Friday, July 11, 2014

Primeval Season 2 -- pt. 2: The Characters

I hope everyone had a wonderful 4th of July! I know I did! I went to see some awesome fireworks. I especially love the ones that are really loud, earthshaking and so bright that the ground beneath them is lit up. Now, without further ado, let's move on to our "usuals" before continuing with my overview of the British television series, Primeval, season 2.

Days till:
It is: 52 days till Labor Day
It is: 62 days till Patriot's Day
It is: days till Dolphin Tale 2's release!

In the Spotlight:

We've got a lot of new images from what's going on concerning Jurassic World (Jurassic Park IV) this week. This first update is a little late, as you might recall, the film crew for the movie is now shooting in New Orleans and this is where some photos from the set were taken. You can view them below:

This set is portraying a cold and snowy winter in Wisconsin. We can't say for sure just yet, but it appears from my sources that the house in the pictures above will be the home of Ty Simpkins, Nick Robinsons and Judy Greer's character's. Perhaps we'll be seeing some scenes of the family before they leave for Isla Nublar.

Now, ladies and gentlemen, perhaps what is some of the most exciting Jurassic World news to date . . . you know how there's been a lot of news regarding cast and the movie's plot lately? Well, perhaps a recent image leaked onto the internet actually breaks the trend. An image recently appeared on the internet and it is claimed to show how my favorite dinosaur in the series: Velociraptor, will appear in the movie! This appears to be our actual first look at a dinosaur from Jurassic World!

Frankly, I'm really excited to finally see a dinosaur from the film! Of course, we need to take this news with a grain of salt, but my sources confirm that it's more than likely that this is in fact the raptor from Jurassic World.

The image you can see above appears to be of a Velociraptor antirrhopus nublarensis, the raptors from the first and second film (it is believed that the raptors in the third Jurassic Park movie are V. a. sorensis, a different subspecies due to differences in size, head shape and behavior). The color of this dinosaur varies from the raptors in the other movies: it's a green color with black stripes. Perfect for camouflage. It makes sense if this raptor's coloration is different from the ones in the other movies if they are cloning a new batch of raptors for Chris Pratt's character to study in the upcoming movie. We don't know if both male and female Velociraptors will have this appearance in Jurassic World, but right now, who cares? It's (most likely) a dinosaur from Jurassic World and it's got a cool color scheme! What could me more exciting then that? Oh, escaping from of these beasts alive, perhaps.

Topic of the Week by Christian Ryan
Now it's time for a description of the main characters of Primeval season 2. Most of the characters are the same from season 1, but there are a few characters from season 1 that are absent and some new additions, who you'll read more about below.

(From left to right) Abby Maitland, Connor Temple, Nick Cutter and Stephen Hart will be facing deadly creatures, such as the pair of ferocious raptors seen behind them.

Nick Cutter
Stephen: "Are you sure you're alright?"
Nick: "Under the circumstances I'd say I was doing very well."
―Stephen questions Cutter's sanity.
Stephen Hart (left) and Nick Cutter (right) are exhausted after their mission.
Nick Cutter, portrayed by Douglas Henshall was one of the only two main characters that knew about the alternate time line from Season 1 (Helen Cutter is the second). He finds the change quite shocking and nerve-racking, mostly because the woman he loved, Claudia Brown, practically vanished from history as if she was never born. At first, everyone thinks Nick has gotten terribly loony. This is clearly evident when Lester sarcastically says, “Don't you think you're a bit old for imaginary friends, Professor?” It seems as if Claudia Brown never existed in the first place . . . that's what Nick believes, at first anyway anyway. At the end of Episode 2.1, James Lester introduces the ARC team to their new Public Relations manager named Jennifer “Jenny” Lewis. When Nick first sets eyes on her, he immediately makes the mistake of calling her Claudia Brown. During the course of Season 2, Nick often accidentally refers to her as “Claudia Brown”, which irritates Jenny greatly. “For the record,” she says, “I really hate that name.” It takes a while, but Nick finally starts to adjust to this change in the time line as he continues to encounter more extinct creatures that come through the anomalies and uncovers the mystery of who on their team is sabotaging their attempts to keep the anomaly situation under control. Nick and Stephen, who before Season 2 had a close relationship, find their friendship strangled. This is partly due to Stephen's new romantic relationship with Nick's ex-wife Helen. It is unknown whether Nick still has feelings for her or not, but Helen seems to suspect that he's jealous. (SPOILER ALERT!!!) But at the end of Episode 2.7, Nick and Stephen finally seem to make up in a bitter-sweet ending in which Stephen risks his life to save the others. Right after Stephen's funeral, Nick gets the photo of Claudia Brown out of his pocket and tears it to shreds and scatters the pieces over Stephen's grave, reluctantly accepting the fact that Claudia Brown is gone forever and that he must continue with his life. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!)

