The British scifi series Primeval was one of my favorites so I was really excited when I heard that Syfy was going to air a reboot of the show. Excited and concerned because reboots are tough to pull off. How much of the original series do you duplicate? How many new elements can you add before it’s an entirely different show?
In the case of Primeval New World, pretty much all they kept was the original premise. Thanks to holes in time called anomalies, prehistoric creatures are crossing from their world into our world and they must be returned in order to maintain cosmic balance. In the original series, the creatures were popping up all over London. Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) and his rag-tag team develop a way of tracking the beasts then they spend every week hunting them down while trying to keep the world from finding out what’s really happening.
In the new series, the anomalies are opening on this side of the Atlantic and it’s up to inventor Evan Cross (Niall Matter) and his team to protect the world.
On the most basic level, the two shows are pretty much the same but once you get into the plots and characters. . . not so much.
Primeval New World comes off like the younger, hipster brother of the original UK series. The creators draw a line between the two by bringing Andrew Lee Potts over from the original. It’s great to see him, unfortunately, he doesn’t stay long. Instead, he hands the reigns over to Cross who lost his wife in a dino attack. This makes him determined to figure out what’s really going on and he brings in a group that is even more rag-tag than the original band except for the fact that they’re all young and good-looking. (Including Sara Canning of The Vampire Diaries.)
What I dislike most about Primeval New World is that it doesn’t have the depth of character that Primeval had. It feels like a show for teens with all of the required sexual tension and humor where it doesn’t belong.
Now here’s the funny thing. If you don’t compare this series to the original, it’s actually very entertaining. Not deep. But fun and exciting. And it gets better as it goes along. Most of the time the effects are pretty amazing, considering that this is a weekly series not a movie. There’s a ton of action and a healthy dose of scares. There’s also quite a bit of murder and mayhem, so be prepared for that.
If you’ve been watching this series on Hulu, then this Blu-Ray release will be a real treat. The video quality is excellent and if you have a good sound system, the audio will pull you right in. Those dinosaur sounds are a huge part of the experience.
The release is light on bonus features. There are behind-the-scenes featurettes for all 13 episodes. These were made for the website so they’re only a few minutes long but they do shine a light on various aspects of production so I’m good with that.
There are two other featurettes; “Meet the Cast” and “Inside the Tank” which is an even shorter look at the lab set.
Primeval New World: Complete Series [Blu-ray] was released at the end of October so you can pick it up now on Amazon for under $25.
Have you seen both the original Primeval and Primeval New World? Which do you prefer and why?