Alexander Siddig (Dr Julian Bashir) joins the ARC team for series four and five
He is joined by other newcomers Ciaran McMenamin ( Silent Witness, Jericho ) and Ruth Kearney ( Gracie ) who all join the team at the ARC after the government loses faith in Lester’s (Ben Miller) ability to run such a dangerous and expensive operation on his own. The anomaly operation is now a public/private partnership, part-owned by the government, and partly by charismatic scientist Philip Burton (Siddig).
McMenamin plays Matt, the new field leader, who is more than just an ex-soldier; he’s an zoologist, with an uncanny ability to understand animals. A private man, Matt carefully guards the secrets of his past – and the real reason he has joined the ARC team. Unconventional Jess (Ruth Kearney) now runs operations from the ARC Control Centre – highly efficient and organised, her work ethic is second to none, though she is human enough to nurse an unrequited crush on Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield).
Connor (Andrew-Lee Potts) and Abby (Hannah Spearitt) will also be returning, but the fate of Danny (Jason Flemyng) is apparently still up in the air.
Primeval will return for two new series from 2011, thanks to a ground-breaking deal between ITV, multichannel broadcaster, UKTV, and producers Impossible Pictures. The premieres of Series four and series five will be split between ITV1 and UKTV’s new entertainment pay TV channel, Watch. ITV1 will be the first to broadcast series four (in early 2011), while Watch will premiere series five later that year. ITV1 will then broadcast season five.
Impossible Pictures has worked closely with BBC Worldwide to implement a new funding strategy for the series, in which BBC America, which has acquired previous series for broadcast in the US, joins Germany’s Pro7 as a co-production partner for the new episodes.
Tim Haines, Creative Director of Impossible Pictures, says: “I am thrilled that ITV has agreed to this new deal which will allow Impossible Pictures to produce another 13 episodes of Primeval . The confidence demonstrated in the programme's continued success here and abroad will help us bring more big screen action and a whole host of new creatures roaring back into people's living rooms.”
Paul Moreton, Channel Head of Watch, adds: “We are really excited to be part of this truly innovative deal that guarantees the continuation of this fantastically entertaining series. I know Primeval is going to be a massive hit with Watch viewers and the perfect complement to other popular sci-fi dramas such as Doctor Who and Torchwood .”