Primeval

(United Kingdom | ITV | 2007 – 2012)

Primeval
Series Background

Created by Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines, Primeval debuted in a blaze of publicity in February 2007, the first sci-fi series to have been broadcast on ITV1 in a number of years, and the first in even longer to have been given a Saturday evening slot — helped in no small part by the success of Doctor Who on BBC One, which had proved that family audiences for television drama did still exist.

Initially promoted as a "dinosaurs and time travel" drama, the series quickly laid out its stall by revealing that various prehistoric creatures (not just dinosaurs) were coming through mysterious anomalies into the present day and causing havoc wherever they appeared.

Enter Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) — swiftly called in by Home Office official James Lester (Ben Miller) — who put his expertise in all things prehistoric to good use and assembled a team capable of tracking down and capturing/returning the various creatures. Along the way it was revealed that Cutter's wife had disappeared in the Forest of Dean some years previously, with the anomalies being as good an explanation for her disappearance as any. As events would show, not only was Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey) still alive and well, but following her own agenda with regard to the anomalies and the creatures on the other side of them.

The other main characters in Season 1 were: Cutter's assistant Stephen Hart (James Murray); zoologist Abby Maitland (played by ex S Club 7 star Hannah Spearritt); and Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts), Cutter's enthusiastic, socially inept and ultra-geeky student. Also along for the ride was Claudia Brown (Lucy Brown), a colleague of Lester's.

Season 1 concluded with the first appearance of a creature from the future. The same episode also saw the timeline being changed and Claudia erased from history. But, as Season 2 was to demonstrate, in a show that involves changes to the timeline, you can always have the characters re-appearing under a different name and played by the same actress. Enter Jenny Lewis!, the ARC's new PR expert.

As well as featuring standalone stories, Season 2 also started to increasingly focus on a story arc, with the team up against a conspiracy which was intent on using the creatures for their own ends. Things came to a head in the final episode of the season, in which Stephen met a grisly end — the first casualty from the central team of characters.

Season 3 began broadcasting in late March 2009, and the opening episode introduced two new characters: Sarah Page (Laila Rouass), an Egyptologist intitially seen working for the British Museum, and Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield), the new head of security at the ARC. The following episode saw the first appearance of policeman Danny Quinn, played by Jason Flemyng. Needless to say, the influx of new characters was just a prelude to the departure of several familiar faces over the next few weeks, as first Nick Cutter was murdered by his wife, Helen, and then Jenny left.

As befits a show that draws a regular audience, ITV delayed the transmission of the final episode of Season 3 in order to show the final of Britain's Got Talent — in the process enabling disgruntled viewers to buy the complete season on DVD before it had even finished on ITV1. The final episode ended with Abby and Connor stranded up a tree in the Cretaceous, and Danny trapped in the past with no apparent hope of escaping home, having stopped Helen's plans to wipe out the human race at birth. Unsurprisingly, ITV swiftly announced that the series was too expensive to make and cancelled the series...

However, that wasn't to be the end of Primeval, as it was unexpectedly announced in September 2009 that a deal had been struck for a further thirteen episodes to be produced, which would be in high definition. The first seven would be broadcast on ITV1 in early 2011, with the remaining six then debuting on the satellite and cable channel Watch later that year before being broadcast on ITV1 in 2012.

The first batch of episodes, forming Season 4, again saw a number of changes to the cast — not least due to the Season 3 cliffhanger. Unsurprisingly, Abby and Connor were to find a way home, but for Danny Quinn there would be no quick return, although he would eventually resurface for a guest appearance later in the run.

Back at the rebuilt ARC, during Connor and Abby's year-long absense, there had been changes. The organisation itself was now being run in tandem with shady businessman Philip Burton (Alexander Siddig), and Danny Quinn had been replaced by the mysterious Matt Anderson (Ciarán McMenamin), whose motives were quickly drawn into question, albeit not by the ARC team themselves. Of Sarah Page, little was said, although fans who had visited the ITV website would have been able to watch five exclusive "webisodes" which had explained what had happened between seasons, including the rather important fact that Sarah had been killed during an abortive rescue mission. One further addition to the team was Jess Parker (Ruth Kearney), who would now be co-ordinating all future anomaly missions from the ARC — effectively taking over Connor's Season 3 role.

By the end of Season 4, it had become apparent that there was an ulterior motive behind Philip's interest in the ARC and their work with the anomalies, leading him to offer a job to Connor at his own company

Season 5 would continue much as before, albeit with a far tighter focus on the underlying story arc, with Philip's plans to use the anomalies as a souce of unlimited power causing a rift between Connor and the other team members. The final three episodes saw the storyline move into high gear, with the New Dawn project intending to create an artificial anomaly, and Connor blithely going along with all of Philip's schemes. The reason behind Matt's furtive inquiry into Philip's activities was also explained, with the very final episode seeing an unexpected trip through the man-made anomaly to his home in the future, from where he had returned in order to stop the event which had destroyed civilisation and led to the creation of the future predators.

