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12 July 2011 @ 08:31 pm
Primeval 5.05  
That was a good episode, it benefited from being the first half of a two-parter. I'm rapidly coming to the conclusion that it is easier to set up a gripping situation than it is to resolve it, as can be seen in many two parters, in Primeval, Doctor Who and other genre shows where episode 1 is often considerably better than episode 2.

SPOILERS FOLLOW, incidentally.

It's quite a bitty episode in many ways. We have the drama of the convergence which, ultimately, was a little undersold - most notably in the "Becker looking worried on a staircase" shot and one of the few occasions when budgetry restrictions have been obvious. I can imagine that anyone excited by the "We have a T-Rex for the first time!" hype that has been going on since before season 4 aired will have been a little disappointed by the way it came and went in the space of half an episode. While, in principle, I agree with Primeval's decisions to kill sympathetic members of the supporting cast occasionally (mostly notably the schoolgirl in the season 4 episode), in this case it was too thrown away to have any emotional impact. I didn't care that this girl had died and I thought her friend was merely very, very silly when she refused to leave the body. I loved the sequence with Abby and Becker and the worms though, especially the moment where they played paper-scissors-stone at the end. It seemed such a natural relationship and one between professional equals.

The Connor/Burton stuff was good too (once you get over the slightly childish reasons for Connor having turned against the man and the fact that it's played as if Connor was stupidly deluded when his reasons for believing in Burton (give or take the moustache twirling performance from Siddig) were more than reasonable). Obviously Burton's obsessive secrecy over the whole project seems exceedingly dumb in context but his urgency and the way he has been driving Connor is suddenly shown to make sense and not merely flow from rubbish management skills. The sequence in the car park was the first time I think I've seen Siddig put some effort into his acting and the episode was all the better for it. Plus Abby gets to rescue Connor, which is always nice to see.

Less nice to see was Emily being largely underused, though I'm still loving the way all female teams are falling into place naturally in this version of Primeval.

Pointless April was pointless. nuff said.

Oh and dear Lord, either those bloody guns are mostly harmless or they're potentially lethal. Please make up your minds. You can't make a point of arming everyone with stun weapons only to have them singularly fail to shoot people who need to be stopped. Despite arming the team with non-lethal weapons, seasons 4 and 5 have actually been much less mealy-mouthed about the need to kill the creatures that come through the anomalies. In this context, arming them with stun weapons just seems pointless. I can't think of one serious plot point in the entire pair of seasons which wouldn't have worked just as well with real guns and ammunition switched for power packs and lots of this waving stun guns at people, looking nervous and threatening to shoot would be a lot less silly if the character was holding a lethal weapon.

However despite a few quibbles the episode was pacey, and gripping. Sufficiently so that, despite it being past our bed times, B and I decided we would stay up and watch 5.06 immediately.

This entry was originally posted at http://purplecat.dreamwidth.org/48643.html.
fredbassettfredbassett on July 13th, 2011 10:36 am (UTC)
*g* If it kept you up for the next one, it must have done a pretty good job.

I enjoyed this one, but agree with your quibbles.