Saturday, February 12, 2011

How Primeval

Everybody's familiar with the concept of modern people coming into contact with creatures of the prehistoric past. Authors and filmmakers alike have been doing stories about that for years, from Sir Arthur Conan Doyle's The Lost World to Land of the Lost. However, there is one show that I have seen that takes this idea in a new interesting way. That show is called Primeval.
Scared yet? Good. The creature shown in the picture above is a Gorgonops (or Gorgonopsid in the show), one of the first creatures shown in the show. You're probably wondering why it is in the middle of a parking lot. These three options might come to your head as you look at the picture.
1. It was cloned back into existence and went on a hunting spree.
2. It escaped from its lost world and terrorized a small town.
3. It mutated from a dog and turned on its master.
If any of the choices were what you were thinking, you were wrong! The reason there's a Gorgonops in a parking lot is because it came through something called an anomaly.
Pretty isn't it? Well, they can actually be quite dangerous. According to the show, these anomalies are doors through space and time, and while they're open, creatures of the past can wander into the present. Of course not all of them are friendly (so few of them are). What's scary is that not only can creatures of the past come through, but animals of the future can find their way into the present as well.
Yeah, I know. This ugly thing looks like something that crawled out of a nightmare. This thing is what the people in the show call a future predator, because it's something that evolved after the time of man (and from what I've seen in the show, it's undoubtedly the top predator of it's time). Even though it's entertaining, I fail to see how something like this could come to be. The makers of Primeval did take some creative liberties with some of the creatures.
There's one example. That thing's supposed to be a mosasaurus, a sea going reptile that swam in the oceans during the late Cretaceous period, close to when the dinosaurs went extinct. What's wrong with this picture (apart from it trying to eat someone) is that the makers of the show gave it a back like a crocodile's. No fossilized skin has been found of a mosasaurus, but it's safe to assume that it did not have a bony back. The sea creatures of today (sharks, seals, dolphins, etc.) all have smooth backs, so it would make sense that prehistoric sea creatures had smooth backs as well.
Here's one thing the show did that I liked. Primeval featured the television debut of the predatory dinosaur Giganotosaurus! Giganotosaurus, whose name means Giant Southern Lizard, was a hunter from what is now South America. During it's time, it hunted large sauropods like Saltasaurus and other Titanosaurs. It was slightly bigger than Tyrannosaurus Rex (by a foot in length, with T-Rex being 42 feet long), but was dwarfed by the dinosaur Spinosaurus (which probably got up to about 60 feet in length). I thought it was good that this dinosaur finally got a place in a fictional television show.
So, if you want to watch a show featuring prehistoric animals and for it to not be a documentary, then Primeval is for you. Caution: Primeval has some graphic content and may not be suitable for all ages. Whether you want to see it or not however is up to you.


  1. I have seen the Primeval episodes. It is a fun series.

  2. It is pretty good. I enjoy seeing what prehistoric animals come through the anomalies.