Thursday, April 16, 2009

Primeval 3.3 -- fare thee well (Spoiler heavy)

This is a spoiler heavy review. Yeah, well, whatever.

Well, it was nice whilst it lasted.

For the last three late winter / springs I've been fair spoilt for TV pleasures on Saturday evenings: Douglas Henshall in Primeval and David Tennant in Doctor Who. Frankly it was almost as if someone had looked in my head and asked 'what would make Lisa's start to the year really great?'

So it was with conflicted heart indeed that last year I checked out the on-set and pre-promotion starting up for Primeval - Dougie looked awesome (after the hair debacle of S2), in part thanks to filming his role in a forthcoming Dorian Gray film and his work for the play 'The Last Days of Judas Iscariot'. Yum. It looked too good to be true.

As the promotion materials and casting started to ooze out, there was a definite sense of 'this doesn't bode well' that I kept trying to repress. Hey, that hair looked great. But there was an awful lot going on with other (new) cast members appearing in the photos....

So whilst it did rather punch me in the gut to read it in black and white in the TV Times a couple of weeks ago, I wasn't entirely shocked to find that Dougie was leaving Primeval. It made the need to watch episode 3.1 on schedule at the hotel rather than on Catch-Up after the weekend feel all the more urgent since it was also clear he wasn't going to be in much of the series and I really wanted to at least know he was in all of episode 1 and hopefully 2.

Well, Professor Nick Cutter was there and there were some prime scenes. And he did, tauntingly, look more lovely than is decent (there's a lush gallery of pictures at the Douglas Henshall fansite). But it was limited reward and come episode 2 he was scarcely there at all.

By now it was clear that 3.3 was going to be his grand finale. Nice work there ITV in scheduling the series so much later than originally planned (don't pretend any different) so it was doomed to clash with the Doctor Who special.

So what did we ultimately get?

Well, we got TWO Nick Cutters -- even if one was an-only-just-about-communicative photocopy (if Mrs Mad has any spares she can send them my way: Cutter proper proved that with some attention they could be won over at least a little). And we got a couple of cute dinos for Abby and Connor to play with. Ferdy tried to be a journalist (badly - even I got that the photo he took would be rubbish as evidence), Cutter proper got to prove he could be nice some of the time (even if he didn't get a baby named after him -- maybe Connor will name one of the cute dinos after his mentor in his honour?!) and Jenny and Ms Eypyt got to share thoughts on how hot Cutter proper was (with you both there sisters).

And bloody Mrs Mad lost her complete box of frogs and shot Cutter.

Very dead.

I've had several texts from friends consoling me (and sobbing with me) about this demise. Chrissie- bless her heart - is determined to believe that it isn't the end for the character but as much as I loved the grouchy, clever, crap-luck-with-women Cutter I know that he's gone. He will no doubt live on in fan-fics (where many have scarcely forgiven them for killing off Captain Ryan in S1 and certainly feel aggrieved at losing Stephen Hart at the end of S2), but it looks as if it would take quite a lot to lure back the itchy acting feet of Henshall who has always built his career on making and taking up interesting choices and challenges in his acting. It was nice to be spoilt for a while with his presence in Saturday evening family TV but in truth was it ever going to last?


And I will try and ignore that Cloud keeps saying 'Dougie saw a shark and he jumped it'...


Jane Henry said...

I thought this was a great episode - much better then episode one - apart from of course our hero dying. I totally LOVED the scene when he held the baby. And yes the hair was much better this series. Shame we got to see so little of it... Sorry you're feeling low, babe. At least David cheered us upxxx

Toby O'B said...

hey there!

Caught the first three of S3 overnight here and was completely caught off-guard by the turn of events. (My online UK TV reading seems to be somewhat BBC top-heavy lately.)

I guess I'm okay with it, if the actor wanted out. But even so, I was holding out hope it was the clone - until he started chatting away to Connor.

I did see the Danny Quinn addition coming, however. Actually thought it was going to happen by the end of Ep2, so I admire them for holding off until Nick could get his farewell scenes in.

For my Toobworld concept at Inner Toob, this may even prove to be a good thing. Now I can have a post-apocalyptic timeline full of TV shows sharing the usual 'Trek'/'B5' style TV timeline. (Helen's actions cancels out one to be replaced by the other.)

Still, I'd rather have Cutter back.

Ms Heathen said...

Now that DH has left Primeval and we know that DT will be exiting Dr Who, Saturday evenings really will be bereft of totty!

But I refuse to believe that DH has gone for good! Am going to keep hoping that one day he will unexpectedly pop out of an anomaly, still sporting the new and improved hair do!