AskDefine | Define primeval

Dictionary Definition

primeval adj : having existed from the beginning; in an earliest or original stage or state; "aboriginal forests"; "primal eras before the appearance of life on earth"; "the forest primeval"; "primordial matter"; "primordial forms of life" [syn: aboriginal, primal, primaeval, primordial]

User Contributed Dictionary


Alternative spellings




  1. Belonging to the first ages.
  2. Primary; original.
  3. Primitive.
  4. Pristine.
    This place is so primeval.


belonging to the first ages

Extensive Definition

This article is about the science fiction TV series. For the 2007 film of the same name, see Primeval (film). For other uses, see Primeval (disambiguation).
Primeval is a British science fiction cult drama television programme produced by Impossible Pictures for ITV. The first episode was broadcast on 10 February 2007, and was renewed for a second series by ITV, which started on 12 January 2008. A third series has been commissioned and is now in production for a January 2009 airdate. Also, the producer Adrian Hodges claims he wants Primeval to continue for at least seven years.
The series follows a team of scientists who investigate anomalies in time and deal with the prehistoric and future creatures that travel through. The team of five is led by Professor Nick Cutter, an evolutionary zoologist determined to find his wife, who disappeared while investigating an anomaly in the Forest of Dean eight years previously.
The series was created by Adrian Hodges, who wrote the majority of the scripts, and Tim Haines of Impossible Pictures, who previously created the documentary series Walking with.... It was produced by Haines and Cameron McAllister. Primeval features 2D & 3D special effects by London effects house Framestore CFC. It previously had the working title Primaeval.
ITV previously produced Prehistoric Park, a programme with the similar premise of the main characters travelling back to the time of the dinosaurs (and even earlier).
The opening/closing theme song was made expressly for the series by Dominik Scherrer. For the first series, the closing theme song was All Sparks by Editors, although on the DVD it was changed back to the series' opening theme.
Primeval's tagline is "time for adventure"



The first series was filmed partly at Pinewood Studios, the Forest of Dean, London Underground, New Den Stadium (home of Millwall FC, although apparently the Matchroom Stadium, home of Leyton Orient F.C. according to the official website), Whipsnade Zoo, London Zoo, the Canary Islands, Thorpe Park and Bournemouth beach.
Filming of the second series completed on 1 October 2007, and was broadcast in early 2008. Caroline Steel and Oliver Leek, portrayed by Naomi Bentley and Karl Theobald respectively, are two new characters for the second series, both of whom are conspiring with Helen Cutter.
A third series was given the green light by ITV. In addition to the regular cast (excluding James Murray, whose character was killed off), the third series sees three new cast members; Ben Mansfield as SAS leader Captain Becker; Footballer's Wives star Laila Rouass as Egyptologist Sarah Page and Jason Flemyng as policeman Danny Quinn..


Primeval billboards and banners and often erected over London shortly before the airdate. Series 1 has several posters, most of which had exaggerated creatures from the show (the Arthropleura was depicted as being roughly human-sized in the show but was shown as being as large as a house in the billboards). Series 2 adverts also appeared shortly before airdate.


Primevals first series in 2007 comprised six episodes. Each instalment contributed to a story arc which continued into the second series. The following series in 2008 was slightly longer – seven episodes – and has finished broadcasting. The third season is planned for a January 2009 airdate, and will have ten episodes.


The series features a cast of five main characters who investigate time anomalies for the British government:
The series also uses several minor characters, some of whom appear in several episodes.



The series takes place in, and is just a small section of an extensive alternate universe, nicknamed the Primeverse by fans. The in-universe concepts and the majority of worlds featured are taken from pre-existing works, and are difficult to appreciate without some prior knowledge of real life palaeontology and other Impossible Pictures shows such as Prehistoric Park and the Walking with... series. Tim Haines and Adrian Hodges have added places and characters not covered there.
There is also the possibility that the Primeverse will be featured in future Impossible Pictures productions as writer Adrian Hodges has stated that he'd like to take the Primeverse "in another direction one day".


This is a chronological list of the events and episodes of the show, although due to the time travel element of the show, many events take place on dates across a wide-spanning timeline. Not all of these events have a definite date, however, and as such there is some noted controversy over their placement; testament to the significance of the series' continuity and the chronology within its fandom. Similarly, Helen Cutter's stories, set during her eight subjective years of travelling through time, have no distinctly recognisable chronological place within the series' timeline.


This is a list of species featured in Primeval. The list includes some imaginary species which are not prehistoric, but are nonetheless not native to the present era. For the first series, various creatures were re-imagined by the producers for dramatic effect. The series also features creatures from the future.



The master toy licence for Primeval was recently given to Character Options, the same company that created the Doctor Who toy line. The toy line is a co-production between ITV, ProSieben and M6. Jon Diver, joint MD at Character Group, stated that the series one toy line will be "extensive" and was scheduled for release in October 2007, followed by a series two toy line released in January 2008 to correspond with the second series. The toy line includes all of the main characters and a few of the creatures. A large plush toy version of Rex was also put into production.
WowWee Robotics (the creators of Roboraptor and Robosapien) also created FlyTech Rex and Anurognathus, remote-controlled flying toys.


Ladybird Books published a sticker book and poster book for children from 5–8 years old. They will also publish numerous other activity books and a glow in the dark sticker book in March 2008.
Puffin Books are also publishing four Primeval paperback books named A Rip in Time, Dangerous Dimension, The Lost Predator and Fight for Survival. Several original novels have been announced, to behave more like extra episodes than novelisations, the first one being Shadow of the Jaguar, which revealed that anomalies do appear overseas.
The books' canonicity in relation to the series is questionable.


The first episode gained a final viewing figure of 7.09 million people. The series averaged 6.39 million viewers. When shown in Germany it gained a total audience of 2.78 million viewers.
After all 7 episodes series 2 has averaged 6.29 million viewers, making a very small drop (100,000) from the series 1 average.
TV critic Charlie Brooker reviewed Primeval in the final episode of his BBC Four show Screenwipe, and gave it a rave review saying that it was "far better than Torchwood for instance" commenting "I hope you're listening, Russell T Davies". "Unashamedly Saturday night populist viewing for the masses" with "some of the best special effects I've ever seen... in a British TV show" he went on. Primeval was also spoofed by Harry Hill on his show, TV Burp, commenting in the scene where Abby holds Rex "It's a puppet!".
The show's creators deny that Primeval is a clone of Doctor Who, which is famous for its use of time travel, or its spinoff Torchwood. In an interview, Douglas Henshall stated it was different as Primeval is an ensemble piece which deals with what problems come to them. In another interview, Andrew-Lee Potts made similar comments. However, in several interviews, Douglas Henshall did state its similarity to The A Team.

Overseas broadcasters


External links

primeval in German: Primeval – Rückkehr der Urzeitmonster
primeval in Spanish: Primeval
primeval in French: Nick Cutter et les portes du temps
primeval in Italian: Primeval (serie televisiva)

Synonyms, Antonyms and Related Words

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