Eve Of The War

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Author:  morrisvan [ Mon Feb 12, 2007 10:36 pm ]
Post subject:  Primeval

I know it's not appropiate but here are my thoughts on "Primeval" shown on ITV Saturday 10th Feburary.

"Primeval" has been announced as ITV's answer to "Doctor Who". If so then they should go away and try again. What's surprising is that it's creators, Adrian Hodge and Tim Haines, were responsible for the excellent BBC version of "The Lost World" in 2001. The idea of prehistoric animals coming through to the present day is a good one, but "Primeval left me unimpressed.

The main fault is the scripting and the format. The dialogue was unimaginative and the charcters were stock. It's also unhelpful if you have a cast - particulary Douglas Hensall's Professor Cutter, James Murray's Stephen Hart, Mark Wakeling's SAS Captain Tom Ryan and even Andrew Lee-Potts' Connor Temple - who are physically alike which gives an impression of blandness. It's also disheartening when you know what is going to be said or happen. Examples being Cutter accusing Ben Miller's smug civil servant James Lester as a "Whitehall pen-pusher", and Claudia Brown telling Captain Ryan as he and Cutter depart from the anomoly to "Bring him back". Also, Connor mentioning that he's not an outdoors person, Cutter striking Ryan when the latter stops him from searching for his wife, and Claudia tripping over when running away from the monster at the climax. The appearance of Rex, a flying dinosaur adopted by zoologist Abby Maitland, tips into that of a formulaic family film. I'm not condeming the actors, but given stock characters and lines there's little you can do.

It also seemed to skimp on it's promise. The gorgonospid may have been familar to anyone watching the "Walking with Dinosaurs/Beasts/Monsters" trilogy, but would have been lost to anyone expecting something more familar say an allosaurus or even, a female tyrannosaurus searching for it's young which would have thrown up an interesting dilemma. Do you kill it or send it back. Having the monster rampage through a supermarket car park at night or through an empty school eliminated any tension or spectacle. How more effective it might have been if the supermarket was full of shoppers or having schoolchildren scatter in terror.

I did like Juliet Aubrey's Helen Cutter. Apprantely lost she seems to have survived and is able to move between times, and I did like the appearance of the monster reflected in a puddle. I don't think it's fair to criticise a show on it's first episode and I intend to keep watching. It has received a lot of mixed reviews and my mother, who watched it wth me, hit the nail on the head when she said it was "bland."


Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Mon Feb 12, 2007 11:37 pm ]
Post subject: 

:shock: Oh, Sorry but I enjoyed it 8-[ but I know I have no taste :lol:

They couldn't really have it rampaging through a supermarket or a school full of people as they are trying to play it as top secret and a couple of hundred witnesses would spoil that.
Yes I know we had some of the old one liners, all very cliche and a few ideas borrowed from 'Jurassic Park' (The dinosaur breathing on the window and the closeup on his eye)
As you've said it's not fair to criticise a show on it's first episode, they are still introducing the characters and main plot-line.
It's not as good as Doctor Who but it's better than Tourchwood, after the first episode of that I nearly didn't bother again, but I shall definitely be watching Primeval next week.

Author:  McTodd [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:28 am ]
Post subject: 

MorrisVan, there's a lot in what you say, and to be honest I agree with much of it! On the other hand, I also enjoyed it, and despite it being a bit of a cheese-fest, it's good fun.

But my overwhelming feeling was, "Thank Christ ITV have departed from their almost exclusive obsession with 'celebrity' dancing/skating/singing/arm-wrestling/brain-surgery*, or more bloody talent shows, or any of the other cheap tripe they vomit onto my screen."

*Actually, I would watch that...

Author:  McTodd [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 1:30 am ]
Post subject:  Re: Primeval

morrisvan wrote:
What's surprising is that it's creators, Adrian Hodge and Tim Haines, were responsible for the excellent BBC version of "The Lost World" in 2001.