Stephen Hart
"How many Valeries' are there gonna be before we start telling people what's going on?"
— Stephen begins to question keeping the anomalies secret
Stephen Hart is often willing to sacrifice his own life for his friends.
Stephen Hart, portrayed by James Murray, was Nick's “right-hand man” from the start of Episode 1.1 up until Episode 1.6, in which Nick learns that Stephen was interested in Helen (who's now open since she's not married to Nick anymore) and this strains their relationship, which leads us to Season 2. He didn't change much from the original time line; he's still the same Stephen who is committed to wildlife conservation and is a rather athletic individual. Stephen is also brave in the face of danger, even managing to take down a ferocious Silurian Scorpion . . . by himself in Episode 2.7. Through Episode 2.1 to 2.5, he and Nick are getting over their relationship-strain until he gets involved with Helen again, who ends up feeding him disinformation about who the traitor on the team is. He has a big brother-like relationship with Connor Temple and it seems that there is no affection felt for Abby Maitland like there was during Season 1 (probably because he know is interested in Helen). Amid Season 2, he begins to question whether the ARC is doing the right thing concerning keeping the anomalies and the creatures secret from the public. During Episode 2.7, (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Stephen and Nick semi-makeup when Nick volunteers to be the one to close the door that will prevent the animals from escaping Leek's building, but Stephen refuses to let him do this. Instead, Stephen does it, knowing that he'll be trapped with the ferocious animals and tells Nick before his death to tell Abby and Connor to stay out of trouble. Nick watches as Stephen sacrifices himself to save the lives of possibly countless others and is killed by the creatures who after killing him presumably kill each other, preventing them from escaping into the outside world and threatening civilians. At the end of the episode, Nick and the others attend Stephen's funeral. However, just after Nick and the others leave, Helen places an ammonite shell on Stephen's grave as a calling card and says, “Be patient, Stephen. Things can change faster than you think.” Could Stephen somehow make a comeback in later seasons . . .? (END OF SPOILER ALERT)

Connor Temple 
Nick: "Apparently some people never change." 
Connor: "Is that a bad or a good thing?" 
―No change for Connor in the new timeline. 
Connor (left) is one of the few people who believes that the timeline changed.
 One important lesson if you're considering a job at the ARC – never under any circumstances have Connor Temple, played by Andrew-Lee Potts, use guns! He's notorious for shooting at the wrong things. In Episode 1.1, he accidentally shoots Abby with a tranquilizer dart while trying to shoot a baby raptor and in Episode 1.3, he accidentally shoots a man in a lion costume, thinking it was a saber-toothed cat. Fortunately it was a bad shot and prevented injury (the man inside, anyway . . .)! Later in the latter episode, Connor asks Nick if he can have a gun but Nick responds by saying, “Take a wild guess.” Connor guesses “no” and Nick answers, “Good guess.” In Season 2, Connor is still “temporarily” living with Abby and the two have a close bond. He also ends up getting a girlfriend named Caroline Steel in Episode 2.2 who, unbeknownst to Connor, (SPOILER ALERT!!!) is actually a spy sent by Leek (END OF SPOILER ALERT). Connor's relationship with Caroline strains his relationship with Abby however. Through much of the season, he seems unclear about whether he's more interested in Caroline or Abby (who he had a crush on in Season 1). Even though he denies it later, when Abby was at risk of falling into the hands of the Mer creatures and tells him to let her go, as there's no point in them both dying, he replies, “I can't . . . I love you!” When Abby asks him about this later on, he acts as if he never said it, due to his embarrassment. Also in Season 2, Connor invents a new device that will help the ARC team locate anomalies faster than before: the Anomaly Detection Device. After learning about (SPOILER ALERT!!!) the real reason why Caroline was “interested” in him, he feels betrayed but still cared enough for her to get her out of Leek's creature prison safely. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!)

