Thursday, September 5, 2013

Primeval - Season 1: pt. 2 The Characters

Two weeks ago, I wrote a brief overview of the first Season of the British television series called Primeval. We also went through a brief summary of each episode to get an idea of what the series is about. This week, I plan to give a biography of each of the main characters in the series. So let's get started!

Nick Cutter

All I know is that killing these creatures isn't the answer
— Cutter pushes Claudia's limits

Nick Cutter, portrayed by Douglas Hershel, is a professor of palaeozoology at Central Metropolitan University who knows a great deal about extinct creatures and the world they lived in. He seems to have a great fascination with the anomalies, but at the same time, he understands the dangers the creatures exited the anomalies could cause. He was greatly grieved by the disappearance of his wife, Helen, eight years before Episode 1.1 but is later disappointed that she chose to stay in the anomalies rather than returning to the present and after learning her real reasons for returning the baby Future Predators to the future anomaly in Episode 1.6, he refuses to have anything to do with his ex-wife. He has been friends with Stephen Hart since before Helen left and because of his knowledge of the prehistoric world, he is assigned to join the Home Office in returning the creatures that come through to the present. Nick doesn't appear to be too fond of Lester and the feeling is mutual (however, he eventually develops a grudging respect for Lester, despite his claims to the contrary). In Episode 1.6, Nick even jokingly tells Stephen that if he doesn't return from the anomaly, to push Lester through the nastiest anomaly he can find. Despite being rather spiteful at times, he isn't uncompassionate and his caring side is shown at times, cares deeply for the other members of the team, and develops a romantic feeling for Claudia Brown and the two share a passionate kiss in Episode 1.5 and Episode 1.6. Nick is greatly grieved upon learning that (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Claudia Brown no longer exists in the different time line he entered at the end of Episode 1.6 (END OF SPOILER ALERT).

Stephen Hart

Pick on someone your own size!
— Stephen draws the Gorgonopsid's attention.

Stephen Hart, portrayed by James Murray, is technically Nick's lab technician and probably his best friend. Stephen knows his weapons well and won't hesitate to use them if a predator from a different time is threatening the life of his friends, as shown in Episode 1.1 when (SPOILER ALERT!!!) he first rams into the rampaging gorgonopsid with his truck, and after it's still not dead, he kills it with his shooter. Another instance of this is when he risks his life to save the others from the Arthropleura. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!) He isn't afraid to stand up to Cutter and also seems to develop a romantic interest in Abby, (who eventually turned him down upon learning he has a girlfriend already who had been separated from him due to conducting a study in the Amazon). But more than once he has stood up to protect Abby from danger. Stephen and Conner begin to have a brother-like relationship during the series and is incredibly loyal to his friends.

Connor Temple

James Lester: "Who's that idiot?"
Nick Cutter: "Connor Temple; he may look like a halfwit, but he has a very good brain."
James Lester: "We may stand on the brink of Armageddon, but at least we have an irritating student on our side. How reassuring!"
— Nick Cutter's and James Lester's opposing thoughts on Connor.

Connor Temple, played by Andrew-Lee Potts, is a quirky paleontological student at Central Metropolitan University. He is a bit nerdy and is a geek. Connor especially enjoys science fiction television and films such as Blake's 7Battlestar Galactica (1978 TV series)Stars Wars, and things like that. Before he becomes involved with Cutter's team, he spends a great deal of time with his two fellow colleagues/friends, Tom and Duncan. The three of them are also great fans of cryptozoology and conspiracy theories, and Connor also has an enormous interest in dinosaurs and other prehistoric animals (he's even created a database full of prehistoric animals). In Episode 1.1, he is responsible for alerting Cutter of the strange animal sighting around the Forest of Dean that leads him, Cutter and Stephen to come into contact with Abby Maitland and Claudia Brown. In Episode 1.2, he is almost cut from the team after “spilling some beans” to his friends Tom and Duncan and leading Abby on a search for an, unbeknownst to him, nonexistent anomaly. In the end, the team finds that they need him. He also develops a brother-like relationship with Stephen and a crush on Abby, who “requested” to stay at her place while he settled out his problems at his own apartment. When he accidentally let Rex escape in Episode 1.5, Abby was quite livid and Connor was planning to move out, but Abby admitted that she “kind of liked having him around . . . as a friend,” so he was allowed to stay (on the condition that he makes her breakfast on the weekends and does the washing up for a month). Connor has a great respect for Cutter and has proved invaluable to the team.

Abby Maitland

" . . . I think I kind of like having you around . . . as a friend!"
- Abby on having Connor stay at her apartment.
Originally a zookeeper at Wellington Zoo, Abby Maitland, portrayed by Hannah Spearritt, is another member of Cutter's team. She's a bit of a tomboy, having an interest in reptiles ever since her parents took her on a trip to the Galapagos Islands when she was little. In addition to Rex the Coeluosauravus, she also has a variety of pet reptiles in her apartment including: a corn snake, a milk snake, leopard geckos, bearded dragons and a boa constrictor. Her other hobbies include gymnastics, karate, kickboxing, swimming and diving. She came into contact with Cutter's team when she was lost in the Forest of Dean when Ben unintentionally left her behind when showing her where he found Rex. She was quite astounded upon seeing a living, breathing Scutosaurus. Abby developed a crush on Stephen until she found out he already had a girlfriend and as of Season 1, she seems that she might have an interest in Connor because after allowing him to stay at her apartment according to her list of conditions I mentioned above and Connor hugs her, she states she likes having him around “as a friend,” which could be hinting she likes him.

