|Object type||Temporal intersection|
|Appearances||See full list|
Anomalies are fourth-dimensional rifts in space and time, described as close-curve temporal-spatial intersections, which act as portals through time and space between time periods throughout all of history. Anomalies have opened numerous times in numerous locations, primarily in Great Britain and Canada.
While almost everyone who knows of the Anomalies - including the Anomaly Research Centre, Helen Cutter, Cross Photonics and Project Magnet - referred to them as Anomalies, members of the nomadic Time Tribe such as Patrick Quinn and Emily Merchant simply called them Gateways. (Episode 4.3)
Nick Cutter hypothesised that the Anomalies are like earthquakes in time, which are powerful enough to break the dimensional boundaries, and that this is the reason some Anomalies occur along temporal fault lines. (Episode 1.3) The Artifact's time map indicated that each Anomaly is where two different points in the timeline intersect. (Episode 3.6) One source claimed that the Anomalies are like tears in a cloth (with the cloth in the Anomalies' case being time), and these tears can be closed up but will eventually open up again, and occur more and become more frequent over time. Evan Cross and Howard Kanan also theorised that Anomalies are similar to spikes in harmonics; they will, after opening, fade over time similar to a musical note, until they eventually decay to the point of collapse. (Breakthrough) According to Lieutenant Ken Leeds, the existence of Anomaly Spaghetti Junctions would indicate that the Anomalies are the same as the "rosen bridges" (A.K.A. wormholes) theorised by Albert Einstein. (The Sound of Thunder: Part 1)
Each Anomaly resembles a frozen explosion of glowing shattered pieces of glass floating and rotating in mid-air; Evan Cross once speculated that the Anomalies' resemblance to explosions of shattering glass is due to the impact from the collision of the four-dimensional surfaces of time at the point where the Anomaly opens. (Breakthrough) People, animals and objects can travel through Anomalies simply by passing through from one side to the other; it has also been shown that liquids and atmospheric gases can pass through Anomalies as well. (Episode 1.2, 1.3, 2.2, 2.4, 5.2, 5.4, 5.5) Sound can travel through some Anomalies, (Episode 1.1, 1.4, 2.5, 3.4) but not through others. (Fear of Flying)
Anomalies each produce an extremely powerful magnetic field, which can disrupt unprotected electronic devices that come within close range of the Anomaly, (The New World) and can pull ferrous objects (such as pens, keys, spanners and mobile phones) into them; their magnetic fields also cause compasses near them to go haywire. (Episode 1.1) However, it was shown with the football stadium - Spaghetti Junction Anomaly that the Anomalies' magnetic field is not strong enough to penetrate through the metal of a stainless steel fridge door. (Episode 1.4)
The Anomalies also produce powerful radio interference on the frequency 87.6 FM, as demonstrated with the Castle Cross Shopping Mall - Cretaceous Desert Anomaly; this allows a means of detecting them. (Episode 2.1 onwards) Man-made Anomalies can also be recalibrated, which will cause them to release a gamma ray and close (though it is unknown whether this can also be done with natural Anomalies). (Episode 5.4)
Anomalies can open in any location. They can open in small spaces such as a fridge, (Episode 1.4) and through obstacles such as floors. (Episode 3.3) They can also open underwater (Episode 1.3, 2.4, Sisiutl) and several feet - metres above the ground. (Episode 1.5, Fear of Flying)
It is possible to travel partway through an Anomaly without being sucked in; for example, a person or creature can poke their face or part of their body through an Anomaly from on end to the other without travelling all the way through. (Episode 1.1, 2.1, 3.1, 3.4, 3.5)
The Anomalies can apparently cut across space as well as time, as creatures which were never native to the geological area of present day Great Britain have come through Anomalies into modern Britain. For example, the Dodo was only found on tropical islands around Mauritius, and Scutosaurus were located in Russia and parts of Europe. (Episode 1.1, 1.4) Also, there have been numerous examples of Anomalies which linked to locations on either side that were far apart. (Episode 3.8, 3.10, The Sound of Thunder: Part 1, The Sound of Thunder: Part 2)
The strength of an Anomaly weakens over time. It slowly loses its magnetic power, starts to weaken, and eventually collapses on itself and closes; although Anomalies can reopen. When an Anomaly closes, any object caught halfway through the Anomaly will be severed, with each piece on the side it was on when the Anomaly closed, as seen with a Raptor which was decapitated. (Episode 2.1)
Nick Cutter theorised that Anomalies are intermittent, and that when they close, they do not truly cease to exist but rather just temporarily fade. (Episode 1.3) This is supported by the fact that numerous Anomalies have reopened after closing. Helen Cutter once said that there are Anomalies everywhere, some one just can't see; (Episode 3.9) Evan Cross and Howard Kanan theorised that when open, Anomalies are similar to spikes in harmonics; they fade over time like a musical note, and eventually collapse upon decaying past a certain point. (Breakthrough)
Although Anomalies sometimes reopen after closing, it appears that when they do, they can on some occasions slightly shift the point in time that they link to; for example, when the Forest of Dean - Permian hills Anomaly reopened approximately six months or less in the present after it had previously closed, it linked to a matter of years earlier in the Permian that it had the previous time it was open. (Episode 1.1, 1.6)
There are several known "freak Anomalies".
