Primeval: New World ended its first season in Canada last night - Impact gives a review and overview of the series to date...
In the UK, the seventh episode of Primeval: New World's first season was shown this week and we've reviewed it HERE. Below we take a look at the season finale, broadcast in Canada this week and assess the first season... (some thematic spoilers)...
The second part of 'Sound of Thunder' (named after the classic Ray Bradbury story about messisng with time-lines and their cause and effect) begins in London, far away from the cliffhangers upon which we were left last week, though it quickly becomes apparent that there are connections and threads that lead right across the current Primeval: New World mythology to date (and even further). It's now no spoiler that Andrew Lee Potts makes a return appearance as Connor Temple, this time leading a team racing through the UK streets to stop an Albertosaurus (think smaller T-Rex but with as much attitude). Where that dinosaur is - and ultimately needs to be (and not to be) - becomes more and more apparent.
The immediate sense of urgency caused by the previous episode's cliffhangers - three of our heroes in imminent threat of fatal deathliness - are key-points in the opening minutes, but it quickly becomes clear that almost all of the current predicaments could merely be a backdrop to a greater threat to the timeline... can Evan convince the aggressive Colonel Hall that his pre-emptive actions could destroy them all?
All the actors step up to the plate and have their moments in the spotlight. While we've spent most of the season trying to work out the good and bad motivations, it becomes quite clear that most of our main characters are somewhere inbetween, all of them trying to do what they genuinelly believe is the right thing under the increasingly dangerous circumstances. Of course, the drama comes from where those agendas oppose each other and nothing motivates action more than a ticking clock.
In most cases, the FX remain top-notch and the Albertosaurus feels like a viable threat throughout and works well with the physical-'gags' needed to convince the audience of their real-life interaction (the show released a behind-the-scenes featurette showing how a key scene was put together, so kudos to all those who make the elements mesh). The opening UK scenes are actually filmed in Vancouver and though we're obviously and deliberately pointed towards pillar-boxes, telephones and taxis for iconic touchstones as we race around corners, the illusion is much more convincing than some American attempts at the same over the years.
Potts brings in the awakward charm of Connor seen in the original show with a more pro-active and seasoned stance (which makes sense if we're not quite sure when this Connor entered the anomaly) and he has one specific line of dialogue that will make original series fans very happy indeed.
As we mentioned in our last review, the triumph of the series, in many ways, is that its taken an existing mythology and generated a new thread that's interwoven but not interfering. From that, we don't know what we'll get in this finale - those various strings ( dinosaurs, military interference, paradoxes etc) coming together have varied potential outcomes, quite literally. So in many ways, this season-ender, which acts as a nice book-end to the pilot and the power of the 'inevitable', will satiate and infuriate simultaneously. Anyone looking for a nice neat bow to round off this first season could be disappointed as Sound of Thunder is something of an almighty tease - focusing on the importance of preserving the time-line but also on just how fragile a thread that can be. (Seriously - you weren't expecting a cliff-hanger?) Admittedly this is potential territory that the original Primeval explored - instigating the idea of creating possible timeline changes between seasons one and two - and while we await news of whether/when the show will be renewed, there's still everything to play for and many directions open to the creative crew. Quite cleverly, the writers of this episode show-runner (Gillian Horvath and Katherine Collins) have built-in a few wrinkles, complications and back-doors that can be picked up and used (or not) in any 2013-2014 outing and will still make sense.
All in all, Primeval: New World has been a great success - it has garnered an impressive following in its native Canada and is currently the most watched show on the UK's WATCH channel. Like all first seasons, there's been a sense of finding its feet, but its managed to do quickly and with conviction, walking the line between between a fun romp and a more dramatic story with edge. Fans of the original series and the likes of Staragte SG1 have likely found their next fix and one hopes that a second season will be greenlighted and build on what's been acheived to date. A Sound of Thunder will otherwise be the sound of fans storming the scheduling offices to know why. (US fans are already chomping at the bit as the UK and Canada have got to see the first series months ahead of them - even Italy will be getting it in March!)
All good fun. Of course, I don't actually believe in time-changing, reality-altering paradoxes. Pure science-fiction hokum.. so I'm off to rewatch the second and third series of Firefly...
I... Wait. WHAT??????
Curse you, Horvath *shakes fist*