?

Log in

No account? Create an account

Previous Entry | Next Entry

The Primeval Conundrum

If you have been to a convention lately in which Connie Willis was a speaker, you will have heard about Primeval. The show is a British science fiction series that also runs on BBC America. Part Jurassic Park and part The Time Tunnel, it posits that ruptures in time allow creatures from other times to come through to ours (always in the UK, for some reason). The series has been on for five seasons and older shows are also available as DVDs and as streaming video. Connie Willis adores this show; she talks about it every chance she gets. And since I respect and like Connie Willis, I thought I would give it a try.  Following her advice, I started with Season 1, episode 1.

Most of the seasons are six or seven episodes but season 3 has 10. I'm only to the end of season 2, so I have a ways to go, but so far I have a love/hate relationship with this show. I love the character development, the way the plot arcs from one episode to the next, and the variety of creatures. What drives me absolutely crazy are the plot holes, especially those that seem to be driven by the need to make the characters look a specific way.

When a team of soldiers are facing monster insects, they don't have on any kind of helmet. These days cops don't face student protesters without Plexiglass face shields, and yet these guys wear body armor but nothing on their heads and necks, leaving them conveniently vulnerable to insect attacks.  Plus, in the first two seasons, our heroes, the team of scientists who are always sent to deal with the creatures that arrive from another time, often go running into danger with no real weapons or protection. What government agency is going to send a handful of scruffily-dressed science geeks to deal with dangerous monsters?

It's annoying because the writers clearly know how to build suspense and hook a viewer, but somehow the marketing department has gotten hold of some of the scripts. Although some of my problems with the stories are the writers' fault. The degree with which the government is able to keep these incidents a secret seems unrelated to the events. A Pteranodon (or something like it) flies over central London in broad daylight and there are no photos or videos posted on FaceBook and YouTube? Have these writers never heard of Twitter? Do they not know how impossible it is to hide anything that happens in the smart phone age, when everyone is a) armed with cameras and b) connected to the web 24/7? These things make me grit my teeth.

But damn, those people do know how to wrap up a season and set a hook for the next one!









free
hit counter


Comments

( 5 comments — Leave a comment )
david_bridger
Nov. 27th, 2011 08:10 am (UTC)
We're a geek family who loved the promise of this concept and waited eagerly for the first season, but dropped it from our Saturday teatime viewing schedule a couple of episodes into the second season. You're right - there's an awful lot about it that's plain daft. Also, it predates twitter and smart phones. But that technicality doesn't excuse their laziness. Basically, everyone involved in its production seems to phone it in and I don't know anyone who still watches it over here.
karen_w_newton
Nov. 27th, 2011 04:59 pm (UTC)
I love the word daft! We almost never use it on our side of the pond, but you are right; it fits the holes in this show perfectly!

I also loved the phrase "Saturday teatime viewing."
rabid1st
Nov. 27th, 2011 02:33 pm (UTC)
I am afraid that more frustration awaits you. I, too, had a friend who enjoyed Primeval. I, too, thought I would give the series a try. I am ashamed to admit that the hooks you mention drew me all the way through to the final episode.

I am ashamed because I kept trying to swear off of the show. After a time, I couldn't believe I was still watching it. The plot holes only get bigger and the ridiculous team dynamics only get more outlandish. What can I say? It isn't a show I would recommend, but there's something to be said for its addictive attraction. I like to believe I would have stopped watching it if my family members were not so involved with it, but even now, there are enough unanswered questions for me to have some interest in another season. Truthfully, I think the show stimulates my writer's mind, because I want to wrap things up for them.

Edited at 2011-11-27 02:34 pm (UTC)
karen_w_newton
Nov. 27th, 2011 05:03 pm (UTC)
I think writers must be some of the toughest critics around. I once read a published book II otherwise loved and said to myself, "I'll bet she didn't run this past a critique group, because if she had, someone would have pointed out that people in the future on another planet are unlikely to know what netsuke is."

"I guess a guilty pleasure" would sum this show up nicely.
rabid1st
Nov. 27th, 2011 07:21 pm (UTC)
We are tough critics. I think it is because we won't let ourselves get away with certain mistakes. When we see other writers "getting away with" grammar blunders or plot holes, we extend the courtesy of our own critic to other people. I, for example, am still embarrassed over the lack of editing on the last Harry Potter book. Every time a fan approaches me with their face aglow with joy, I shake my fist and yell, "200 pages of camping? Really?"
( 5 comments — Leave a comment )

Latest Month

June 2016
S M T W T F S
   1234
567891011
12131415161718
19202122232425
2627282930  

Tags

Powered by LiveJournal.com
Designed by Tiffany Chow