Why are species all giant vicious rampaging man-eaters - no Star Trek Tribbles? Why do humans flee straight ahead of pursuer - not off to side under cover? Like western wagons circle facing out, why not defend sensibly? Effective when normal environments are invaded; E11 idiots run into danger; E12 shrieking idiot attracts danger.
Disc1 (Tricky without episode names, on website some clips do)
S1 E1 Pilot
Eight years after London University researcher Helen Cutter (Juliet Aubrey) vanishes in the Forest of Dean, dinosaurs appear. Mourning husband Nick (Douglas Henshall), student Connor Temple (Andrew-Lee Potts), aide Stephen Hart (James Murray), and just downsized Zoo expert Abby Maitland (Hannah Spearritt) meet on the site. On the other side of a sparkling metal-attracting compass-disrupting anomaly, Nick finds his wife's camera. That night, a quick glimpse, a living fossil, and a cryptic notebook hint at her returned presence.
Humor amid terrifying chases by carnivorous giant toothy predator dinosaur.
Stephen's "Pick on someone your own size" to lures from schoolboy.
"It's not every day you meet a potential girlfriend ... and a dinosaur." - Connor
Answering what a really big footprint means: "I think the scientific term is ... really bad news." - Connor
Rex the flying lizard purrs along to muzak, alone in rising elevator, then drops green poo on the back shoulder beaurocrat James Lester (Ben Miller), who grew over series from annoying to dryly sarcastic.
Connor blabs to pals and Nick boots him off. Subway worker dies from venomous bite from scorpions of the Carboniferous era, 300 million years ago. Stephen bitten, gets a message from Helen calling Nick over to the other side, asks "really beautiful" Abby for dinner (she accepts to also stay for breakfast), and needs a large poison sample for anti-venom, 50% possible cure. Claudia reinstates Connor for his specialist knowledge.
Still funny. Love-struck Connor offers to "huddle for warmth ... or not", after withering look from Abby. Recuperating Stephen feels "Like I gargled sand and slept inside a tumble dryer" and forgets his deathbed invitation, so Abby keeps quiet too.
E3 Underwater anomaly sends hungry prehistoric giant crocs, traps Special Forces diver who returns dead from shock with HC initialled hanky, another invite for Nick. Helen refuses to return to present, dragged back by Lester's soldiers.
E4 Helen demands to show them in person where sabre-tooths will invade, escapes through an anomaly junction. Dodos come through, infected with a fatal parasite that takes out Connor's conspiracy freak pal Tom. Abby lets Connor have her couch for a week.
E5 Pterodactyls attack golfers via sky anomaly. Connor overstays welcome and lets out Rex. A flock of smaller carnivores are the perpetrators. Helen incinerates them and saves Claudia.
E6 Future predator builds lair near zoo. When Nick goes back in past with young to seek future anomaly Helen goes back just long enough to disclose old affair with Stephen and publicly invite the former student to join her. Unknown, two bad babies survive. In the present, Claudia never was; her position under Lester held by oily Oliver Leek (Karl Theobald); head office in ARC Anomaly Research Centre building.
Extra: Behind the scenes documentary
Nine week shoot on location, "wading through treacle, "watching paint dry", plus nine adding creatures in studio. - McAllister
"Action hero with brains. That just means that you don't run into things very often."
"Members of the public who are suddenly thrust into an extraordinary situation is what heroes are. "- Henshall
Hilarious watching balloons and traffic cones on the end of a stick and a plump middle-aged guy going "rawwr". Animators who own pets, cats, dogs, birds, add mannerisms to animatronic cheeky naughty chirpy-cute (raccoon + frog) Rex.
Disc3 S2 2008
E7 Raptors in a shopping mall. Nick hears radio reception interference, guess Helen had one, and plan to build detectors. New PR hire Jenny Lewis is high-glam Claudia lookalike, same actress hair dyed very dark. Badly injured Cleaner vanishes, glimpses reappear in future episodes on Leek/Helen side.
E8 Giant worms in sulpher fog in thermostat server control room for office building. Jenny wants Nick to abandon Steve; Helen watching Nick at her house that night. Cute Caroline (Naomi Bentley) picks up Connor at video store.
E9 Sabretooth cat at paintball game in wood at amusement park, turns on owner, assistant park manager, Valerie who raised him from cub and buried her accidentally half-eaten boyfriend. Abby drives a digger. Caroline gets payoff from Leek.
1 E7 Commentary: by Haines, Hodges, Payne
Most points elsewhere, unmemorable: made-up exterior for real John Lewis stores shot nights only, hide easier to fake than feathers that rattle menacingly, cast get along, Lester started boring now snarky sarcastic voice, fast cuts slip in stunt doublesk, challenge to vary chases.
2 Through the Anomaly: S2 behind scenes
More action, creatures, effects. Covered windows on military test site for ARC. Goofy overview by Potts. Spearitt on wire for high kick. Tough "future" location on Canaries. Continuity requires 300 stills daily. Henshall wins at pool; beat on skateboard by Miller. ADR Additional Dialog Recording to compensate for planes, random noises, has to lip-synch. Making action figures (grownup toys).
E10 Teen grabbed from basketball game through drain to canal. Team hear whale song, find shed skin. Fin cuts toward overboard Jen, but shark stomach empty. Ever-present Caroline shows Abby killer neck kick, traps Rex freezing in fridge while duo gone. Abby dragged overboard, given up for dead; Nick blamed, sacked, given lead on the sly by Jen. Con saves Abby, saying "I love you", but interupted back home by Caroline. Nick chases Cleaner who apologizes later to Leek, who answers to Helen.
E11 Girl follows her dog through anomaly into Silurian era desert, Steve and Nick follow; all trapped. Leek intercepts detector signal; giant scorpions take mercenaries headed by Cleaner; leave night-vision goggles with memory that vanish from Nick's office. Jen back to Claudia-medium-brown hair color. Helen, still secretly visiting Steve, plants suspicions about Nick and Lester. Con dumps Caroline by text; she whacks Rex out cold and kidnaps him.
E12 Mastadon disrupts expressway traffic jam, panicked by trapped motorist honking horn and screaming; lured into empty truck, taken to ARC. Jen back to dark hair, reddish now. Reporter Mick Harper starts on scent. Caroline delivers Rex to Leek. Steve chooses Helen for bouncing boobies. Trap set for diverted detection catches Jen; Leek sent her with all men, leaving Lester alone in ARC with future predator and booby-trapped bomb. Helen and Leek trap team in their laser-pen trophy warehouse, throw Caroline in cell with them.
E13 Girl fight in cell. Leek releases scorpion on beach to blackmail calling off ARC search for him; Steve plays tag and wins. Talk about noise control. Con's computer virus hits Leek HQ, releases all animals, including Rex. Helen gave Leek future chips to implant and control future predators and misleads Steve. Jen takes gun. Helen lays prehistoric spiral ammonite shell on Steve's grave, advises patience, sees dozen Cleaner clones gather round.
Extra E10 Commentary by Haines, Hodges and Payne about shooting delays and lighting difficulties in foggy Britain v American California sun. Caroline's pants split, camera front, demonstrating high kick. Brown had to avoid own mannerisms for Jen part. Cost over-runs on one episode reduce budget on others, so extraneous helicopter included. When I wondered why the guys weren't faster rescuing was a moment they were trying NOT to show how rushed the filming was. The brick wall Henshall bashed was real bricks. Miming guns saves armorer. Censors increased tension.
Bugs hate turpentine?