Good news for fans of ITV’s portal-hopping, monster chasing Saturday night adventure drama. Halfway through transmission of the Douglas Henshall starring Primeval ITV has confirmed it will be back for a third series, with production slated to begin in March for a 2009 transmission.
This is clearly good news for ITV. As we have noted several times in recent weeks, Michael Grade’s troubled network appears to be having great difficulty in floating any successful new dramas. With Primeval pulling in ratings of 5 million plus, at least some old nonsense with dinosaurs is doing decent business.
I’m just not sure about some of the things being uttered by the high-ups involved in the making of Primeval. Tim Haines, executive producer of the show, has said:
“We are extremely proud of Primeval and are overjoyed by the success of the second series. Its popularity demonstrates that you can create ‘characters’ in CGI that audiences will respond to.”
Well, I think Haines is justified in being proud of Primeval, but referring to the CGI elements of the series as “characters” is a little wide of the mark. These are not characters, they are an element of the show, but I refuse to refer to a CGI raptor as a “character”. And as for responding to them, the level of my response goes no further than: “oh look, it’s a CGI dinosaur”, usually followed by “again”. Unless you’re my six-year-old nephew, whose general response is “aaargh! It’s a big scary dinosaur!” before running out of the room. It’s much the same.
The announcement of more Primeval is coupled with the news that viewers will be able to enter a competition to design a new monster for the next series. Okay, I’m bang on for that, it’s a bit of fun for the kids and some lucky little tyke will get to see their creation on the telly (and I would hope, get a studio visit into the bargain too). But let’s not overstate the importance of this little marketing gimmick…
“By giving people the opportunity to design a monster for the third series we are creating a chance for them to be more involved and feel closer to the programme.”
Tim Haines again there. No, we won’t feel more involved or closer to the action. Gluing some tinsel and glitter onto a bit of paper and colouring it green will only get me into trouble with my cleaner and have her wondering what on earth I get up to at the weekend. I feel with this whole competition malarkey, the words “user generated content” were on the lips of everybody in that meeting, which is just the latest thing to bring me out in hives in 2008 (and it’s still only January).
Forget about user-generated content, guys, and just concentrate on making a series that is genuinely entertaining, exciting and well made, with a bit of variety to it. It’s not rocket science, and as long as nobody is mistaking Dougie Henshall for a CGI “character”, you’ll be grand…
The next episode of Primeval is on Saturday at 7.10pm on ITV1.