Primeval (TV series)

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Primeval (2007- ) is a British science fiction drama television programme produced by Impossible Pictures for ITV about a team of scientists who investigate prehistoric and futuristic creatures which enter the present through rips in time called Anomalies. 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.

Series 1

Episode 1

Nick: [throws a stack of paper on his desk into the garbage]
Connor: Oh... actually, that's my dissertation. Yeah.
Nick: [retrieves the stack of papers from the garbage and begins paging through it]
Connor: See, I argued that all life on Earth derived from organisms carried here by alien spacecraft. It's pretty sexy stuff.
Nick: [throws stack of papers back in the garbage]
Connor:'s a work in progress, really...

Nick: [to Claudia] Maybe there is something here, maybe there isn't. Frankly, I doubt-
Steven: Cutter!
Nick: [sees a dead cow lodged in a tree] Okay, now I'm getting interested.

Lester: Still, at least the immediate crisis is over.
Nick: Some... force out there ripped the boundaries of space and time to shreds. Maybe it's happened before, in which case every single thing we thought we knew about the universe is wrong. Or, this is the first time, in which case what changed? What happens next? Believe me: it's very, very far from over.

Episode 2

Nick: [protesting as Special Forces enter the London Underground] They don't even know what they're looking for.
Stephen: There can't be that many types of venomous monsters under the Aldridge.
Claudia: You should see the last tube home on a Friday night.

Ryan: They were like spiders, but with pincers, not fangs. Some of them over a meter long. Horrible little...
Nick: Look, how do you feel?
Ryan: Sick. My ears are ringing...
Nick: Any blurred vision?
Ryan: No. But there's something else. The gunshots were too bright, like fireworks.
Stephen: That's classic signs of excess oxygen in the atmosphere.
Nick: Richer, more heavily oxygenated air must be seeping through from another anomaly. But we're not talking about the Permian era any longer. This is much, much earlier.
Claudia: How much earlier?
Nick: Maybe the Carboniferous, about three hundred million years ago.

Abby: [confronted by Carboniferous arachnids] Does anyone have a really big slipper?

Claudia: That's the problem with heroic gestures. Succeed, and you look wonderful. Fail, and all you do is leave the bloody mess for everyone to clear up.

Episode 3

Claudia: The police have charged Dianne Johnson.
Lester: I know.
Claudia: We have to intervene!
Lester: We're not going to do that.
Claudia: Why not?
Lester: Because I won't allow this story to become public property. At least in prison the newspapers can't get hold of her.
Claudia: So you're just going to let them lock up an innocent and traumatized girl?
Lester: Of course it's undesirable, but it would be far worse to release her to cause panic and disorder. I'll see that the charges are dropped once the immediate crisis is under control.
Claudia: That could take months!
Lester: And would you rather tell the police that an ancient sea monster is cruising our swimming pools consuming lifeguards? I know the injustice stings, but the correct decision is often painful. That's the burden of government.

Connor: The reservoir is land-locked right? So allowing for condensation and rainfall, the depth should be pretty consistent.
Nick: Yeah.
Connor: I made this mark of water level earlier. [Dips a measuring stick into the water] The water level has fallen forty centimetres since then. This isn't a reservoir anymore—it's a tidal lake!
Nick: The water must be flowing out through the anomaly... which means it's still down there somewhere.

Nick: Why do you want me now, after so long?
Helen: I'm human. I want company. I want to share this... incredible gift, but only with you. Nick, I have seen such wonders. Things you wouldn't believe...
Nick: You're asking me to abandon my life. Leave behind everything I know. People are dying back home, and you want me to just run away with you?
Helen: Animals die, Nick. Species die. You know I'm right. One day humanity will disappear just like the dinosaurs, and nature doesn't care; something else will take our place. Nick, just leave all the other stuff behind. Come with me.
. . .
Helen: I offer you the key to time. The key to time, Nick. And you turn your back on it. Call yourself a scientist?
Nick: Call myself a human being.

Episode 4

Helen: Presumably there are still laws against kidnapping?
Lester: Hmm. Though officially you're dead. We can't have kidnapped someone who doesn't actually exist, can we?

