Mini-Impressions: “PRIMEVAL” – Pilot

Posted by Peter Hall - August 12th 2008 @ 9:38 pm

Created by Tim Haines, Adrian Hodges, 2007

No, this is not a series version of the passable giant crocodile film of the same name.  “PRIMEVAL” is a British Sci-Fi series from 2007 already in its second season across the pond.  Here in the colonies, however, BBC America is just now airing the first season.  Taking place in and around a generic English setting, the show finds a portal of sorts that open between our world and a prehistoric world.  The pilot sticks to dinosaurs, though none of the familiar breeds played out in our collective childhood imaginations, but the commercials lead me to believe the series runs the gamut from giant insects to large, off-screen tentacled creatures.

The core gang are a University Professor, his Assistant (who looks like Rob Lowe with a left field hint of young Jeffrey Combs), his Student and resident dork, a random zoo worker and a government liaison to serve as said Prof’s foil.  The setup of ongoing obstacles, in addition to the hole through space and time, concerns the Professor’s quest for his wife, who just so happened to go missing in the very woods dinosaurs started to pour out of.

The pilot features more or less what you should expect from a BBC produced sci-fi/fantasy series; winged dinosaurs, poor gun play, no actual science, TV-grade CGI, a dinosaur that bobs its head to the muzak in an elevator, and, of course, one of the girls from S-Club 7 (ah, the fond boyhood memories).  None of it will make you want to throw a remote at your TV, nor shall any of it inspire you to pick up the remote and set up a season record, either.

Its a creature of the week formula of a standard-issue order.  Some shows can pull it off (here’s looking at you, “SLIDERS”), others can’t.  “PRIMEVAL”, I’ll forecast, will nestle into the latter category.  I suppose it does some things exceptionally well, afterall, it did get at least a second season with the Beeb.  If it had a more enthralling pilot, maybe I’d learn what those things were sooner rather than later.  As it stands, I’ve seen plenty like this before.  I’ll pass on keeping up with “PRIMEVAL” until another day of supreme boredom meets cruising through OnDemand.

Note: The picture accompanying this post is not from the actual pilot episode.  It just looked sweeter than anything in the premiere.

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