Primeval Season 5 Episode 5 Review 'Convergence'
Hello everyone and welcome to the finale of Series 5 of Primeval Reviews! Last time we witnessed the creation of time travel itself with Phillip/Connor/Prospero's 'New Dawn' generator prototype, and the reveal that the cause of the possible future apocalypse seen throughout the show might be the finished product- Prospero Industries itself being a GIANT anomaly/portal generator. If it's not destroyed the entire world is at risk, but if it is what does that mean for the Anomaly Research Center and our lives-shaped-by-time-travel protaganists?
And the episode doesn't wait to answer this- it immediately starts with the entire 'secret company/ group of employees/government sector controlling and covering up time travel' modus operandi of the show shattered, as a T-Rex attacks a busy high street in broad daylight. Seeing the stakes/scale of events upped and the world finally become aware of time travel is a both intruigingly and worryingly ambitious storyline for Primeval and one that needs a lot of budget and quality writing to get away with. As for the episode situation itself, it's a simple but effective and memorable way to start and the T-Rex is CGIed and animated encouragingly well throughout(just a pity the 'giant dinosaur is seen by several civillians/cameras' idea was already used in 3x4's 'journalists/tv crew/unsuspecting civillians vs G-Rex').
Meanwhile at the ARC, Lester has had the news of the likely impending shutdown of his workplace and loss of job due to his colleagues A.nearly destroying the building(Connor), B.faking a CV/ qualifications and their entire identity to get a job despite their from-a-different-time-period background(Matt- Lester; '...and YOU turn out to be either a visitor from the future or, and i think this is the more likely option, clinically insane.' Matt; 'The former. But i would say that if i was clinically mad wouldn't i?' Captain Becker; 'Sorry sir, the machine that checks whether people are from the future was out of order.'PHAHAHAHAHAHA), and C.turning out to be the creator/instigator of the entire life-threatening discovery his job and workplace was set up to investigate and combat in the first place(Phillip).
Lester's response to this is to report Phillip's illegal work to the authorities/government/Minister and try and get a sanction to shut Prospero and the New Dawn generator down, but Matt and Connor point out that now the prototype has been proven to work Phillip is going ahead with the testing of New Dawn today and if they wait for an official investigation it'll be too late to stop the potentially catstrophic experiment. Lester agrees to hold off raising the alarm until the team have gone to New Dawn and attempted to shut down/destroy the machine and prevent the test, whilst he keeps Phillip himself busy- but a suspicious Phillip has turned up early to make sure the debacle with the prototype hasn't come back on him/his contract with the ARC and hears their plan...
The meeting is interrupted by the city street anomaly alert, and the full team including Lester/Jess and now Emily watch in horror on the ADD as the news stations show civillians and officials alike running and being eaten or killed by the T-Rex and Phillip himself sees the devastation on the tv in Lester's office. The team immediately head out to try and stop the creature and limit the damage, and somewhere Jenny Miller breathes a sigh of relief at her resignation from the ARC press/public relations division('Oh and can someone think of a cover story for the six'o'clock news?'-Really? looks like someone's in denial...).
So the team arrive, and the cracks in the episode's ambition begin to show; as the 'attacked city street w/tens or hundreds of people' comprimises of a street corner with literally nothing but a couple of bags and knocked over cafe chairs/tables, countless undamaged cars/buildings, NO fleeing/ unconcious/trapped/injured/too stupid to leave people whatsoever despite only 5 or ten minutes since the anomaly appeared/alerted, TWO corpses total, no animals/birds/pets of any kind, no sign of any police/army/fire brigade/camera crews etc, a fully grown healthy T-Rex whose roaring/stomping/tail-smashing is completely inaudible/unoticeable until it's a few metres away and who can be taken down by about 8 stun gun shots, the entire team bar Matt temporarily vanishing to up the danger, and the same piece of footage/CGI reused FIVE times.
At least this series's last 'Civillian Of The Week', a literal young blonde screaming runs-to-and-stands- two-feet-away-from-the-T-Rex damsel in distress Jenna acts convincingly traumatized for two scenes. The presentation so far is weaker though- despite the best efforts of the fantastic cast to deliver various 'stand/sit/walk round expositing' scenes in an engaging manner, a repetitive electro soundtrack/cue and the WORLDWIDE APOCALYPSE as depicted by some more reused material/footage of 2x6's 'Mammoth vs motorway' and three small soldier squads being called on shift is a shaky setup at best.
And on top of that the team themselves aren't even clear on what they're trying to prevent; turns out the 'Convergence' huge increase in the number and frequency of anomalies is caused by a real-life phenomenon where every few millenia(variable) the Earth's magnetic poles reverse(Google it if unclear)- a process which lasts between A FEW HUNDRED AND A FEW THOUSAND YEARS(150 years to 10'000 years specifically). Now imagine what a minimum of hundreds of years of time portals 'opening simultaneously all over the world' in any and every country/city and letting people and animals both innocent and hostile from every time period and continent mix and travel to each others eras and homes would do to everyday life and civilisation, even if it only lasted 100 YEARS/'a lifetime'(the minimum, as well as being an utterly impossible/unviable storyline for Primeval to depict)...and the team/protaganists who spend their lives and years preventing and investigating this WANT IT TO HAPPEN?!
Turns out 'New Dawn' was invented by Phillip with Helen Cutter's help to PREVENT this- the machine's purpose is to suck up all the magnetic energy/radiation waves/signals from every Convergence anomaly, thus closing them and ending the world-threatening centuries-lasting natural phenomenon. But all that energy has to go somewhere or risk blasting/eradiating the entire planet, i.e. the almost-certain cause of the apocalyptic earth-splitting effect on the future seen in various prior episodes. Sounds like we're doomed either way right? But Phillip has a third option that isn't 'centuries of time portals opening and closing frequently worldwide' or 'massive concentrated store of magnetic/ eradiated particles'; use up as much of the dangerous energy as possible generating one HUGE anomaly that will attract/keep it all in one place, then drain off and use up the rest trying to use it/ convert it for use in the 'energy crisis' as electricity/fuel/etc.
