[18 September 2009]
McClatchy-Tribune News Service (MCT)
A pair of British science-fiction series — the short-running “Primeval” and the long-running “Doctor Who” — have arrived with new adventures on DVD this week.
“Primeval Vol. 2” (BBC Warner, 2009, $39.98) actually is the third season of the show about a group of scientist and adventurers who spend much of their time fighting prehistoric creatures in the present day.
How do these creatures happen to get into the 21st century? They wander through an anomaly (portal through time) which seems to open up in every episode and is locked into 1 million B.C.
The leader of the team is Nick Cutter (Douglas Henshall), whose wife, Helen, (Juliet Aubrey) got it all started in the first season. She’d been missing for eight years and it turned out she was on the “other side.” Now, Nick and Helen are separated because she claims to have apocalyptic visions of the future.
In this 10-episode, three-disc set, the team again squares off against enormous monsters, including giant insects and a giant ant. Members of the team are also going back and forth through the portals.
The special effects in “Primeval” are absolutely fantastic. The monsters look so real, you almost believe some news crew actually shot footage of a dinosaur thundering down an airport runway. It’s too bad that the show has been canceled because it is grand entertainment for young and old alike.
Be forewarned that the final episode ends with a cliffhanger. It is hoped the folks at BBC will at least produce a wrap-up feature-length film that resolves several issues. Meanwhile, if you want more there is “Primeval Vol.1,” a 13-episode, four-disc set priced at $49.98.
Also being released this week is “Doctor Who: The Next Doctor” (BBC Warner, 2008, $14.98) with the Time Lord (David Tennant) in Victorian London on Christmas Eve 1851 to investigate some mysterious deaths. He encounters Jackson Lake (David Morrissey), who also calls himself The Doctor. They team up to solve the crime.
This aired as a Christmas special in England, prompting speculation that Morrissey was going to replace Tennant in the role of Doctor Who. It didn’t happen.
Also available: “Doctor Who: Image of the Fendahl” ($24.98), four episodes of the series; “Doctor Who: The Deadly Assassin” ($24.98), four episodes; “Doctor Who: Delta and the Bannermen” ($24.98), three episodes.