Much as I like Bob Hoskins, I've always said Brian 'Gordon's ALIIIIIIIVE?!?!?!??' Blessed should have played Prof Challenger...

Author:  morrisvan [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 8:28 pm ]
Post subject: 

I did say that if I didn't like something I would say so and I am still going to watch it to see how "Primeval" progresses. As a first episode though it should have had more punch and as it was sold as "a dinosaur at the baked bean counter" then I personally felt it would have been more effective if a dinosaur had been dropped into a crowded shopping centre to really put across what the show was a about and also to have some good old fashioned spectacle. Having a dinosaur skulk around a forest might have a made a good middle episode, but not as a series starter. Another thing that annoyed me was when Cutter and Ryan travelled back in time to prehistoric Earth. Cutter's reaction seemed more indifferent rather than awe and wonder at this strange new world. I also felt Cilla Ware's direction was flat; showing the monster too soon rather than keeping it hidden and build up the suspense and mystery as to what was chasing Helen Cutter across the car park, and also it was disposed of too easily by shooting it.

It will be interesting to see how the team will be able to keep the sightings a secret when next week's episode has aracnids the size of Morris Minors turning up in the London Underground, and a monster in a resevoir in the future. I've felt it's always dramatic to have something unusual and frightening erupt into a normal setting as it's interesting to see how people react. An obvious example being the "Torchwood" episode "Small Worlds" with the malevolent faries invading the childrens party and killing people by thrusting their claws down their throats. "Doctor Who"s strength along with the "Quatermass" serials was in people's reaction to the unknown and, whatever it's faults, so to did "Torchwood".

While on "Torchwood" I'm intrigued by the hostile reaction it's got from some quarters. As I had my mother's ill-health plus my own to deal with last year I'd no time to think of what "Torchwood" would be like and just accepted it when it appeared. I imagine some people set their expectatons too high and were disappointed. Another reason could be that John Barrowman has been quite open about his homosexuality and that, plus the fact Captain Jack Harkness will happily sleep with a man as well as a woman; order a colleague to commit murder, lie about his past, be prepared to exterminate a whole community of cannibals, show compassion towards an old love and help a lonely man commit suicide has probably made people unconfortable. Captain Jack is not a straightforward hero, but I would rather spend time with him and the other Torchwood team members because to me they are interesting, flawed and all too human: people that I recognise; not superheros. There could also be jealousy involved too. Despite their high profile, "Buffy," "The X-Files" and, to an extent, "Star Trek" never really caught the public immagination and were seen as cultish. Russell T. Davies and his team not only brought "Doctor Who" back to the fans, but also captured a new generation and energised it into a franchise that it had never experienced even in the original series' hey-day. Also Davies, unlike Josh Weadon and Chris Carter, has worked in other television fields: childrens, mainstream, period drama, and no doubt he is treated by suspicion as an interloper who has entered the fantasy genre where he has no right to be and had enormous success.

"Life on Mars" is also a success because it's not formulaic. You could hardly call John Simm and Philip Glenister conventional leading men, and DCI Gene Hunt is middle-aged, overweight, smokes and drinks and is definitely not politically correct. Yet he's popular because he is different, and I felt the cast of "Primeval" seemed all interchangable and predictable - which seems to be the type of casting you see on ITV.

As a final word on "The Lost World", I too imagined Brain Blessed as Challenger. However Conan Doyle refers to him several times as "squat" and "toad-like", so Bob Hoskins was suitable casting. Anyway, Blessed may well have swamped the other actors, and I still see him as PC Fancy Smith from "Z Cars" with this repressed, violent aggression towards criminals. Anyway, I don't want to sound too negative, here's to more shows like "Primeval", "Torchwood," "The Sarah Jane Adventures" the planned supernatural dramas on the BBC, and "Doctor Who" After too much "realism", British TV could do with a breath of fantasy. Long may iy continue.


Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 9:14 pm ]
Post subject: 

I dare say in future episode of 'Primeval' we will get some interaction with people and beasties but at the moment the Government are trying to keep it secret, but a time will come when they lose control of the situation and before you know it there will be hundreds of people turning up at one of the time portals demanding "You can't keep us out, you have no right" and that sort of thing. I can see an episode where the time portal is fenced off and guarded by a ring of armed soldiers, when suddenly a Dinosaur pops out of the portal and takes the lot. :lol:

McTodd you are spot on Brian Blessed should have played Prof Challenger, I read the book in the early 80s and Blessed was who I thought of, except for his height.

Author:  morrisvan [ Tue Feb 13, 2007 11:18 pm ]
Post subject: 

Considering that Conan Doyle often got Watson's middle name mixed up and also kept moving his injury around, it could be that he just forgot how he'd described Challenger. I thought it interesting that he described him as "toadlike" and that's why I felt Hoskins was suitable. Far better than Claude Rains in the dreadful Irwin Allen version of 1960.

Also, while Blessed is well known he wouldn't really be that bankable a name which is probably why Hoskins was cast along with other big names such as James Fox and Peter Falk. I thought the changes made were also interesting. Challenger has a wife in the original which he dosen't in the 2001 version. Professor Summerlee dosen't have a family but he did does in the film which I felt added to his character rather than being another stock scientist, and the ending had Challenger and his team denying all existence of the Lost World so as to prevent it's explotation and destruction of it's wildlife.

Besides we would also have missed Tom Ward's very crediable Lord Roxton who easily adapts to life on the plateau, Matthew Rhys well-meaning, all too human Edward Malone and the lovely Elaine Cassidy as Agnes Cluny who finds the jungle preferable to civilisation. Her other standout performances are the naive runaway in "Felicia's Journey," the demure but cunning heiress in "Fingersmith" and the tough but relunctant undercover cop in "The Ghost Squad."

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Wed Feb 14, 2007 1:12 am ]
Post subject: 

:a103: And who played the Iguanodons? :a037: Sorry I couldn't resist :---

Author:  morrisvan [ Wed Feb 14, 2007 7:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

The anglo/hungarian actor Eatyurr Greenez played the Iguandons. He is best known for the hungarian cycling comedy: "Love on Two Wheels." The film is notoriously known for being mistranslated as "Get Your Leg Over" which caused misunderstandings with the British Board of Film Censors and caused it to be banned in America's Bible Belt.

Al O. Saurus played the allosaurus and was joined by his nineteen year old niece Megh O. Saurus who is known for her extensive make-up skills. Megh has since gone to develop a career in cult films such as "Crumbs": a black comedy about murders in a biscuit factory, and the period sex thriller "The Passion and The Thrust" set on a railway line during the Victorian era.

The dipoldicous that appeared briefly in episode two was played by the former seventies wrestler "Masher Moulon of Montana". His actual name is Charles Greenslade who was born in Hassocks, West Sussex. He has since gone on to a successful career as a minature painter. The pteranodons were provided by "Flights of Fancy" who have also supplied a dodo for "Primeval" and are best known for the songbird that opened and closed many editions of the antiques programme: "Going for a Song." The pteranodons are also known to stand in for the Battle of Britain Memorial Flight on ceremonial fly-pasts.

Well, you did ask for it!

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Thu Feb 15, 2007 10:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

OH I believe it all except this bit;
morrisvan wrote:
The diplodicous that appeared briefly in episode two was played by the former seventies wrestler "Masher Moulon of Montana". His actual name is Charles Greenslade who was born in Hassocks, West Sussex. He has since gone on to a successful career as a miniature painter.
if this guy is so miniature how could he play one of the largest creatures that ever lived, lots and lots of padding, [-X Sorry I'm not convinced. :D

Author:  morrisvan [ Fri Feb 16, 2007 8:44 pm ]
Post subject: 

