Wednesday, May 13, 2009

George and the Dracorex

So I finally caught up with this week's episode of Primeval...

I feel that overall, the current series of Primeval (series 3) has been the best. It's grown from what appeared to simply start out as a time-travelling Doctor Who wannabe into very much its own monster, with some fun family friendly sci-fi (rather than the magical realism that DW relies upon) and an ever-increasing mythology tied up with a whole range of conspiracy theories that would make the X-Files proud. But back to this week's episode...

Still a very cool image, even if the episode wasn't the best.

Knights and dinosaurs - how could it go wrong? Well, in many ways, apparently. Knights and dinosaurs is an idea I've tried to sell in the past (and hope to again, more successfully, one day) but the problem with this week's Primeval (easily the weakest of the series so far) is that there wasn't enough of the knight vs the dinosaur.

There were some nice ideas (I liked how Sir William spoke of being in 'the world to come' thinking that he was talking about the afterlife, when in fact he was in the future, as far as he was concerned) but there was too much that jarred. A medieval knight speaking perfect modern English, rather than French or even Middle English, Sarah casually popping back into the past (having done a tidy bit of shoplifting) with no fear of the anomaly shutting at some inconvenient point, the hardened medieval mercenary not actually killing anything, the 'dragon' turning out to be a herbivore and yet having a set of gnashers Esther Rantzen would have been proud of... I could go on.

I was amused, however, to discover that the dragon of the piece, Dracorex (a dinosaur from the Late Cretaceous of North America) was only discovered by palaeontologists in 2006 and that it's full name is Dracorex Hogwartsia, meaning 'dragon king of Hogwarts'. And I wonder if there'll be any more guest appearances from Jason Flemyng's old mates (Tony Curran, who played the knight, was The Invisible Man to Flemyng's Dr Jekyll and Mr Hyde in The League of Extraordinary Gentlemen).

The episode seemed particularly poor coming, as it did, after the nerve-shredding terror of the Terror Birds and the fantastic future Killer Fungus (although this one did make me wonder if anyone has been inspired by my own work, just as I am inspired by that of others). Fortunately, next week's episode (featuring a creature designed by 16 year-old Carim Nahaboo from Essex) looks much better. I'll be staying in for that one!

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