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 Primeval: New World is a drama featuring relatively realistic CGI dinosaurs looming over, menacing, chasing and attacking people, including young children. Victims may be killed in attacks, and though deaths happen offscreen we hear ripping noises and growls and then later see gory dead bodies with injuries like severed arms and ripped-open innards. There is some mild cursing and references to drinking. Cast members we've grown sympathetic towards may be killed suddenly, and the ever-present threat of dinosaur attack may be too stressful for young viewers. Teens are probably old enough to withstand the fright and gore and may enjoy the monster-movie aspect of the show, but parents will be turned off by the stock characters and silly dialogue.
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What's the story?
PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD is spin-off of popular British sci fi series Primeval, and features roughly the same setup: space-time anomalies are allowing dinosaurs to slip into our time, where they're menacing and killing hapless victims. The difference here: The action's taking place in Vancouver, British Columbia. Inventor/software genius Evan Cross (Niall Matter) first discovered the Canadian anomalies in an abandoned warehouse; unfortunately, his discovery resulted in his girlfriend's death by dino. Now, several years later, the anomalies are getting both more frequent and more predictable. As Cross and his team of investigators work to discover why the anomalies are happening and how to stop the dinosaurs from getting through, law enforcement officer Dylan Weir (Sara Canning) is tasked with protecting the people of Vancouver from a menace she can hardly dare believe is real.
Is it any good?
Who doesn't love watching dinosaurs fight? Many fine film and television action scenes have hinged on just such a simple thrill, from the original King Kong to Land of the Lost. It's a durable sci-fi staple because it works: People are scared of dinosaurs and fascinated by them in equal measure. So why is the action in Primeval: New World so inert? Probably because minutes and minutes go by without any dinos onscreen, while the viewer watches a bunch of unrealistically good-looking yet terribly bland cops and scientists talk about what will happen when the dinosaurs show up next.
Not only are most of the goings-on kind of slow and tedious, the dialogue is absolutely ridiculous. Viewers are used to weathering the nonsense tech-babble on Syfy's typical fare, but on better shows these throwaway lines are anchored by those that provide, oh, character development or drama. Something to make you care about the woman or man about to get his or her head ripped off by a T-Rex. Alas, Primeval: New World is all dull police chasing, enlivened by the occasional reptile murder. Yawn.
Talk to your kids about ...
Families can talk about why threatening dinosaurs are such an often-used staple in movies and television shows. Why are we so fascinated with these extinct creatures? Why do we make so many dinosaur movies and TV shows when there are far more menacing horrors in the real world?
Is the cast of Primeval: New World realistic looking? Do you often see police officers, scientists, or park rangers who look like the ones on Primeval: New World? Does the glossy appearance of these characters detract from the show's realism?
Compare the dinosaurs on Primeval: New World with the monsters to be found on shows like Doctor Who or Torchwood. Are Primeval: New World's monsters more or less believable? Does the fact that they're supposed to be realistic rather than fantastic or mystical make them more believable? Or less?
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