A lot or a little?
The parents' guide to what's in this tv show.
What parents need to know
Parents need to know that some of the dinosaurs in this sci-fi series are hungry, mean, and very scary. Watching a massive beast chasing people -- especially young people -- could be frightening for kids. The show makes some efforts to be accurate, showing creatures that actually existed millions of years ago and sometimes having the characters deliver thumbnail lectures about the dinos' habits and characteristics. But the science definitely takes a back seat to the action, and the show isn't really an educational experience.
What's the story?
When dinosaurs suddenly begin appearing in a British forest, evolutionary zoologist Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall) comes up with two theories: first, that there's some kind of space-time rift permitting the beasts to travel from the past, and second, that his wife, Helen -- who's been missing and presumed dead for eight years -- is still alive and might have something to do with the situation. He decides the only way to find out is to travel through the twinkly \"anomaly\" to look for her. As more creatures appear, terrorizing local residents, Cutter and a team of scientists -- including his capable assistant Stephen (James Murray) and reptile expert Abby (Hannah Spearritt) -- must track down the beasts and either help guide them back to their own era or step aside and let the military destroy them.
Is it any good?
PRIMEVAL strives for accuracy, showing actual creatures that existed in prehistoric eras and letting the scientists show off their detailed understanding of the beasts' behavior to predict how they might behave in modern England.
But the science is overshadowed by the action, and on that front the show is fairly standard. Monsters appear suddenly, seem to briefly pose a danger, and are then handled efficiently by a crack team of experts. The ongoing mystery of Helen Cutter's disappearance is more satisfying to ponder, but in the end may not pose enough intrigue to offset the rather plodding dino-action set pieces.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about the enduring popularity of dinosaurs. Do you think the dinosaurs in this show act realistically? What do you think of the way the government handles the situation here? How do you think the authorities should act if such monsters are running loose? How would you react if you encountered an actual dinosaur? Why are these creatures used in so many TV shows and movies? Dinosaurs are often popular with kids; do you think a show like this is trying to reach a young audience? Why or why not?
Themes & Topics
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