Helen Cutter

"Hello Nick, I see you got my message."
- Helen when meeting Nick after eight years apart.

Juliet Aubrey portrays Nick Cutter's ex-wife, Helen Cutter. Helen went into a Permian anomaly eight years before the events of Episode 1.1 and Nick is forced to believe she died until the anomalies start appearing again in Episode 1.1. During her eight years of time-traveling, she has developed great understandings of the anomalies and this is why the Home Office wants her to give them all she knows about them. The unfortunate thing is that she's not so willing to share this information. It can be hard to tell whether Helen is for or against Cutter's team at times. For instance, she was not only responsible for escaping custody in Episode 1.4, but she also saved Claudia Brown from the bloodthirsty swarm of Anurognathus in Episode 1.5. James Lester doesn't have a great liking for her due to all the trouble she has caused them to go through and her lack of wanting to lend them information. He even states that, “I think I'd trust trust her as far as I can throw a Stegosaurus.” And that's saying something because an adult Stegosaurus can weigh 4-6 tons! While in custody, Helen relates to Nick that if they don't act within the next few hours, a pride of saber-toothed cats would come through an anomaly in a football stadium kitchen. When she led the team to where the anomaly was, she escaped and when Captain Ryan and Stephen tried to get her back in vain, they found dozens of anomalies, but not one saber-toothed cat, “Not even a kitten,” as Stephen puts it. It is also revealed in Episode 1.6 that she's developing a relationship with Stephen, which explains why he tends to trust her more than Cutter or Lester. Claudia Brown also doesn't like Helen much at first until Helen saves her from the Anurognathus. At the end of Episode 1.6, Helen is last seen exiting into the anomaly to return to the Permian, implying that we could very well see her again in Season 2, and with her, a truckload of confusion ...

James Lester

If I don't make it back, push Lester through the worst anomaly you can find.
— Cutter is happy to be trapped knowing Lester is too

James Lester, portrayed by Ben Miller is a Senior UK government official who is the leader and ultimately responsible for the team of scientists, who are in turn led by Nick Cutter. Lester has a ruthless and sarcastic personality, and seems to originally have a great dislike for Cutter, but even though he won't admit, Lester knows he needs Cutter. When Cutter begins to make theories about the anomalies, Lester is usually skeptical, even though 9 out of 10 times, Cutter turns out to be right in the end.

Captain Ryan

Shoot to kill? That makes a refreshing change, I was beginning to feel like a social worker.
— Tom Ryan on hearing the Future Predator is to be killed.

As the head of Lester's soldiers, Captain Tom Ryan, played by Mark Wakeling, was first tasked by Claudia Brown to safely see Nick through the Permian anomaly and back in Episode 1.1, even though he was a little reluctant to have Ryan join him. While he doesn't have a close relationship with any of the team members, Ryan is very devoted to his job and (SPOILER ALERT!!!) ended up dying in service in Episode 1.6 when he was severely injured by the vicious mother Future Predator. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!).

Claudia Brown

She was okay. Good at her job... loyal... team player. And not as tough as she pretended to be. But she was strong when it mattered.
— Nick Cutter on Claudia Brown.

" . . . succeed: you look wonderful, fail and you leave a bloody mess for everyone else to clean up!"
 - Claudia on Stephen's actions.

Lucy Brown portrays Lester's assistant and the Home Office official, Claudia Brown. She originally came into contact with Cutter when investigating the recent creature sightings in and around Forest of Dean, hoping to prove it a hoax. Unfortunately, she soon learns otherwise. Claudia normally tags along with Cutter's team as they investigate the creatures that come out of the anomalies and is often responsible for defending Cutter's actions to Lester. She can get ticked off by Cutter's methods and secrets though. In Episode 1.5, she falls in love with Cutter when trapped in the mansion surrounded by the Anurognathus and they share a passionate kiss. As of Episode 1.6, Claudia is unclear of her feelings toward Helen, whom she didn't like so much at first. But after Helen saved her, Claudia might be having second thoughts. Also in Episode 1.6, Claudia begins having nightmares and hallucinating, even up to the point of seeing anomalies and gorgonopsids in the Home Office. It is shown that she has deep romantic feelings toward Cutter nearing the end of Episode 1.6 when she tries to stop Cutter from trying to return the baby Future Predators to the future anomaly, believing it wasn't a good idea. But Cutter reassures her things will be fine, and just before leaving, Claudia passionately kisses Cutter in front of the rest of the team. Once Cutter, Helen, Captain Ryan and the rest of the soldiers enter the Permian anomaly, Lester tells Claudia that her actions were rather unprofessional, to which Claudia responds, “Stuff professionalism!” (SPOILER ALERT!!!) When Cutter returns however, he is astonished to learn that Claudia has apparently vanished from history, as rest of the team claims to never have known her. Cutter, who later turns out to be devastated by this, believes that they had changed something in the past to cause an “alternate timeline”. Claudia's non-existence effects Cutter deeply, as she was the first woman he loved since Helen went through the anomaly. We fans still have no idea what caused Claudia to disappear, but it's been suggested that it is probably due to the fact that two Future Predator babies escaped the jaws of the gorgonopsid. Nick Cutter's life will never be the same again.

So there you have it, a brief biography of the characters of Primeval Season 1. The next time I write, we'll go through the third part of this terrific series, where we'll learn a bit about each of the creatures Cutter's team run into. Catch you next week!

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