So in other words, the show's answer to the entire overarcing 'effects of time travel' storyline is that it would almost certainly be too unstable/dangerous to control and end up endagering life as we know it despite the everyday 'firefighting' and research efforts of the protaganists(bonus points for constantly using real-life scientific principles like tectonic and magnetic shifts to back up the plots and explaining them in a simple/effective manner).
Luckily a few characters, namely Cutter, Helen, Connor and Phillip have discovered this in time to prevent it, and now Phillip has an invention that can 'save the world' and at least temporarily delay the disaster and potentially prevent it altogether...and our heroes think 'this is supposed to happen' and rather than try and improve the 'New Dawn' machine and ensure it can handle the energy are racing to destroy said invention and let a science-fiction powered magnetic shift 'Convergence' go ahead and converge thousands of anomalies on Earth, and with almost no prior reveals/explanations of this situation and decision/motivation to take this course of action. Oh and remember S2's Stephen/
Helen 'warn the public/world that normal life is f****d' plot? Seems Matt and an entire group of future survivors knew that the human race was either gonna find out and have to exist alongside anomalies everywhere or POSSIBLY get energy-blasted and find out that way...and decided on behalf of the entire world that option 1 should happen, no effort should be made to find a third option and the public should have NO WARNING WHATSOEVER.
So the 3 humans Abby, Emily and Becker accept Matt's abrupt reveal that 'in order to survive, life on Earth is going to have to adapt to the new conditions with the anomalies and convergence(with no warning whatsoever)' and show no interest in using their knowledge of anomalies/The ARC/New Dawn to try and lock/destroy/drain the single giant anomaly, which with Matt's time-travelling foreknowledge they could've had YEARS to figure out. On top of that Phillip's 'create a stable manmade anomaly from closing all the dangerous others, use all the harnessed energy for good' plot is presented as sincere and he as trying to help save the world not just gain success, and at no point is any suggestion of going back and revealing to him that in one timeline his solution also destroyed life on earth/otherwise stopping him made.
Meanwhile Becker and Abby have to divert path to a school to battle the deadliest threat yet...FOG! They save the budget and a deserted classroom from some non-existent Pre-Cambrian Worms(nice 2x2 reference! Maybe there are supposed to be non-existent imperiled kids too...), leaving a total of TWO known-to-argue/flirt/otherwise- distract-each-other-people Matt and Emily(how else would they be paired?) to storm a heavily guarded/alarmed facility with the fate of the human race at stake. But luckily fate solves the problem in a nicely-shot manner-as Phillip and Connor's traffic-avoiding car is smashed into and flipped over by a Kaprosuchus, leaving just a limp arm and some dripping blood visible...
At least the Kaprosuchus is temporarily knocked out by the collision, leaving Connor and Phillip to stir and try and free themselves from the wreckage; up until Phillip traps a dazed Connor there and goes off to make sure New Dawn goes ahead with only a vague assurance he'll send help, emptying his gun and dismissing his claim that Matt is actually a survivor from a future apocalypse caused by said generator as nonsense. At least he leaves Connor's phone, allowing Abby to answer and come shoot the Kaprosuchus(and the car alarm drowning out their words, lol). With no time to lose Connor and Abby head off to New Dawn, but not before they've made up and apologised to each other and reminded us why they worked well together in the first place!
Meanwhile-HOLY NOSTALGIA ALERT, Pterasaurs?! Series 1 ambushes Matt and Emily on their way to New Dawn, whilst Becker tries to hold the fort against local incursions and Lester combats the government's understandable lack of interest in Phillip's potential illegal work due to holding off half of Jurassic Park by reassuring a stressed Jess that her assistance is making a difference as the soldier squads following her orders get overwhelmed by the sheer number of alerts(lovely words and ends up helping command Becker via the comms, lol!).
Matt and Emily get caught by New Dawn's on-alert security almost immediately, but manage to escape and hide till Connor and Abby arrive whilst the following Pterasaurs take care of the guards... IN A COMPLETELY SILENT AND BLOODLESS MANNER IN LESS THAN 5 SECONDS. With the Pterasaurs immediately conveniently vanished and the entirety of New Dawn's security apparently consisting of 4 guards including the downed 2, Connor races to the generator only for Phillip to activate it and avoid being killed by an understandably emotional Matt, as Abby and Emily are restrained by the remaining guards and April and Matt's ridiculous-sounding claims and plea to just 'let nature and the anomalies/creatures take their course on the world' fail.
And finally the episode ends; in disaster. April(Janice Byrne) tries to hold back Abby but is knocked over a balcony to her death by the Pterasaurs, Lester protects his Jag car from an errant Tree Creeper(lol) only to witness the anomalies suddenly begin to close, Jess can't reach Becker as reports begin to come in of ALL the anomalies suddenly closing, a tearful Matt is forced to watch as the disaster that shaped his whole life can't be prevented- and Emily has to save Abby as New Dawn activates on backup power despite Connor's unpluging it, drains and closes all the anomalies and opens one MASSIVE anomaly/power source that narrowly avoids sucking them in as Connor is taken by it.
