Primeval (TV series)
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of series||5|
|No. of episodes||36 (list of episodes)|
|Running time||45 minutes|
|Original network||ITV (2007–2011)|
|Original release||10 February 2007 –|
28 June 2011
|Followed by||Primeval: New World|
Primeval is a British science-fiction drama television programme produced for ITV by Impossible Pictures. Created by Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines, who previously created the Walking with... documentary series, Primeval follows a team of scientists tasked with investigating the appearance of temporal anomalies across the United Kingdom through which prehistoric and futuristic creatures enter the present, as well as trying to stop the end of the world.
First broadcast in the UK on 10 February 2007, it has since expanded to an international audience. Overall reception of the programme was positive during the first and second series, maintaining a 25% audience share in the United Kingdom during both series. It also received a generally positive reaction from American critics prior to its broadcast on BBC America from 9 August 2008. The third series was broadcast from 28 March 2009 in the UK and 16 May 2009 in the US.
Series four and five were produced in collaboration between ITV, BBC Worldwide, Watch, Impossible Pictures and the German broadcaster ProSieben. Five webisodes were released from 22 December 2010 in the run-up to the fourth series, which began airing on New Year's Day 2011 in both the UK and US. The fifth series aired on Watch in May 2011 and was repeated on ITV from 16 June 2012. BBC Worldwide handles worldwide distribution through conventional and digital channels.
A Canadian-British co-production spin-off, titled Primeval: New World, was announced on 15 September 2011, to premiere on 29 October 2012 on Space. On 21 February 2013 it was announced that Primeval: New World had been cancelled after a single season; low ratings led Space and Bell Media to decide against renewing the show for a second season.
Series 1 (2007)
Series 1 followed the efforts of Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) and his associates, a friend and colleague Stephen Hart (James Murray), a student Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts) and a zookeeper Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt) as they investigate the appearance of anomalies (called "earthquakes in time") that allow the passage to other times and places, allowing often-dangerous creatures from the distant past or future to threaten the lives of citizens. The British government's Home Office, under the supervision of James Lester (Ben Miller) and Claudia Brown (Lucy Brown), becomes involved after a Gorgonopsid travels through one such anomaly and wreaks havoc in the Forest of Dean. Professor Cutter's wife, Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey), presumed dead for eight years, was revealed to have been travelling in time through the anomalies. Cutter was unable to convince her to help as she had changed much from the woman he had once known, and he began to fall in love with Claudia. Meanwhile, Abby began to take care of a Coelurosauravus she named Rex after he was left behind in the present, and was attracted to Stephen, who didn't completely reciprocate her feelings, despite Connor's romantic pursuit of her. The final episode of the first series sees the team deal with the consequences of an anomaly to the future opening in the Permian, allowing Predators from the future to access the past, and then follow Helen Cutter to the present. After the team secure the offspring of the Future Predator, killing an adult in the process, Cutter and Helen lead a group of soldiers into the Permian to secure the future anomaly and the time-line. However, an attack by a second adult Future Predator left Cutter and Helen as the only survivors. This disaster was predicted by Cutter seconds before it happened, as he realised that the camp he and the now dead Captain Ryan discovered on their first visit was in fact the remains of this expedition. Upon returning Cutter discovered Stephen had once had an affair with Helen before she had disappeared, and then learned that Claudia Brown no longer exists as the time-line had changed very slightly after their trip, and only he and Helen were aware of it.