[Stephen kicks a football directly into a "No Playing Football" sign]
Connor: Fluke.
Stephen: Jealous.

[Heavily-armed soldiers arrive at a flat in response to a creature sighting]
Mrs. Davis: I didn’t expect the SAS.
Nick: The town council takes pest control very seriously, Mrs. Davis.
. . .
Nick: Relax, everyone. It’s only a python.
Mrs Davis: [shrieks] Only a python? What the hell were you expecting?
Connor: [holding his ear] Ow.

Lester: [about Helen] I trust her about as far as I can throw a stegosaurus.

Nick: We'd better ship this lot back before we upset Darwin. Everybody, um... grab a dodo.

Ryan: [On dead dodo] Professor, we have a dodo down.
Claudia: Oh, no.
Abby: How did that happen?
Connor: Maybe he ate one of the pies.

Tom: [on the captured dodo in their flat] What’s he got there?
[retching sounds]
Tom: Oh no! Not my Converse All Stars!
Duncan: Oh, that stinks! I think I’m gonna hurl...
Tom: No, no, no. Don’t contaminate it because we can sell dodo sick on eBay.

Tom: They tried to take me over, Con. But I fought them. I fought them.
Connor: You did a really good job.
Tom: I'm a hero. [dies]

Episode 5

Connor: Rex! I swear, when I catch you, you're gonna be the first animal to become extinct twice!

Nick: Have I ever let you down before? [immediately] Don't answer that. Just trust me, please.

Claudia: What are you doing?
Nick: [Shining a light in Claudia's eyes] I've absolutely no idea, but I've seen them do it on ER, so there must be something to it.

Ryan: [Stephen touches the Pteranodon dung and licks it as the other soldiers cringe] That's just not right.

Claudia: [strikes an Anurognathus with a golf club] Hole in one!

[Claudia, menaced by a swarm of pterosaurs, is intercepted by Helen]
Helen: You're going to have to trust me. Either that or a radical make-over from our friends back there.
Claudia: Maybe just this once!

[The team prepares to release the Pteranodon and guide it back through the Anomaly]
Nick: So you're absolutely confident that this creature doesn't eat mammals?
Stephen: Dung never lies. And if I'm wrong about that, at least you'll always have a special place in the history books.
Nick: I always wanted to be famous.

Episode 6

Helen: [Having sneaked up on Stephen] In most eras of the world's history, you'd be dead by now.
Stephen: Helen. Now what the hell are you doing here?
Helen: You know, all this urban living has made humans such lazy animals... secondary hearing, no sense of smell, no worthwhile instincts.
Stephen: Man has no predators. We have nothing to be afraid of except... each other.
Helen: Well that used to be the case; but times are changing, aren't they, Stephen?

Helen: You have a serious creature incursion. A highly-evolved ambush predator. Intelligent, adaptable, and ruthless.
. . .
Nick: What is it?
Helen: It has no name.
Nick: Then which era is it from?
Helen: It doesn't come from any era... at least not one that can be identified yet.
Nick: I'm sorry; I don't understand.
Helen: Yes, you do, Nick. You knew it had to happen one day. You've known it ever since you first stepped into the past.
Nick: ...the future? Are you saying we're being attacked by a creature from the future?

[As Nick prepares to enter an anomaly to the Permian period]
Lester: Do you think I should make a speech; one small step for man, that sort of thing?
Claudia: Maybe another time. [kisses Nick]
Lester: That wasn't very professional.
Claudia: Oh, stuff professionalism.

[Nick returns from the Permian to find that Claudia Brown no longer exists]
Nick: Wait, something's wrong! This isn't right... something's happened. Something's changed. We've done something. We've- something we did has changed the past, and she isn't here anymore. [Future Predator chatter is heard through the anomaly] Oh, God... Oh my God!

Series 2

Episode 1

Nick: I could kiss you, Connor.
Connor: That's sweet, but not while there are people watching.

Lester: Cutter’s always been eccentric, but I’m beginning to think he’s just plain deranged.
Leek: Well, I suppose all very brilliant men are a little bit unusual, sir.
Lester: I’m brilliant, Leek, and I’m not the least bit unusual.

