The odd European-style number plate aside, there’s very little to indicate on-screen that Primeval has moved lock, stock and barrel across the Irish Sea for the first of this new 13-part season, split between ITV and Watch over the coming months. The mix of dinosaurs, occasionally melodramatic dialogue, quick-cutting action and dry humour courtesy of Ben Miller remains the same as it was before the show was cancelled… er, went into a long hiatus (shades of Doctor Who in the 1980s).
Inevitably there’s quite a bit of exposition, starting with a voiceover by Ben Miller, and at least one of the cliffhangers from series three is resolved (to find out about one of the others, you need to listen very carefully to Becker’s dialogue). It’s almost part one of an opening two-parter, ending on a slightly downbeat note – but with the next episode airing the following night, the situation looks set to get onto its new footing pretty quickly.
New boy Ciaran McMenamin makes a good first impression, as does Ruth Kearney as the unflappable Jess. Hopefully we’ll see a bit more of Alexander Siddig’s Philip Burton, as he comes across as an interfering Richard Branson type, rather than the genius Connor makes him out to be.
Verdict: Enjoyable, but it doesn’t feel quite up to speed yet. 7/10