And that's 'Convergence', the fifth but not final episode of Primeval Series 5, as Primeval attempts it's firts ever two-parter. We've had episodes end on fantastic cliffhangers before, but can a two-part story/incursion succeed? We won't know until the final episode, but what is certain is that Episode 5's cliffhanger is greatly acted, soundtracked and edited and easily the best part of the episode. The rest however is just too ambitious; the scale of the apparent situation is utterly unconvincing, the execution/events of the ep almost entirely consists of walking/running/driving to places whilst expositioning about New Dawn/the anomalies, both the locations and creatures are ridiculously brief and in some cases not even seen or heard at all, and the overall visuals and soundtrack of the episode is dull. We also say an abrupt goodbye to April Leonard, who despite her ridiculously limited screentime and overall insignificance was a t least yet another good addition to the show. This episode/story is meant to be the big reveal of the show's entire premise and a memorable and emotional twist-but in the end the only reliable element is the convincing and mostly sympathetic cast's acting.
Next time-we reunite with our heroes for one more adventure, but is it the end or the beginning?
Primeval Season 5 Episode 6 Review 'Kings Crossroads' FINALE
MAJOR SPOILERS AHEAD
(N.B.There are plot spoilers and explanations for missing content from the episode and for both the entirety of seasons 4 and 5 of Primeval AND the bridge to the sixth and final season, so reading this before you watch Episode 6/Season 6 is advised. You have been warned ;)
Hello everybody, and welcome to the final review of Primeval Season 5! Last time the worldwide timespace CCTV invasion-of-other-eras began, mildly incovienienced a few places and was immediately
shut down by Phillip Burton's 'New Dawn' time portal generator draining it's energy/power, only for the machine to overload and create a massive magnetic/EMP pulse-generating anomaly that ate Connor. Oh, and the others all ran round worrysitioning(expositioning in a urgent/nagging manner) and pointing guns offscreen and April didn't get so much as a papercut from either an entire swarm of carnivorous Pterasaurs scratching/biting her bare skin or falling 18-20 feet over a railing then presumably died. It's now up to the next 38 minutes to save the planet, give the group something to do and wrap up about 7 unresolved storylines; we know our heroes can do it, but WILL they do it?
The pre-credits get the final episode off to a promising start, as Connor wakes up in quite possibly the least desirable holiday destination Primeval has ever offered us. The lifeless, wind-ravaged silence is palpable, the dusty buildings crumbled almost to nothing- and the Future Predators dirt-cracked and radiation-diseased. The brief, concussion-dazed hope spot as we and Connor glimpse the anomaly and a blurry upright figure looking round in the distance turns to dawning horror as the figure drops to all fours and from sight only to bare it's hellish fanged visage at a horrified Connor as the classic 'echolocation' heart-thumping vision and throaty growling begins, only for a sandstorm to engulf them both and sweep us into the final opening credits.
Post-credits the acting has also taken on the most deadly serious turn yet, as Matt and Phillip's heated argument ends with Phillip(Alexander Siddig) insisting his machine will stabilize, the planet is now saved from the anomalies, 'New Dawn' is generating more free energy than the National Grid and Connor's rescue (he knew he was next to the anomaly and opened it anyway) takes second place to the world-changing dilemma and if he is dead then it's Matt's fault anyway for influencing his reckless behaviour. To be honest sans seeing Matt's quite fakeable and very vague evidence of New Dawn's guilt(Matt wasn't even decided who or what was responsible just 4 or 5 stories ago!) and actually faked records/habit of secrecy and reckless/unexplained behaviour/claims, Phillip's humanity-prioritising viewpoint is harsh and egotistically dangerous but very understandable particularly with both his/his staff's scientific knowledge, the ARC's knowledge/experience/data, the government's backing and equipment/ funding and now literal firsthand evidence of the experiment's success.
Matt(Ciaran Mcmenamin)'s volatile acting makes a step toward rectifying his lack of validation, and another is made as he takes centre stage confronting Phillip, clobbering both him and a couple of guards single-and-bare-handed(yay!), then racing straight past a voice-of-reason Emily and grief-stricken Abby gun-first into the anomaly, which promptly tears his and a returning Connor's atoms apart Timeriders-style the end. Meanwhile Jess realises her entire purpose of being eye/ear candy for Becker and his men whilst giving them directions to the anomalies is now obsolete with their closure and retires with equally well-dressed 'you're nicer than my wife' Lester who needs support after losing both his knighthood and his job, Phillip solves the energy crisis and uses the rest of his lifetime to make the anomaly's far-future wasteland habitable and developed so once humanity has utterly exhausted Earth's resources it can just move there Outcasts-style 'cause F*** EVOLUTION HUMANS PWN, Becker gains more PTSD from his bros's Connor and Matt's deaths as well as losing his job and so is employed as Phillip's Future Predator-exterminator in said wasteland free to be a Terminator-style renegade driving tanks and wearing unfashionable but practical black all day long, and Emily and Abby have had enough of men and so move in together and set up a shelter called The Ark(not that one)for the 10'000 lost creatures and people displaced by the earlier mass anomaly-opening ONLY TO FIND ETHAN, DANNY, MICK HARPER, HOWARD KANAN, AND AN ALIVE-AFTER-ALL-THERE-WAS-NO-BODY SARAH AND STEPHEN!!!!! But no Cutter, he's Killed Off For Real soz. What will happen now? Find out on Primeval; SEASON 7!
And back in the actual episode, Matt starts searching the wasteland for Connor and Phillip experiences the dawning(geddit?) realisation that maybe Matt's concerns were legit as the anomaly continues to uncontrollably expand and begins warping the surrounding air/space and affecting the building(*Prospero staff show Phillip the ominous machine test results* Phillip '...Er, run those tests again-*building begins to creak around them*'-...don't worry, i expected this'PHAHAHAHAHAHA yeah sure!). One thing 'Kings Crossroads' has over the last episode is effects; the 'timespace warping' Aurora Borealis-like sky is both gorgeous and intimidating, the further-deteriorated future and storms convincingly but not over-the-top apocalptic and the mutated Future Predators nastier than some actual horror/sci-fi creatures/villains.
