The end of Primeval series four! After weeks of build-up, everything comes to a head, in a heart-stopping showdown between our heavily armed heroes and lone psychopath Ethan in a deserted prison! The fate of the universe hangs in the balance, as Matt tries to prevent a vague anomaly-based disaster!
How can they resolve all this in a single episode? Will they even try? Let’s find out! (There might be spoilers. Don’t say you weren’t warned.)
Big Heavy Dinosaurs
At least there’s a sense of drama this time. The sparse use of Ethan in previous weeks means that now he’s front and centre, we feel tension. And the long-awaited explanation for his backstory makes a surprising amount of sense, even if it is tied into Primeval continuity that I had to look up on Wikipedia. Again.
We get elaboration on the Mystery Of Matt, his relationship with Emily takes a step forward, even if it isn’t one I liked, and the episode as a whole had a good sense of weight and tension. After the arbitrary quickness of previous weeks (“Look! We’ve shot the dinosaurs! Let’s go home!), that’s a good sign.
On the other hand, it wasn’t the most climactic finale. A little background: the fourth and fifth series of Primeval were shot back-to-back. I read this a while ago, so did suspect that we might get plotlines carrying over. This, by itself, is not a capital offence; Doctor Who did it last year. (“Silence will fall! But not this series!”)
But couldn’t we have resolved something? We had the menace of Ethan, plus Matt’s pending apocalypse, and although there were revelations, both are left hanging. Even Emily’s story, which gets somewhat of an ending, doesn’t feel like it’s over. Plus I had hoped she’d stick around.
In short, this felt less of a finale, more a midway dramatic spike, much like The Matrix Revolutions, or Pirates of the Caribbean 2. I’m aware those are not flattering comparisons. Doctor Who is doing something similar with splitting its 2011 series, so at least I know how it will feel.
Still, if you abandon hope of it being an ending to anything, this was one of their better episodes this year. Well done, Primeval. Check it out on ITV Player, although I’ve spoiled your enjoyment if you’ve read this far without watching it, and let me know below how you found the series.