When it comes to genre telly, I like to believe that I’m not a snob – hence my enthusiasm for ITV’s attempt to purloin the Saturday night family audience with their dino-drama, “Primeval”. Or should I say, my enthusiasm for the first series.
It didn’t have the budget of an American show – compare the money that Fox spent on the PILOT of “Terra Nova” with the cost of three or four SERIES of “Primeval” and weep at what ITV and Impossible Pictures managed to do with barely any cash at all – and it was very much the plucky wanna-be next to the all-conquering “Doctor Who”.
There was, though, something fun about it. Was the craven attempt to ape Russell T Davis’ ‘New Who’ by casting a former pop star in a lead role? Perhaps the presence of Ben Miller as boss-man James Lester, playing the kind of rapier-witted, perfectly-suited, two-fisted manager that the modern civil service could really do with right about now (I speak from a position of some knowledge, much of it hard-won)?
Was it the brave attempt by the writing and producing team to set this caper in present day Britain, with all manner of Jurassic nasties running amok through Asda car parks – product placement or ironic, sub-textual commentary on the bland and mind-numbing juxtaposed with the uncanny and extraordinary?
Whatever it was, for a time I loved it. My geek crush on the show waned with the somewhat less-engaging second series and by the time that series three rolled around, I was totally out of the loop. Watching some repeats on the cable and satellite channel Watch recently, I was completely unaware that Jason Flemying had been in season three – and reading through the Wiki summary of the show makes me think that I should be finding an entirely legal, wholly legitimate online stream of the stuff that I’ve missed.
The reason for this post? Why yes. SFX today has some more news on the Canadian spin-off for “Primeval”, which series co-creator Tim Haines is likening to “CSI” – does that mean that we’re going to get Callum Keith Rennie doing his best David Caruso impersonation and facing down anomalies armed only with a huge SUV and some Ray-Bans?
It’s not quite in production yet, but should be in the first part of next year. And, intriguingly, the prospect of a tv show doesn’t entirely preclude the proposed movie adaptation – which is even now in the hands of “Fringe” writer Jeff Pinkner.
It would appear that you’ll be able to get your dino-fix for a good long while if everyone’s cretaceous ducks are placed in a row..