First broadcast: February 10, 2007
Eight years after a dinosaur rampages through an ASDA car park, something huge creates havoc in the Forest of Dean…
Not afraid to wear its influences on its sleeve, Primeval is a shot in the arm for ITV drama. Taking its lead from Jurassic Park III, it crafts its story around characters that just happen to get involved with dinosaurs, rather than relying on its special effects alone.
By the end of this first episode, we have a very good idea of who our heroes are and what they’re after – though our expectations are sure to be subverted as the series goes on. Director Cilla Ware treats the monsters as separate characters, which makes it far easier to suspend disbelief, as does the casting of Douglas Henshall as central character Nick Cutter.
Hannah Spearritt follows in Billie Piper’s footsteps as the not-so-dumb blonde sidekick, and there’s some nice chemistry developing between her character and both hunter/tracker Stephen and self-confessed geek Connor.
The effects stand up on the whole, and there’s an assuredness about the whole project.
Verdict: A flying start that bodes well for the future. Bring on the spiders! 8/10
Check out our ARChive of interviews from across all five seasons of Primeval.