An open letter to the Primeval Execs
Dear Primeval Executive Producers
I hate you. I really do hate you. When the show was cancelled after Season 3 we fans were sad, especially because the last episode had ended on a cliffhanger. When you managed to negotiate to get it recommissioned, we were thrilled and excited, and it seemed like we had to wait for So Long before the new episodes would be broadcast. But we waited as patiently as we could, and we understood that because Laila Rouass didn’t want to move her family to Dublin when the filming moved there, you had to write Sarah out. We understood that because Jason Flemyng had already signed up for other work, you couldn’t include Danny. We understood that you had to bring in new characters to replace them but we were OK with that: we’d learned to cope with departures and arrivals before; we’d learned to like Danny and Sarah and Becker, and to boo and hiss at Leek and Christine, so we figured we would learn to like or boo & hiss at Matt and Jess and Philip and all the other newbies.
And what did you give us? Six pretty boring episodes where the newbies’ storylines dragged on and on and on with no sign of resolution; where Matt was more tedious than a plank of wood; where Gideon was a total waste of space; where Jess was perky but wore ridiculously inappropriate skirts to work; where Philip was clearly Up To Something but we never got close to finding out what; and where the alleged action scenes mostly consisted of everyone creeping around corridors and alleys (after inappropriately waving their guns at the public) for ages and ages and bloody ages until there was a tiny bit of action; and where the military went on teabreak at all the wrong times so that Our Heroes could get into trouble with no back-up. And by the end of episode 6 a lot of us had reluctantly decided that Primeval had jumped the shark at the end of Season 3 and should never have been recommissioned.
And then you gave us episode 7. And it was totally BRILLIANT. I was on the edge of my seat for large parts of it, excited, engaged, and pretty much loving every minute, and I actually applauded at the end. So Where the bloody hell Were You before now?! Why didn’t you make this much effort for the rest of the season?! Why didn’t it dawn on you that if you had made earlier episodes as exciting and interesting and dramatic as this one, the viewing figures would have guaranteed you a sixth season? As it is, the upcoming fifth season – which will premiere on a tinpot little subscription channel watched by about fourteen people – will probably come to the terrestrial channel in Britain at 11 o’clock on a weekday night because the viewing figures for Season 4 were so bad by the end of it. And now you don’t stand a chance in hell of getting a sixth season, you utter utter idiots.
So I am really really angry with you, TPTB (or, as you’re known amongst the Primeval fans, TFWIC but I’m not going to translate that here). You can write and produce brilliance when you put your minds to it, but too late to save the series. So why build up our hopes at the end of Season 3 by fighting for a fourth season, only to dash them again with a lame, pointless season and then get us excited again with the final episode?
You utter, utter IDIOTS.
Yours sincerely, Ariane DeVere