Abby saves Matt and Connor from a couple of warring lightspeed-vicious Predators and the trio hide in an underground shelter;
*Abby helps a winded Connor down the ladder, whilst Matt closes the hatch on the creatures and storm outside. The distant sounds die down as Matt searches the dark and echoing room for a light source and futilely calls out for fellow survivors.*
Connor;*coughing and dirt-caked*L-lungs...burning...
Abby;He needs water!*looks around and takes in the surroundings; run down and cramped, nothing but a few old supplies and bare essentials*...What is this place? How did you know it was here?
*Matt strainingly winds up a generator, then leaps back as it sparks; a light illuminates the dim room.*
Matt; This is my time.*looks at Connor in worry, then goes to a box and tastes a clear vial of water.*
Matt;*spits out the water; it's very stale.*Bleurgh!*Tries another reluctantly, then looks surprised and pleased.*It's clean!*Hurriedly gives it all to Connor*
Abby;*gets up and looks for more supplies, but there's nothing left. This part of the future is far worse than the demolished but still inhabited by many beings and full of resources to plunder version she once visited, and suddenly Matt's story and behaviour all add up.*...You lived out there?
Matt;*glances at her mid-search and sees her face, then stops and looks awkward as he tries to explain.* Nothing could survive out there, except those ugly freaks. The storms are erratic...*looks up at the slightly shaking ceiling hopefully, then back at Abby*...When i got to your time, i thought it was the Garden of Eden.*smiles sadly*
Abby;...Where is everyone now?
Matt;*voice slightly raised in agitation and hatred*Everyone is dead, Abby. This is what Phillip's New Dawn machine did to the atmosphere and the planet; turned it into hell.
And it's not just the acting and dialogue that's on point; the occasional music and New Dawn's camerawork hints at awe and dread, as Phillip singlehandedly tries to keep the tests and computer banks running from a swivel chair even as his Prospero staff flee and the building begins to sway ('What is wrong with you people; can't you see i'm ACTUALLY QUITE BUSY HERE?!' Phillip barks irritibaly as his world-saving attempts are interrupted by a lone guard dragging in yet another blame-shouting ARC member lol). Emily is promptly escorted away and left locked in a cupboard and trapped unconcious under collapsed equipment, along with April's body as Phillip goes outside and sees the cataclysm for himself...which begins convulsing and sending out magnetic EMP-like pulses that crash the surrounding town's electronics, including the ARC with non-field/medic/anomaly studying staff Lester and Jess still inside as the original mini prototype anomaly is reopened...
'Are you ok Jess? What happened, could Phillip not afford to pay the electricity bill?' lol Lester. The systems are fried, the anomaly detector's not working(they don't know about the prototype then...) and they can't get through to anyone on comms. Becker calls on his mobile and confirms Jess's analysis that it might be a citywide problem and vehicle engines including his have been stopped too 'like someone set off an electromagnetic weapon.*men get engine restarted*'. 'Get to New Dawn, find out exactly what's going on. Good man.'. Meanwhile Connor tries to come round from his injuries and the shock and guilt of experiencing firsthand what his work and attempts to impress Cutter and Phillip have partially wrought, but in the end only Matt's pleads and reassurance and Abby's whispered words get him back on his feet.
The trio just make it back home after a neat shootout with a pack of mutated Predators and-HOLY MOLY HELEN?!? In voice only but Juliet Aubrey makes a return for Primeval's fifth finale, as Phillip flashbacks to his meeting her and his research on and interest in the anomalies and their potential as his efforts all come crashing down around him and he breaks down in horrified and ashamed tears. 'You will find a way...Our hopes rest on you...The future is in your hands...There's no doubt you will do it...'-
'I-i know this is what Helen wanted, i just don't understand WHY?!'. There isn't a lot of time for detailed and new viewer-confusing explanations amongst the immediate plot, but the gist seems to be that Phillip was yet another of Helen's anomaly-researching contacts along with Leek(personal experiments with the anomalies's effects on people and creatures), Cutter(runs the UK's public service for fighting and researching the anomalies), possibly Mick(turns up with info in same ep she 'meets old journo uni friend'), and Christine(possible future ARC investor/boss and military provider). We know one of her endgoals was to prevent the apocalypse as said in 3.10, 2.7, 1.6 etc by changing the timeline, and in the end all her attempts failed and so she gave up humanity as a bad lot and tried to prevent the destruction of all life on Earth and the planet itself plus 'war, pestilence' etc by preventing humanity's evolution in the first place. 'OUR hopes/NO DOUBT you will do it/future' suggests Helen found some evidence of Phillip/New Dawn's involvement and so thought his generator/drainer idea might work and that Convergence was the real problem/cause? It would be just like Phillip to have recorded this as fact and downplayed/covered up Connor's own contributions and any potential setbacks/faults lol, after all 'history is written by the victors'.
Now it's Phillip's turn to be raised out of his shock and guilt-ridden stupor; Connor confronts him, Matt reassures him that he understands Phillip had good intentions and was partially misinformed thanks to his and Helen's secrecy, and Abby and Phillip overcome their hostility to one another in the light of the current crisis('Helen exploited your humanity, Phillip-''No, she exploited my EGO, Abby.').