Lester: Is this some kind of industrial action, or did no one hear that we have a creature-sighting in a shopping mall?

Nick: [on a Velociraptor] It's beautiful. [The Raptor destroys a security camera] I said it was beautiful, I didn't say it was friendly.

Nick: I'm finished with the past. I just don't know if it's finished with me.

Connor: So, guys, let me get this straight... all we have to do is to drag two of the angriest creatures in the known universe through a hole in time back into an ancient world where we don't know what's waiting on the other side for us?
Stephen: When you put it like that, it sounds so easy.
Nick: I'm going to do this on my own.
Abby: We'll help.
Connor: Who's "we?"

Nick: [Inspecting a Deinonychus knocked unconscious with a tranquilizer gun] Look at her. She's a perfect killing machine. You know in a fair fight, mammals wouldn't stand a chance.
Stephen: Well, speaking as a mammal, I'm all in favor of cheating.

Episode 2

Nick: [to Connor] Are you all right?
Connor: Well, I've never been swallowed by a giant worm before, but I suppose it's all part of a learning experience, huh?

Jenny: Let me help. I want to do something.
Nick: Okay. I want you to go and bully a few traumatized bystanders, and then I want you to come up with some spin to just smooth all this away.
Jenny: You don’t approve of me, do you?
Nick: No, I used to think you were really something, but you’re not that person.
Jenny: Am I supposed to understand that?
Nick: No, I guess not.

Episode 3

Connor: I'd like you to meet the Anomaly Detection Device, or A.D.D. for short... actually that's probably not the best acronym, is it?

[Connor shoots a man in a lion costume mistaking him for a creature]
Campbell: Don't shoot me! Don't shoot me! Don't shoot!
[recognizes Connor]
Campbell: You! You! You shot me! You shot me, look!
[indicates a bullet hole directly in the center of the lion mask's forehead]
Campbell: [muffled by glove held in mouth] OH MY GOD!
Connor: ...y'alright, then?

Jenny: How long has the body been here?
Nick: I don't know. A week; a month.
Connor: If it's been that long, the anomaly could have formed before the detector came online, which would mean there's nothing wrong with it, guys.
Nick: Yeah, there's one problem. The sabretooth may well have killed the guy, but it sure as hell didn't dig a trench ten feet deep and bury his body.

Episode 4

Lester: You know what, Leek? I think this area could benefit from a government redevelopment grant. We'll start off by sealing the anomaly site with a few hundred tons of concrete; that should do the job.
Leek: Shall I... speak to the contractors?
Lester: Oh, there's no need. I'll just get a shovel and a cement-mixer and do it myself. Of course you should call the contractors, you idiot!

Episode 5

[Connor pilots a robotic probe through an anomaly]
Connor: High CO2, low oxygen.
Nick: It's pre-Carboniferous. Maybe Ordovician or Silurian. There's no dinosaurs, no mammals, and no birds... wait a minute, what's that?
Connor: It's a little girl.
Jenny: What is she doing?
Nick: She's looking for her dog.
Abby: She might be injured.
Connor: There's nothing really in the Silurian to injure her. We're talking a few basic plants and some bugs.
Abby: How big are the bugs?
Connor: Bug size, I think. As far as periods go, it's a pretty safe one to get lost in.

Taylor: Would you rather die of thirst, or be eaten? I think I'd rather be eaten. At least it's quick. Two bites, done. You're like four or five bites, so it'd be worse for you.
Nick: Can you not try and be positive for five minutes? You know, hopeful?
Taylor: We're probably the best food around. Imagine you're a giant sand beast, living on nothing but millipedes. Then you get to taste people for the first time, all gooey and warm. We'd be like a delicacy. Who do you think they'll eat first?
Nick: Why don't you sing a song, or whistle, or... something, damn it, just don't talk?

Stephen: [to Connor] "A few basic plants? Some bugs?"

Lester: [after Nick knocks out an actor] Well, I'd better go soothe your caveman. Let's hope the paleolithic was short on ambulance-chasing lawyers.