Series 2 (2008)
The full circumstances behind the disappearance of Claudia Brown are never explained, with Cutter only knowing that it was the result of the visit to the Permian changing something in the present. In Claudia's place an assertive and quite different PR agent named Jenny Lewis joined the team in the Anomaly Research Centre or ARC, a building in the new time-line that deals with researching the anomalies. Having fallen for Claudia, a distraught Cutter was forced to start again with her look alike while Connor gained a girlfriend, Caroline Steel (Naomi Bentley), a woman with a hidden agenda whom Abby despised, but the two were drawn closer by an encounter with Mer Creatures (seal-like creatures from the future). As Stephen and Cutter tried to repair their friendship, Helen also returned and began rekindling her friendship with Stephen, and eventually their affair. Taking Claudia's previous position was a man named Oliver Leek (Karl Theobald), who secretly worked with Helen to use the anomalies to gain political power by gathering some of the creatures the team had encountered, and also controlling the future predators, using an unwitting Caroline to steal Rex for him. The team were also faced with a mysterious cleaner (Tim Faraday) whom they first encountered at a shopping mall and who worked against the team before he was killed in the Silurian by a Silurian Scorpion. The final conflict of the series resulted in the deaths of Stephen, who died to save the lives of the rest of the team, and Leek, who was torn apart when he lost control of his creatures.
Series 3 (2009)
Series 3 found Cutter continuing to investigate anomalies and attempted to find ways of predicting them with the help of Stephen's replacement on the team, Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield). Meanwhile, Lester had to deal with an old rival Christine Johnson (Belinda Stewart-Wilson), an unscrupulous government official who hoped to obtain the power of the anomalies and the Future Predators for military uses. With the assistance of Sarah Page (Laila Rouass), a professor employed at the British Museum, Cutter begins to piece together a map of all anomalies, based on folklore, and begins using them to make predictions about where anomalies will occur next. Helen tries to invade the ARC with an army of cleaner clones (including a clone of Cutter), with the intention of killing the real Cutter to stop his research causing the downfall of life on Earth. Cutter takes an artefact from Helen, and is shot and killed by her in the process, with his "prediction map" being completely destroyed. Connor obtains the artefact and discovers that it was in fact a map similar to the one devised by Cutter to predict anomalies. However, they are not able to get it to work, but they do manage to create a device to lock anomalies and prevent creatures coming through. Danny Quinn (Jason Flemyng), a former police detective who became involved after discovering his brother had been killed by a creature from the future, becomes the team leader following Cutter's death, while Jenny departs after having nearly died, and realising that Cutter's talk of Claudia Brown was in fact all true after seeing his photo of her. Connor and Abby's relationship grows, despite her brother Jack moving into her flat and going through an anomaly to the future. Helen returns near the series' end, with a device that opens anomalies at will, revealing that she will go back to eradicate the human race by killing the first hominids, in a second attempt to stop the future the team had seen coming to pass. She kills Christine and travels back to the future, followed by Danny, Connor and Abby. While Abby and an injured Connor are forced to remain in the late Cretaceous, Danny catches up with Helen in the prehistoric past and Helen is killed by a raptor that had followed Danny into the Pliocene. The anomaly closes on him, leaving him trapped in the Pliocene and Abby and Connor trapped in the Cretaceous.
Series 4 (2011)
Series 4 was preceded by five webisodes that partially bridge the year that has passed. New team members are introduced, and intrigues are set up, with Sarah having been killed in one of four attempted rescue missions led by Captain Becker. The ARC has been updated and restructured with a new team leader Matt Anderson (Ciarán McMenamin), a man with a hidden agenda with the ARC and the anomalies, Jess Parker (Ruth Kearney), a coordinator for the field team and Philip Burton (Alexander Siddig), an entrepreneur funding the ARC in a public/private partnership with the government.
