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ITV ripoff of BBC programme in "almost as good as real thing" shocker

I am, of course, talking about Primeval, ITV's new Torchwood ripoff. Yes, technically it's a Who ripoff (produced in response to the popularity of New Who), but the makeup of the programme is essentially the same as Torchwood. And as we all know, Torchwood was shit. I'm sure you can work out the meaning of the rest of the title yourself.

What, you want proof of its shitness? Read on, my friends...

The episode starts off simple enough, with some random twat getting chased through a super market car park by a dinosaur. And then hiding in a dustbin, because that's really the best place to hide from a 12 foot tall dinosaur, isn't it? And then getting back out of the dustbin, in an attempt to get the attention of the predictably ignorant person in the shop who's waxing the floor. AND HE HAPPENS TO BE FROM AN ETHNIC MINORITY, HOW OBSERVANT OF ITV AND NOT AT ALL PERPETUATION A STEREOTYPE.

Anyhow, said ethnic floor waxer is completely ignorant to the carnage going on outside, including the dinosaur breaking the laws of physics by tossing a car in the air in such a manner that it falls on the floor faster than gravity could have pulled it back down to earth. OR POSSIBLY IT'S THE MAGICAL MAGNETIC FIELD OF THE RIP IN THE ASS OF SPACE-TIME WHICH THE DINOSAUR CAME OUT OF.

What? You want proof? Well, watch and learn.

The camera for this scene is at approximately the same height as the roof of the cars in the car park. This provides our point of reference - we'll be measuring the time between which the tossed car first clears the roofs of the other cars, to the time it returns to roof height. (We could measure the time between the car lifting off the ground and returning to earth, but this would provide an inaccurate result since the car is still under dinosaur-assisted acceleration for the first part of the launch). My measurement for the rooftop-to-rooftop flight time of the car came in at a handy 1 second. I may be a frame or two out, but I don't really give a fuck.

What goes up... ...must come down. Except, much sooner than it should.

The important thing to realise is that, during that second, the car rises at least two metres further into the air, and then comes back down to roof height. We know that the car will be coming back down at approximately the same speed it went up; so why not calculate how high it could really get during 1 second by plugging the values into some kinematic equations? (OK, so I actually used Excel for this, but now I'm going to re-do it with just the equations to prove that I am right).

Gravity on earth results in an acceleration of (approximately) -10m/s2 on objects in free-fall. Although the car is initially flying upwards, it will still be subject to the force of gravity, and we'll be assuming that this is the only force that is applied. One of the kinematic equations states:

vf = vi + a*t

We know that vf = -vi, a = -10m/s2, and t = 1s. After a bit of re-arranging, we're left with the result that vi = 5m/s. This means that, at the point where the car first clears the rooftops of the other cars, it must be travelling upwards at a speed of 5 metres per second. If it was travelling faster than this then it would stay in the air for more than a second; if it was travelling slower, it would hit the ground (or rather, the roofs of the other cars) to soon.

But how high will the car travel during the half-second it takes for it to reach the top of its arc? To answer this question, we will use another of the kinematic equations:

d = vi*t + 1/2*a*t2

Which, with our values substituted, gives:

d = 5*0.5 + 1/2*-10*0.52 = 1.25

So, during the half-second it takes for the car to level-off its flight, it climbs 1.25m. Except that it's clearly risen more than that, hasn't it? In fact, it's gone right off the top of the screen - which I'd estimate as being at least two metres further into the air. This can only mean one thing - the force of gravity in that car park must be stronger than it is anywhere else on the surface of the Earth.

So, not barely one minute into the programme, and it's already resorting to flawed physics. To me this was blatently obvious, and I'd expect anyone else with half a brain to have noticed the problem as well.

And then a car which is parked normally randomly explodes.

Of course, all that was inconsequential SHIT, because after the intro sequence we jump to 8 years in the future, and none of the characters shown in the pre-intro actually appear in any other part of the programme. Except possibly our physics-defying dinosaur. MAYBE THE FORCE OF GRAVITY USED TO BE STRONGER IN THE PAST?!?!

