GS EXCLUSIVE:Primeval Co-Creator Talks Series 5, Primeval New World and Primeval the Film

I  recently caught up with Primeval co-creator Adrian Hodges to pitch him some questions about the latest series and to get some of his highlights from the show. In light of the  big news about Primeval: New World, the Canadian spin off, I was able to squeeze in a few questions at the end of the interview about the new show and discover the state of play regarding the potential Primeval film in development.

Adrian also talks about the future of the UK show, how fans can help and what former Time Lord he would love to see join the show.

What were your three biggest highlights of the second half of series five?

That’s tricky. I like the series as a whole and I was pleased with the way the serial storyline developed. I really like the insects in episode 4 (11 if you count series 4 and 5 together, which we mostly did). They were a different kind of creature for us and I liked the claustrophobia of being trapped in the Arc. What else? I love the way Lester and Jess played together in the last episode – we built them up slowly and I think there was something quite touching about their relationship by the end. And I guess for my third I’d have to choose Abby and Connor finally getting together for good at the very end – I know a lot of the softer-hearted fans have wanted that for a long time.

Out of the entire fifth series which was the most challenging episode to write?

Endings are always tough to do, so I’d choose that. When you’re looking to bring a series – and perhaps a whole show – to a close you want to get it right. I liked the fact that we closed the serial story in Episode 5 in a clear and hopefully satisfying way, but then just left the door open a little bit with the twist at the very end. So that would have been the hardest one to write, definitely. Episode 10 was tricky too – the Victorian one. We’re not a time travel show and it took us a while to really find a tone for that one we liked.

The submarine episode was a particular favorite of mine. Do you find it hard coming up with new ways to use the creatures in more unique ways?

It gets harder all the time. You want to keep it fresh but you don’t want it to be silly just for the sake of novelty. The trouble with creatures is that (with the exception of the Future Predator) they’re not that smart, so they tend to do the same thing all the time, namely attack and try to eat you. So finding a way to keep creature attacks interesting is always the challenge, and obviously you need a strong human story to keep things emotionally engaging. I’ll be interested to see how they solve that problem in Terra Nova. Once you’ve had a few creature attacks it’s always a case of “now what?”.

Given the change in the character line up and plot how close is the end of series five to where you imagined you might take the story from series one?

To be honest we finished the original arc at the end of Series 3, which originally Cutter was supposed to have survived to get to the end of. When Dougie left we had to rethink that with Jason, but the story arc is still close to where we were going when we started series one. The first three series were always supposed to be the Cutter-Helen story. After that, for series 4 we really started again with a fresh page. But of course, even when you have a series arc, you still introduce new things when you see opportunities. Nothing is completely set in stone.

Are you confident that you still have new stories to tell in future series?

Definitely. I think we were taking on a new lease of life and energy in series 5 and I’d really like the chance to exploit that with this cast.

If you could bring back any character (living or dead) to the primeval universe who would you pick? the second part to that question is there an actor/actress you would love to take part in the show?

Good question. I think it would have to be Cutter. The show started with him, his character was the first thing we thought of and the whole reason the show took off was because of the way his story developed. So I’d have to say it would be Cutter, though I have a soft spot for Ryan, who was unlucky to die in Series one. We really like Mark, the actor who played him and the character was a fan favourite. It was just a shame the story demanded he had to end like that.
An actor I’d like for the show? David Tennant would be good. That would be funny.

How important was it for you give the fans a satisfying conclusions to some of the story arcs that have been running for several series and to tie up as many loose ends as possible?

See above. It was really important that we end Series 5 in a good place with a lot of questions answered. When it looked like we might be cancelled after series 3 I was really disappointed; I hated the fact that we’d had to leave so much hanging. When we left series 3 we’d already been commissioned for series 4 so we thought a cliff hanger would be fine – but then when ITV got into a financial crisis and changed their minds about series 4, it looked like we’d just left things up in the air (or up a tree in fact) and that was very unsatisfying. So it was nice to get a chance to do it properly in Series 5.

Is there anything fans of the show can help with you guys getting another series?

The fans already help, hugely. Without that loyalty we wouldn’t be where we are now. All I can say to that is if people like the show just keep watching it. We’re really grateful for how much support we’ve had from people over the years. Sci-Fi and Fantasy fans really are the the best and most loyal. They can be tough too, but I’m fine with that. It keeps us on our toes.

What is the current state of play on the Primeval film?

There’s not much I can say at the moment. A first draft has been written and Tim and I have made our comments. We’re waiting for developments. Personally I think this is exactly the right time for the movie. But it’s up to Warner Bros, not me.
What is your involvement with Primeval New World,?

Primeval New World is an Impossible co-pro so there will be plenty of involvement from us. It has its own showrunners and its own creative team, but Tim and I will be executive producers and will be creatively involved.

Have any original cast members signed up?

So far as I know at the moment the plans are for a completely new cast. But there is potential for cross over with the British cast in the future and that option is definitely open. Both shows very definitely exist in the same universe, so why not?

GS Reporter: Nuge

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