Thursday, August 22, 2013

Primeval - Season 1: pt. 1 Summary

Hi guys! Another Thursday has sprung upon us so it's time for me to share another update and a non-fiction article written by yours truly. So let's get started!

Alright, our first update of the day is concerning the third sequel to one of my all-time favorite movie franchises: Jurassic Park. As you'll recall if you've read the updates for the past few months, Jurassic Park 4 has been in the works for some time now and over the last couple of weeks, the movie company that's making this movie, Universal Studios, hasn't been revealing much information on their progress. As we all know, when this happens, internet rumors abound and if the movie makers don't pop in and correct us, we'll never know what's true and what's not until the movie's release. Last week, a Jurassic Park fan group called Jurassic Cast had an interview with the film's director, Colin Trevorrow, and JP fans will be glad to know that once again, Trevorrow has stepped in to spill a few beans on the movie's progress. He says that he point out that not only does he want to make this movie for fans of the series, but he also hopes to, in the process, get new fans. “It's important to make a movie for the fans but I also have to remember that there's a lot of people who just couldn't care less and need me to make a solid case for why . . . there's a Jurassic Park 4 in the first place and I want to make a movie for them too.” During the interview, Trevorrow reaffirmed that what Jack Horner revealed about JP4 having a new dinosaur described as “terrifying”. In fact, he was quoted for saying, “we have a new one that's pretty cool. I'm not going to tell you anything about it, but . . . it's pretty bad . . . I think Jack Horner said something about that too.” Despite this, he also said that he also understands the importance of Tyrannosaurus rex in the film's and in dinosaur pop culture and this probably means we'll see more of this species than we did in JP3 (a lot of people complained when they saw the T. rex get slaughtered by the claws and teeth of Spinosaurus in Jurassic Park III, and I don't get why! Frankly, I love both Spinosaurus and T. rex. My personal opinion is that people technically don't like to see their favorite dinosaurs loose in a fight between it and another, less popular, dinosaur species). He didn't reveal any more information about other species of dinosaurs planned to be in the upcoming film, but I'd say we can still be 99.99% sure that T. rex and, of course, Velociraptors, will be making an appearance alongside the “new scary dinosaur”.
Tyrannosaurus rex, alongside the raptors, are no doubt the most famous dinosaurs in Jurassic Park.
A few months ago, JP fans who've been faithfully following the film's progress will remember that a rumor was started saying that the forth movie was going to have Jurassic Park (the actual theme park, not the movie) opened just like its creator, John Hammond, had originally planned. The rumor also stated that the park was going to feature marine creatures (often incorrectly called “sea dinosaurs”) and tamed raptors and tyrannosaurs (or muzzled at least), until everything goes wrong once again. But how true is this rumor? Well, Trevorrow also said something about these rumors in the interview. “,” he said, “”. But, it's interesting to note that he never said anything regarding the appearance of marine reptiles in the interview . . . is he suggesting that the rumor got that part right? Could an awesome creature like Pliosaurus, Tylosaurus or Sarcosuchus make an appearance? So far, we just don't know, but it isn't out of the question.
In closing, Trevorrow also had something to say regarding the process of making JP4. He has stated that he really wants to make a good film, something that would bring out the same awe that grasped audiences all over when they first witnessed the majestic Brachiosaurus marching across the plain in the first movie, or when the Tyrannosaurus escaped its enclosure before creating its bloodcurdling roar, or when the pair of deadly Velociraptors struck fear in both the kids they were stalking in the kitchen and the audience. “This is not a paycheck gig for me,” Trevorrow says, “and it's not the movie I'm making so I can make the movies that I really want to make. I actually want to make a . . . [really good] Jurassic Park movie.”
Will dangerous marine reptiles make an appearance in Jurassic Park IV?
With our updates out of the way, let's press on to my article of the week. This time though, I've decided to do a review on one of my favorite series, so let's get reading:

What if a type of “rupture in time” occurred and made it possible to actually travel through time to a totally different place and time period. What do you think you'd see on the other side? What amazing species of animals do you imagine encountering? What would happen if these animals also went through these “ruptures in time” and came to the present . . . you were the one standing between it, and the lives of people worldwide! That's sort of the idea of a British television show known as Primeval. I recently started renting the DVD's of this series on Netflix and I've really been enjoying them (I just finished the second season). Want to learn more about this series? Continue down to the next paragraph!

