Primeval: New World will build on the bones of the original series, while heading into brand-new territory, said Canadian actor Niall Matter, who plays Evan Cross on Syfy's Primeval spinoff. And Matter, who also starred in Syfy's Eureka, promises that there will be some crossover between the Primevals beyond the arrival of Andrew-Lee Potts' Connor in last week's premiere.
“People can watch New World and then understand the world of the original Primeval,” said Matter during an exclusive interview with Blastr. “It might cause some people to go back and watch the original after watching New World. And that is definitely a possibility, because when you're dealing with time paradoxes and everything else that comes with these anomalies, who knows what series actually occurs first? You know what I mean?”
Primeval: New World takes place in Vancouver and follows Evan and the team he builds, who begin to investigate temporal anomalies that set prehistoric and future creatures loose on our world. This team, however, is unaware of the adventures that happened during the original British series, Primeval.
“We have crossover, obviously, so it's operating in the same realm of reality as the original Primeval, which is really cool. But you also get introduced to a completely new team. Obviously, when you're working with dinosaurs or creature-of-the-week type episodes, you're going to have similarities between some of the episodes. But I do really think that we did our best to make it our own show. You don't necessarily need to be a fan of the original to be a fan of New World, because we lay all the track work,” said Matter.
While there will be plenty of dinosaurs and future-saurs popping up, the series will also explore what happens when people try to control the anomalies and the creatures within.
“There's a lot of dark layers in our show. A lot of dark layers. There's motives that become questioned halfway through the season. I mean, I can't really give anything away, because those are huge plot points, but yeah, we definitely have similar elements to the original Primeval. We definitely play that role as well,” he said.
As for his character, Evan Cross, he's a world apart from Matter's computer genius misfit, Zane Donovan, from Eureka, who battled computers more than anything that might eat him.
Evan Cross is “a visionary-type leader.” He heads up a team of anomaly and dinosaur trackers, “so he's very similar [to Primeval's] character, Cutter. So he's the New World's Cutter. Early on, in the very first episode, you'll learn that Evan actually lost his wife to his first discovery of an anomaly, and the dinosaur that came out of it ends up brutally killing [her]. That's what sets Evan on his path to discover more about these anomalies and to prevent other people from losing their loved ones. But Evan becomes a little bit of a recluse, and he hides out in a secret facility within his factory, which they nicknamed the Tank, basically inventing technology and weaponry to prevent anybody else from getting hurt,” he said.
While there's a lot of CGI used to bring the dinosaurs and future creatures to life, Matter feels the cast brought a distinctive emotional effect onto the screen with each dinosaur and future creature.
“Each creature affected us differently, which was quite interesting. And we always played the fear of the situation,” said Matter. “[Executive producer] Martin Wood was the guy behind that. He would always come to set and be like, 'Guys, guys! You gotta be running! You gotta be moving! There's more fear! Keep it moving! There's fear here!'”
Scary dinosaurs and creatures included, while there's much to look forward to with a full 13-episode season of Primeval: New World, the series has unfortunately been canceled in Canada. That means there will only be the one season. Unless ...
“It's doing great internationally, so who knows?” said Matter. “All we need is another network to step in, play archaeologists, dust off some prehistoric bones, and bring life back into our show, so to speak.”
Primeval: New World airs on Saturday nights on Syfy at 10 p.m. ET.
What did you think for the premiere last week?