Abby Maitland
Abby: "Just let me go."
Connor: "I can't. I love you."
―Connor tells Abby his feelings for her in the face of death.
In this image, Abby makes friends with a Columbian mammoth.
Hannah Spearritt portrays the reptile-loving Abby Maitland in Primeval. Her apartment is larger and better than the one in Season 1 (another time line change) and Connor is still “temporarily” lodging with her. In Episode 2.2, Abby takes an immediate dislike to Caroline due to her dislike for lizards (Rex in particular) and her relationship with Connor. In an interview with Hannah, she reveals her character dislikes Caroline greatly because she grows rather jealous of Caroline's relationship with Connor, who she seems to be falling in love with by the end of Episode 2.7. One of Abby's hobbies is boxing. In one episode, Caroline shows her a kicking move and Abby later uses it to save herself from an approaching Mer creature. In Episode 1.4, Abby is taken by one of the Mer creatures and the rest of the team worries that she's dead. This really frustrates Connor because ever since Caroline's arrival, he and Abby had been having verbal fights and never got the chance to make up. In Episode 2.7, she finally (SPOILER ALERT!!!) forgives Caroline and saves her and the others from the vicious saber-toothed cat that was locked in with them by Leek. At the end of Episode 2.7, she seem to be close to Connor again. She also is seen after Stephen's funeral trying to hold Connor's hand, but she pulls back at the last minute. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!)

Helen Cutter (This whole character bio is a spoiler)
"Be patient, Stephen. Things can change... More than you'll ever know."
—Helen Cutter
Helen Cutter is a rather mysterious person.
The mischievous Helen Cutter, portrayed by Juliet Aubrey, is back in Primeval Season 2 with a new plot. It is revealed over the course of the series that she's working with Oliver Leek to collect animals from the past and future using the anomalies to keep them in Lester's creature prison. But that's where the similarities in their plan disappear. Helen's plot is to use the animals to “play with” the future; she wants to see what would happen in the future if she “alters” the present using the animals they've collected (actually, the Cleaner and Leek's other soldiers are doing the collecting). In Episode 2.2, she appears to Stephen once again and asks him to let her stay overnight because she was supposedly injured by a Cretaceous pterosaur while trying to steal their eggs for breakfast. We learn in Episode 2.4, 2.6 and 2.7 that she's working with Leek, but she misinforms Stephen Hart, her new boyfriend, that Lester might be the traitor on the ARC team that's trying to sabotage their work. By Episode 2.6, Stephen fully believes Helen and isn't seen working with the ARC team much from that point on. In Episode 2.7, Helen eavesdrops on Nick's conversation with Jenny who are trapped in one of Leek's cells and hears Nick say things that suggest he still cares for her. Later in the same episode, Nick reveals he meant to say those things because he thought it was Leek's style to have a way of listening in on what's happening in the cells. However, Helen doesn't believe him. They don't have time to go into the matter more because the animals soon escape their containment and rampage around Leek's creature prison while Nick and the others try to escape. After Stephen's death, Helen is seen once more at Stephen's grave where she tells Stephen to be patient, as the time line can change. At this point, we also see several copies of “the Cleaner” who died in Episode 2.4, and Helen gives a sly grin. Something tells me we'll be seeing more of her in the near future . . .

James Lester
"That's not good news, good news makes people happy."
— Lester on the current creature incursion
James Lester is head of the anomaly operations.

