Infobox Television
show_name = Primeval

caption = "Primeval" title sequence
format = Science fiction cult drama
runtime = approx. 45 minutes
creator = Adrian Hodges
Tim Haines
starring = Various (List of cast)
country = United Kingdom
network = ITV
first_aired = February 10, 2007
last_aired = present
num_series = 2
num_episodes = 13
opentheme = "Primeval" theme music
composer = Dominik Scherrer
endtheme = "All Sparks" (1st series only)
"Primeval" theme music (DVD and second season)
list_episodes = List of Primeval episodes
language = English
producer = Cameron McAllister
Tim Haines
related =
imdb_id = 0808096
tv_com_id = 68346
production_website =
website =
"Primeval" is a British science fiction television programme produced for ITV by Impossible Pictures. Created by Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines, who previously created the "Walking with..." documentary series, "Primeval" follows a team of five scientists tasked with investigating the appearance of temporal anomalies across Great Britain and containing prehistoric and futuristic creatures which enter the present.

First broadcast in the UK on 10 February 2007 and since expanding to an international audience, overall reception of the programme was positive during the first and second series, maintaining a 25% audience share in the United Kingdom during both series to date. [ [ TV ratings | Media | ] ] Prior to its 9 August 2008 broadcast on BBC America, the program received generally positive reaction from American critics as well. [ [ Primeval] on Metacritic. Retrieved 8-10-2008.] A third series has been commissioned and is now in production for a January 2009 airdate. [ [ ITV unearths third Primeval series] ] [ Cult - News - Flemyng, Rouass join 'Primeval' cast - Digital Spy] ]



The first series was filmed partly at Pinewood Studios, the Forest of Dean, London Underground, New Den Stadium (home of Millwall FC, although apparently the Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient F.C. according to the official website), [ [ Primeval] ] Whipsnade Zoo, London Zoo, the Canary Islands, Thorpe Park and Bournemouth beach. [ [ Dorset Echo: Dinosaurs on the beach!] ]

Filming of the second series completed on 1 October 2007, and was broadcast in early [ [ Primeval] ] 2008. [ "ITV goes for more 'Benidorm' and 'Primeval'"] . Digital Spy.] Caroline Steel and Oliver Leek, portrayed by Naomi Bentley and Karl Theobald respectively, are two new characters for the second series, both of whom are conspiring with Helen Cutter.

The penultimate episode of the second series was written by "Doctor Who" scriptwriter Paul Cornell.cite web|url=|title=Primeval|first=Paul|last=Cornell|authorlink=Paul Cornell|publisher=Paul Cornell's House of Awkwardness|date=2007-04-24|accessdate=2007-04-24]

A third series was given the green light by ITV. [ [ ITV commissions third series of Primeval | Media | ] ]


"Primeval" billboards and banners are often erected over London shortly before the airdate. Series 1 has several posters, most of which had exaggerated creatures from the show (the "Arthropleura" was depicted as being roughly human-sized in the show but was shown as being as large as a house in the billboards). Series 2 adverts also appeared shortly before airdate.


"Primeval"'s first series in 2007 comprised six episodes. Each installment contributed to a story arc which continued into the second series. The following series in 2008 was slightly longer – seven episodes – and has finished broadcasting. [ Television - Tube Talk - You look... different - Digital Spy ] ] The third season is planned for a January 2009 airdate, and will have ten episodes. [ Primeval Roundtable with Tim Haines and Adrian Hodges] ]


The series features a cast of five main characters plus supporting cast who investigate time anomalies for the British government:
* Professor Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall), evolutionary scientist.
* Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt), zoologist and zookeeper.
* Stephen Hart (James Murray), Cutter's lab technician and "bodyguard".
* Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts), Cutter's student and dinosaur geek.
* Claudia Brown/Jennifer Lewis (Lucy Brown). In the first series, Claudia Brown was a Home Office official and the team's government liaison. She disappeared at the end of Episode 6 due to a timeline change, and Jenny Lewis, an identical woman, was introduced at the end of Episode 7. [ Television - Tube Talk - You look... different - Digital Spy ] ] She is the new P.R. officer for the A.R.C."'
* Sir James Peregrine Lester (Ben Miller), a senior Home Office official and leader of the team. (in the changed reality of the , Lester no longer has a knighthood).
* Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey), palaeontologist, villainess and Cutter's long-lost wife.
* Captain Tom Ryan (Mark Wakeling), special forces leader and former SAS operative. He appears only in the first series.
*Oliver Leek (Karl Theobald), Lester's new assistant, replacing Claudia Brown. It was later revealed that Leek was working for Helen Cutter. [ Television - Tube Talk - You look... different - Digital Spy ] ] .
*Caroline Steel (Naomi Bentley), Connor's former girlfriend who was originally working for Leek during the majority of the second season.
* Captain Becker (Ben Mansfield), military agent and presumed replacement for Ryan [ Primeval Roundtable with Tim Haines and Adrian Hodges] ] .

The series also uses several minor characters, some of whom appear in several episodes.



The series takes place in, and is just a small section of an extensive alternate universe, nicknamed the "Primeverse" by fans. The in-universe concepts and the majority of worlds featured are taken from pre-existing works, and are difficult to appreciate without some prior knowledge of real life palaeontology and other Impossible Pictures shows such as "Prehistoric Park" and the "Walking with..." series. Tim Haines and Adrian Hodges have added places and characters not covered there.

There is also the possibility that the "Primeverse" will be featured in future Impossible Pictures productions as writer Adrian Hodges has stated that he'd like to take the "Primeverse" "in another direction one day".Citation | title = Welcome to the Evolution | newspaper = SFX Magazine | year = 2007 | date = August 2007| url =]


This is a chronological list of the events and episodes of the show, although due to the time travel element of the show, many events take place on dates across a wide-spanning timeline. Not all of these events have a definite date, however, and as such there is some noted controversy over their placement; testament to the significance of the series' continuity and the chronology within its fandom. Similarly, Helen Cutter's stories, set during her eight subjective years of travelling through time, have no distinctly recognisable chronological place within the series' timeline.