Connor and Abby returned from the Cretaceous after finding Helen's dropped anomaly device, which was later eaten by a Spinosaurus that followed them. They were forced to earn their old jobs back by ending the reign of a Kaprosuchus living in the docks, following a new policy established during their disappearance where only people with a military background could work in the field. Later a group of time travellers arrived, including the mysterious Ethan Dobrowski (Jonathon Byrne), who is a serial killer, and Emily Merchant (Ruth Bradley), who is from the Victorian era. Matt took pity on Emily and kept her in his flat so they could find Ethan together, only for her to be kidnapped by him first, tied up, gagged and placed in a coffin, before being rescued. Meanwhile, Abby and Connor's new relationship, formed during their time in the Cretaceous, became strained under their jobs, particularly when Philip threatened to put Rex down and Abby going against him without Connor's support, and Connor agreeing to work for Philip on his own research team. The finale found Danny returning from the Pliocene, and it was revealed that Ethan was in fact his brother Patrick, who had been changed by his experiences through the anomalies. Patrick escaped into the Pliocene with Danny pursuing him, but not before telling Matt that Philip had known Helen. Matt admitted to a departing Emily that he and his father, Gideon (Anton Lesser), who had just died, are from the future, sent back to prevent someone interfering with the anomalies and causing the Earth to become uninhabitable. Meanwhile, Connor had done research into anomaly patterns and told Philip that he has discovered the anomalies will grow more frequent until they cause a catastrophe. Philip agreed to help find a solution, but asked that they keep the looming disaster to themselves for the time being.
Series 5 (2011)
Series 5 took place almost immediately after, with Philip recruiting Connor to help in his secret project called New Dawn, which would take energy from the anomalies and use it to solve the world's energy crisis. Matt, now aware Philip was responsible for the end of the world, asked for Abby's help after she figured out he was from the future due to his knowledge of Burrowing insects during an incursion. As they attempted to find out what Connor was researching with his assistant April Leonard (Janice Byrne), the team continued to deal with the anomalies. When Matt ended up in 1868 while trying to recapture a raptor, he encountered Emily and convinced her to return after finding out she would be committed to an asylum by her husband. Soon Connor created the first man-made anomaly in the ARC, however it caused a swarm of Future Beetles to invade the ARC, during which Matt and Abby revealed they were investigating Philip. In the aftermath of the crisis Connor went through Philip's files and discovered he had actually known Helen and had created a larger version of Connor's anomaly machine. Later several anomalies began opening at once as part of Convergence, a natural phenomenon that would change the Earth's magnetic pole from the north to the South, and a Tyrannosaurus rampage made the anomalies public. Philip abandoned Connor to activate New Dawn's anomaly as it required absorbing the energy from open anomalies, and Connor and Abby repaired their fractured relationship. Matt failed to stop Philip as he activated New Dawn and Connor, attempting sabotage, fell through the large anomaly and ended up in the desolate future Matt had lived in. While being rescued, the ARC was invaded by mutated versions of Future Predators, resulting in Lester becoming injured. Philip's anomaly became unstable, and Philip realised Helen had tricked him into wiping out humanity and tried to set things right by imploding the facility with him inside. Connor came up with a plan to use his anomaly to make the larger one unstable, and Matt drove it into the New Dawn anomaly with the intention of fulfilling his mission while sacrificing his own life. The plan worked and Matt somehow managed to survive, with the future changing once again. Abby, having whispered it earlier to Connor during the rescue, proposed to Connor and they became engaged. While the team is alerted to a new anomaly and prepare to head out, Matt encounters another version of himself, warning him to return home.
- Douglas Henshall as Nick Cutter (series 1–3), Team Leader
- James Murray as Stephen Hart (series 1–2)
- Andrew-Lee Potts as Connor Temple (series 1–5)
- Lucy Brown as Claudia Brown/Jenny Lewis (series 1–3, guest in series 4)
- Hannah Spearritt as Abby Maitland (series 1–5)
- Juliet Aubrey as Helen Cutter (series 1–3)
- Ben Miller as James Lester (series 1–5)
- Laila Rouass as Sarah Page (series 3)
- Jason Flemyng as Danny Quinn (series 3, guest in series 4), Team Leader
- Ben Mansfield as Captain Hilary Becker (series 3–5)
- Ciarán McMenamin as Matt Anderson (series 4–5), Team Leader
- Ruth Kearney as Jess Parker (series 4–5)
- Ruth Bradley as Emily Merchant (series 4–5)
- Alexander Siddig as Philip Burton (series 4–5)
- Mark Wakeling as Captain Tom Ryan (series 1)
|Series||Episodes||Originally aired||Average UK viewers|
|First aired||Last aired||Network|
|1||6||10 February 2007||17 March 2007||ITV||6.39|
|2||7||12 January 2008||23 February 2008||6.29|
|3||10||28 March 2009||6 June 2009||4.99|
|4||7||1 January 2011||5 February 2011||4.03|
|5||6||24 May 2011||28 June 2011||Watch||0.67|
The series was filmed at Pinewood Studios, Black Park, Buckinghamshire, London Underground, The Den stadium and CEME (the Centre for Engineering and Manufacturing Excellence near Ford Dagenham) Whipsnade Zoo, London Zoo, the Canary Islands, Bentalls Shopping Centre, Thorpe Park, Bournemouth beach the Alexandra Road estate, Camden and the British Museum.