And then, some other boring and predictable stuff ensues. For brevity, I've summarised it in this here list:

  1. We get introduced to The Idiot. I can't remember his name, but suffice to say he's the idiot. Or at least, the most idiotic one. Despite being an idiot, he seems to know a lot about dinosaurs. So much, that he feels the need to tell all the other experts everything which they should know themselves.
  2. Then after introducing us to some homosexual lizards, the blonde one helps her boss throw his papers on the floor.
  3. Then we have a dramatic shot of their 4x4 driving through the forest of dean.
  4. Then they are all scared by a green fence.
  5. Then we get an entirely predictable introduction to Main Bloke's love interest. Even though he's still searching for his dead wife.
  6. Then we get a security cam picture that uses M-D-Y date format, even though we use D-M-Y in England.
  7. Then the kid, who is running away from some big scary monster type thing, decides to stick his head through a swirly thing in the middle of the forest. Yeah, he's a real smart one.
  8. Spot the difference round 1:
    Spot the difference round 1: Image 1 Spot the difference round 1: Image 2

    Can't spot anything? Neither can I.

  9. And then the kid scratches his finger on some nettles, so of course that means the dinosaur can track his scent. And when confronted by its head sticking through his bedroom window, he decides the best course of action is to climb onto the top of his bunk bed, instead of leaving the room. And then when the dinosaur is distracted, he decides to move away from the door, in order to throw one of those static electricity orb things at it. Which explodes, because they're obviously full of explosive material. And then he picks up a toy light sabre. FEAR HIM.
  10. And then finally his negligent parents notice that something might have happened to their son. And conclude that he managed to break his own window and some of the surrounding bricks, from the outside of the house, as well as demolish his bed, and make sounds like a dinosaur.
  11. What's this? Sexual tension between Blonde One and Other Bloke? Who would have guessed!
  12. And then we get government person. And Main Bloke decides the best course of action is to insult him. But Government Person doesn't mind it seems. He's probably incompetent, or boffing his secretary, or something.
  13. And then Idiot Bloke gets lost in the forest. Well, almost, because he manages to catch up with Other Bloke shortly after. Which makes the entire sequence rather pointless.
  14. And then they play around with Mascot, trying to do scientific tests on him, without realising that it's much easier to sedate it first, or just hold it still.
  15. And then Idiot Bloke spouts more dinosaur related wisdom, informing Other Bloke that the dinosaur that demolished a van, a fence, and a house is in fact dangerous. Yeah, expert deduction skills there.
  16. And then dinosaur decides to go and attack the boy at his school. After school, that is - when all the other children have gone home. Nope, it isn't interested in killing any other children, or going back to the housing estate and feasting on some negligent housewives, it's only interested in that ony boy.
  17. Somehow, the dinosaur, which is under 1 story tall, is visible from the second story of the school. Either that or the classroom is on the ground floor, and the stairway which Other Bloke runs down while escaping from the dinosaur is just some kind of optical illusion.
  18. Either way, it's clear that dinosaurs are only capable of opening double doors. It managed to break open the double doors in one of the corridoors, it managed to break open the (locked!) double-door fire exit, but it was completely stumped by the locked single door leading to the classroom, despite charging at it at quite a speed.
  19. And once it did escape from the school, it decides to completely ignore the unconscious body of the person it was chasing, and run off into the woods again.
  20. And then they let Main Bloke and Army Bloke go through the rift. I mean, er, anomaly. And they don't appear to do any scientific tests beforehand, to make sure that it is actually safe to go through it. And Army Bloke is a Gulf War veteran! Wow, how original.
  21. And then Idiot Bloke 'accidentally' drops his pen on the ground, and concludes that the rift is getting weaker because his pen wasn't sucked into it. Yeah, because you're really an expert on rifts in space time, aren't you.
  22. And then Army Bloke allows Main Bloke to go off on his own, despite being sent there to protect him. And Main Bloke thinks it's a good idea to stand ontop of a hill and call out his wife's name, without realising that (a) if she was in earshot she would have found her way back through the rift by now, and (b) he's probably surrounded by 10,000 hungry dinosaurs.
  23. And then Army Bloke finds a skeleton and expects Main Bloke to determine the cause of death in 0.5 seconds. And then they fight for a bit.
  24. And then they come back through the rift, just in time for some scientists to take photos of them on the other side. How convenient. It's also interesting how only the scientists on the future side of the rift have cameras - neither Army Bloke or Main Bloke thought it would be a good idea to take any scientific equipment through the rift with them to analyse (a) what it is or (b) where it goes.
  25. And then the dinosaur returns, so all the army men randomly fire their guns into the sky and run off with the scientists, leaving the main cast to sort it out themselves.
  26. Other Bloke drives his car into the dinosaur, which somehow causes his car to stop still and the dinosaur to go flying through the air. When in reality both should have rebounded, or the dinosaur should have gone through the windscreen of the car, or something.
  27. Anyway, what's important is that Other Bloke is a bit of an idiot, and gets out of the car only to find that the dinosaur (predictably) isn't dead yet. And then lo and behold Main Bloke throws him a gun from one of the army crates, and Other Bloke shoots the dinosaur dead. I didn't see any of them operate the safety catch on the gun, so either he fired it with the safety turned on or the army have a habit of storing their guns with the safety off. Unfortunately, the quality of my recording isn't good enough for me to work out what the text next to the safety catch says. Any gun nuts in the house?
  28. Spot the difference round 2:
    Spot the difference round 2: Image 1 Spot the difference round 2: Image 2