This is a list of species featured in "Primeval". The list includes some imaginary species which are not prehistoric, but are nonetheless not native to the present era. For the first series, various creatures were re-imagined by the producers for dramatic effect.cite web | last = Milne | first = Mike | url = | title = Primeval sees Framestore CFC's Creatures Leap into the 21st Century] The series also features creatures from the future.



The master toy licence for "Primeval" was recently given to Character Options, the same company that created the "Doctor Who" toy line. The toy line is a co-production between ITV, ProSieben and M6. Jon Diver, joint MD at Character Group, stated that the series one toy line will be "extensive" and was scheduled for release in October 2007, followed by a series two toy line released in January 2008 to correspond with the second series. The toy line includes all of the main characters and a few of the creatures. [ [ Douglas Henshall Website Updates ] ] A large plush toy version of Rex was also put into production.It is unknown if the toys will be shipped over to America.The chances are high because BBC America recently began airing Primeval. The Primeval Toy line includes:All CharactersAnomaly Creatures(Rex, Dodo, Arachnids, Future Predator)Weaopons, Lights And one comes with a Anomaly

WowWee Robotics (the creators of Roboraptor and Robosapien) also created FlyTech Rex and "Anurognathus", remote-controlled flying toys. [ [ In pictures: Christmas wish list | Life and style | ] ]


Ladybird Books has so far published 2 sticker books (one of which is a glow in the dark sticker book) a poster book, a tattoo activity title, a wipe-clean activity book, and a summer annual for children from 5–8 years old. They will also publish additional activity titles for February 2009. [ Primeval and Primeval 2 ITV series: News page and development ] ]

Puffin Books are also publishing four "Primeval" paperback books named "A Rip in Time, Dangerous Dimension, The Lost Predator" and "Fight for Survival". [ Primeval and Primeval 2 ITV series: News page and development ] ] Several original novels have been announced, to behave more like extra episodes than novelisations, the first one being "Shadow of the Jaguar", which revealed that anomalies do appear overseas. A second novel, written by acclaimed fantasy writer Paul Kearney, is entitled "The Lost Island".

The books' canonicity in relation to the series is questionable.


The first episode gained a final viewing figure of 7.09 million people. The series averaged 6.39 million viewers. [Average calculated from [ BARB figures] for week ending 11/02/07 and all subsequent weeks until 18/03/07.] When shown in Germany it gained a total audience of 2.78 million viewers.

After all 7 episodes series 2 has averaged 6.29 million viewers, making a very small drop (100,000) from the series 1 average.

TV critic Charlie Brooker reviewed "Primeval" in the final episode of his BBC Four show "Screenwipe", and gave it a rave review saying that it was "far better than "Torchwood" for instance" commenting "I hope you're listening, Russell T Davies". "Unashamedly Saturday night populist viewing for the masses" with "some of the best special effects I've ever seen... in a British TV show" he went on. [ [ ITV's Primeval Fan Site - By Jon Donni - BBC4 Screenwipe - Charlie Brooker - Spoof/Parady - News ] ] Dead link|date=August 2008

First broadcast on BBC America on August 9, 2008, "Primeval" met with generally favorable views among American critics, earning 73 out of 100 on the aggregate review site Metacritic. [ [ Primeval] on Metacritic. Retrieved 8-10-2008.] Calling the show both child-friendly and entertaining for adults, Maureen Ryan of the Chicago Tribune noted the unusual date of the premiere, stating that "most networks...have shied away from launching shows during August, when the Beijing Olympics are expected to dominate the TV landscape." [Ryan, Maureen (August 2008). [ Dino might: 'Primeval' brings ancient beasts to modern-day England] . Chicago Tribune. Retrieved 8-10-2008.] Rob Owen of the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette praised "Primeval"'s special effects and sense of humor. [Owen, Robert (August 2008). [ TV Review: BBC America imports sci-fi adventure with 'Primeval' jurassic journey] . Pittsburgh Post-Gazette. Retrieved 8-10-2008.] Mary McNamara of the Los Angeles Times criticized the music and emotional direction of the narrative, saying of protagonist Nick Cutter "I know your wife has been missing for years, but ye gods, man, that's a bloody "dinosaur"." [McNamara, Mary (August 2008). [,0,7263147.story Primeval] . Los Angeles Times. Retrieved 8-10-2008.]

Comparisons have been made between "Primeval" and the popular BBC series "Doctor Who", which is famous for its use of time travel. The producers of "Primeval" have consistently resisted comparison of the series with "Doctor Who", calling "Primeval" more "reality-based." Actor Douglas Henshall instead compared the series to "The A-Team", calling "Primeval" an ensemble piece featuring characters with different backgrounds who must work together. [Szymanski, Mike (August 2008). [ Sci Fi Weekly] . Retrieved 8-11-2008.] "Torchwood" creator and "Doctor Who" head writer Russell T Davies blasted the show in 2007, saying " [Primeval's] lack of ethnic casting is shameful," but then adding "apart from that, I think it's excellent." [(March 2007). [ Dr. Who writer - Primeval 'too white'] . What's On TV. Retrieved 8-11-2008.]

International broadcasts


External links

* [ "Primeval".tv]
* show|id=68346|title=Primeval
*imdb title|0808096|Primeval

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  • primeval — 1650s, from L. primaevus early in life, from primus first (see PRIME (Cf. prime) (adj.)) + aevum an age (see EON (Cf. eon)) …   Etymology dictionary

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