James Lester, played by Ben Miller, is the head of the ARC and a senior UK government official. He appears overall unaltered by the alternate time line and is still his ruthless and sarcastic self, especially toward his “alternate time line assistant” Oliver Leek. It is his job to ensure that mass panic doesn't ensue and that the team discovers more about the anomalies. He may not look it, but Lester's hobby is playing tennis. He can get irritated easily by Nick Cutter, but would prefer him instead of Connor when it comes to leading the ARC team on location. In Episode 2.5 he makes this quite clear. He can also become irritated by Leek's obvious statements or questions. Episode 2.6 is the first episode when Lester is in any real danger in the series when (Spoiler Alert!!!) Leek lets a mind-controlled Future Predator loose in the ARC to take his revenge out on Lester. Lester survives however by letting the ARC's Colombian Mammoth out of its containment and the huge mammal impales the Future Predator with its tusks. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!) Later, Lester jokingly states that he could take the mammoth home for his kids as a pet if they can't find a home for him. During Episode 2.7, Lester is shown getting his hands “dirty” in, along with his team, tracking Leek down.

Jennifer Lewis
"Don't call me Claudia! And I'm fine."
— Jenny's first incursion
Jennifer Lewis, Claudia Brown's doppelganger, is the ARC's new PR official.
Claudia Brown vanishes from history as if she was never born and her doppelganger, Jennifer “Jenny” Lewis, played by Lucy Brown, appears. She is hired to be the ARC's public relations official to keep the anomaly-related topics “out of the press”. Jenny is a rather stubborn and bossy individual and at first didn't believe she'd be dealing with extinct creatures during this job. She learned this the hard way in Episode 2.2 when she disobeyed Nick's orders to take the stairs in an office building and instead took the elevator and ran into a deadly carnivorous Fog Worm. Nick later stated, “Next time I say take the stairs, you take the stairs!” After getting over the shock of what she'd be dealing with, she quickly adapted to her new job. She even has the ability to take on the responsibility of leadership and is much better at handling guns than Connor. Her “friends preferred pony riding, I preferred clay pigeon [shooting]” she says. There doesn't seem to be much hope for the same type of relationship Nick had at one time with Claudia to happen between him and Jenny. In Episode 2.2, when Nick visits her house to try and explain the Claudia Brown/alternate time line thing, he is involuntarily interrupted by her fiancee. Even still, Nick accidentally refers to her as Claudia Brown. But in Episode 2.4 when Nick calls her Claudia, she replies, “. . . you saved my life. So just for tonight, you can call me anything you like. For the record, I really hate that name.” (SPOILER ALERT!!!) In the beginning of Episode 2.7 she tells Nick that she's become disengaged with her fiancee however and at the end of the Episode, she hangs around Nick after Stephen's funeral and asks if they can go out for a drink. Could this mean the two of them could develop the type of romantic relationship Nick lost when Claudia disappeared? In Primeval, anything's a possibility . . .

Oliver Leek (this whole bio is a spoiler)
"I think this is something we should consider Sir. It seems to be our first breakthrough to date"
— Leek points the obvious to Lester
There's much more to Oliver Leek than what meets the eye.
 He may not look it, but there's much, much more to Oliver Leek, played by Karl Theobald, than what meets the eye. Leek is Lester's assistant in the alternate time line and is often the focus of his Lester's sarcasms. Nick and the others don't initially believe Leek has the capabilities to pull off anything like he plans to, which is why he isn't immediately expected as the traitor. It is revealed in Episode 2.3 that he hired Caroline Steel to spy on Connor by pretending to be interested in him and in Episode 2.4 we learn he hired the Cleaner to spy on the ARC team and capture animals for his menagerie. Even though he's working with Helen, Leek has a very different agenda – his plan was to use the animals from the past and future to make him a powerful man in the future. He even went as far as to mind-control an army of Future Predator using neural clamps. Nick stated he didn't think before that Leek was capable of this sort of intelligence. He is also surprised to learn of Leek's computer hacking skills. To take revenge on Lester, he lets a Future Predator loose in the ARC and almost succeeds in killing Lester in Episode 2.6. In Episode 2.7 when he informs Connor about how he hired Caroline to pick him up, he also says that they're both “uncool, nerdy and never get the pretty girls.” But Connor disagrees, saying he's “choosy”. When Caroline wants to find out why Leek is interested in the creatures, he not only shows her, but is unmerciful and places her in a cell with Abby, Connor and Jenny and they're almost killed by a saber-toothed cat. Helen orders him to stop at Nick's request and he replies, “You do not give me orders! No one does!” The Jenny, Connor, Abby and Caroline soon escape and Leek prepares to have Nick killed by the Future Predators if Lester and his soldiers continue their search for Leek. But at the last second, Nick destroys a neural clamp of a Future Predator he killed by ripping the clamp off and the other clamps dismantle. Nick escapes while Leek is left in the room with the Future Predators which turn on him soon tear him to bits (all off-screen, thankfully!).

