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Wednesday, 30 September 2009

Primeval Revived, So Where's the Comic?

PrimevalITV has changed its mind about cancelling its Saturday teatime time travel and dinosaur show Primeval, prompting some to wonder if this means a comic will now get off the ground.

ITV announced yesterday that Primeval will return to UK television screens for two new series from 2011 comprising 13 new episodes, thanks to a ground-breaking deal between ITV, multichannel broadcaster, UKTV, and producers Impossible Pictures.

Back in 2007, British artist Neil Edwards, now the artist on Marvel's Fantastic Force (#4 is on sale, previewed here on CBR), worked up sample pages for a proposed Primeval comic, which would have been published by Richard Emms AP Comics. The project never got off the ground and Richard is now firmly embedded with Flash Gordon publishers Ardden Entertainment, but with two new seasons in the works, a film, and a strong licensing programme including books and toys, it's surely only a matter of time before Doctor Who Adventures gets a rival?

In the meantime, ITV reports the new Primeval TV series will be showrun once again by Adrian Hodges and will feature the return of stars from the previous series, including Hannah Spearritt, Andrew Lee Potts and Jason Flemyng (so we'll get to find out, at last, how they get back to the present day!), alongside the acclaimed special effects created by the award-winning team at Framestore CFC.

The premieres of Season Four and Five will be split between ITV1 and UKTV’s new entertainment pay TV channel, Watch. ITV1 will be the first to broadcast season four (in early 2011), while Watch will premiere season five later that year, with ITV1 screening it later.

In a perhaps unlikely team up of broadcasters, Impossible Pictures has worked closely with BBC Worldwide to implement a new funding strategy for the series, in which BBC America, which has acquired previous series for broadcast in the US, joins Germany’s Pro7 as a co-production partner for the new episodes.

primeval_pg9_neil.jpg“I'm thrilled that ITV has agreed to this new deal which will allow Impossible Pictures to produce another 13 episodes of Primeval," says Tim Haines, Creative Director of Impossible Pictures Ltd. "The confidence demonstrated in the programme's continued success here and abroad will help us bring more big screen action and a whole host of new creatures roaring back into people's living rooms.”

“We’re delighted to have agreed this new deal with Impossible to return Primeval to ITV1,"commented Laura Mackie, Director of ITV Drama Commissioning. "The innovative nature of this partnership will allow the show to maintain its high production values and deliver the fantastic programme that our viewers know and love.”

"We're really excited to be part of this truly innovative deal that guarantees the continuation of this fantastically entertaining series," added Paul Moreton, Channel Head of Watch.

"I know Primeval is going to be a massive hit with Watch viewers and the perfect complement to other popular sci-fi dramas such as Doctor Who and Torchwood.”

There. You see? Doctor Who - a comic (on both sides of the Atlantic) and a magazine with a comic. Torchwood - a magazine with a comic. Primeval...

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