Er...I don't think you read it properly. Charles Greenslade is an ernmmmooouuuusssss man. It was said he could easily fill a room: all he had to do was walk into it! While Greenslade, or rather "Masher Moulon of Montana" was not in the same league as Giant Haystacks or Big Daddy, he along with Big Beefy Brawn, Ribbleshead Rock and Piet The Piano Crusher, was a regular fixture on the wrestling matches shown on ITV's "World of Sport" in the seventies and his twenty-six rounds with Mrs Grapple, the eighteen and a half stone Amazonian female wrestler in 1974 is legendary. Wrestling along with other seventies icons such as Ford Capris, space hoppers, spangles, the Three-Day Week, "On The Buses", "Love Thy Neighbour" ABBA and DCI Gene Hunt is now sadly out of fashion.

As we seem to be deviating away from WoTW a bit, have you ever heard of Vicki The Martian. She was a very sexy mud-wrestler of the early to mid 1980s so called because because she looked like one of the original Klingon women - even with the make-up removed. She and Little Miss Brilliant regularly fought each other, but while Little Miss Brilliant has gone on to be a pig farmer Vicki seems to have vanished.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Fri Feb 16, 2007 10:12 pm ]
Post subject: 

morrisvan wrote:
Er...I don't think you read it properly. Charles Greenslade is an ernmmmooouuuusssss man. It was said he could easily fill a room: all he had to do was walk into it!
Well make your mind up first you say he's now a miniature painter and then you say he's enormous, You confuse me :-k but then that's easily done.

Sorry what was this thread about :-k ... Oh yes "Primeval" As you have already pointed out this weeks show is about big bugs and other creepy-crawlies infesting the underground, I'm wondering whether the writers have taken into consideration these bugs only grew that big because of the super rich oxygen atmosphere from their period of time, and if such a bug popped into our poor oxygen period of time they would be very sluggish and would probably die of asphyxiation, no giant winged insect would be ale to fly for any length of time either.
We shall see.

Author:  McTodd [ Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:49 am ]
Post subject: 

Lonesome Crow wrote:
...I'm wondering whether the writers have taken into consideration these bugs only grew that big because of the super rich oxygen atmosphere from their period of time, and if such a bug popped into our poor oxygen period of time they would be very sluggish and would probably die of asphyxiation, no giant winged insect would be ale to fly for any length of time either.

I doubt it, otherwise they couldn't have the buggers survive any length of time. Also, to judge by the trailers they've made them much larger than they really were (yes they were big, but not that big) and unfeasibly fast moving (if an insect as large as the ones in the trailers tried to lunge as fast as that centipede thing, it would tear every muscle in its body and break every limb from the strain).

But if they stuck to realism, it would be fairly boring watching a bunch of pretty big but not gigantic insects crawling about reasonably nippily but easily out-runnable...

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sat Feb 17, 2007 12:38 pm ]
Post subject: 

Giant insects in the Underground, it sounds a bit like the film 'Mimic', we'll see if they borrow any ideas from there.

Author:  morrisvan [ Sat Feb 17, 2007 3:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

Never mind about the realism. "Primeval" is susposed to be about monsters, and giant creepie-crawlies are quite scary.

Either I haven't explained it well or you haven't read it properly, but to be a wrestler you HAVE to be big, strong and hefty, and for a huge man with arms the size of redwood trees and fingers like sausages the minatures that Charles Greenslade - a big man - paints are very delicate.

Getting back to aracnids, just be grateful that Cutter and is team won't be meeting The Great One from Metebelis Three. (For those of you who don't know, she was spider leader from the Doctor Who story: "Planet of the Spiders."

Well, must stop stringing you along.

Author:  McTodd [ Sat Feb 17, 2007 7:53 pm ]
Post subject: 

morrisvan wrote:
Never mind about the realism. "Primeval" is susposed to be about monsters, and giant creepie-crawlies are quite scary.

Quite scary? I nearly pooed my pants... I hate creepy crawly things.

And it looks like they are addressing the enriched-oxygen atmosphere issue - they've done their homework!

