And, as the summary suggests, for once at least some of the elements of this episode rely on the programme’s setting… plus, for those who were getting withdrawal symptoms, there are a decent number of dinosaurs present, at least in the first half of the episode.
The teaser is straight out of the Primeval playbook, but then it veers off into more familiar cop territory for the bare bones of the plot. The murder itself isn’t really the focus of the episode: it’s the fact that it’s Terra Nova’s first such event, which forces Commander Taylor into contemplating decisions that he hoped he wouldn’t have to face. There are echoes of the sentiments expressed in the Casino Royale teaser (“easier the second time around”), and a proper physical confrontation between Taylor and the murderer, giving Stephen Lang a chance to demonstrate his character’s supposed prowess.
It’s also a much better paced episode in terms of the B and C plots, with Josh’s desire to bring his girlfriend back from 2149 leading him ever deeper into trouble (and confirming some backstory along the way), while Malcolm’s affections for Jim Shannon’s wife (sorry, she still hasn’t developed enough as a character to be described any other way) are clearly not going anywhere.
Verdict: At last, an episode that uses the show’s potential.
Episode 6: “Bylaw” 7/10