- An Anomaly can either have a fixed location on both sides; but in rare cases, one side may be unstable and thus move location. For example the present day side of one Anomaly to the Cretaceous moved from the Crystal Palace Diving Institute, a reservoir and an urban neighbourhood, while the Cretaceous side of the Anomaly was fixed. (Episode 1.3) Another Anomaly was first found in a jungle, then later moved into a temple chamber. (Shadow of the Jaguar) Also, an Anomaly located in Stanley Park which frequently closed and reopened was, according to Evan Cross, in a slightly different part of the park each time it reopened. (The New World)
- Some Anomalies vary in size; standard Anomalies are approximately the size of a car. One Anomaly in a West London Hospital was only around half a metre tall, (Episode 3.3) while another in an airport was large enough to let through a Giganotosaurus. (Episode 3.4) An Anomaly to the Cretaceous in Russia was far far larger due to the meteor responsible for the K-T Mass Extinction. (Extinction Event) The First Man-made Anomaly was no taller than one or two feet, (Episode 5.4, 5.6) while the New Dawn Anomaly was about the size of a warehouse. (Episode 5.6) The Spring River Airport - Jurassic Desert Anomaly was also about seven storeys high. (Fear of Flying)
- There has been one instance of an Anomaly which linked two different locations in the exact same point in time. (Fire and Water)
- At an old prison, two Anomalies linking to different time periods opened on exactly the same spot. The energy created by this created various satellite Anomalies until the Anomalies eventually pushed each other apart using their magnetic fields. (Episode 4.7)
Range in time and locations
Although many Anomalies apparently lead to locations outside Great Britain in prehistoric times, in the present, Anomalies in countries other than Britain and Canada are rare; though some occur as Anomalies have opened in Ancient Egypt, (Episode 3.1) Peru, (Shadow of the Jaguar) Guns Island off the coast of southern Ireland, (The Lost Island) Siberia, (Extinction Event) South Africa (Fire and Water) and many other countries. (Episode 5.5)
Anomalies can link any two periods in Earth's history besides just the present and another era. Anomalies have linked the Permian and the future, (Episode 1.6) the future and the Pliocene, (Shadow of the Jaguar) the Eocene and Ancient Egypt, (Episode 3.1) the Cretaceous and the Medieval ages, (Episode 3.7) the future and the Cretaceous, the Cretaceous and the Pliocene, (Episode 3.10) the Cretaceous and the Victorian age, (Episode 5.3) and the Cretaceous and Silurian. (The Sound of Thunder: Part 1, The Sound of Thunder: Part 2)
The two earliest known Anomalies were two Anomalies that led to the Precambrian. (Episode 2.2, 5.5) It seems likely that the latest known Anomaly was the Anomaly which linked to the home of the Future Fungus, which is speculated to be 500 million years in the future. (Episode 3.5) The most recent past Anomaly was the one that linked to 2006. (The Sound of Thunder: Part 2)
Anomalies to the future appear to be rare, as Helen Cutter never mentioned one before discovering the Future Predator, (Episode 1.6) and the ARC and the Special Projects Group have encountered considerably less Anomalies linking the future and the present than the present and prehistoric eras.