The Duke of Kent building at the University of Surrey, Guildford, is used as the back-drop for the team's HQ, the ARC (Anomaly Research Centre).
Filming of the second series completed on 1 October 2007, and was broadcast in early 2008. Caroline Steel and Oliver Leek, portrayed by Naomi Bentley and Karl Theobald respectively, were two new characters for the second series, both of whom conspired with Helen Cutter.
In an effort to cut costs and use generous Irish Tax incentives for television production, filming for series 4 and 5 moved to Ireland, starting on 22 March 2010. Dermot Cleary, the Location Manager, confirmed the first block was to be filmed in County Wicklow and County Dublin, including at the Powerscourt Estate, The O2 Arena, Dublin port, Grand Canal Dock, and Park West Business Park.
Primeval billboards and banners were erected around London shortly before the airdate. Series 1 had several posters, most of which had exaggerated creatures from the show (the Arthropleura was depicted as being roughly human-sized in the show but was shown as being as large as a house in the billboards). Series 2 and 3 have also had prominent advertising campaigns.
Cancellation and revival
In May 2009, The Sun had reported that Primeval was to be axed owing to ITV's recent admission of a £2.7 billion loss (though not solely as a result of the show's budget). ITV strongly denied this claim, with a spokesperson stating "It's not true, it's not going to be axed, it just hasn't been recommissioned and it is not unusual to wait for a series to run before considering recommission". However, on 15 June 2009, ITV announced that it had cancelled the show and that there would not be a fourth series. At the same time, it was suggested that the production team would attempt to keep "Primeval alive in other ways". An ITV spokesman is quoted as saying:
"After three very successful series of Primeval there are no plans at the present time for it to return to ITV. High-quality drama remains a key part of the ITV schedule although our current focus is on post-watershed productions."
A likely contributing factor to the show's cancellation was ITV's suffering severe financial troubles during 2009, reporting a £105 million half-year loss. As a result, some of its other popular shows including Heartbeat were axed. On 29 September 2009, it was announced that two new series of the show would be produced for transmission in 2011, retaining most of the Series 3 cast; Laila Rouass stated that she will not be returning. The new deal meant the seven-part series four aired on ITV in early 2011, before being repeated on UKTV's Watch channel, while the six-part series five will get its debut on Watch before showing on ITV. Filming for series 4 and 5 of Primeval started on 22 March 2010 and finished in November 2010, with January 2011 set as the new series 4 airdate. Filming for series 4 was confirmed to have finished on 25 June, with filming for series 5 starting immediately.
On 7 April 2010, three new regular characters were announced for series four and five. These were scientist Philip Burton, to be played by Alexander Siddig, the new field leader Matt Anderson, to be played by Ciarán McMenamin and Jess Parker, played by Ruth Kearney, who will run operations from the ARC Control Centre.
On 15 September 2011, Primeval: New World, a Canadian spin-off of the Primeval series, was announced as being in development for the Canadian television channel Space. It is a co-production between Omni Film productions, Impossible Pictures, and Bell Media. Production began in Vancouver, British Columbia, in the winter of 2011. The show was cancelled after running for one season.
