What You Need to Know About 'Primeval '

When is KCET airing it?
We're airing a special preview this Sunday, June 24, from 9 p.m. to 11 p.m. It's the first two installments of the show. Then, starting next Wednesday, June 27, we'll start airing the show in its 8 p.m. timeslot, beginning with episode one and moving through the series from there.

So it's about dinosaurs?
Yes. "Primeval" is a British sci-fi series about prehistoric animals. Every episode features a dinosaur or some other prehistoric animal. They're created with computer-generated graphics as directed by Tom Haines, one of the creators of the popular BBC documentary series "Walking With Dinosaurs," so these beasts look amazing.

So these are actual prehistoric animals being featured on the show? Not just fictional ones that some TV writer made up?
Yes, that's one of the coolest parts of the show. Each week, you'll be introduced to weird creatures that, for the most part, actually did once walk the earth, swim the sea or fly through the sky. (There are a few exceptions, BTW. We'll make a note of them.) And it's not just obvious prehistoric creatures like Tyrannosaurus Rex and Pterodactyls: These are WEIRD creatures that you probably did not learn about in your childhood dinosaur books. Episode one, for example, features a Gorgonopsid. For our part here at KCET, we'll be writing up little posts on the various creatures you'll be seeing, giving just a bit more info on this prehistoric weirdos. (Click here to read up on the Gorgonopsid).

But there are humans, too?
Yes. In fact, we've laid out the principal cast members for the first season. "Primeval" is to dinosaurs what "The Walking Dead" is to zombies. The dinosaurs and other such monsters show up and wreak havoc, but the show is really about the humans dealing with the dinos: specifically a team of scientists commissioned by the British government to stop the dinos from raising hell in modern-day England. They live, they die, they fall in love, the betray each other.

Okay, but what is "Primeval" like? How could you explain its overall "feel"?
It's best explained with the following mathematical equation: "Primeval" = "Lost" + "Doctor Who" + "Walking With Dinosaurs." It's got the ensemble cast facing otherworldly dangers like you might remember from "Lost," but "Primeval" doesn't take itself quite as seriously as "Lost" did. Its lightheartedness and rather liberal take on the fabric of time make it similar to "Doctor Who," but you don't have aliens. Also, like both "Lost" and "Doctor Who," characters die. Often. In fact, no one is really safe.

How many seasons of the show are there?
At the moment, five, the last of which concluded in June 2011. It may yet get additional seasons in Britain, but there's been no announcement. There's also a Canadian spin-off, "Primeval: New World," which will be airing sometime this year on Canadian TV.

Are the dinosaur scientists unreasonably attractive?
I think this cast photo speaks for itself:

About the Author

Drew Mackie, associate producer of new media, liked shows about old British people before it became fashionable. He also says silly things on Twitter.
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