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22 April 2009 @ 08:45 pm
Primeval 3.03 and 3.04  
I felt there were signs in both these episodes that series three was beginning to hit its stride again. 3.03, I think, benefitted from Cutter's greater involvement in the plot and 3.04, from his complete removal. The first couple of episodes of the season are beginning to look like an awkward twilight zone, marking time until Douglas Henshall left and Jason Flemyng could take over.

Having said that, I thought 3.03 was saddled with an awkward two part structure with, first Primeval's stock dinosaur X in location Y story and then the story of Helen's invasion of the ARC. Like Stephen's death at the end of series 2 I found myself strangely unmoved by Cutter's death. I'm not sure what they're doing wrong here, because normally I'll weep over the telly given the slightest excuse and Cutter was my favourite character in the show, but I couldn't muster it for this. I was relieved that Helen wasn't painted as completely mad. It looks like she's probably going to turn out to be entirely wrong about who was responsible for her nightmare future vision, but I thought her reasons were pretty clearly stated and reasonable within the kind of logic Helen employs.

3.04 seemed more self-assured. I'd have liked it better if it had been a little less such a stock dinosaur X in location Y story, but maybe the show needed one of those to get its bearings with. I could have done without the comedy journalists though. The direction during their final scene was completely horrible. It was entirely unclear what had happened to the soldier left to guard the anomaly and what exactly happened to the journalists. Once again the military displayed a their unique Primeval talent of mostly not being where they are needed when they are needed.
 
 
 
fredbassettfredbassett on April 22nd, 2009 08:14 pm (UTC)
I was actually quite bothered by the way they handled the demise of the journalists. At first I was just totally confused about what had happened to them. Then on a second re-watch I worked out that they did appear to have run through the anomaly. Then I was bothered about the complete disregard for their deaths. It was badly handled and too bloody casual. OK, they clearly played Nigel Marvin's death for laughs, and I can accept that to an extent. But Mick Harper had appeared twice before. Killing him off in such a casual manner was not something I could get behind, and it pissed me off.

The soldiers had been left behind, but were then seen dashing outside the hanger, but I'm not quite clear why without another re-watch.

The direction sucked frogs.
louisedennis: primevallouisedennis on April 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
I thought it was a pretty rotten pay-off to the journalist "sub-arc" - we weren't really led to consider him a villain, more an annoyance, so killing him seemed uncalled for. It seemed to be an inherent assumption that journalist=baddie.
fredbassettfredbassett on April 22nd, 2009 08:18 pm (UTC)
It struck me as lazy writing. The guy deserved a better plot arc than that. It was cheap stereotyping.
parrot_knightparrot_knight on April 22nd, 2009 11:25 pm (UTC)
I was out of the room for a short while, and didn't realise where the journalists had gone. Their deaths should have been dwelt upon a bit more.
louisedennis: primevallouisedennis on April 23rd, 2009 09:29 am (UTC)
It was, I think, both sloppily written and directed which is a shame because, as I said, otherwise I thought the episode was something a return to form.
lukadreaminglukadreaming on April 22nd, 2009 08:17 pm (UTC)
The journalists bit was totally infuriating. If they were going to bring Mick back, it made sense to do something worthwhile with the role. But he -- and the woman editor -- shrieked cliche. The deaths had me yelling at the screen.

The direction was shite and, as usual, you could drive a Hilux through the plot holes.
louisedennis: primevallouisedennis on April 23rd, 2009 09:59 am (UTC)
The direction of the journalists deaths was more than shite it was below what I would term basic competence. I can forgive direction being dull and, where a lot is going on, I can forgive it being confusing. But here there was a simple shot that needed to make it clear what happened to the reporters in a relatively straightforward set-piece and they fluffed it.
reggietate: edgynickreggietate on April 22nd, 2009 10:27 pm (UTC)
Though the diictodons were cute and funny, I could have dispensed with them for a bit more of Cutter and his clone, which was probably the highlight of 3.03 for me.

3.04 was fun, but I do agree about the journalists. The team is there it save lives, after all, and there was no real need to have them get killed. I can see why they might have wanted some lighter moments after Cutter's death and Connor and Jenny's grief at the beginning, but it went a bit too far.

The direction seems to have been crap for most of this series, to be honest, compared with last year. I wish they'd stuck to the old crew and writers, they may have made a few mistakes now and then, but they seem to have been much better overall.