TV review by
Will Wade, Common Sense Media
Primeval TV Poster Image
Dinosaur action show comes up short on thrills.

Parents say

age 11+
Based on 3 reviews

Kids say

age 10+
Based on 10 reviews

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A lot or a little?

The parents' guide to what's in this TV show.

Positive Messages

People affiliated with government agencies are portrayed as cold, insensitive bureaucrats who want to hide the dinosaurs from the public and are willing to lie if necessary. One official wants to take control of the situation, acting as if he has the authority to force the scientists to comply with his directives, though it's not clear he actually has such power. Part of the story is the ongoing conflict between the scientific interests of the researchers and the goals of the government, which aren't always clearly defined.


The dinosaurs are very real looking; though some are cute and cuddly, others are hungry and fierce and could be very scary for young kids. Some are shown attacking children, which might be even more frightening. Some of the beasts are brought down by soldiers with automatic weapons, though there's little blood or gore.


Some mild flirting


Some signage for British retail chains.

Drinking, Drugs & Smoking

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.

User Reviews

  • Parents say
  • Kids say
Adult Written byAshley20023 November 3, 2018
Parent of a 12 and 14-year-old Written bytrickymom October 27, 2017

A+ for Sci Fi / Horror fans; Lots of science-kid topics

This is one of my favorite sci fi series. There are a LOT of things that can be used to spark interest and investigation here. What is the nature of time? If w... Continue reading
Kid, 11 years old January 18, 2021


When my dad suggested Primeval to me a few years ago, I was slightly reluctant. I wasn’t a huge fan of checking out series half of the time because he had NCIS... Continue reading
Teen, 13 years old Written byThat's One Scar... March 6, 2018

Primeval (Best Show Ever)

Oh come on mate, do you really think, in the 2010s, that a five year old child will be bothered by kid friendly actions and cute couples with absolutely zero se... Continue reading

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?

TV details

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