Primeval heads for the countryside – Series 4, Episode 5 recap

by Gerard McGarry

Matt and Emily in Primeval Series 4

Well, that’s a bit more like it, Primeval. Tonight’s episode delivers a much improved blend of action and story progression.

OK, Connor and Abby get sent off on yet another chase-the-reptile mission. Except this time it’s in a thinly-veiled Royston Vasey with a terrifying beastie that likes to eat geeky campers. Amazingly, Connor and Abby spend less time fighting the monster than they do trying to escape from the creepy villagers.

It turns out, in a moralistic twist, that the anomaly the dinosaurs came through is being affected…by a bootleg diesel operation in an old farmhouse. This part of the episode brought some interesting ideas through – Abby got to joyride around in a camper van with a creature that was trying to eat her (which sounds quite Scooby Doo actually). Connor meanwhile ends up investigating a weird anomaly that keeps opening and closing.

The one problem with this anomaly is that it’s seemingly been active for years but has never triggered an alert…until now. But that’s a small hole in the plot, really.

Connor discovers that it’s acid from the diesel bleaching process that’s affecting the anomaly and causing it to fade in and out of existence. This is breakthrough stuff, of course, though what it means for anomaly research remains to be seen.

More importantly, Phillip Burton is trying to recruit Connor to his Prospero team. He seems very keen – in a creepy way – to detach Connor from the rest of the ARC team, though so far he’s been unsuccessful. We can only imagine that Prospero, being a greedy private sector company, is planning to use these anomalies for nefarious purposes and it all probably ties into Matt’s secret mission somehow. Though if it turns out to be Prospero Jurassic Park: Come see the dinosaurs in their natural habitat! I won’t be amused.

Matt gets sent on the hunt for Emily to rescue her from Scarily Unhinged Ethan. Ethan, it turns out, knows how to drive a car. So he’s not a market trader from Victorian London? The charlatan!

No, Ethan is a proper present day fella. Though how he fell through an anomaly and ended up crazy is anybody’s guess. All we know is that he’s got a score to settle with his ‘family’ and he’s going to use prehistoric creatures to do it. Can’t help wondering if the ‘family’ in question is the Mitchells?

It’s hard to believe that we’re past the halfway point in this series of Primeval. It feels like the series is moving toward a fairly big conclusion, although the details are still vague – the person Matt’s looking for: could it be with ARC or could it be with Ethan/Emily? It feels like Phillip Burton and Ethan both have an agenda for the anomalies – but whose plan will backfire on humanity?

Primeval’s certainly finding its feet. The last two episodes have been much better than the start of Series 4. Hoping this continues to the finale in a fortnight’s time and that the fifth series (said to be the last ever) will send Primeval off in style.

The Cast Of Primeval are: Andrew-Lee Potts as Connor Temple, Hannah Spearritt as Abby Maitland, Ben Miller as Sir James Lester, Ben Mansfield as Captain Becker, Ciarán McMenamin as Matt Anderson and Ruth Kearney as Jess Parker.