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Primeval: Season 4 (2011)
Movie Review by The Gravedigger

Primeval: Season 4 (2011) Begins with Connor and Abby trapped in the Cretaceous for a year, after they were trapped there in the finale of Season Three. They find a time-travel gate opener in the nest of a raptor and make it back to the present day. However, they find that the facility they worked for has hugely expanded and has been taken over by a private funder, Philip Burton (Alexander Siddig of DEEP SPACE NINE). A new main character is Matt Anderson, whose job is to either kill or capture the out-of-time animals. He meets in secret with an old, wheel-chair bound man to report what's going on at the facility. We don't find out what this is about until the end of the season...

In the first episode Connor and Abby bring back a Spinosaurus from the Cretaceous. In the second episode there's a flashback to "five years ago" in which an anomaly appears in a woman's apartment and she finds a small crocodile-like creature. She flushes it down the toilet and it grows into a fifteen foot creature that's been devouring homeless people ever since. Then, there's a group of time travelers from the mid-1800's. This includes Ethan and Emily. They have fled to our present from a prehistoric past where there are arboreal raptors. Other creatures in episodes involve a giant prehistoric salamander that's taken refuge in a seaside cave, a pack of ferocious mammal-like reptiles that have taken over a school and a pack of Hyenadonts, which look like a cross between a dog and a bear (its the ancestor of both animals). In this particular episode Jenny Lewis (Seasons 1-3) makes a return and she has a different life and is getting married. Also, Danny Quinn, who was a main character in Season Three, and who went back in time to stop the evil Helen Cutter from destroying mankind's ancestors, returns. He's been trapped millions of years ago fighting off prehistoric carnivorous birds. And it turns out that Ethan, the serial killer they are all looking for, is his brother, who vanished when he was twelve years old and has been searching for ever since. The time-traveling has messed Ethan up, to say the least. It turns out the old man who Matt meets with is his own father. It's revealed they are from a future where the entire surface of the world is dead, sterile, and that humans live underground.

This is the most disappointing season as the budget cuts are obvious. And there are only seven episodes. Ninety- percent of the creatures move in exactly the same manner and fit the same body type-- lizard-like, long torsos and tail, on all fours, which means they are using the same animation template. I miss the wide variety of creature types, particularly all the weird future animals which don't make any appearance in this season. Hopefully Season Five will be an improvement...

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