Create a creature for Primeval

It’s not often you get to play a part in the evolution of the animal kingdom, but courtesy of Primeval’s Create a Creature competition, one person will be able to do just that. The competition invites wannabe monster makers to design a beast for Cutter and the team to face off against in the upcoming third series, and the winner will get to see their creation turned into a living, breathing, digital creature in the show by the CGI boffins at Framestore. Just ahead of the competition's 7 April deadline, SFX caught up with series creators Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines to chat about the comp.

“The main reason for doing it is we think there are people out there who really enjoy the show and want to engage with it, and there are many, many ways they can do that,” Haines tells SFX. “But to actively know that one of the fans is going to see their creature on television, see it made and everything like that, sounded like a good idea, and it’s had a fantastic response. We’ve had over 4000 entries so far, so we’ve got a lot to look at.”

“What pleases me about it most of all is that feeling that the levels of interest are there,” adds Hodges. “People wouldn’t do it unless they liked the show, and it’s nice to feel that level of closeness to the people who watch it. One of the things I love about this genre is that you have a relationship with the people who watch it, and that adds another level to it, which is nice.”

But while the chance for viewers to participate in a major TV drama is undoubtedly exciting, the idea that the show will have to incorporate a brand new monster from the depths of someone’s subconscious must be enough to give most scriptwriters kittens. Luckily, Haines and Hodges are prepared for the unknown.

“We have a clear storyline for the episode, but the storyline that we’ve got, there’s enough elbow room there to adapt the storyline to the creature’s characteristics,” explains Hodges. “I don’t think we’ll be in a position where we have to say, ‘Oh my God, that storyline isn’t going to work!’ – we’re not going to suddenly chuck something out because we’ve got something with eight legs instead of six.”

“But it doesn’t have to have eight legs or six,” Haines continues. “It could be an elephant or an emu and still work. I think we’ll judge the creature on what excites us. It’s funny, because when we’re looking at designs for other made up creatures, you know immediately what really works, so we’re very hopeful. Also, the creature we eventually choose will have to evolve during the process of making it – the limbs might have to get longer or whatever, just so [visual effects house Framestore] can deliver it in the best possible way. But in the competition stipulations it’s made clear that you will make your creature with the team that makes these things.”

“They’re great guys,” chips in Hodges. “It will be enormous fun and wish I was doing it!”

Find out how you can enter the Primeval Create a Creature competition via the official site at . The deadline for entries is 7 April 2008.