Primeval finally came to to end with the New Dawn project defeated, the man-made anomaly closed down, and Matt coming face-to-face with a double of himself...

Sadly, by the end of Season 5, ratings on ITV1 had slumped to an unsustainable level, even accounting for the fact that the final six episodes had already been released on Blu-ray and shown on Watch a year earlier.

This wasn't to be the end of the Primeval story, however, as a spin-off series titled Primeval: New World, produced for the Space channel in Canada, was announced in 2011. Although the series was planned to feature a completely new set of characters, the producers quickly confirmed that the series would be set in the same universe as the UK original, and Andrew-Lee Potts would eventually make two guest appearances at Connor Temple. Sadly, the series failed to make enough of an impact and was cancelled after a single season.
DVD and Blu-ray Releases

All five seasons of Primeval have been released on DVD in the UK, with the final two seasons also being available on Blu-ray. All releases are subtitled.

All five seasons of Primeval have also been released in the United States, although packaged slightly differently with Seasons 1 and 2 together and Seasons 4 and 5 together.
Primeval: A Rip in Time

by
Kay Woodward
Cover image: Primeval, A Rip in Time, Puffin Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date March 2008
Original Price £4.99
ISBN 978-0141323916

A Rip in Time is a novelisation based on the first two episodes from Season 1.

Back Cover Blurb
Dinosaurs once ruled the earth.

Now they're back.

A tear in time is allowing the long-extinct prehistoric monsters to enter the ancient Forest of Dean. Nick Cutter, an Evolutionary Zoologist, is sure that the disappearance of his wife eight years ago is linked to the discovery. To unlock the mystery of the anomaly, Nick and his specialist team must face the fiercest creatures the world has ever seen...

From the creators of Walking with Dinosaurs, this thrilling adventure includes stills from the smash-hit show.
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, A Rip in Time, Penguin Publishing (2008) Primeval: A Rip in Time
UK | eBook | Penguin Publishing | March 2008
Television Episodes
60 Minutes | ITV1 | Colour

10/02/07 (Untitled) Adrian Hodges
17/02/07 (Untitled) Adrian Hodges
Notes
Primeval: Dangerous Dimension

by
Pippa Le Quesne
Cover image: Primeval, Dangerous Dimension, Puffin Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date March 2008
Original Price £4.99
ISBN 978-0141323923

Dangerous Dimension is a novelisation based on the third and fourth episodes from Season 1.

Back Cover Blurb
Are you ready for the monsters of the past?

A rip in time is bridging the present to the prehistoric, allowing dinosaurs to rampage through our world.

Nick Cutter and his team of scientists stand on the brink of the ultimate fight for survival. Struggling to battle with a host of unknown dangers, the team don't realize that one of their own has fallen to a new threat, one they can't even see...

From the creators of Walking with Dinosaurs, this thrilling adventure includes stills from the smash-hit show.
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, Dangerous Dimension, Penguin Publishing (2008) Primeval: Dangerous Dimension
UK | eBook | Penguin Publishing | March 2008
Television Episodes
60 Minutes | ITV1 | Colour

24/02/07 (Untitled) Adrian Hodges
03/03/07 (Untitled) Richard Curti and Bev Doyle
Primeval: The Lost Predator

by
Alicia Brodersen
Cover image: Primeval, The Lost Predator, Puffin Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date March 2008
Original Price £4.99
ISBN 978-0141323930

The Lost Predator is a novelisation based on the final two episodes from Season 1.

Back Cover Blurb
Dinosaurs have made a comeback.

Big time...

Nick Cutter and his team of scientists are battling a rip in time, struggling to save the present from the past.

But the rip is growing, and the very fabric of the universe is beginning to unravel. A threat is coming, more deadly than any of the prehistoric monsters they've faced. A lethally intelligent predator — from the future...

From the creators of Walking with Dinosaurs, this thrilling adventure includes stills from the smash-hit show.
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, The Lost Predator, Penguin Publishing (2008) Primeval: The Lost Predator
UK | eBook | Penguin Publishing | March 2008
Television Episodes
60 Minutes | ITV1 | Colour

10/03/07 (Untitled) Chris Lang
17/03/07 (Untitled) Adrian Hodges
Primeval: Fight for Survival

by
Alicia Brodersen
Cover image: Primeval, Fight for Survival, Puffin Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Paperback
Publisher Puffin Books
Publication Date March 2008
Original Price £4.99
ISBN 978-0141323947

The Lost Predator is a novelisation based on the first three episodes from Season 2.

