Do they really listen to me?! – Primeval, Series 3, Episode 8 – Review, Spoilers


An anomaly opens at a test track, the crew dispatch the scene, and encounter a giant bug, which is luckily killed by a car. The anomaly is closed.

Abby’s brother Jack (hereafter referred to as Jack-Ass) pokes through his sister’s purse and finds the anomaly detector. When she won’t tell him what it’s really for, he (quite naturally, it seems) steals it. (I mean, what else would somebody do if they’ve been told to mind their own business?)

At the anomaly site, two of the dumbest soldiers ever put on this earth are killed by a second insect without even raising the alarm.

Back at the base, Abby performs an autopsy on the dead bug and proclaims it to be related to an ant or a wasp and that it’s stinger has mutated into an ovitube – capable of implanting baby bugs inside hosts – like humans. She also notes high levels of selenite. Sarah realizes that the artifact was also covered in selenite, therefore they must come from the same place. (Logical really, there’s only a whole planet and 4.6 billion years (plus all the future) of time for these two things to have come from, so finding a similar substance must be conclusive proof, right?)

About this time, Jack-ass has peddled his little bicycle right to the anomaly, where he finds the two dead soldiers, now hatching baby bugs. Conner calls the soldiers to warn that they are returned, but Jack-ass picks up the phone lying on the floor. Conner realizes what’s happened, just as the big bug attacks Jack-ass. Sadly, Jack-ass gets in the car and escapes. In the process, he breaks the anomaly locking device, and drives into the future. It’s clearly the same place where we earlier saw the artifact retrieved from. He drives a short distance in the ruins, then gets out of the car and falls into a big hole.

The team arrive again at the anomaly and, without any form of back, proper equipment or the slightest bit of common sense, enter the anomaly to help Abby find her worthless turd of a brother. Sara stays behind to get the second locking device working, unaware that there are still baby bugs waiting for her.

In the future, predators are everywhere, and the team slowly advances towards Jack-ass’s car.

They find him, hoist him up, get him out, burn the bug hill, start a fight between the giant bugs and the predators and escape, but not before Quinn sees one of Christine Johnson’s carrying out an operation to retrieve a woman.


So why do I say they must have been listening to me? No because this story is any better, but because at least throughout the episode they kept pointing out how incredibly stupid they were being. At least they’ve given up the pretense that they’re not morons.

Once again, I’m not going to go into a deep analysis of the implications of this episode. I’ll not bother pointing out that insect size is limited by their physiology and their environment. They don’t have lungs, so they absorb oxygen from the environment. Bigger bugs means higher Oxygen content. Oxygen levels high enough to yield bugs as big as this episode showed would mean a highly combustible atmosphere- easily detonated by Becker’s gunfire (not to mention Quinn’s flare.) I’ll not linger on Jack-ass’s twisted worldview – “If you hadn’t lied to me about things, I wouldn’t have to steal your stuff to find out what you’re lying to me about.” Clearly this boy’s quest for knowledge is epic in its proportions. I’ll not bother mentioning (yet again) that the predators just aren’t that dangerous. They’re nothing that a well-equipped group of soldiers couldn’t handle and yet Conner says, “If they got out, mankind wouldn’t have a chance.” Rubbish.

No, I’m going to concentrate on a pointless exercise in analyzing what we saw of the future. What does it tell us? (Honestly, I don’t really believe that the vision of the future will be at all internally consistent when they get around to revealing it, but, “What the heck?” It’s fun to speculate.

Let’s start with the architecture and the technology. Ignoring the artifact and the fancy dohicky we see in the previews for next week, everything looks contemporary. Contemporary cars, contemporary buildings. I don’t recall seeing any signs or license plates to see what kind of language was in use.

The streets are lined with stopped cars, the doors flung open, as if the entire city was trying to escape and the traffic jam stopped them, so they took to their feet. It was a massive, immediate crisis, not a slow incursion of predators. (Unless a huge number of predators arrived all at once, which would imply they came from another anomaly.) Similarly, the insects seem like an unlikely reason for a sudden evacuation.

Although the buildings show some sign of decay, it isn’t more than 100 years worth, and the cars would have deteriorated faster, leaving the conclusion that the evacuation may have only been 20-50 years ago (relative to the anomaly) and since the cars are contemporary, that puts it, lets say 30-60 years in our future. 100 years at the outside.

Not enough time for super bugs to evolve, for the atmosphere to beef up enough oxygen to produce the bugs (oh, wait, that didn’t happen) and not enough time for the predators to evolve.

But wait, there’s more – the mountains have risen up under the cities (or did valleys fall away?) I think we can safely say it isn’t London. Any timescale long enough to produce ruined cities atop spiring peaks would have either been long enough for (a) Cars and technology to have advanced beyond anything recognizable or (b) human city and car ruins to crumble to dust long ago.

Any way you slice, their view of the future is all wrong.