?

Log in

No account? Create an account
 
 
28 March 2009 @ 08:56 pm
Primeval 3.1  
Well, I thought it was better than the opening episode of season 2 and I had sympathy with its need to reintroduce the old characters and the set up while also introducing new characters and plot lines but...

On consideration I would, personally, prefer having no military presence at all, to a military presence that is about as much use as a wet blanket. On no less than three occasions I was reduced to saying "where are the soldiers?". It wasn't a good introduction to Captain Becker. His best moment was in his opening scene with Lester, but thereafter he could have been pretty much any soldier and the fact that he and his squad were pretty much never where they were needed didn't exactly show him in a good light.

Sarah Page fared much better and, "lets all bow to it" aside, I liked her. She was bright and brave without being unrealistic or macho and her rapport with Connor was very nicely drawn.

I was also very pleased with the way Abby was allowed to shine in this episode. She's very clearly been moved into the role Stephen once occupied, and I think it shows that the original line up had too many people in the "creature expert" slot. A nice distinction was drawn here between Cutter's wider view, Abby's specialisation in animal behaviour and Connor's technical expertise - those may not have been roles originally envisaged three years ago, but it works well in dramatic terms and the fact it was underscored so firmly here gives me hope that she'll be less of a fifth wheel this season.

Primeval hasn't, in the past, had such a good reputation for the way it treats its female characters from Abby's propensity to wander about in her underwear in season 1, to Jenny's ridiculous outfits and (at least initially) offensive characterisation in season two. So I was pleasantly surprised with the writing for both Sarah and Abby here and, incidentally, relieved to note that Jenny was (for a change) dressed both sensibly and in a moderately flattering outfit. Helen's cleavage of doom was still cheerfully in evidence but, in a bizarre way, I'd be sorry to see it go at this point.

I said above that I thought the episode was better than the season 2 opener. That chose to fill its slot with a lot of running around to not much purpose. Although there was a lot of running around here, we at least got to see the team reasoning and working together and there was a certain, if limited, amount of plot progression. I did think the direction was a bit unclear though, in particular, the mysterious absence of soldiers at key moments when, in some cases, they were actually in the room was more than a little clumsy. It wasn't helped by the writing, of course, but a better director would, I think, have found a way round it.

I confess I sighed and rolled my eyes a bit at the appearance of yet another (or another two) conspiracies. I'm kind of torn about it. I'm pleased at the prospect of the show giving Lester a chance to display some of his political chops (as it were), on the other hand they did "conspiracy" last season so I'd have liked to see something different as the "arc plot" for this one. I'm also concerned, given the show's rather tenuous grasp of things like (in this episode) animal welfare, whether I really want to the writers to have the opportunity to parade their political ignorance across the screen.

All that said, I thought this was a strong start to the season. My concerns about extreme military incompetence aside, the plot (such as it was) held together well. It covered most of its bases in terms of (re)introducing characters (only Jenny and Becker were a little eclipsed and both of them had at least one good scene) and managed to crack along at a fair old pace.
 
 
 
reggietatereggietate on March 28th, 2009 09:40 pm (UTC)
I'm going to watch it again, probably tonight, so I can judge it better. I'm not as excited by it as I was with the opener or S2 (which I watched three times one after another *g*) but I enjoyed it more than I expected to. I should have liked more Cutter, but everyone else was fun to watch, and I did like the references to Stephen, and the way Cutter reacted to his name being mentioned.

Definitely didn't like the new background music, though - or rather, it was all right, but I liked the old music much better. This new stuff wasn't Primeval-y enough, if you know what I mean. The old melancholy piano theme was entirely absent, and I want it back! *g*
louisedennis: primevallouisedennis on March 28th, 2009 09:48 pm (UTC)
Yes, Cutter's reaction to Stephen's death was very nicely done, both in the scene with Jenny and that brief moment when Abby mentions him.

I loathed the S2 opener, single worst episode of Primeval so far (IMNSHO), so to say this was better is damning with faint praise but I actually thought it was mostly pretty competent and it had several really nice character moments (though lord alone knows what new viewers made of the entirely unexplained Claudia Brown reference). Opening episodes are hard because you have a lot of work to do, so I wasn't expecting a series high.

Not enough Cutter but I don't object to his hair as much as I thought I would and has he lost weight?

I have a complete blank spot when it comes to sound tracks. Who fandom reviews (or at least the ones I read) are always full of complaints of Murray Golds overbearing and histrionic scores and I'm like "what music?" when apparently there have been chanting choirs and goodness knows what going on.
reggietatereggietate on March 28th, 2009 09:55 pm (UTC)
The S2 opener grew on me after a couple of goes ;-) It felt strange at first, what with the different haircut and all the changes, but this eps obviously not following straight on, so it didn't feel as odd and jarring.

Not enough Cutter but I don't object to his hair as much as I thought I would and has he lost weight?

Possibly... he did seem a bit slimmer. *mourns the pudgy!Nick tummy*

I have a complete blank spot when it comes to sound tracks. Who fandom reviews (or at least the ones I read) are always full of complaints of Murray Golds overbearing and histrionic scores and I'm like "what music?" when apparently there have been chanting choirs and goodness knows what going on.

LOL! I tend to notice background music. And I've always particularly liked Primeval's music, and their occasional use of pop tracks, I'd hate it if they've ditched it altogether.

steamshovelmamasteamshovelmama on March 29th, 2009 06:29 pm (UTC)
"I have a complete blank spot when it comes to sound tracks. Who fandom reviews (or at least the ones I read) are always full of complaints of Murray Golds overbearing and histrionic scores and I'm like "what music?" when apparently there have been chanting choirs and goodness knows what going on."

ROTFL! Yes, me too! I always feel like I'm the one kid in the class who doesn't get it and is too embarrassed to raise her arm and go, "um, music, what music?" Of course that cold be because I have the proverbial tin ear...

For a season opener, I thought it was great.
louisedennis: primevallouisedennis on March 29th, 2009 06:45 pm (UTC)
For a season opener, I thought it was great.

I thought it displayed a lot of the series' weaknesses. However a propensity to favour set pieces involving the named stars over logical sense is hardly a failing unique to Primeval. But I thought it wasn't really picked up by the strengths of the series (for instance I think Primeval generally has a good handle on its characters and their relationships and this episode simply had too much to do to really show case that).
H: nick/claudiahuddylovin on March 29th, 2009 07:20 pm (UTC)
"Helen's cleavage of doom" Ahahaa xDD

I thought it was pretty good. It obviously had to introduce the new characters but it was entertaining enough.

Would like to see a bit more Jenny screentime. I adored Claudia and I want to know what direction her storyline is going... *is impatient*. I thought after the ending to season 1 they would focus on this last season but I thought it kind of got neglected a bit. She seemed more Claudia-like last night... not sure what is going on there!
louisedennis: primevallouisedennis on March 29th, 2009 07:23 pm (UTC)
She did seems more Claudia-like - especially the loose hair when last season it was always tied up when she was in a professional context. But we saw so little of her, really. It was hard to tell.