[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 3, "Fear Of Flying"


Courtesy of Impossible Pictures

Congratulations Primeval, you came this close to being interesting. Then you weren't.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that will bury under your skin, and eat your spleen.

I'll say this straight away: the writing this week was a mark improvement over the last two weeks. The dialogue was less stilted, the characters behaved according to what seemed like actual motivations or emotions, rather then just because the plot had to move forward. But it was still a long way off from good.

I was hopeful, as Smart Guy and Female Lead fell through the anomaly and hit the dirt twenty feet down, that this episode might have found a touch of originality, that it might have escaped the bonds of the established formula, and decided to be it's own thing. That the anomaly itself would be the villain of the piece, and that finding a way back up through it, and out of the desolate desert would be the focus. Then the crazy man eating scarabs appeared, and that all got blown to hell.

I will also concede that this episode, after it got over the early and unnecessary fanservice (which the parent programme was guilty of at this point in its life too), it contained the nearest thing we've gotten to interesting, developed characters. Girl on the Bike, and the Girl on the Plane, and also briefly Pilot Guy. These characters had more depth and more characterisation in their brief appearances then any of the primary cast haves received. I have no idea what they're names were, because the show doesn't seem concerned with endearing the cast to the audience at all. Even the starring cast are all just a collection of singular ideas. There is the Smart Guy, The Female Lead, The Tech Girl, and The English Fellow.

The character just aren't engaging. As Smart Guy and Female Lead sat in the plane, trying to work out how to save themselves, I just couldn't figure out why I was meant to care about them. The writers haven't demonstrated why I should feel for their trials and tribulations. That should have been item one on day one, but here we are three episodes in, and I'm still struggling. And I repeat, Smart Guy's past would be a lot more intriguing if the first episodes hadn't revealed his past, thus eliminating any of the mystery that the show now seems to want to build. You can't have it both ways. And you can't expect us to feel the sense of suspense that the other characters are feeling, because we already know the answers. It's just frustrating, which also seems to be how the characters in universe are feeling too.

It feels like the writers are building the series off of a common starting point that we, as viewers, weren't a part of. They jumped straight into the action, with characters that were all known to each other, with experience and motivation, and don't feel obligated to take the step back and let us in. It's like we're watching a group of people we want to be friends with, but from across the room. We recognise them, but don't understand the in-jokes, because we're lagging behind. At this point, the series needs to slow down, separate itself form its origins, and prove the worth of its existence.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.

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