Toys and action figures
The master toy licence for Primeval was given to Character Options, the same company that created the Doctor Who toy line. Jon Diver, joint MD at Character Group, stated that the series one toy line will be "extensive" and was scheduled for release in October 2007, followed by a series two toy line released in January 2008 to correspond with the second series. The toy line includes all of the main characters and a few of the creatures. A large plush toy version of Rex was also put into production. It is unknown if the toys will be shipped over to America. The Primeval Toy line includes:
- Main Characters (Nick Cutter, Helen Cutter, Stephen Hart, Connor Temple, Abby Maitland, James Lester, Claudia Brown, Jenny Lewis, Captain Tom Ryan)
- Creatures (Rex, Giant Arachnids, Hesperornis, Dodo & Parasite, Anurognathus, Future Predator, Raptor, Sabre-Toothed Cat, Mer-Creature, Giant Scorpion)
- Sets (Anomaly Incursion Set, Creature Incursion Set, Anomaly Detector Build-A-Figure)
- Plush Rex with sound
- Flying Rex & Anurognathus
- Handheld Anomaly Detector with lights & sound
Ladybird Books have published two sticker books (one of which is a glow in the dark sticker book) a poster book, a tattoo activity title, a wipe-clean activity book, and a summer annual for children from five to eight years old.
Four original novels have also been published by Titan Books, to behave more like extra episodes than novelisations. The first is Shadow of the Jaguar by Steven Savile, which revealed that anomalies appear overseas. The second novel, written by acclaimed fantasy writer Paul Kearney, is entitled The Lost Island. The third, Extinction Event is by Dan Abnett who has also written "Torchwood" and "Doctor Who" books. The fourth and thus far final novel, entitled Fire and Water, is by Simon Guerrier and features Danny Quinn as lead character.
Starting in 2010 Titan Magazines published a monthly magazine Totally..., each issue of which spotlighted different toy, movie or TV show franchises. The ninth issue, cover dated 17 February 2011, focused on Primeval, and included two comic strips based on the show, "Eye Strain" and "Picture This."
Series 1 was released on a two disc DVD by 2 Entertain on 19 March 2007 in Region 2; a specially created "Making of Primeval" documentary was included in the volume. Series 2 was released on 17 March 2008, also containing two discs and a new documentary. Series 3 was released on a three disc set in Region 2 on 1 June 2009, with the finale included before it was aired on television due to its broadcast being postponed by a week; like the previous sets it contained a new documentary. Series 4 was released on 21 February 2011 on DVD in Region 2 and on Blu-ray in Region B. 2 Entertain also released "Series 1–2" and "Series 1–3" box sets containing all of the DVDs released at the time. Series 5 was released by 2 Entertain on DVD and Blu-ray in Regions 2 and 4 on 4 July 2011.
In North America, series 1 and 2 were combined into a Region 1 four disc box set titled "Primeval: Volume One", which was released on 4 November 2008. Series 1 and 2 were not released individually in North America. Series 3 was released in Region 1 on 15 September 2009 under the name "Primeval: Volume Two". Series 4 and 5 were released on Blu-ray and DVD in Region 1 on 10 January 2012.
The Entire Series has been released in Australia individually and as a Complete Series boxset.
|DVD Title||Release Date|
|The Complete Series One||June 6, 2007|
|The Complete Series Two||October 2, 2008|
|The Complete Series Three||September 3, 2009|
|The Complete Series Four||May 5, 2011|
|The Complete Series Five||August 4, 2011|
|The Complete Series One – Five||November 3, 2011
September 28, 2016 Re-Release
(Original Television Soundtrack)
|Soundtrack album by |
|Released||20 September 2011|
|Recorded||2007–2009 at Angel Recording Studios, Hear No Evil Studios, Crimson Noise Studios|
|Producer||Mikael Carlsson, Dominik Scherrer|
Music for the first three series' was composed by Dominik Scherrer. He spent ten days composing tracks and an additional three days to record and mix them for each episode. He opted to create music that was a hybrid between electronic and traditional orchestra, noting that the urban nature of the setting and the attitudes of the characters were an influence. Scherrer said that the CGI nature of the show was a creative challenge, as the themes he scored for the creatures were often based on incomplete images. He noted "sometimes a drawing of the creature, or just a description from the director may help me get a feel for the creature. The final look and texture can be very influential on the music".