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sun Feb 18, 2007 12:29 am ]
Post subject: 

morrisvan wrote:
Either I haven't explained it well or you haven't read it properly, but to be a wrestler you HAVE to be big, strong and hefty, and for a huge man with arms the size of redwood trees and fingers like sausages the miniatures that Charles Greenslade - a big man - paints are very delicate.

You see I thought you meant a miniature painter like Toulouse-Lautrec was a miniature painter, because he was so short. it was a sort of play on words. :wink:

McTodd wrote:
And it looks like they are addressing the enriched-oxygen atmosphere issue - they've done their homework!

Yes it was me who hadn't done his homework, the enriched-oxygen atmosphere would have come through the anomaly with them, that's why they set it in the Underground, to contain the atmosphere, I should have guessed that #-o
Oh by the way 'McTodd' some of those centipedes were huge as wide as a small car from foot-tip to foot-tip.

Well 'morrisvan' were you happier with this weeks episode?

Author:  morrisvan [ Sun Feb 18, 2007 5:57 pm ]
Post subject: 

Some of the direction was quite good - a cut from the doomed pest controller biting into his apple to Cutter munching on his, some tilted angles when the SAS team entered the tunnel, Cutter's pursuit of his wife and the later search for the centipede, one of the spiders poncing on a rat -Cutter getting a sample of the centipede's venom by getting it to bite him and I liked Abby's one-liner on seeing the spiders for the first time: "Anyone got a giant slipper." Apart from that the answer's no. I did think there was a great opportunity missed for drama and outright horror. Imagine the spiders swarming out of the tunnel on to a crowded platform, or getting onto a train so that when the doors opened they would stream out into the horrified communters. I accept that they would stay in the tunnel because of the enriched oxygen atmosphere, but if anyone's travelled on the Tube then you know there's always a gust of wind that comes out of the tunnel just before the train arrives. You could have had a train pushing the atmosphere before it; forcing the spiders onwards and out of the tunnel. It could also infect the commuters as well and I thought it was interesting how the SAS team were infected by the enriched oxygen. Also, if the spiders had luminous eyes then anyone looking into the tunnel would have thought it was just a train coming. Imagine the shock and horror when they found it wasn't. Also, what about the spiders clinging to a train? If "Doctor Who" could show animated corspes, gas-masked zombies, werewolves, sinister clockwork robots, cyber conversions and the devil on primetime, family television, then "Primeval" could have taken the risk too. But they didn't.

Having sold the idea on spiders on the underground, it was disappointing to see the culprit was a giant cenetipde and I think some people may have felt cheated and even seen the giant insect as ridiulculous. I also didn't like the fact that it took fifteen minues for the actual story to get underway. I've always felt that with any story you should grab the attention straight away. "Doctor Who", "Quatermass" and "The Outer Limits" are good examples and the same goes with literature. Not just WoTW but also Dickens' "A Christmas Carol," Orwell's "Ninteen Eighty-Four" and Raymond Chandler's "The Big Sleep" and the scenes with Connor and Abby investigating a supposed anomoly in the New Forest seemed to be just meandering and a very poor way of building up character."Doctor Who" has managed character studies in the middle of a fast-moving story.

The trailer for next week's story looked interesting with a monster jumping out a swimming pool to grab a diver - you could have some black comedy in it too - and with Cutter going back into the past to find Helen. I still find that thread interesting and could she be staying in the past just to prove her therories to Cutter, or could she be somehow involved in the appearances of the anomolies?

As for Charles Greenslade, it was supposed to be a contrast between this brawny wrestler and the very small paintings he was doing. I was probably a bit too subtle, but it's got me thinking about midget wrestlers now!

And no one seems to be interested in Vicki the Martian?

Right, I've had my whinge now. Over to you.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sun Feb 18, 2007 10:54 pm ]
Post subject: 

morrisvan wrote:
I also didn't like the fact that it took fifteen minutes for the actual story to get underway. I've always felt that with any story you should grab the attention straight away.
What? you mean a giant spider trying to get into the carriage wasn't enough of a grab?