Back Cover Blurb
The past is a dangerous place.

Time is being torn apart; the fabric of the universe is changing. Prehistoric dinosaurs and monstrous beasts from a fourth dimension are terrorizing our world. And as the present struggles to re-write itself, people are being erased from history.

Professor Nick Cutter and his team of elite scientists are locked in a race to save the world from the ultimate war of the worlds. Can they find the answers in time?

From the creators of Walking with Dinosaurs, this thrilling adventure includes stills from the smash-hit show.
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, Fight for Survival, Penguin Publishing (2008) Primeval: Fight for Survival
UK | eBook | Penguin Publishing | March 2008
Television Episodes
60 Minutes | ITV1 | Colour

12/01/08 (Untitled) Adrian Hodges
19/01/07 (Untitled) Adrian Hodges
26/01/07 (Untitled) Richard Curti and Bev Doyle
Notes
  • Fight for Survival was the fourth and final book in the series of Primeval novelisations. None of the remaining four episodes from Season 2 would be novelised.
Primeval: Shadow of the Jaguar

by
Steven Savile
Cover image: Primeval, Shadow of the Jaguar, Titan Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher Titan Books
Publication Date May 2008
Original Price £6.99
ISBN 978-1845766924

Shadow of the Jaguar is an original novel set during Season 2 of the television series.

Back Cover Blurb
"Anomalies are starting to appear, doorways in time to worlds we can barely imagine. The anomalies are conclusive proof that the past exists in a fourth dimension as real and solid as those we already know. Our job is to predict and contain them."

A delirious backpacker crawls out of the dense Peruvian jungle muttering about the impossible things he has seen... A local ranger reports seeing extraordinary animal tracks and bones — fresh ones — that he cannot explain...

Cutter and the team are plunged into the hostile environment of the Peruvian rainforest, where they endure a perilous journey towards something more terrifying than they could possibly have imagined...
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, Im Schatten des Jaguars, Cross Cult (2009) Primeval: Im Schatten des Jaguars
Germany | Cross Cult | February 2009 | 978-3941248113
Translated by Christian Langhagen.
Cover image: Primeval, Shadow of the Jaguar, Titan Books (2011) Primeval: Shadow of the Jaguar
UK | Paperback | Titan Books | January 2011 | 978-0857680600
The front cover of this edition saw Abby replacing Cutter, due to the fact that Douglas Henshall had left the series.
Cover image: Primeval, Shadow of the Jaguar, Titan Books (2012) Primeval: Shadow of the Jaguar
UK | eBook | Titan Books | January 2012 | £5.59

In this brand new, never-seen-on-TV Primeval adventure Cutter, Stephen, Abbie, Connor and the rest of the team travel to the Peruvian rainforest, where they face a bigger challenge than they could have possibly imagined… A heady mixture of action and adventure, the crew are forced to confront terrifying creatures from the past and the future with gripping consequences.
Notes
  • Shadow of the Jaguar was the first in a series of four original novels from Titan Books which were aimed at a slightly older age range than the novelisations from Puffin Books.
  • Steven Savile's other TV tie-in work includes the Stargate SG-1 novel The Power Behind the Throne, and Hidden, the very first original audiobook based on Torchwood.
Primeval: The Lost Island

by
Paul Kearney
Cover image: Primeval, The Lost Island, Titan Books (2008)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher Titan Books
Publication Date October 2008
Original Price £6.99
ISBN 978-1845766948

The Lost Island is an original novel set during Season 2 of the television series.

Back Cover Blurb
A trawler is torn to pieces by a mysterious creature off the Irish coast; meanwhile Connor's anomaly detector goes off the charts. Half a dozen rifts in time have appeared...all on one deserted — yet politically contentious — island.

The team battles through a deadly storm to reach the island, only to find themselves powerless against the giant creatures roaming free across the landscape. In fear of their lives, they seek refuge inside a sunlit anomaly — watching helplessly as it winks out behind them, marooning them in the past. Back in the present, Lester and Jenny must fight to control an escalating political catastrophe, as the British, Irish and French governments all struggle to take control of the island.
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, Die Insel Jenseits der Zeit, Cross Cult (2009) Primeval: Die Insel Jenseits der Zeit
Germany | Cross Cult | October 2009 | 978-3941248120
Translated by Anika Klüver.
Cover image: Primeval, The Lost Island, Titan Books (2011) Primeval: The Lost Island
UK | Paperback | Titan Books | January 2011 | 978-0857680617
The front cover of this edition saw Connor replacing Stephen, due to the fact that James Murray had left the series.
Strange anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the distant past and far future to roam the modern world. Evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter and his team must track down and capture these dangerous creatures and try to put them back where they belong.

