Thursday, 15 September 2011

Canadian PRIMEVAL: NEW WORLD confirmed

Thursday, 15 September 2011
It's been in development for over a year now, but Canadian network Space has finally ordered an "older, darker and scarier" Primeval spin-off from Impossible Pictures and Omni Film Productions, to star a "younger, sexier" cast.

I was originally reported that Star Trek Enterprise scribes Judith and Garfield Reeves-Stevens would be writing scripts for this spin-off, but their involvement is not yet confirmed. It's also likely the Canadian show will feature guest appearances from UK cast members, similar to how the Stargate franchise often has actors from the various spin-offs appearing in each other's shows.

Primeval: New World will start filming later this year in Vancouver, with an order of 13 episodes costing $2.5m (£1.6m) each.

Jonathan Drake, Impossible Pictures' Managing Director:

"This will be a bigger, better, badder re-imagining of the show, rather than a continuation. We are really looking forward to working with Omni to help make a series that can exceed even the huge success of the original Primeval in international markets and with viewers across the world."
What's your feeling about this spin-off? It sounds like Space want something less family-friendly and tougher than the British version. Will New World be the Stargate Universe of the Primeval canon? Is that necessarily a bad thing? With the increase in budget and the chameleonic Vancouver as a base of operations, this actually stands a very real chance of surpassing the UK version, if you ask me.

There's currently no release date for Primeval: New World, but I expect it'll be on-air by autumn/winter 2012.

The original show has yet to be renewed for a sixth series; a decision that probably won't be made until the fifth series airs on ITV1 in the new year (having premiered on digital channel Watch over the summer). Given a drop in ratings for series 4, a lot rests on series 5 being a bigger hit for ITV and BBC America.