I think they are going to play it like the X-Files, these things are happening but not everyone knows about it and the Government would like to keep it that way.

The scene where the SAS team entered the tunnel, was very much like the scene from 'ALIENS' when the soldiers enter the nest and the Aliens start coming out of the walls.

Author:  morrisvan [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 9:09 am ]
Post subject: 

The whinging winnie is back again.

You have a monster which is a cross between a crocodile and a whale gobbling up a lifeguard in a swimming pool and lurking in a resevoir, and a bird-like reptile that makes mincemeat of an electrician and menaces Cutter, and the episode still came across as dull. The identikit characters and dialogue are starting to annoy me with Ben Miller's minister being an example. Having worked in the public service I've met civil servants who are more humourous and open-minded than this sterotype.

The appearence of a feral Juliet Aubrey as Helen Cutter in the last fifteen minutes gave a series a tension which it's missed, and having her brought back was an unexpected surprise. Halfway through the series though and it's turned out to be very flat.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 12:15 pm ]
Post subject: 

I Agree with you about the minister, even with all the evidence around him he doesn't seem to or want to except what's going on, I feel if this were a real life situation there would be a bit more cooperation between concerned parties.
I also wondered why Helen would wear eye liner in a prehistoric world and how she managed to keep her cloths in such good a condition after eight years, she must have packed a huge suitcase.
But I'm still enjoying the series at the moment, I admit it does have some flaws but what series doesn't, I have an open mind and haven't decided to dislike the series from it's first episode. :lol:

Author:  McTodd [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 1:01 pm ]
Post subject: 

I have to say that I'm enjoying it more and more, after a slightly shaky start. It's a 'grower', I think, and they are at least making an attempt to develop the plot. Having Cutter's wife reappear, after being such an enigmatic, even sinister, presence is shaping up nicely. I like that they've made her a not entirely likeable character, that being able to travel to different times through the anomalies has in some sense stunted her humanity. Be interesting to see how they develop that.

I think you're being a bit harsh on the portrayal of the minister. At the end of the day, he's having to swallow some weird stuff going on, and his priority is to keep it under wraps and not panic the public. If anything weird did happen, I rather think that's exactly how the powers-that-be would want to deal with it. As for the relative lack of communication between interested parties, well, he's hardly going to tell the police there's a prehistoric beasty on the loose, is he? He wants to restrict it to as few people as possible.

My main criticism is that the younger characters need to grow up a bit, it's a bit like Hollyoaks Meets Dr Who at the moment. And they could have made Cutter's dilemma about whether to join his wife in exploring the anomalies a bit more intense - as it was, there was a bit too much 'How do you think I felt?' whining on his part, and not enough Faustian-pactish agonising about her very tempting offer.

On the whole, however, imperfect as it is, it still craps over most of ITV's current output.

Oh yeah, and where did she get her eyeliner from? Maybe she made it from pterodactyl poo...

Author:  morrisvan [ Sun Feb 25, 2007 3:30 pm ]
Post subject: 

OK so maybe I am harsh but I was genuiely interested in "Primeval", wanted to give it a chance and am still prepared to watch to the end. But that's what other people who've watched the series have said about it to me. What annoys me is that I feel a lot of dramatic possibilities are being missed - just think of what would happened if the monster had attacked the crowds in the resevoir and how the minister would have had to explain that - and there dosen't seem to be any effort into making it exciting, suspensful or risky. For instance, when Cutter first went through the anomoly, his reaction was more like looking for a place to park his car at the supermarket rather than awe and fasination at the prehistoric world. I've also been hoping for more scenes of the creatures turning up in crowded centres so as to generate a possible subplot of growing public unease and the minister trying to keep the lid on. However that's probably me being a bit bloodthirsty.

