TV on DVD Review: Primeval – Volume One

Primeval – Volume One
BBC Video
Starring Douglas Henshall, James Murray, Andrew Lee Potts, Lucy Brown, Hannah Spearitt
Not Rated
Running Time = 585 minutes (on 4 DVDs)

Dinosaurs! Interdimensional portals! English accents! Yes, all that and more add to the fun and excitement of Primeval. Seen in the U.S. on BBC America, the show’s a sci-fi lovers dream. A mix of action-adventure, science-fiction, and smart-sounding characters.

So what’s it about? Well, a mysterious portal has opened up in a forest outside London. When dinosaurs and other creatures pass through the portal and into our modern world, the danger and excitement begins. It’s only a matter of time before the prehistoric world and the modern world collide. And the results are explosive, special-effect-filled fun.

Along for the ride is an evolutionary zoologist, a zookeeper, a rookie reporter, and a kids who believes all this nonsense is in her son’s head. Guess she’s in for a rude awakening, eh?

For a TV series the effects are quite decent. They aren’t on the level of Jurassic Park, but within the context of Primeval they serve their purpose. Since the show appears to be more fantastical than based in a heightened reality (like Jurassic Park), there’s room for all kinds of creatures and species to invade London.

This makes each episode engaging to watch. What will they encounter this week? How will they survive? Who won’t? What happens if the humans cross over into the prehistoric world? Is it a wise idea to do so?

If you pick up the series, keep this mantra from the Mystery Science Theater 3000 theme song in mind: “It’s just a show, I should really just relax.” It’s escapist fare of the best kind. Don’t overanalyze and try to figure out the scientific logistics of what’s going on. Just absorb the action, thrills, and creatures like a sponge. As a result, you’ll have a better experience watching the show.

Along with audio commentary, the special features include an entertaining “Making of” featurette and a behind-the-scenes documentary about the show.

Primeval evolves itself an A. It’s a fun show. Gotta love the English!

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