Episode 1.6 (Primeval)
|Episode no.||Series 1
|Directed by||Jamie Payne|
|Written by||Adrian Hodges|
|Original air date||17 March 2007|
Episode Six of the ITV sci-fi drama Primeval was broadcast in the UK on 17 March 2007. The storyline involves the opening of a new anomaly, when the team find themselves in an intense battle with a highly evolved predator, not from the past, but the future.
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Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) is practicing putting in his office using a thin animal femur a little over 3 feet long as a club. Claudia Brown (Lucy Brown) visits him, wanting to talk about Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey) and why she might have saved her (in episode 5). She also remembers that Nick kissed her (although she does not appear to be angry about it), causing Nick to miss his shot. Elsewhere Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt) helps Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts) practise chat-up lines for prospective nights out, although he is clearly more interested in her.
Another anomaly has appeared in the Forest of Dean in the same place as the Episode One anomaly, bringing with it a terrible predator that possesses human-like intelligence and amazing agility, and tracks its prey using sonar-like abilities, much like a bat. It breaks through the perimeter surrounding the Forest of Dean, and makes its way to Wellington Zoo. Here, it breaks into the lion den and kills a lion. It leaves no trace of itself or the lion, except a smear of blood on a leaf.
Abby has been called to the zoo because of the lions's disappearance, bringing Connor along. Connor takes a sample of this blood and has it tested, which shows it to be partly lion blood, and partly bat blood but with some weird differences in the DNA. The creature goes on to kill three people, including Abby's boss.
Meanwhile, Helen returns, taking Stephen Hart (James Murray) aside in the university grounds. She reveals that there has been another creature incursion, but refuses to say more until she meets Nick and Lester. However, she does indicate she was pleased to see Stephen again, and kisses him on the lips as she departs. Lester agrees to the meeting (reluctantly). He, Claudia, Nick and Stephen meet her, and she tells Nick and the others that it is a highly developed predator from the future, that came through an anomaly into the Permian period and then through another anomaly into our period. Helen insists she has no idea how the creature found its way through, and that she just came back to help, having learned it was on the rampage, and decides to stay at her old house - Nick's house.
At the house, Nick quizzes Helen as to her real motives. She reveals that the creature didn't come through on its own - she was observing it and it sensed her presence: in her haste to escape, she fled through the anomaly, and the creature followed her through to the present day. When Nick accuses her of causing the situation, Helen defends herself by saying she does still care enough to want to help stop it...and that she does still care about Nick.
Stephen and Connor puzzle on the creature in Nick's office. Connor mentions the disappearance of Abby's boss and the lion. Stephen realises that the Predator must be hunting in that area and leaves to find Abby, telling Connor to bring backup. Abby is safe at the zoo, but at that moment the creature appears. It is unable to detect them due to the seals in the tank next to them, and flees when Ryan's men arrive.
Realising the danger, Nick and Ryan's men hunt the creature in a search-and-destroy mission, using dogs to track it. The creature attacks them again, killing a soldier, then escapes into the trees. Connor notices that the dogs picked it up before they did, and concludes that it hunts by sound. The team concludes it is hunting by echolocation, and when Stephen and Connor mention the bat blood, they conclude it is a futuristic species of bat. Helen agrees to this, saying that 75% of all mammal species are bats or rats, and that possibly they are the species that becomes dominant.
Nick sends Connor to the pickup for a laptop oscilloscope that picks up and displays the sound waves caused by the creature. While Connor is in the pickup, the creature jumps on the pickup and tries to break into it, but Abby distracts the creature. As it prepares to attack her, Stephen shoots and wounds the creature; it escapes into the forest. Despite being unnerved, Connor refuses to give up, reasoning Han Solo would never give up: Nick agrees, although noting he always saw Connor as R2-D2 himself. Connor thanks Abby for saving him.
Using the oscilloscope, they find the den in an abandoned storage hut, and enter it. Inside they find that the creature has given birth to at least 5 young. Then the oscilloscope starts to react loudly, and the creature attacks, killing a soldier. Nick, thinking quickly, grabs an infant and runs into a nearby greenhouse. The creature follows and Nick shoots the glass above it, causing a shower of broken glass which reflects the creature's sound waves back at it, confusing its sonar sense. Taking advantage of the distraction, he shoots it in the head, killing it.