So far everyone's acting and interactions as the plot and characters develop has been top-notch and a highlight for this version/Series 4 and 5 of Primeval! They head off to follow Phillip's instructions for stopping the machine, whilst a reasonable but worried Jess turns Lester to alcoholism(*Lester gets a bottle and glasses out of his office cabinet*'Do you know what my father used to say? Where's that ruddy whisky!'*sees a look of surprise on Jess's face*Oh? Don't tell me you're teetotal-'*looks through the glass and matches Jess's horror as they see a Mutated Future Predator for the first time, the new variant being just skinny and fast enough to get through the prototype anomaly*).
Emily wakes up amidst the debris and dark and escapes to join the others, whilst Phillip tries to find a way to shut the machine down- and is the only one with the knowledge to realize that without the giant anomaly draining all the rerouted anomalies's energy, 'New Dawn' will be unable to contain all the stored energy and explode taking the building with it. But simply air striking/detonating the machine/building from a safe distance won't work as any missiles/bombs would be sucked into the giant anomaly's magnetic pull/field; the only option is to turn off the machine manually, closing the destructive anomaly but overloading and blowing up Prospero Industries with whoever's at the controls still inside.
With only Phillip and Connor knowing how to operate the machine Phillip realises that one of them will have to do it and get killed in the process, and once Connor knows this he will likely do it, leaving the vital ARC compromised and implicated in the whole mess and Phillip blamed by both them and the rest of the world and sent to prison along with his company(and possibly without even the 'scarper like Helen' option if the anomalies don't start reopening again after New Dawn's interference). In the space of just a few hours Phillip's life has gone from making history,having a prosperous(sorry) life and helping humanity to either destroying it or being hunted for nearly doing so- and so after trying to come to terms with this, Phillip gathers up his courage, takes most-sensible/trustworthy Matt aside and tells him the situation and to evacuate the others to safety whilst HE stays and closes the anomaly;
*whilst the others shut down all the individual terminals around the building, Phillip ignores Matt's protest and tries to face his fear and shock of what lies ahead*
Phillip;*stressed but resigned*You NEED to get out of here, Matt...soon there won't be much left of this building...
Matt;*wants to accept and finally end the danger but not at the cost of life*Everything in this building will be vaporized, Phillip..!...Including you.*
*Phillip hesitates. There's still time to go and get Connor, the ARC, the authorities even though they wouldn't be able to fix it, even just flee through the anomaly or to another country using his money and contacts...*
Phillip;Matt...i'm the bad guy.
*Matt stares at him, then wordlessly nods and holds out his hand. They shake hands, then Matt races out of the room and leaves Phillip alone and bitter as the lights flicker and the walls shake.*
Emily;*sees Matt and smiles as she hugs him in relief*What took you so long?
Connor;*stops wrestling with the computer systems as he notices Matt is alone*Where's Phillip?
Matt;...He won't make it. It's what he wants. C'mon, we have to get out of here now!
Connor;...WHAT? No, we can't just...*starts toward the main room himself with Abby right behind him*
Matt;*holds them back, thinking fast*...He's locked himself in. There's nothing we can do.
Connor;*refusing to comprehend this even as a shocked Abby tries to*B-but...
Matt; He wanted to do the right thing, Connor.
Abby;*hesitates, then takes Connor's hand as the floor shakes*...If this is what he wants, Connor.
*Emily looks from them to the creaking ceiling, then she and Matt run out of the building and Abby follows. Connor turns toward the main room and casts a despairing look, then steps back and runs after his friends.*
*Meanwhile, Phillip finishes activating the shutdown process and stops for a moment to look around one last time and think, trying to ignore the shaking room and the only light source coming from the red 'confirm shut down?' screen behind him.*
*Feet stumble over debris and gravel as the group sprints as far as they can get, losing stamina*
*Phillip stares at the screen, then finally presses the button.*
Computer voice; Initiated. Shutting down i-in 5, 4 3, 2,1, 0...
*Phillip backs away, then looks up at the ceiling and what he knows is happening beyond it in numb disbelief*
*Prospero Industries is blown apart as the New Dawn machine explodes, killing Phillip Burton and incinerating April Leonard's body as the blast nearly knocks the group off their feet and Abby and Connor shield their eyes as Connor stares in horror...*
*Back at the ARC, Jess informs a nearly-at-Prospero Becker of the Predator/reopened protomaly and then takes off her noisy heels to avoid attracting it's attention as Lester leads the way to the armoury*
Lester;*whispering*Take the loaded gun while i find some ammo for another.*glares at the 15 identical metal cases*Which one are the power packs in?
*...at the giant New Dawn anomaly, which buckles then KEEPS GROWING and engulfs the rubble where the Prospero Industries factory just stood. Becker appears behind Matt and Emily from his frazzled car to take the unknowing others to the attacked ARC as they look up at the house-sized, world-warping 'white hole'.*
Connor;It's strong enough to be independent of a power supply. *the impending horror and gravity of the situation dawns on them*...There's no way we can stop it now.
*Jess takes the EMD gun and motions toward a particular case as they creep past the tables. Lester opens the case to take out the ammo-and the case falls open with a clatter. They both freeze, then Jess's breathing intensifies and she lifts the gun as growling echoes around the room. Lester stares in fear and horror-then the Predator suddenly drops down from the nearby ceiling and leaps at them, sounds of struggle and a distant female scream echoing round the ARC...*
There's a slight slip-up here in that a couple of scenes seem to be missing from the episode; the one where Lester and Jess hold out against the Predator and get some more character development together(promo pics show them hiding under a desk, wielding EMDS etc), and the one where Becker is informed of their predicament and sends his men to clean up the other alerts whilst he informs the team of the protomaly incursion. This results in a hiccup where the team go straight from minus Becker and hopeless to en route to the ARC and discussing what to do with the protomaly, but it may not be like this for all versions/edits. And as if that wasn't enough...
