Primeval: New World 1.10 “The Great Escape” TV REVIEW(opens in new tab)
Writer: Dennis Heaton
Director: Amanda Tapping
THE ONE WHERE Evan and Dylan discover that Leggy was not returned through the anomaly and is all grown up and has been held captive at a secret government laboratory.
VERDICT It’s sad to think there’ are only three more episodes left in the series, but at least Primeval: New World is tying up some loose threads from previous episodes. What happened to that adorable baby terror bird, Leggy, after Lieutenant Leeds tricked the SPG team into thinking the bird was returned home? Oh, Leggy was just being tortured with anal probes inside a secret government lab, that’s all. It’s such an unfortunate outcome for everyone's favourite terror bird.
That’s how the episode opens, in the lab with a scientist guy giving Leggy an anal probe. Why does it always have to be anal probes? You can’t blame Leggy for breaking free from captivity, trampling over the scientist and escaping from the lab. Run Leggy, run! Don’t look back, and don't stop for cheese puffs!
Although there are some great CGI shots of the creature, they got away with not actually showing the bird a lot of the time by using sound effects of its cries, shots of the shaking cage, and a path of destruction to prove it was just there, rummaging through the garbage for food. Was the show suddenly short on special effects funds ten episodes in? We’re also missing Mac and Toby in this one which automatically means it wasn’t going to be one of their best episodes for the series. It's hard to think of them as a team when most of the people are usually MIA.
Toby and Mac were missed, but there was hinting of possibly a new SPG member when Dylan suggests Detective Harlow as a potential candidate for the team when he calls them to the suspected creature attack in the parking garage. Evan clearly has his reservations about Harlow and about anyone else joining the team, and with the series nearing an end we may never see the Detective as an official part of the SPG.(opens in new tab)
Now to the action and majority of the episode, which is inside the ice rink with Evan and Dylan trying to hunt Leggy and capture her before the secret government team re-captures her first, and while there were attempts at suspense and an engaging story, the hunt for Leggy dragged at times. How big is that ice rink centre anyway? You’d think you could spot a huge prehistoric bird skating on ice.
The episode is really about the characters: Leggy, and Lt Leeds, and things do not end well for either character. Leggy is fatally wounded by a gun shot from the soldier, and Dylan must put the bird out of its misery by first tranquilizing her, then shooting her in the head. There was no hesitation from Dylan to shoot the bird once she gets the chance, showing that it was a mercy killing and that's what Dylan knows is right to do. The death of Leggy is meant to tug on the heartstrings, and it succeeds.
The one good thing to come out of Leggy’s death is that the team – and Ken Leeds himself – finally realise that he's been working against Evan and the SPG team. Filled with the need to redeem himself, he surrenders to the Project Magnet soldiers at the end of the episode.
Then there’s Lisa Merryweather, Lt Leeds’ assistant who is obviously up to no good, snooping around in the file room. She might know her Star Trek references and can impress Leeds, but she can’t be trusted and is probably working against Leeds as a spy for the boss in charge. It's more character development, but the question of whether she’s actually working against Leeds is still unknown.
It's a cliffhanger ending with the agenda of Project Magnet still a mystery but with Ken Leeds being arrested and leaving a note for Evan and Dylan labeled “Welcome To Project Magnet.” At least Ken Leeds has redeemed himself to Evan and Dylan, proving he is in fact on Evan's side, wanting to protect the creatures and protect humanity.
What exactly is Project Magnet, and what do they want with the creatures? Will the SPG team be able to stop future creature cruelty? Will Ken Leeds be welcomed back by Evan and the team, or has he lost their trust? There are only three episodes until we find out.
CREATURE OF THE WEEK Leggy the terror bird is all grown up and has the munchies.
TRIVIA The Doug Mitchell Thunderbird Sports Centre is an actual arena located in Greater Vancouver open to the public where you can skate, play hockey, and is a venue for other events. Thunderbird sounds like Terror Bird, geddit?
IT’S WOSSISNAME! Erik Breker who played Sergeant Macready in this episode has also appeared in Stargate SG-1, Arrow, Battlestar Galactica, Smallville, Supernatural , and many more genre favourites.
LOL 1 The stoner in the parking garage doing his best impression of the creature that attacked him to Dylan and Evan.(opens in new tab)
LOL 2 Leggy trying to walk across the ice rink and finding it tricky.
GROSS! Cheese puffs are a tasty snack, but Corporal Turner and Corporal Gibbons became a more satisfying meal when they get in Leggy’s way. Great close-ups of their bodies bloodied and ripped apart. That ice rink has probably seen lots of blood on the ice before.(opens in new tab)
Ken Leeds: “It's a real pleasure to have you here, my own Yeoman Rand. Sorry, that's an obscure reference.”
Lisa Merryweather: “You need to get more obscure than the original Star Trek to stump me, sir.”
Primeval: New World airs in the UK on Watch, Tuesdays, 9pm