Primeval (#26)

Big Finish Main Range

Is Trakken so weak? I should say the people of Trakken… They don’t fight back at all whenever they’re invaded? Sheesh. Well, it’s convenient for the story. And the Doctor sure does gloat a bit at the end there, doesn’t he? Not his style, normally. But the bigger the bad guy, the more of an exit he makes, that’s for sure. These things keep it from being a classic 5 out of 5 jelloid adventure.

It is really good, especially taken in conjunction with the TV show. The history of Trakken is explored a bit, along with the first (and second!) keepers of Trakken. So Nyssa and the Doctor were there for the beginning and the end of the Source. And it’s convenient that they don’t keep track of their history as the Doctor will be forgotten for his part in that past.

One thing I am curious about is where these other primeval, superbeings are. The dinner gong has been rung on the Doctor but we haven’t seen any superbeings from the primordial soup coming after him. Enemies of the Doctor seem to be more along the lines of species, with the occasional single entity like the Master, the Rani, #16 Edward Grove, or Shakespeare (in The Kingmaker, specifically). He just seems to find these situations that need someone of his talents. Is the TARDIS being controlled by the Time Lords, perhaps, as suggested in No Place Like Home? Guiding each of his incarnations to the exact right place and time to fix things? And it does, indeed, seem like he’s guided since the right incarnation to fix that particular issue shows up. Or is it the TARDIS herself? Difficult to say. But it would help to know the between stories or at least something of them—how long it is between his adventures that we hear about and if there was a nice relaxing time between them at all! Sometimes I wonder that there isn’t but then a companion will mention visiting something that we haven’t seen them do so there must be, right? Because that would surely be a stressful life!

I really enjoy listening to Primeval and I feel like I’m along for the ride, with the Dr. actually asking questions as well. That’s fun! It’s just a fun ride but not one is as memorable as it could be. No fault of the writer or director or acting. Just not a top story, though very close. In the top 20, not top 10. J but with so many to choose from, it gets more and more difficult! I have to admit that it’s second to some Dr./Nyssa classics, though, such as Spare Parts and Circular Time, which made me cry. Excellent adventure for exploring the history of Trakken and allowing Nyssa to go out on her own a bit, be her own self in the story and meet people on her own, though she is in one place and the Dr. isn’t.

Peter Davison and Sarah Sutton

Writer: Lance Parkin

Director: G-Russell

Release: November 2001

Laura Vilensky 2019