*Becker, Abby, Emily and Matt urgently race down the darkened ARC hallway*
Matt;*failing to get earpiece working*Emily, since comms are down i'm just gonna get my phone. *Emily nods and goes after the others as Matt turns back. He heads down the corridor-and hears a noise coming towards him.*
Matt;*maybe it's just Connor, but it could be a Predator so lowers voice and waits*...Hello?
*There's no answer save for the sound of SOMETHING echoing and coming towards him. Alone and unarmed, Matt freezes in fear hidden in the shadows as he hears breathing...*
*...and a dark figure suddenly comes out of the dark as if out of thin air, right at him-
AND IT'S HIM. Bloodied and dirtied, the other Matt Anderson stumbles towards Matt in identical clothes as Matt himself recoils, fixed by a desperate gaze.*
Matt;*shakes his head in denial, fear and shock on his face-just for once in his life he has absoulutely no clue or foreknowledge whatsoever what's going on.*
Future Matt;*exhausted and deadly serious-to-the-point*...Go back. You have to go back!
*eyes wide in surprise and confusion, Matt opens his mouth to question this*
Emily;Matt?*Matt quickly turns round as the other Matt's gaze shifts to the end of the corridor, a forcibly blank look on his face as he sees Emily peep round the corner.*
Emily;*stares round in confusion and wariness*...What's wrong?
*Matt motions and split-second turns to other Matt-who is gone, the entire long corridor empty and devoid of dirty footprints/blood or any sign he was ever there. Matt just stands there and tries to comprehend what just happened, but there's people in danger and no time to lose;*
Matt;*tired, stressed and doubting himself*...Nothing. I'm fine.
Emily;*motions round the corner where the others went*We have to go.*casts one more suspicious look at him, then leaves. Matt stands there, alone again in the dark corridor save for his thoughts, then closes his eyes in pained weariness.*
The music in this episode creates the perfect atmosphere just as the earlier series soundtracks did; the occasional silence as we listens for a Predator or anomaly is tangible, the building track as Phillip and the others work to save everyone solemn and ominous, and the eerie chords as Matt is ambushed by the impossible full of inexplicable dread. The camerawork is also surprisingly consistent considering this edition/variant of the show's penchant for confusing shakycam and bland, unimaginative framing and shots, racking up the tension as Becker creeps into the main hub room as the emergency lights flicker and run down as nearby scratching and moving can be heard. Matt watches his back as they pincer-manoveur the columns and Becker braces himself, then rounds the corner...
...and sees Jess, bloodied and eyes staring with a death grip on her gun, slumped against the pillar with a deathly-pale and blood-shirted Lester lying beside her with eyes closed like he's sleeping. Becker breathes in sharply and hurriedly crouches down to move Jess's gun aside and touch her neck.
Matt;*shock in his voice, forgetting caution as he calls the others for help*OVER HERE!
*Abby, Connor and Emily round the corner and halt as they see what Matt and Becker are crouched over. Emily drops and slowly touches Lester's bloodstained side, then looks at Matt.*
Becker;*unusual tenderness in his voice as he retracts his hand from Jess's neck, hair swept back from her bloodscractched cheek*Jess...i-it's alright now, you're safe...
Except both she and Lester actually are; a fact spoilt by yet more jumbled editing/clips in the ep, hence why i suggested reading this review first so as not to watch the episodes first and be less entertained/confused by the occasionally preposterous and patchy final cuts. Matt carries Lester to the medical bay and locks him in('put a drip in him'-you have medical qualifications Matt? And again why is no medic ever on the team/missions since about Series 1?), and he and Connor come up with a gamble to kill two anomalies with one throw; toss the contained prototype anomaly into the giant one, which will either simply add to it's power/mass or cause a paradox and close both. As Becker protects them and their injured colleague, Abby and Emily protect and reassure an in-shock Jess(what an introduction to the Predators...well done surviving!)and in a touching nod to Sarah Page and S3E3, a brave and quick-thinking Abby remembers how she dealt with an ARC invasion before and she and Jess decide to distract/deafen the hypersensitive Predators with a computer/sound system audio clip.
In an awesome hypersonic Predator-vision sequence, Emily protects Abby and Jess from the Predator as Abby introduces HER to them and switches on Jess's laptop(lucky it wasn't out of charge like Emily's gun ends up!), and then Becker gets some limelight as he takes down TWO Predators and Abby returns the favour by stunning one with the audio frequency clip! Meanwhile Matt and Connor also get some scenes together as Connor instructs Matt on handling the protomaly('Just move the cage in one fluid movement or...good luck.'Matt*looks at the heavy case he's currently hugging to his chest then at Connor*'Cheers...so what are the chances of this working?'*Connor looks uncomfortable*'50-50?...60-40? I could live with those odds...'Connor'Let's just say it's better than the chance of winning the Lottery.'*the trying-to-be-enthusiastic look completely disappears from Matt's face*'...But that's like 10 MILLION to one!' lol). Becker also gets some camaraderie with them, and comes up with the idea of avoiding them personally throwing the prototype in and getting caught in the resulting explosion by rigging his car's wheel and pedals and sending that in with the protomaly cage inside(where's Bond's remote-control car when you need it, eh?). They say goodbye to Jess possibly for good as she looks after Lester(i assume, another no-scene jump cut)-and then Matt, Connor, Abby, Becker and Emily head off to the ruins of Prospero to confront New Dawn...
*Becker and Connor rig the 4x4 and protomaly whilst Abby protects them from any Pterasaurs/other incursions etc and Matt and Emily go and check on the New Dawn anomaly in the ruins-and find that in the half-hour they've been saving Jess and Lester, the anomaly has grown and is churning up and pulse-blasting/destroying anything that comes within a few metres of it, such as rigged cars...*
Emily;*realises there's only one solution left and why Matt is avoiding her*...You're going to drive the prototype into the anomaly yourself.