The Cleaner (this whole bio is a spoiler)
"I'm a professional, I never talk."
— The Cleaner.
The Cleaner, played by Tim Faraday, works for Leek and Helen and was originally first seen in Episode 2.1 when he was doing what his name suggests: he was cleaning the mall as an undercover member of Leek's soldiers. Connor and Abby think it strange that he disappeared after being attacked by a baby raptor and that he's soon spotted at the ARC dressed as one of Lester's soldiers in Episode 2.2. Later, he's spotted yet again in Episode 2.4 by Nick and Leek scolds him for being careless. The Cleaner is a rather uncaring and heartless individual, even willing to leave a little girl behind on the “ancient side” of an anomaly in Episode 2.5 when she tried to save them. One of the soldiers tried to protest but the Cleaner answered, “We're not social workers.” Since they didn't listen, most of the men met their demise thanks to Silurian Scorpions when they could have been saved by listening to the girl. Later in the same episode, the Cleaner was killed by a Silurian Scorpion as well. However, dozens of copies of the cleaner were seen in Episode 2.7 near Stephen's grave where Helen was, suggesting they could make an appearance in Season 3.

Caroline Steel
"Abby you look awful, you really must let me talk to you about make-up sometime."
— Caroline wants to share her female wisdom with Abby
Caroline Steel appears to be Connor's new girlfriend.
Connor runs into Caroline Steel, played by Naomi Bentley, while in the video store looking for sci-fi DVD's in Episode 2.2 and he thinks that he's found a new girlfriend. Abby meanwhile begins a rivalry with her from the start, because she senses that (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Caroline's interest in Connor is counterfeit and because she herself has developed an interest in Connor. But what Connor doesn't know is that Caroline was actually paid to pick up Connor to spy on them. Caroline and Connor start dating up until Episode 2.5 when Connor feels that their relationship isn't working out and dumps her – by text, I might add – with two simple words: “It's Over!”. (END OF SPOILER ALERT!!!) Caroline's hobbies include dancing, fencing, kickboxing and paintballing. She also has a great dislike of reptiles, including Abby's pet Rex. In fact, she hates them so much that in Episode 2.4, she placed Rex in Abby's freezer when Abby and Connor were on an anomaly mission, much to Abby's horror. Abby even referred to her as “Cruella De Vil”. Even though Caroline was working for Leek, she had no idea what he was really up to until (SPOILER ALERT!!!) Episode 2.7 when she was taken hostage with Jenny, Abby, Connor and Nick. Before taken hostage, when Connor dumped her (remember, by text), she attacked and stole Rex to revenge Abby as well and gave the lizard to Leek. Leek's uncaring side is shown in Episode 2.7 when Abby and Caroline begin fighting and Connor tells Leek to stop them, but he doesn't. On the contrary, he finds it amusing! Connor eventually gets them to stop fighting, but when Caroline thanks him, Connor tells her, “I didn't do it for you.” Eventually, Caroline asks and receives forgiveness from both Abby and Connor for her money-driven deeds and even is sympathetic towards Rex – she rescues the lizard after he is injured. Caroline's last appearance is made at Stephen's funeral, where she reminds Connor that he has her number.

I hope you found the biographies of the characters of Primeval a good read. Next week will be Joy's article, and the week after that, you will have the opportunity to read the third part of my review of Primeval Season 2, when we'll look at each of the creatures that make up the series. Catch you later!

PS 1: Have a puzzling question about animals (including dinosaurs), myself, my latest book, my stop-motion movies, Creation or etc? Please post your question as a comment or send me an email at

PS 2: What’s the latest scoop? Check it out at SMILEY’S NEWS.

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