Realising the creatures are too dangerous to stay in the present, and that they could wreak catastrophic damage on ecosystems in the past, Helen and Nick suggest using the infants to guide them to the anomaly leading from the Permian to the future: once they have found the anomaly into the future and make sure it closes, they will kill the infants, as they are too dangerous to be allowed to live, as well as stationing a permanent guard at the site of the future anomaly in case it reopens. Just before they enter the anomaly, Claudia kisses Cutter right in front of Helen, much to her surprise and to the disapproval of Lester. After Cutter and Helen have departed with the infants, Connor learns that an autopsy has shown that the creature was male: thus there is likely a female creature still at large. Almost immediately after, the female leaps through the anomaly, although the team in the present don't realise due to its speed.
The landscape is conifer forest on hilly lava. A herd of Scutosaurus are on a hill opposite beyond a valley. Nick takes a picture of Helen as a souvenir. He then realizes that they were creating their own past and that that picture is the picture that they found in Episode One. Then he remembers the skeleton they found, and works out what is going to happen. Nick then realises Helen has been using him - she didn't care about him, she just wanted to find the future anomaly.
The female creature catches up with them and attacks them. It attacks and kills all of Ryan's soldiers. Captain Ryan runs after the creature and shoots it twice but fails to deliver a fatal kill-shot to the creature. With his position now exposed, the predator attacks and mortally wounds Ryan. The predator turns towards the others but before it can attack Nick, a gorgonopsid appears, charging and briefly stunning the adult creature. Nick attends to Ryan, as the adult creature recovers - to see its young being eaten by the gorgonopsid. The two predators battle; the gorgonopsid loses an eye and suffers wounds in the process. Despite this, the gorgonopsid emerges victorious as it rears and falls over backwards, crushing the creature beneath its weight. The gorgonopsid roars in victory and then retreats with the creature's body.
Nick aids Captain Tom Ryan (Mark Wakeling), who had also worked out that the skeleton in Episode One was his own, before dying. Helen confirms that none of the creature's young have survived, and she and Nick bury the dead men in the Permian and return through the anomaly, despite Helen's pleas that they could stay in the past and find the future anomaly. Unseen by the group, two of the baby future predators are left climbing a tree as the group retreats to the present.
Helen and Nick sadly tell the others that Captain Ryan didn't make it and that all his soldiers died as well. Nick then says that no-one else is to go through the anomaly. Helen immediately reveals she is not staying. Trying to avoid going back alone, Helen reveals that before she disappeared she had an affair with Stephen, much to Nick's fury. However, Stephen refuses to go with her. Helen then walks back through the anomaly.
Nick asks where Claudia is, and to his shock finds that no-one there knows of any Claudia Brown. He realizes that the last time-jump has changed the past and thus changed the evolution of the earth causing some modern end-results. As he tries to take this in, the anomaly begins to fluctuate behind him...
- Douglas Henshall - Nick Cutter
- James Murray - Stephen Hart
- Andrew-Lee Potts - Connor Temple
- Lucy Brown - Claudia Brown
- Hannah Spearritt - Abby Maitland
- Mark Wakeling - Tom Ryan
- Juliet Aubrey - Helen Cutter
- Ben Miller - James Lester
The battle between the gorgonopsid and the Predator was completely "created in a digital environment, we were able to go down to the cutting room and decide where we were going to put the cameras and essentially direct it ourselves as if we were on location. It was great to be able to offer that flexibility to the director. The result is some of the best television work we've ever done." The directors stated "We thought it would be fun to have it so just as he (Nick) started to like her (Claudia) she would disappear into thin air."
This episode gained a final viewing figures of 6.52 million. TV Times gave this episode 4 stars in their review. This episode was also reviewed by TV critic Charlie Brooker in the final episode of his BBC Four show Screenwipe, and gave it a rave review saying that it was "far better than Torchwood for instance." "Unashamedly Saturday night populist viewing for the masses" with "some of the best special effects I've ever seen in a British TV Show". Some fans complained that there were too many Star Wars references in this episode and the creators have claimed that they were fine with that.
- Milne, Mike. "Primeval sees Framestore CFC's Creatures Leap into the 21st Century". Archived from the original on 2007-03-15.
- /2PrimevalSFXmagazineAugust2007.html "'Primeval' Series Two preview" Check
- Average calculated from BARB figures for week ending 11/02/07 and all subsequent weeks until 18/03/07 which can be found here Archived December 15, 2005, at the Wayback Machine.
- Primeval Review Episode 6
- ITV's Primeval Fan Site - By Jon Donni - BBC4 Screenwipe - Charlie Brooker - Spoof/Parady - News Archived December 18, 2007, at the Wayback Machine.
- "'Primeval' Series Two preview".