All music is composed by Dominik Scherrer except "Dracorex", composed by Dominik Scherrer and Angus Moncrieff.
|5.||"Into the Late Permian"||2:01|
|7.||"The Mystery of the Anomalies"||1:30|
|8.||"Chasing a Silurian Millipede"||1:51|
|10.||"Connor and Abby at the Hospital"||1:38|
|11.||"Gorgonopsid vs Future Predator"||3:17|
|12.||"Stay with Me"||2:34|
|17.||"Raptors at the Shopping Mall"||3:40|
|22.||"Back to the Cretaceous"||4:10|
|27.||"Helen, Where are You?"||1:19|
The first episode gained a final viewing figure of 7.09 million people. The series averaged 6.39 million viewers. When shown in Germany it gained a total audience of 2.78 million viewers. These figures do not take into account the viewing figures for repeats of the programme. After all seven episodes, series two averaged 6.29 million viewers making a very slight drop of 100,000 from the series 1 average.
Although episode 3.3 received low viewer ratings in the UK, the second half of the show was aired during the opposing BBC transmission of a special edition of Doctor Who. Series 3 was also broadcast much later in the year than previous series' so warmer weather could be a factor to explain a small decrease in viewership but little change in the percentage of audience share. Nevertheless, Primeval remains in the Top 30 most viewed programmes for ITV per week, beating many of the Top 30 for other stations as well.
|Episode||Overnight rating (share)||Final rating|
|1.1||6.7 million (29%)||7.09 million|
|1.2||6.0 million (28%)||6.29 million|
|1.3||5.8 million (25%)||6.17 million|
|1.4||5.6 million (24%)||5.81 million|
|1.5||6.2 million (28%)||6.46 million|
|1.6||6.1 million (27%)||6.52 million|
|Episode||Overnight rating (share)||Final rating|
|2.1||5.8 million (26%)||6.32 million|
|2.2||5.6 million (25%)||6.05 million|
|2.3||5.7 million (26%)||6.27 million|
|2.4||5.7 million (24%)||6.39 million|
|2.5||5.8 million (26%)||6.33 million|
|2.6||6.0 million (27%)||6.45 million|
|2.7||5.6 million (26%)||6.20 million|
|Episode||Overnight rating (share)||Final rating|
|3.1||5.3 million (24%)||5.89 million|
|3.2||4.4 million (23%)||4.94 million|
|3.3||2.7 million (14%)||3.28 million|
|3.4||4.5 million (23%)||4.97 million|
|3.5||4.9 million (26%)||5.20 million|
|3.6||4.7 million (25%)||5.27 million|
|3.7||4.9 million (25%)||5.34 million|
|3.8||4.6 million (22%)||5.13 million|
|3.9||4.6 million (25%)||5.06 million|
|3.10||3.9 million (20%)||5.01 million|
|Episode||Overnight rating (share)||Final rating||Total viewers|
|ITV1 (including ITV1 HD)||ITV1||ITV1 HD||ITV1 +1|
|4.1||4.45 million (17%)||4.94 million||0.39 million||0.15 million||5.33 million|
|4.2||3.30 million (13%)||3.88 million||0.39 million||0.13 million||4.27 million|
|4.3||3.74 million (16%)||4.17 million||0.32 million||0.17 million||4.49 million|
|4.4||3.85 million (16%)||4.15 million||0.42 million||0.19 million||4.76 million|
|4.5||3.93 million (17%)||4.21 million||0.43 million||0.13 million||4.77 million|
|4.6||3.39 million (15%)||3.83 million||0.45 million||0.15 million||4.43 million|
|4.7||3.60 million (15%)||4.09 million||0.36 million||0.17 million||4.62 million|
|Episode||Watch||Watch +1||Total viewers||Overnight rating (share)||Final rating|
|Viewers||Rank||Viewers||Rank||ITV1||ITV1 HD||ITV1 +1|
|5.1||618,000||No. 1||76,000||No. 1||694,000||2.55 million (14.1%)||1.06 million||394,000 (2.0%)||2.97 million|
