[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 6, "Clean Up On Aisle Three"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures.
Yes, that is Stargate's Amanda Tapping, and no she didn't appear in this week's Primeval: New World, she directed it. She is one of many former Stargate and Sanctuary crew that work on the dino-drama. And while her presence in front of the camera would be a well deserved injection of talent, her abilities behind the camera serve the show just as well. This week's episode was well done, if the script seemed to want to rush through things. And also, apparently this was the episode where the producers made their money, featuring some rather blatant product placement. And a hockey joke.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that were also once assaulted while watching Bollywood films.

In six episodes of the characters calling every little thing that crawls out of an anomaly, this episode gave us our first real dinosaur since the pilot's unnecessary raptor. Daemonosaurus were the flocking creatures this week, and they were well used. Dylan correctly identifies birds as being the closest relatives to dinosaurs, and makes an assumption that their behaviour would be similar. Which is a reasonable assumption to make, all told. But keep in mind that Daemonosaurus was a primitive Late Triassic theropod, and while it is convenient to assume that the behaviour of a creature that lived 200 million years ago might be similar to those of modern animals, it is just that: an assumption. But considering that it was one of the least ridiculous alterations to an animal's behaviour that this show has done, I'm willing to give it a pass. And at least it was based on vaguely scientific reasoning.

This was another good episode for characters, as the more focused story elements allowed the characters time to reveal more about themselves. Dylan especially got a serious upgrade, and is beginning to appear more and more realised. She has, at least, thrown off the crazy eidetic memory-animal identifying super power she had a few episodes ago. Now, she's working off experience and deduction, and it give her character's animal control back story a reason for being there. We also got some nice emotional stuff from her, even if she is prone to randomly changing her position for the sake of the moment, only to go back on her position in the next.

The majority of the episode was focused more on Cross and the CFO, who each spent the episode in their own personal confessionals, letting their hearts bleed onto their sleeves while they bemoan the break up of a relationship we only really got an impression of last week. It also served to provide the foundations of a love-quadrahedron between them, Dylan and the Project Magnet guy, whose role the show still hasn't nailed down. The slow realisation of their feelings, independent of each other, for each other was nice in contrast to the connection between Cross and Dylan the show has been attempting to beat us over the head with the past month.

By biggest problem with the episode was the apparent desire to burn off all of last week's nicely cultivated tension and drama as fast as possible. Indeed, Mac and Cross have a confrontation straight away, and that seems to resolve everything. They're cracking jokes about one another in the very next scene. In the same way, Cross was barely functional at the end of last week's episode, but this week he appears to have moved on. Either he's very good at processing loss (which his obsession with the anomalies, and only just taking off his wedding ring suggests is not the case) or he's pushing this stuff deep down inside, to eventually explode. He's never shown drinking whiskey alone, or anything as cliched as that, so we really don't know what Cross is all about just yet.

A tiny squabble of my own: hockey sticks, while affording the show the opportunity to get some advertising dollars, would make a terrible weapon against dinosaurs. Especially when in a hardware store they'd have access to range weapons like pellet guns, nail guns, air compressors, butane torches and cross bows. Setting aside Cross' insistence for non-lethal force, they could have MacGyvered something more effective then a goalie's stick. A joke isn't worth jeopardising personal safety and common sense.

What I appreciate is the realisation that just because you have a lot of characters in the cast doesn't mean you have to use them all, and all of the time. In the last two weeks, only the characters who were needed were used, and to greater effect then the four episodes previous, where everyone was shoehorned into every plot whether they ought to have been there or not. I feel like, half way through this first (and probably only) season, the writers have finally hit their stride, found their balance, and are making a show worth watching. Which was what I had hoped, and am glad to see. Last week I guessed they wouldn't be up to the task, of improving the show with each subsequent episode until they reach their optimum functioning level. This week maybe wasn't as good as last week, but it was still good, which is improvement enough for me. And now they have to build on it again.
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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.

1 comments :

  1. What was the closing song name and band on S1E6 ?

    ReplyDelete