[Review] - Primeval: New World, Season 1 Episode 12, "The Sound Of Thunder Part 1"

Courtesy of Impossible Pictures, from last week, because
apparently even the show is getting tired of promoting itself

There was a moment in this episode when I realised I've been watching this series incorrectly. I know, I was surprised too. I've long thought that all a viewer had to do was sit down in front of the TV and it was the writer's and producers job to craft the tone and structure of the show. But, no, apparently on this one, you need to do that yourself. Nothing like a show that gives you homework.

Anyway, the moment came when Dylan identified the creature of the week as a Brontoscorpio after looking at it for about three seconds. Now, I've touched on this before, but even if in the weeks (months? Who knows) since she's been working with Cross and co., she's spent all her free time studying extinct forms of life, she still wouldn't be able to identify each creature, based on fossil records, in the flesh with that speed. And certainly not because she's an animal control officer. The writer's themselves keep forgetting this fact, and alternate between her having an apparently encyclopedic knowledge of all things extinct, and being more human about it (a few episodes ago she gleefully exclaimed "I know this one!"). So, I'm going to restructure the show in my brain, so that everything they've done is based off of Dylan being wrong about every creature they've encountered. In fact, I might go one further, and assume that she's just been making everything to this point up. Whose to say she even worked for animal control? Her "supervisor" died in the pilot, and then she flat out refused to take the exam, or test, or whatever it was to get "reinstated." It doesn't make the show better, just funnier in retrospect.

Hit the jump for the review, which contains spoilers that once had the opportunity to stop themselves from existing but went out for gelato instead.

Brontoscorpio was actually a good choice for the series, as next to nothing is known about the creature. And they still managed to screw it up. Dating from the Silurian period, the actual creature is assumed to have been no more then 3 feet long, considerably smaller then the creature that menaced this episode. It is also assumed to have been aquatic, which isn't that much of a stretch, as most of the planet was covered in water at the time (the Silurian period is, despite what Doctor Who might suggest, a rather lifeless, desolate era 440 million years ago, during which fish and early planet life appeared. And that's about it).

Perhaps the producers confused the Brontoscorpio with the Eurpyterids, or "sea scorpions," the largest of which grew to nearly 9 feet long (much more in keeping with the episodes creature), and was a top predator in it's aquatic environment. Also, it looked nothing like modern scorpions, because it was aquatic, and resembled more of a trilobite with pincers. And besides, terrestrial scorpions tend to follow a simple adage (popularised by Indiana Jones and the Kingdom of the Crystal Skull): the larger the scorpion (claws, actually), the weaker the venom. A scorpion the size of the one in this episode probably wouldn't have had that powerful a venom, certainly not enough to paralyse a human (unless they were allergic, in which case it would have been a more immediate effect and presented like, well, an allergic reaction).

There was a single scene in this episode that I enjoyed watching. Col. Young up there, and Dr. Lam (Lexa Doig) discussed stuff. I can't really remember the content, it was probably technobabble, or some other nonsense. But I remember that it was well acted. Good actors saying terrible words, that's been a mark of this series (guest stars) since the beginning, but rarely do they do so together. And it made me realise something. If a second season of this show somehow manages to materialise, I would prefer it if the main cast are all killed, and the show centres on Col. Young (I could care less what his real name is) and his team. Maybe they fish Colin Ferguson's SadMan out of the Triassic and he becomes the new genius on the team, and we won't have to put up with the rest of these fools anymore.

The episode was decompressed in several obvious ways, all of which was little more then window dressing to get the characters to the cliffhanger points, which were each so cliched and obvious you needn't have bothered to watch the episode to see them coming. It has been clearly too much to ask of the show to have a spark of originality from time to time, to make a move that doesn't conform to a standard mold. And I'm not certain it's a sign of lack of talent, I think it's more a symptom of lack of interest. Nothing about this show suggests that anyone actually cares about it. The writing is laboured, the acting is lazy, the production is simplistic. When we do occasionally get someone in front or behind the camera who does care, it's jarring and uncomfortable. The one interesting bit of the episode, the time field, was simply an element taken from the British series.

Since the major failings of this week are the same as they have been every week, rather then puncture every little nick pick (though, can someone please hold a class explaining to all writers the difference between poisonous and venomous. Please), I'm going to guess what happens next week instead. Cross gets out, and sulks in front of an anomaly for far too much of the episode, trying to decide whether or not to save his wife. Toby survives because electricity always works that way, and Dylan is able to bring the scorpion tail back so they create an antidote. The military, based on Leed's reveal of the time field, invades time (something I can promise the Federal government would never approve the budget for), and bad things probably happen to them because of it. What I'm not certain about is how they'll undoubtedly cliff hang it, and that comes down entirely to the inconsistent way they've presented the effects of time travel on the series. Mac's future was apparently changed, suggesting that Cross might be able to save his wife, bringing her back to the future safely, causing all sorts of unintended consequences (please wipe the main cast from existence, please wipe the main cast from existence...).

However, the flash of Toby having invented the very detector that FrozenMac was using, and that Cross used to invent his own version suggests an infallibility, or at least recursiveness to time. In which case, he won't be able to save his wife, which will make him sadder and less bearable. Something in me keeps thinking that Toby will die, Dylan will be too late, Mac will go through the anomaly all sad and pissed, fulfil his role from the pilot and get frozen, except this time Cross will save his wife, which will result in Toby being alive in the changed timeline, no Dylan, and the military running the anomaly facility. Next week, we'll see how I got. By the way, I wrote all of that in about ten minutes. If it matches, that might give you an idea about how long the writers thought about it too.

Oh, and cribbing the title of a far better science fiction story, written by a far better science fiction writer isn't clever, it just makes you look bad by comparison.
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About MR. Clark

Adopting the descriptor of "successfully unpublished author", MR. Clark began writing things on the internet in 2012, which he believed to be an entirely reputable and civilized place to find and deliver information. He regrets much.


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