Primeval was the Doctor Who challenger from British commercial station ITV, featuring a bunch of dinosaur hunters and scientists tracking down creatures lost in time, running around 21st century Britain. It grew into a complex conspiracy of timelines, competing government agencies and the kind of time twisting tricks that even Doctor Who would never dare approach, with characters and situations altering as timelines were changed, and an apocalyptic near-future was explored.
Initial ludicrous plotlines and characters soon gave way to an actually decent sci-fi series, and viewing figures began to grow.
At which point the recession in commercial TV in Britain hit, and hit badly. Successful shows were hit across the board as ITV shut up studios and went hell for leather towards reality shows. The money for Primeval just wasn’t there, and viewers were left with a season three cliffhanger with different characters trapped in different prehistoric times, with no way to get back and save the future. And Lying In The Gutters broke the story that there were no plans for a fourth season. There was talk of an American remake and a coproduction with SyFy, but again that faltered.
Well, they’ve found the money. I understand that commercial cable station co-owned by the BBC, UKTV, has signed a deal with ITV to make two new seasons. The fourth season of seven episodes will now run in early 2011 on ITV1, to be repeated by UKTV’s Watch station. Later in the year, the fifth season of six episodes will premiere on Watch and be repeated on ITV1.
The show will continue with Adrian Hodges as showrunner, with Jason Flemyng, Hannah Spearritt and Andrew Lee Potts reprising their roles.
Can a return for Demons be round the corner? Steady on, we don;t want to go that far…