Episode 102: Sisiutl
Director: Andy Mikita
Writer(s): Judith Reeves-Stevens & Garfield Reeves-Stevens
Stars: Niall Matter, Sara Canning and Danny Rahim
Network: Space (Canada)/Hulu & Hulu Plus (SyFy will air the show in 2013) (US)
Airs: Mondays 10pm
Run Time: 60 Minutes
Evan and Mac investigate a prehistoric sea serpent terrorizing the waters near disputed First-Nations territory. Dylan faces a crossroads when Evan recruits her to join his team. Yeah, that’s right. Native American sea serpent going to kill your ass. Well, it’s really prehistoric, but you get the picture.
After last weeks episode was a bit of disappointment for me when compared to UK Primeval, this week does see some improvement overall in the acting and directing departments. I might have been right about the episode one anomaly (oh, I couldn’t resist). Overall, I felt like that everyone involved is starting to better understand what makes this show tick. Niall, as the shows lead, is fully on board with what he needs to do with his character but this week Danny Rahim (Mac) finally starts to show why is on the team and it’s not for doing bike tricks in the parking lot with his boss. This is crucial to the show’s success because it was doomed otherwise. What I can see here is that the relationships are starting to be more defined in their early stages as each shows what they can do both as characters but also as actors as well. I thought the acting overall in last week’s pilot was well done. It was the writing that let them down. Sara Canning also is proof of that this week. She is given some material to work with that helps define who she is better than in the first episode. Even better, the direction felt more inline with what we should expect with Primeval. There was a greater sense of tightening of pacing this week, which allowed for more natural tension and drama throughout.
The UK version always had a better understanding of the “confined spaces” approach to low end TV budgets. Plus, this was help by a London background that in itself is pretty confining. The obvious difference with the move to Vancouver is the sheer size of the Canadian West Coast. There is a lack of physical confinement and claustrophobia that I always liked about the show. Hopefully like this week, they can figure out some creative ways to incorporate these new challenges into the series. How do you make the wide open spaces of locations feel scary or tense? These are questions that the producers will have to answer soon. They got lucky with this story and how they got to stay on land and still make it interesting.
I’m now two episodes in on this series and while it’s not anything to write home to Mom about yet, there is hope. The improvements to the overall feel of the show in this episode were very encouraging to see. But I will continue to stress that it better continue or this guy will drop drop you like a tranked dino. I like all those involved but that won’t be enough to keep me around if they don’t continue building on the improvements they have already made.
RATING: RECORD IT!
And if you’re gonna geek out, GEEK HARD!