[As ever, this is spoiler-free for this episode, not the entire series of Primeval New World]
After a close encounter with a dinosaur, Evan begins to experience past events – with catastrophic consequences.
So now the set-up of Primeval New World is finally revealed (which comes as a relief: Sci-Fi Bulletin’s set visit was during the filming of episode 9, and therefore I was briefed on the events of this episode so I could interview the actors – hence why our interviews haven’t been appearing yet – and I was inevitably watching the show through the prism of that knowledge but trying not to!).
It’s a brave decision by the production team to show just how deeply flawed their central character can be, but it needed some sort of outside influence as shown here to break through the shell that Evan Cross presents to the public.
Among the drama relating to Evan’s relationships with Ange, Dylan, Toby and especially Mac (and do look carefully at what he’s wearing), one other plotline has resurfaced, with some connotations that may have been lost. Ken Leeds is suddenly smart; he’s commanding soldiers; he’s assertive to the extent of rudeness. Where has our mild, meek Mulder-wannabe gone? And what does that mean for Cross Photonics’ Special Projects team?
The opening of the episode is just pure showing off: not content with having a dinosaur running around the OIympic Village (and being able to have the chasee shouting “Holy shit!” as any normal person would in the circumstances), we then see it in assorted windows and mirrors, refracted properly. Director Amanda Tapping and FX whiz Mark Savela and his team create one of the most credible sequences in the Primeval franchise to date.
There’s some great acting on display from the entire team: Miranda Frigon, Danny Rahim and Crystal Lowe especially are thrown some curveballs by the script, and it’s all held together by strong performances from Niall Matter and Sara Canning.
Verdict: There’s a five week wait for episode nine, and UK viewers get their chance to start watching in three – if you’ve loved Primeval, you’ll lap this up. And for those who have been following the Canadian transmissions, this is a terrific end to the first part of the season. 8/10