|5.2||523,000||No. 1||65,000||No. 1||588,000||1.77 million (10.9%)||1.08 million||400,000 (2.2%)||2.17 million|
|5.3||525,000||No. 1||67,000||No. 1||592,000||1.85 million (11.6%)||0.91 million||345,000 (1.9%)||2.20 million|
|5.4||438,000||No. 1||109,000||No. 1||547,000||1.59 million (9.7%)||1.28 million||275,000 (1.5%)||1.87 million|
|5.5||477,000||No. 1||71,000||No. 1||548,000||1.79 million (12%)||0.78 million||184,000 (1.1%)||1.97 million|
|5.6||496,000||No. 1||77,000||No. 1||573,000||1.38 million (10.2%)||0.94 million||327,000 (2.1%)||1.71 million|
Awards and nominations
|2008||Visual Effects Society Awards||Outstanding Animated Character in a Live Action Broadcast Program (for Mathieu Vig, Antoine Birot, Simon Thistlethwaite and Kevin O'Sullivan)||Primeval||Nominated|||
Charlie Brooker reviewed Primeval in the final episode of his satirical review BBC Four series Screenwipe, and gave it a rave review saying that it was "far better than Torchwood for instance" commenting "I hope you're listening, Russell T Davies". "Unashamedly Saturday night populist viewing for the masses" with "some of the best special effects [he'd] ever seen... in a British TV show" he went on.
First broadcast on BBC America on 9 August 2008, Primeval met with generally favourable reviews among American critics, earning 73 out of 100 on the aggregate review site Metacritic. Calling the show both child-friendly and entertaining for adults, Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune noted the unusual date of the American première, stating that "most networks...have shied away from launching shows during August, when the Beijing Olympics are expected to dominate the TV landscape." Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praised Primeval's special effects and sense of humour. Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times criticised the music and emotional direction of the narrative, saying of protagonist Nick Cutter "I know your wife has been missing for years, but ye gods, man, that's a bloody dinosaur."
Comparisons have been made between Primeval and the popular BBC series Doctor Who, which is famous for its use of time travel. The producers of Primeval have consistently resisted comparison of the series with Doctor Who, calling Primeval more "reality-based." Actor Douglas Henshall instead compared the series to The A-Team, calling Primeval an ensemble piece featuring characters with different backgrounds who must work together. Torchwood creator and former Doctor Who head writer Russell T Davies commented on the show in 2007, criticising Primeval's lack of ethnic casting as "shameful", but then adding "apart from that, I think it's excellent".
This section may require cleanup to meet Wikipedia's quality standards. The specific problem is: Simply listing international channels is discouraged by the Manual of Style. Editors are encouraged to instead detail English-speaking countries that the series appears through prose form. (June 2013) (Learn how and when to remove this template message)
|Country / region||Network||Premiere date||source(s)|
|Australia||Nine Network||28 April 2007|||
|Canada||Space||4 April 2007|||
|Iran||IRIB TV4||22 April 2009|||
|Japan||NHK||2 January 2009|||
|New Zealand||TV2||11 July 2007|||
|United Kingdom||ITV||10 February 2007|||
|Watch||24 May 2011|||
|United States||BBC America||9 August 2008|||
|SyFy||10 April 2009HD)(|||
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