I agree that Helen Cutter's return has made things more interesting and it'll be interesting to see how it's developed. While the rift between Cutter and the authorities could make good drama it is something of a cliche. When I was working at the MOD press office in the 1990s, we had three soldiers go missing on Otterburn Training Range in Yorkshire. There was co-operation between the army, the police and the press with everyone working together and the press officers putting out prepared and up-dated statements on the search. What I remember is that halfway through the mssing soldiers were found so we had to put out another statement straightaway. It would certainly be more interesting dramatically if Cutter and the authorities were seen pulling together as that's how it would happen in real life (look at the quick response to the bombings on 7th July 2005 and how the news reports kept building up).

I said at the start that I'm still going to follow it through to the end, and probably what will happen is that they'll be a mass eruption of anolomies in crowded city centres and maybe the minister will get the proof he needs when he has a monster look in on him through the window. But I just feel that a good idea such as this is not being handled well and could have been much better.

Anyway, over to you. Thanks.

Author:  Lonesome Crow [ Mon Feb 26, 2007 8:29 pm ]
Post subject: 

As I said before, I think there will come a time when the authorities can no longer keep the lid on the secret and you will get your beasties strolling down the high street, but I think that will be a season ending episode and possibly a cliffhanger as teaser for the second series.

Author:  morrisvan [ Sun Mar 04, 2007 2:49 pm ]
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Well morrisvan, ye of little faith!

I enjoyed this episode much better thanks to a more witty script by Bev Doyle and Richard Kurti and immaginative direction by Jamie Payne - examples being reflections in mirrors and polished surfaces, Tom's appearance to Abby through the plastic sheeting, the chase after the dodos and the mounting tension. It was nice to see the team being morelighted and humourous as I had felt they had been po-faced, and I felt the story was more carefully structured going from the false alarm of the python in the toilet (and you thought the duuny spiders were bad) and the light-hearted encounter with the dodos leading into Tom's desperation. There was plenty of humour which I liked and I wonder if the writers had studied "Doctor Who" and "Life on Mars" as it was similar to the styles of both programmes. Examples being the children outside the flats nervously raising their hands as the SAS team charge pass and the team piling up outside the flat, guns at the ready only to politely knock on the door. Stephen catching a metal spoon beng pulled into the anomoly and telling Connor that "now's the time to duck." Claudia nervously chasing a dodo down an aisle and Stephen catching another in a bin only for it to slide away. Helen telling the pompous Lester that he reminds her of a predator she encountered. Stephen telling Cutter when they find the dead dodo: "Don't you like those films where you think the killer's dead and then you find he's still alive?" "I don't like those films either," Captain Ryan adds and then he and Stephen look at Cutter to make the first move, and Duncan asking why they're recreating dodos artifically. "Did you want a tyrannosaurus?" askes Tom.

The performances were better I think given that the cast had more dramatic meat to go at; esspecially Andrew Lee-Potts and Hannah Spearitt. Jake Curran as Tom and James Bradshaw as Duncan certainly gave the best performances as the would be conspiracy theorists who bite off more than they can chew. It's a tragic irony that with all the evidence Tom still clings to his conspiracy theories to the end. Also in the scene where Duncan fights with the dodo for the remote control, a clip from the 1925 silent version of "The Lost World" appears on screen.

As you said they are starting to develop Helen Cutter, and you're left wondering as to her behavour. Did she duck into the anomoly to escape, or does she still feel something for Cutter and is trying to find more evidence. Another scene I liked is where Cutter insists she wouldn't deliberatly hinden them even though Claudia and Connor aren't convinced. It's obvious he still loves her. Juliet Aubrey's intense feral features and performance would attract you to her.

I said I would stick with the series, and you were right that it probably is something of a slow burner. I hope that this standard continues and that it's not a one off. What I said earlier on still stands as I wasn't happy with the earlier episodes, particularly with the giant spiders as it could have more frightening, but maybe that's because I tend to drool over any blood-curdling horror


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