    And round 3:

    Spot the difference round 3: Image 1 Spot the difference round 3: Image 2
  29. And then of course his wife is acting all mysterious and not hanging round to talk to him. She's probably boffing Government Bloke, or something.

So, that's that.

Of course, you can't judge a series by its first episode, so in the interest of public safety (and arguing with Monkeyson) I'm going to have to watch the second episode as well.

Oh, I almost forgot. There's still the Fake Punch Highlight Of The Week, and the Pratfall Highlight Of The Week.

Fake Punch Highlight Of The Week Pratfall Highlight Of The Week

About this entry


I didn't bother watching this but based on the above article - though mainly the screenshot of two giants apparantly duking it out in a forest - I plan to tune in next week!

By James H
February 11, 2007 @ 1:28 am

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Spot on observations, echoing much of what we were shouting at the screen throughout. This programme might have worked if they could have made up their minds whether it was a 4.20pm weeknight-for-kids series or an 8.40pm weekend-for-adults series. And they'd employed less shit writers. And less shit editors. And less shit actors. Still, marginal kudos to it for managing to be slightly more shit than Torchwood.

By Pook
February 11, 2007 @ 4:09 pm

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I tried to watch it, really I did, but the Spooks-with-dinosaurs feel to it didn't sit well so I went back to masturbating over my newly purchased The Dark Tower: The Gunslinger Born first issue. Maybe I'm watching too many series' at the moment but I just don't have the patience for Primeval with a guy who's trying to find his wife lost in 'prehistoric times' who inevitably he'll have to let go in the end in order for him to fuck the gorgeous one.

And does anyone else feel that the whole dinosaur craze is well and truly over, making their inclusion here seem old and lazy? Even though the dino aspect is basically their replacement for vampires/aliens etc.

By performingmonkey
February 12, 2007 @ 1:16 am

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It was quite fun. When they actually went through the rift/portal/hole/magic door it was fairly interesting.

By Rad
February 12, 2007 @ 3:34 pm

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In case you haven't guessed, I CAN'T BE BOTHERED writing any more about Primeval. It's all complete shit.

By Jeffrey Lee
March 03, 2007 @ 10:31 pm

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Thank God for that.

By Jonathan Capps
March 04, 2007 @ 1:19 am

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I'm watching the first episode of the second series. It's still shit!

By Jeffrey Lee
January 12, 2008 @ 8:47 pm

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