Episode 6

Lester: My worst nightmare in one sentence.
Jenny: [just coming off phone] Mammoth on the M25!

Jenny: I've shut down the motorway on the next two junctions, kept the camera crews out, shut down the mobile network, there's a no-fly zone in place, and the eyewitnesses have been debriefed.
Nick: And all that with your skirt tucked into your tights. Well done.

Sir James Lester: [as Abby feeds a captured Columbian mammoth fruit from outside its enclosure] Don't get attached; you can't keep him.
Abby Maitland: Did you know that a Columbian mammoth's trunk is five times more dexterous than an elephant's?
Lester: Why is everyone telling me facts about mammoths today? Do I look like I'm interested? Still, his tusks might be worth a bit.
Abby: [disgusted] You wouldn't.
[Mammoth sneezes in Lester's direction]
Lester: Ugh. Have a chat with him about personal hygiene, would you?

Oliver Leek: [Appearing on the A.D.D's monitors] You're on your own, James. There's no one there but you.
Lester: Leek? What the hell are you doing?
Leek: Now, I want you to feel what it's like to be on the wrong end of your grand disdain. The little man looking up at the big boss.
Lester: Security! I want security in here now!
Leek: They've all gone, James. Either off on Cutter's wild goose chase, or dead. Now...
[A future predator controlled via neural implant appears before Lester]
Leek: I'm going to hunt you.
. . .
Lester: Leek, you're never going to make me beg for my life, so let's just end it now.
Leek: All right, if you insist.
[The Future Predator snarls]
Leek: Goodbye, James.
Lester: One more thing.
Leek: Yes?
Lester: You really are a tiresome little man.
[The Future Predator lunges at Lester from the ceiling, and is promptly impaled on the tusk of the mammoth released by Lester moments earlier]
Lester: Good boy. Good mammoth.

[Mammoth trumpets in its enclosure]
Lester: You know, my kids are really pestering me for a pet. [shrugs] If you can't find a home for him...

Abby: What are you doing?
Connor: Trying to track down Leek. There's got to be a clue in his personal files.
[Connor effortlessly cracks the computer's security system]
Abby: You obviously know your way around.
Connor: Mm-hmm.
Abby: Hack into them regularly, do you?
Connor: Yeah. You'd be amazed how much Lester gets paid.
Abby: What's my middle name?
Connor: Sarah. [stops typing] You... told me that once, though, right?
Abby: No.
Connor: . . .

Episode 7

Leek: [after Nick kills a future predator by pulling off its neural clamp] Clearly a design fault. We'll have to correct that in the others.
Nick: What others? [looks up to see over a dozen similarly-chipped predators in the rafters]
. . .
Nick: [on the Future Predators] You really think you can keep them locked up for long?
Leek: Well, properly chipped, they're no more dangerous than a car or an aeroplane. A machine designed for human use.
Nick: No, that's not how it's gonna work, Oliver. Because one day they're going to escape, and then when they do, they're going to kill all of us. It's the end of the human race you're looking at.

Lester: You've had your chance to surrender, Leek.
Leek: I still have twelve creatures out there. One command from me, and there'll be absolute chaos.
Lester: Oh, Cutter didn't tell you? That clever little virus of his sent us the contents of your hard disk. We've got names, locations, all sorts of useful stuff. We're just mopping up the last of your menagerie now. Oh, and Jenny just phoned. You have... oh, just a few minutes before we join you. Now if you don't mind, I think there's some snooker on the other channel.

Helen: Be patient, Steven. Things can change... more than you'll ever know.

Series Taglines

Nick: Anomalies are starting to appear, doorways in time to worlds we can barely imagine.

Narrator: It's time for adventure.

Nick: My name is Professor Nick Cutter. Eight years ago my wife Helen disappeared, I discovered she had stepped into the past through ruptures in time called anomalies. Now creatures from the past threaten the future of the human race. There's only a small group of people who know the truth, my research team; Stephen Hart, Connor Temple and Abby Maitland and government officials James Lester and Claudia Brown. I returned from the past to find that something has gone terribly wrong and Claudia Brown has vanished as though she were never even born. I've come back to a different world and Helen and I are the only two people who know it.

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