Primeval: New World, the Canadian-based spin-off from the British family drama Primeval produced by the Space Channel (?) has been axed after just one thirteen-episode season. The series, envisaged as “darker and scarier” than its often anodyne British counterpart, has been struggling to find a decent audience on its new home and also on the Watch Channel in the UK where its ratings have been unexceptional.
Filmed in and around Vancouver, the new series stars Niall Matter as Evan Cross, software inventor obsessed by the temporal ‘anomalies’ through which dinosaurs and various other prehistoric beasties emerge in the present day after a deadly encounter with a dinosaur six years earlier. From a lab at his Cross Photonics research facility he and a group of investigators - Sarah Canning as conservation officer/predator expert Dylan Weir, Danny Rahim as British firearms bod Mac Rendell, Crystal Lowe as Toby Nance who monitors anomaly activity and Miranda Frigon as Cross Photonics bigwig Angelika Finch - intercept the generally-vicious creatures which emerge from the anomalies before they cause too much death and destruction.
Andrew Lee-Potts, who played Connor Temple in the UK series, reprises his role in the first and - spoiler warning! - last episode of the series. The new series has certainly been tougher and more brutal than the tame and toothless British version - the language is fruitier and there’s more gore; the show’s not coy about showing the effects of dinosaur attacks and dismembered and torn-apart bodies abound - but the saminess of the storylines is as frustrating as it was in the parent series. Attempts at conspiracies and story arcs have floundered due to the inevitable facelessness of the core cast and the show’s real saving grace has been its high-end CGI effects which put much of the cartoony animation of the UK series to shame.
But astonishingly even now Primeval won’t roll over and die; announcing the cancellation of New World producers have revealed that they’re already in discussions with other broadcasters in an attempt to pick up the series. Bets of luck with that one.
Primeval: New World is released on DVD in the UK in April.
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