Matt;*turns to her, desperation and resignation on his face*It's the only chance we have.*takes a moment to take her in, quiet pleading for support in his voice*You know what i have to do. It's not about us.
Emily;*starting to hyperventilate*I-if this fails...*hesitates. Matt looks shaky as he stares at her*...you die. But if you succeed...if you change the future...you might never even have existed!*voice cracks. Emily looks away from him and sees the anomaly, warring with fear and disbelief on her face. Then she looks into his eyes bravely.*You could just..cease to be.(like Claudia...or the other Matt.)
Matt;Hey...*touches Emily's face as he tries to comfort her. They gaze at each other, and just for once Matt is peaceful as he forgets the burden of his job and realises that Emily genuinely loves him. A smile slowly appears on Matt's face as they look at each other one last time, and Emily realises Matt's feelings for her and despite her tears a sad, desperate smile appears on her face. Matt gazes at her once more, then pulls her close and kisses her one last time. Emily responds, then they break apart and Emily grips his jacket for a moment with an unwilling look on her face, then lets go.*
Matt;*weak whisper*..It's okay.*pulls himself away and runs toward Abby,Connor and Becker, taking them in one last time but unable to say goodbye lest they realize what has to happen and object/ fatally delay the saving.*Ready?
Becker;*scared despite himself*Yeah, just need to find a way to secure the steering wheel-
Matt;*looks at him*Don't worry about it.*jumps into the started car and clicks the safety locks on as he disengages the handbrake*
Connor;*he and Abby appear from the back of the car securing the prototype*What are you doing?!
Abby;*realises*No! Matt!*Matt can see her and the others through the window, but pulls away even as they all try to stop the car and cling onto the doors.*
Becker;*now more scared for his friend*Matt! Stop!
Connor;*first Phillip, now his newest boss and friend*Matt, no!
*the car speeds away and Matt fights to keep it steady as the giant anomaly fills his windscreen and pushes at the car as in the wing mirror Abby, Becker and Connor sprint past a frozen in horror Emily and the howling wind snatches Connor's yelled 'Matt!' away...then the car enters the anomaly. The prototype anomaly collides with the New Dawn one, and for a moment the time-space continuum whirls like it did inside the Artefact in Series 3 or the Forest Of Dean anomaly in Series 1...then a yelling Abby, despondent Becker, shouting Connor and screaming Emily are blown back by a massive explosion. All the rubble and debris of the Prospero Industries building is thrown into the air and scattered...then sucked into the anomaly, as it begins spinning faster and faster like an unescapable tornado towering over the group-then shrinks and is itself pulled into the prototype anomaly, which hovers and buckles in the distance for a moment then closes.
Everyone is safe.
Becker stares in disbelief, then hears the others beside him and dazedly looks round to make sure they're ok. Abby stares blindly, then is unable to look any longer and turns away to hide her face. Connor just continues to stare desperately at the huge, impenetrable cloud of dust and debris where Matt vanished just seconds ago, even as it stings his eyes. Emily's eyes are wide with shock at the anomaly event, then slowly she starts to back away and begins to cry even as Becker puts an arm round her in comfort for both her and himself and she hides her face in his chest as he numbly kisses the top of her head. After a second, she pulls her face away and looks over to the clearing dust cloud as the four shaken, alone people are silhouetted against it.
And the world is saved; the anomalies held back once more and control and understanding of them both a blessing and a curse, and normal life free to carry on for everyone including the Anomaly Research Centre team(minus last episode's 'whole planet invaded by the existence of time travel then immediately saved and humanity just recovers and carries on like nothing happened' nonsense, it's bad enough that Doctor Who does it!). All that's left now is for the group to try and recover both mentally and physically, and decide if they're able and ready to continue their jobs and lives and see what the future both immediate and distant holds for them. The only thing that is certain in fact is that the 'Future' storyline of Primeval that's been going since the Series One finale is finally resolved- no more Predators(damnit...), no more apocalyptic Earth and no more other future creatures/people, and it's fantastic that the show both so explored the idea and satisfactorily resolved it without it getting too overcomplicated/dragged out/unresolved or messing up the status quo/formula(why do SO MANY shows end on a mass killing off of the cast or destruction of the show's main formula/location/ plot? Stop making it all for nothing!).
And as for us..we still have a whole longest-ever series of adventures, lives and faces both new and familiar to discover and enjoy! But there is A LOT to cover in the coming series and of course some cast members to say goodbye to as well as introduce...so rather than stagger every single one throughout the coming reviews as well as cover all the episodes and new content and thus result in one massive and VERY spoiler-filled page to search through just to find out what happened, i'm going to put all the current cast member summaries here and also the new ones later on together if possible.
Alright, deep breath...
Firstly, thank you to Ciaran Mcmenamin as Matthew Anderson. Taking on the lead role and an anticipated and complex storyline whilst sharing screentime with 7+ other main characters and all the creatures and extras of the week and switching being very close/getting to know them/keeping a distance a the drop of a hat is a BIG responsibility, and you did it with competence and likeability! You worked well both as your own person and with all the others both old and new, and made Matt and your era of the show a great successor to the original British version!
Secondly, thank you to Janice Byrne as April Leonard. You strengthened the Phillip/Prospero storyline and fit in well to the show and cast in just a few episodes!
Thirdly, thank you to Alexander Siddig as Phillip Burton. You brought understandable depth and humor to a potentially very false-ringing and one-dimensional role and became an awesome member of the Anomaly Research Centre team, and despite not getting as much time to develop and adventure in the role as on Star Trek will always be a part of Primeval!
