Created in 2007, Primeval was ITV’s answer to Doctor Who; a high concept programme incorporating time travel elements. Portals through time, known as anomalies, were opening across England, and allowing all many of prehistoric creatures to roam free – the series began following the work of Professor Nick Cutter as he attempted to solve the mysteries of the anomalies, a matter of both scientific curiosity and personal concern. It was described as being more “realistic” than Doctor Who – debatable, given the time travel and dinosaurs, but, in any case, it was clear that a closer comparison was perhaps the one made by Douglas Henshall (Nick Cutter) himself; Primeval was akin to The A Team, with an ensemble of specialists having to work together to achieve their aims.
Over time, though, the show began to change; the second series saw our team go from a ragtag group to a fully-fledged secret organisation with the backing of both the government and the military, as well as having to face a larger threat for the first time. The third season brought with it another near-reboot, as Douglas Henshall decided to leave the show; gone was our professor of zoology, replaced with an ex policeman played by Jason Flemyng, and the show gradually became more action oriented. It grew grander in scale, too, and saw the team coming up against potentially world ending threats.
A recent article about Primeval – which, somewhat surprsingly, I’ve never actually written about on the blog before! I was quite a fan of the show back in the day (although I’ve not seen it for a while, and I can’t imagine it aged particularly well), so it was nice to take a bit of a look back and see how it changed over the years.
In some respects, it’s one of the most interesting things about Primeval – which admittedly is not a comment that says a lot about the quality of the show. It seems a little less remarkable now, when the cancellation of any show could be followed by it being picked up by another network, or revived 15 years later, but when Primeval did came back from the dead (and got an American spinoff!) it was more than a little atypical. To be honest, given its track record, I wouldn’t be surprised if it ever popped up on Netflix with a new series a few years down the line…