mindless watch or are six years old and still excited by the concept of giant beetle…things. (What the hell WERE those?)

What did you think of Primeval series 5 episode 1? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!

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