Fourthly, thank you to Ruth Kearney as Jess Parker. Your role could have easily just been 'exposition' or 'eye candy/love interest'; but you made Jessica clever, funny, stylish amongst tonnes of bland tshirts/trousers/uniforms, brave and a part of the entire team and cast both in the ARC and the field we didn't even realise the prior series were missing!
Fifthly, thank you to Ruth Bradley as Emily Merchant. Convincingly conveying the personality and life of someone torn over running away from their messy past and trying to fit in to such a new and both dangerously free and still judgemental and challenging situation, bringing an awesome mix of old- fashioned/practical and modernly advanced action and reactions, becoming a main part of both the team/cast and Matt/Ethan/Henry's storylines in just a few disjointed stories- none of it would have worked without you!
Sixthly, thank you to Ben Miller as James Lester. You're one of the most experienced and high-profile stars Primeval has and just rattling off a basic background 'annoying boss' role could have sufficed; but thanks to you the people of Primeval had someone to come to for advice, great humor and attitudes, genuine support and determination and even some action, and made both the Anomaly Research Centre and Lester one of the most indispensable parts of a constantly changing and adaptable show and formula!
Seventhly, thank you to Ben Mansfield as Captain Hilary(why did they only give the first name of one of the main characters offscreen?!) Becker. As someone who has watched Merlin, Father Brown, Holby City and Endeavour i heard of you despite your relative newness and stupid lack of recognition(WHY do the most deserving people and works go relatively unnoticed whilst shallow posing nonsense gets acclaim and support endlessly?)and remembered you as someone to look out for...and then Primeval gave you what could have been a stereotypical 'action' or 'eye candy/love interest' role, and you brought Becker to life and became one of the most reliable, funniest, most sympathetic and developed, capable of all the action and on-the-fly characterisation Primeval demands, and best working with multiple cast/characters and storylines parts of the entire saga!
Eighthly, thank you to Andrew Lee Potts as Connor Temple- what do i even say? There aren't words to sum up the entertainment, action and brilliant acting both verbal and physical you've put into Primeval as literally the entire show changed around you, and you worked well with nearly every single episode/storyline and character/cast member and made Connor an awesome and relatably developed character on par with the main members of Star Trek or Doctor Who!
And ninthly and finally, thank you to Hannah Spearitt as Abigail Maitland-one of the outright best actors on the entirety of Primeval, and both one of the most hardworking cast members and characters. As with both many of the show's characters and many other female characters in tv/film/ videogames, ending up stereotypical as 'the eye candy/love interest' or 'the moral consience'(looking at YOU 2014-onwards tickbox fiction...) could've been easy; but you brought genuine emotion and character development, real and awesome action, neat and straight-up funny sarcasm and attitude, many great looks/outfits and situations, and again worked well with tens of cast members/teams/ characters. There are almost no cast members i would say this about, but it would've been great to see you as the team leader and main protaganist!
Next-time we saw the epilogue of 'Kings Crossroads', and finished the fifth season of Primeval...
It really was the end of the Primeval world-for despite having a sixth series planned, Primeval got cancelled for a second time in 2011. The renewal was held off due to budget and viewership decline- but Primeval is all about NOT being extinct, and so after yet more fan protest and more interested broadcasters was again sold to a new owner and a sixth series commisioned, and a SEVENTH planned! But by this point a scene/ending in which Matt was NOT killed off and a cliffhanger for more Series 4/5-style 'altering the timeline' had been made, and so in the uncertainity was left in the final confusingly-edited episode-
.Matt inexplicably just walks out of the anomaly/rubble blast without a scratch, and the team greet him and they all go home happily ever after the end.
.In a scene that works with both the 'cliffhanger' and 'resolved' versions of the story, it's revealed what Abby said to Connor to reassure him earlier- she asks him to marry her! They kiss and their friends and colleagues cheer and congratulate them.
.Meanwhile Lester is having to be wheelchaired by Becker as Jess helps him and the other ARC staff deal with the fallout of Phillip and Prospero-but before we can find out the consequences for the world and the anomalies, Lester gets a call and informs the team that 'A train at Kings Cross has just vanished into thin air'. It seems the New Dawn' incident didn't close the anomalies forever after all and the group's conflicting fear and hope that their jobs could be over for good is put aside as they all get their equipment and go out once again, the status quo restored and the fifth season of Primeval ended on a well-earned happy note rather than the usual cliffhanger one(this also works with either version as long as you ignore Matt's off-to-the-side presence...)
. ...and the 'two Matts' scene, which promises the aborted 'timeline changing' arc and ends 'Kings Crossroads' on a muddlingly unresolved and forever unexplained note.
And that's 'Kings Crossroads', the finale of Series 5 of Primeval! It's a brilliant episode-acting, direction, music, locations, creatures, entertainment value and plot all present and in great shape- and one of the best of Series 4 and 5's version of Primeval. It's a pity that the previous episode/plot and confusing editing as to what exactly happens both during the ep and in the gap between this and Series 6, but a couple of moments aren't enough to derail proceedings. And it's also a worthy farewell to this particular version of the ARC- it's all new sets next series, and the ending of this episode makes a much better makeshift conclusion for any leaving viewers than the nearly-unresolved cliffhanger ending of Series 3(probably my least favourite, with Series 1 getting points for the relative 'anything could happen next' potential and Series 2 points for an almost resolved and again 'anything could happen next' ending).
Next time- the Anomaly Research Centre goes both global and back to 2006, but not everyone lives to see it...
'Big shiny hole in the universe. Spits out dinosaurs.'
'A.R.C.? Stands for Anomaly Research Centre...'