- See main article: Timeline
It has been demonstrated that interference with the past through the Anomalies can alter the future in unspecified ways. It is apparent that when history is changed, anyone or anything that was in the past when the future changed is unaffected. (Episode 1.6, 4.1, 4.7, 5.6, Truth, The Sound of Thunder: Part 2) It would also appear that if and when the timeline is changed, this can sometimes cause numerous Anomalies at the time and location of the change to close. (The Sound of Thunder: Part 2)
It is possible for two Anomalies to open on the exact same spot, but they will then try to use their magnetic properties to separate from one another via magnetic repellence. The magnets work by repelling and attracting the other Anomaly towards each other with equal force, making it stand in the same place until one force wins. This seems to only occur when the Anomalies become more frequent in preparation for Convergence.
The energy expelled from the Anomalies as a result of this process will create numerous satellite Anomalies within the area. Each satellite Anomaly is a smaller, silver-coloured, weaker version of one of the two original Anomalies, and is so weak that the Anomaly Detection Device cannot pick it up. Satellite Anomalies also appear to only last for a few minutes each at the most before ceasing to exist. Entering a satellite Anomaly will send one out through the original Anomaly, and vice versa. It also appears that the side of the original Anomaly one will come out of by going through a satellite Anomaly will be the side that is in the same time period as the satellite Anomalies; effectively making it impossible to return through the Anomaly until the two Anomalies separate.
It is also known that when two Anomalies open on the exact same spot, whenever they are locked with an Anomaly Locking Mechanism, they will just unlock until they separate. Eventually, one of the two Anomalies will be able to push the other Anomaly around five feet away using its magnetic field. Once the two Anomalies have separated, all of the satellite Anomalies will cease to exist. (Episode 4.7)
Anomalies appear to have some effects on and involving weather, as a massive storm occurred on Guns Island at the time when six Anomalies opened there, and it is believed that the storm may have been linked to the Anomalies opening or what caused it. (The Lost Island)
It is also known that if and when a large enough man-made Anomaly is created during Convergence, then that Anomaly will begin to cause atmospheric changes which will quickly worsen over time. If the Anomaly's effects on Earth's atmosphere are not stopped, then the atmospheric changes will alter the planet's climate and weather patterns greatly to the point that the planet's surface will be reduced to an inhospitable wasteland. The only way to halt and stop the atmospheric changes is by destabilising and closing the Anomaly. (Episode 5.5)
Based on Philip Burton's ideas and designs about New Dawn, Connor Temple designed a machine able to create artificial Anomalies. Unlike natural Anomalies, man-made Anomalies are stable, so they cannot close on their own like natural Anomalies; though they do at first need power to stay open until they become powerful enough to stay open independently.
- Main article: Spaghetti Junction
Prediction and control
Helen Cutter claimed to know the locations of the Anomalies before they open and hinted that she could control them; yet the evidence she provided for her claims proved contradictory.
After Helen was tracked down by Nick in the Cretaceous, she said she was staying away from Nick and the present because she did not want to reveal the secret of the Anomalies to the world; something she knew Nick would be compelled to do. She also claimed to have a "key to time". (Episode 1.3) She later told James Lester that she was aware of where the Anomalies would open before they actually did. (Episode 1.4)
However, when the Future Predator came through the Forest of Dean - Permian hills Anomaly, she 'used' the team to find the Permian - Future Anomaly, suggesting that she couldn't control them or locate them after all. At one point when Helen Cutter was in the Cretaceous, she had a device resembling the handheld Anomaly trackers later made by Connor Temple. (Episode 2.2) It seems likely that this was a radio used to track Anomalies, as the Time Tribe were known to use these. (Episode 4.6)
Anomaly detectionAnomalies cause radio interference on the radio wavelength 87.6 FM. (Episode 2.1) When the ARC discovered this, Connor Temple created the Anomaly Detection Device. (Episode 2.3) This new equipment allowed the ARC to track any new Anomalies within moments of them opening. Connor also created handheld Anomaly trackers to be used by the team in the field. Both these devices showed great accuracy and allowed the ARC to track Anomalies much more efficiently.