A trawler is torn to pieces by an enormous sea monster off the Irish coast. Meanwhile, Connor's anomaly detector is going off the charts: half a dozen rifts in time have appeared, all on one deserted — yet politically contentious — island....

While Lester struggles to hold on to his career as the story edges ever closer to the front page, Cutter and the team battle through a deadly storm to reach the island, only to find themselves fighting to survive amidst the terrifying creatures roaming the harsh landscape...

"The characterisation is spot on... A well-told Primeval tale."
— Sci-Fi Online
Cover image: Primeval, The Lost Island, Titan Books (2012) Primeval: The Lost Island
UK | eBook | Titan Books | January 2012 | £5.59
Notes
  • Second in the series of original Primeval novels from Titan Books.
Primeval: Extinction Event

by
Dan Abnett
Cover image: Primeval, Extinction Event, Titan Books (2009)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher Titan Books
Publication Date January 2009
Original Price £6.99
ISBN 978-1845766931

Extinction Event is an original novel set during Season 2 of the television series.

Back Cover Blurb
When an Entelodon goes on the rampage down Oxford Street causing untold damage and loss of life, Cutter decides a new approach to tackling the anomalies is needed. And when a mysterious Russian scientist arrives at the ARC, Cutter thinks he might have found the answer...

When Cutter, Abby and Connor go missing, Stephen and Jenny must work together in a desperate attempt to uncover the mystery of their disappearance and track them down.

Meanwhile, kidnapped and smuggled into Siberia, the remaining members of the team are faced with an anomaly disaster on an epic scale...
Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, Der Tag Des Jüngsten Gerichts, Cross Cult (2010) Primeval: Der Tag Des Jüngsten Gerichts
Germany | Cross Cult | April 2012 | 978-3941248137
Translated by Joachim Riefer and Maria Morlock.
Cover image: Primeval, Extinction Event, Titan Books (2011) Primeval: Extinction Event
UK | Paperback | Titan Books | February 2011 | 978-0857680624

Strange anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the distant past and far future to roam the modern world. Evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter and his team must track down and capture these dangerous creatures and try to put them back where they belong.

When an Entelodon goes on the rampage down Oxford Street in central London, causing untold damage and loss of life, Cutter decides to investigate a new approach to tackling the anomalies. However, a violent encounter with a mysterious Russian scientist exposes the team to a terrifying new complication.

When Jenny, Cutter, Abby and Connor disappear without a trace, Lester and Jenny must use every trick in the book to try to track them down.

"Packed to bursting with action, adventure and jeopardy. And self-respecting Primeval fan should own this."
— Sci-Fi Online

\'Cover Primeval: Extinction Event
UK | eBook | Titan Books | January 2012 | £5.59
Notes
Primeval: Fire and Water

by
Simon Guerrier
Cover image: Primeval, Fire and Water, Titan Books (2009)
Country UK
Format Hardback
Publisher Titan Books
Publication Date April 2009
Original Price £6.99
ISBN 978-1845766955

Fire and Water is an original novel set during Season 3 of the television series.

Other Editions
Cover image: Primeval, Feuer und Wasser, Cross Cult (2010) Primeval: Feuer und Wasser
Germany | Cross Cult | December 2010 | 978-3941248144
Translated by Susanne Döpke.
Cover image: Primeval, Fire and Water, Titan Books (2011) Primeval: Fire and Water
UK | Paperback | Titan Books | February 2011 | 978-0857680631

Strange anomalies are ripping holes in the fabric of time, allowing creatures from the distant past and far future to roam the modern world. Abby, Connor and the team must track down and capture these dangerous creatures and try to put them back where they belong.

At a safari park in South Africa, strange creatures have been seen battling with wild animals. Danny and Lester fly in to investigate and are drawn into a dark and dangerous conspiracy...

Back in London, Connor and Abby have been left to cope on their own. As torrential rain pours down over the city, an enormous anomaly opens up in East London...

"More action, adventures and twists that I thought possible... This could be the most enjoyable book you purchase this year."
— Sci-Fi Online

Cover image: Primeval, Fire and Water, Titan Books (2012) Primeval: Fire and Water
UK | eBook | Titan Books | January 2012 | £5.59
Notes
  • The fourth and final book in the series of original Primeval novels from Titan Books. Fire and Water was the only one to feature Danny Quinn and the cast from Season 3 of the television series.