The main cast of Primeval (left to right): Captain Ryan, Abby Maitland, Stephen Hart, Nick Cutter, Claudia Brown and Conner Temple.
These orbs of light, called anomalies, allow creatures from the past and future to come into the present and vise versa.
Primeval is basically about these “ruptures in time” called anomalies that resemble glowing orbs of light and floating shards of glass that have begun to appear in Great Britain and worst of all, dangerous creatures from the past are able to travel to the present from their own time must be stopped from wreaking havoc in the 21st century. Who stands between these creatures and the lives of countless people? The answer is Nick Cutter, a paleontologist professor who's wife, Helen Cutter, supposedly died eight years prior when taking a visit to the Forest of Dean. His life was pretty simple until he and his colleague, Stephen Hart, were invited by a student named Conner Temple to investigate a strange creature sighting in Forest of Dean. Upon arrival, it's obvious that something other than a normal animal has made its presence known: huge claw marks left in a vehicle containment box, a large animal spotted running through a farmer's field and a young boy's account of a strange light through which he claims to have seen the past through all point to a strange event taking place. So the three of them, who are later joined by Claudia Brown from the Home Office and Abby Maitland, a reptile keeper from a nearby zoo journey into the Forest of Dean and discover not only the strange light (an anomaly), but also a living, breathing Scutosaurus, an elephant-sized vegetarian pareiasaur that they learn entered into the Forest of Dean through an anomaly. Realizing they'll need to keep this situation out of control, the group joins forces with the Home Office and the ruthless and rather sarcastic senior UK government official, James Lester to learn more about the anomalies and during this experience, Nick Cutter finds a link between the anomalies and the disappearance of his wife and finds out that there's more to this disappearance than what meets the eye . . .
This is the Scutosaurus seen in the Forest of Dean.
I for one really enjoyed the first season so I strongly recommend the series for anyone who likes anything dealing with prehistory and sci-fi (even if you don't like those genres (and even I normally don't watch sci-fi myself) you might still enjoy this series). Of course, there was some objectionable content such as a few words I wouldn't repeat, a sexual innuendo or two (but compared to many modern movies and TV series, it was almost non-existent), and obviously, the evolutionary world-view represented. Other than those things I mentioned, I loved the show.

This post is the first of a three part series dealing with the Primeval series. In this first part, I am going to give a summary of each episode. I have tried to avoid as many spoilers as possible, but if you don't want to know anything, please skip these summaries and rent the series on Netflix (or buy them):

Episode 1.1:
After his wife disappeared eight years earlier, Professor Nick Cutter has tried to live his life as usual until the events described three paragraphs up take place (I'll skip most of the stuff I mentioned in that paragraph). While Cutter, Stephen and Conner, and later Claudia Brown, go investigate the strange creature sightings, Abby Maitland, a keeper at a nearby zoo is sent to retrieve a lizard a boy named Ben found in the Forest of Dean and is surprised to find that she can't identify and believes it to be a new species of lizard, named Rex, that has the ability to fly via its wing-like flaps of skin. When Ben unintentionally leaves Abby in the Forest of Dean while showing her where the lizard was found and she runs into Cutter's group as they come into contact with the Scutosaurus I mentioned above and they find their first anomaly. A whole lead of escapades follows as they learn that a dangerous gorgonopsid, a therapsid, saber-toothed predator the size of a rhino, has decided to come through the anomaly coming from the Permian habitat to the present and our team must work together to defeat this menace before it kills anyone. Also, Cutter finds tantalizing evidence that Helen had not died eight years ago, but might have instead run . . . into an anomaly . . .

