Primeval: New World 1.09 “Breakthrough” TV REVIEW
Writers: Judith & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Director: Andy Mikita
THE ONE WHERE Two skateboarders capture video of a Triceratops and it goes viral; Mac returns to help Toby to cover up the sighting; Dylan and Evan track the dino to the home of Howard Kanan, Evan’s intellectual rival.
VERDICT Another tri-riffic (see what we did there?) episode in the series featuring a beloved dinosaur (is there anyone who doesn’t have a soft spot for a triceratops?), a special guest star who is a bit special, and emotional performances by the cast. No one gets eaten, but it’s still good.
It opens playfully with two skater boys capturing footage of a roaming Triceratops near a forested area, through the lens of a camera on one of their helmets. The CGI Triceratops is excellent, and although it’s not the most threatening dinosaur the series has delivered, his appearance still leads to some suspense about how the SPG team will cover up the video footage, and how they need to track it down.
But before the team even head’s out, back at HQ Evan is showing signs of apathy (he sulks) now that Ange is no longer working for him. She wasn’t in this episode at all, not even a flashback or a photo, which could mean that she likely will not return. Although Evan seems a little lost no one else is really missing Angelika, are they? Another thread picked up from last week’s episode was Toby frustration that the anomaly computer is still down because of the bullet to the server inflicted by Evan during his hallucinogenic phase. It’s good to see that events in one episode aren’t conveniently forgotten in the next.
The guest star is a treat for Eureka fans, with Colin Ferguson making an appearance! It was fun to see Colin and Niall (who, if you don’t know also starred in Eureka ) working together again, and especially amusing was their intellectual sparring, which really wasn't something that ever happened between their characters on Eureka. With the recent shocking news of Primeval: New World’s cancellation (sniffle, tear), let’s hope this isn’t the last we’ll see of Colin in the series – there’s at least four episodes left, so there’s still hope he'll show up again. But the question we are left with is whether or not Colin’s character, Howard, was introduced this week as a new villain and threat to Evan and the SPG team.
The good news is that Mac has returned pretty quickly to Cross Photonics to help Toby cover up the viral video of the Triceratops. He even seemed to be having fun. His character is always more loveable when he's lighthearted, and less full of woe. Toby was even able to educate Mac on some timey-wimey physics. Yeah, we don’t really get how parallel timelines work either, but at least Mac seems to be coping with his parallel self’s death. So… that’s a plus. Mac also prompted Toby to investigate the ARC patch on his other body, but as fans of the original Primeval series know, it is a nod to the Anomaly Research Centre and the British team.
The dinosaur this week was cute enough to pull at the heart strings – it was like a big lost puppy. Dylan’s empathy for all non-human creatures is highlighted when she goes off to track the Triceratops on her own. We learn this episode why she’s so dedicated to animal welfare from a touching back story she shares with Evan about the wolves that had to chew their own paws off to escape from the barbed wire her family used to protect their sheep. It was definitely a tear jerker story with enough impact that it should serve as a reminder to Evan that the SPG team should not only be about protecting humans, but also protecting the creatures from the human-made world.
At the end of the episode, Dylan's haunting story is juxtaposed with Lt Ken Leeds receiving orders from his boss, orders that clearly do not have the safety and best interest of the creatures in mind. There were lots of breakthroughs this episode – Mac returning to the team; Evan facing his business and intellectual rival and the “backstabbing” that Howard thought occurred; Dylan reminding Evan what the purpose of the SPG team should be – but what exactly Lt Ken Leeds is ordered to be doing with the creatures (we know he’s not returning them all through the anomaly) is still unknown.
The series is now nearing an end, sadly, and with only four more episodes to go it’s getting harder and harder to think about having to say goodbye to this team. What we can hope for now until the end is its continued action, emotion, cool creatures, and some kind of resolution to all of the unanswered questions we still have.
CREATURE OF THE WEEK A freaking Triceratops.
TRIVIA Triceratops had three horns of varying size, which it used to defend itself, but were also part of its mating ritual. There’s got to be an “it’s not the size of the horn…” joke in here somewhere.
IT’S WOSSISNAME! Howard Kanan is played by Colin Ferguson, who was the heroic Sheriff Jack Carter on Eureka.
LOL Lt Ken Leeds using his army of men to steal daisies from a lady’s garden, and then running away embarrassed.
Toby: “Wow, affection doesn’t really work for us, does it?”
Mac: “I love you on the inside.”
Primeval: New World airs in the UK on Watch, Tuesdays, 9pm