Nick Cutter in the Permian habitat in Episode 1.1
Episode 1.2:
Rumors of giant spiders making an appearance in the subway tunnels and the attack of a cleaner who worked there alerts Nick Cutter, Stephan Hart, Abby Maitland and Conner Temple and the two government officials Claudia Brown and James Lester to another anomaly appearance. As they tackle the giant spiders though, they find that the giant spiders aren't responsible for the cleaner's death, and  that something more sinister lurks in the subway tunnels. The mysterious creature later attacks Stephen and the team finds out that whatever attacked him has a venomous bite. The race in on to track down the ferocious creature, collect venom from it to create anti-venom to cure Stephen before Stephen succumbs to his bite. In the process, Stephen gets a message that he received for Cutter just after getting bitten while he was waiting in the subway tunnels to be rescued: Helen Cutter is waiting for him on the other side of the anomaly!

Abby, Cutter and Stephen admiring the anomaly in the subway tunnels that leads to the Carboniferous habitat of Episode 1.2.
Episode 1.3:
A lifeguard disappears at a swimming pool, a strange creature lurks in a woman's basement that is oddly flooded and the body of the lifeguard (or what remains from him) is discovered in a local lake all point to one thing for Nick Cutter: anomalies don't only appear, they move locations! So as he and his team try to find out more, they discover that a Cretaceous mosasaur and a Hesperornis have made their way through the anomaly. While trying to send the creatures back, they find discover more evidence that Helen is indeed alive and waiting for Cutter on the other side of the anomaly and James Lester orders Cutter to bring her back to see what she can reveal about these anomalies . . . but coaxing her back might be tricky, as if avoiding dangerous mosasaurs wasn't enough!

A deadly mosasaur slowly circles Abby in Episode 1.3
Episode 1.4:
After tricking the team, Helen escapes custody at the Home Office by fleeing into an anomaly that has opened up in the kitchen of a football stadium. This time, the team gets a break from chasing down ferocious extinct animals as a flock of dodos exits the anomaly. After all, the harmless nature of these cute birds is what caused them to go extinct . . . right? Well, it turns out that some of the dodos carry a deadly parasite that can be passed onto humans. That's not the only bit: Conner's friends, Duncan and Tom steal one of the dodos as the others are returned through the anomaly, hoping to make lots of money with it, and the stolen dodo lashes out and bites Tom, infecting him with the parasite. The parasite takes control of Tom and sends him on rampage and Nick's team must track him down before he infects countless others.
Cutter with a flock of dodos that exited the anomaly in Episode 1.4.
Episode 1.5:
A golfer is killed on a golf course after a Pteranodon makes an appearance. So Nick and his team manage to bring down the Pteranodon . . . only to find that it ate small reptiles and fish and was not responsible for the golfer's death. Instead, a deadly flock of bloodthirsty, piranha-like Anurognathus are the ones to look out for and Cutter and Claudia become trapped in a mansion surrounded by the terrifying killers. During this, Rex, the lizard from episode one that Abby has since kept as a pet, escapes thanks to Conner (who is staying at her apartment due to troubles at his own place) and Claudia and Cutter begin to have romantic feelings for each other.
Conner and Rex escaping a (unbeknownst to them) harmless Pteranodon in Episode 1.5
Episode 1.6:
A lion and Abby's boss both disappear when another creature comes through the anomaly in the Forest of Dean. Helen Cutter returns to the present to tell the group of a terribly creature from the future that has come to the Permian habitat to the present. They manage to tackle the creature when Helen suggests they use the Future Predator's young to find the Future anomaly that's in the Permian. Before their trip, Claudia seems to have developed deep romantic feelings toward Cutter. But the trip is a disaster when an encounter with both a Future Predator and a gorgonopsid lets the babies escape. Nick returns to the present to find that things are not the way they were when he left: no one seems to remember Claudia Brown, it's as if she's vanished from history . . .
A deadly gorgonopsid and an equally dangerous Future Predator size each other up preparing to fight . . .
I hope you've enjoyed this brief summary of the first season of Primeval. The next time I write (which will be after Joy's article next week), we will take a closer look at the characters in the series. See you then!

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