It is possible to contain and even move Anomalies using magnetic fields (e.g. by surrounding an Anomaly with a "cage" constructed of magnetite), even when the Anomaly is closed. This occurred when the Ancient Egyptians discovered an Anomaly and put it in a magnetite cage called the Sun Cage to contain it. (Episode 3.1) Connor later created a magnetic case with similar properties to the Sun Cage in order to be able to move the First Man-made Anomaly from the ARC. (Episode 5.6)
It is possible to temporarily prevent the passage of matter through an Anomaly by the application of an electric current. (Episode 3.1) Anomalies are referred to as "locked" when in this state that stops anything from passing through them. Connor Temple used this discovery to create a device which could lock Anomalies by reversing their polarity. Repeating the process returns the locked Anomaly to its natural unlocked state. A locked Anomaly appears as a glowing sphere composed of the glass-like shards, in contrast to the 'frozen explosion' of glass that an unlocked Anomaly appears as. (Episode 3.1 onwards)
However, attempting to close a locked Anomaly with the Anomaly Opening Device will only unlock it (though the only Anomaly Device used for this was damaged, so it is uncertain if the same thing would have happened had an undamaged Opening Device been used), (Episode 4.1) and a fused Anomaly cannot be locked because of the extra magnetic energies shared by the two Anomalies. (Episode 4.7)
Gamma ray recalibration
It is known that when an Anomaly's polarity is sent into reverse at a much more intense level than is standardly used when locking an Anomaly, if it is done intensely enough, it will make the pressure in the Anomaly so intense that the Anomaly will release a massive burst of gamma radiation. The process also causes the Anomaly to collapse and close upon releasing the gamma ray. (Episode 5.4)
Near the end of his life, Nick Cutter constructed a physical 3D model which allowed him to predict the location (though not the time) at which some Anomalies could open. This "Matrix" appeared to work, since it accurately predicted the Abandoned House Anomaly. (Episode 3.2) However, Cutter was the only person who understood it. With Cutter's death and the destruction of the Matrix model in Helen's attack on the ARC, the Matrix was effectively rendered useless. (Episode 3.3)
In the future, the ARC created an artifact that could project a hologram of every Anomaly and what points in time they connect to. The entire map could be shown on a Future Computer if the Artifact was plugged into it. The Artifact was of great interest both to Christine Johnson and Helen Cutter. Helen stole and later smashed the Artifact, which presumably left the team unable to use it. (Episode 3.10)
Evan Cross once theorised that whenever an Anomaly closes, it can be told from the Anomaly's radiation peak whether it will reopen or has closed permanently. (Babes in the Woods) He and Howard Kanan later came up with another theory that Anomalies were similar to spikes in harmonics, and managed to invent a device based on this theory that could predict down to the second how much longer an Anomaly would stay open before closing. (Breakthrough, The Sound of Thunder: Part 1)
Anomaly opening and closing
In the future in which the ARC created Future Predators which hunted humanity to extinction, a device able to manipulate Anomalies was created, apparently as a result of the ARC's Anomaly research. It could lock, close and open Anomalies, but the device remote had to be plugged into a giant touch-enabled computer along with the Artifact. This way, the Matrix would be downloaded into the device, making it possible for it to know where Anomalies were.
When diesel fuel is brought near an Anomaly, it can cause it to flunctuate and frequently become too weak to allow anything through. (Episode 4.5) It is also known that the New Dawn Machine could close all natural Anomalies open at the time of the machine's activation. (Episode 5.5)
It appears that if a machine that creates and sustains a man-made Anomaly is deactivated before the Anomaly can grow powerful enough to stay open without the machine, then the Anomaly will close. (Episode 5.4, 5.6)
Reversing an Anomaly's energy at an intense enough level to release a gamma ray will also cause the Anomaly to collapse and close. (Episode 5.4)
When two attuned man-made Anomalies are merged into each other, this will cause the two Anomalies to become unstable and collapse and close. (Episode 5.6)
When the North and South Poles switch places once every few million years, the process causes dozens - hundreds of Anomalies to open up all over the planet as part of the transition process. It is known that creating a powerful enough man-made Anomaly during Convergence will stop Convergence and cause all of the Anomalies that have opened for the process to close. (Episode 5.6)
In the future, Anomalies became a permanent fact of life and over thousands of years, the magnetic energy contained within them manifested a new species, known as Chaos, the Anomaly creature.
Behind the scenes
- The Anomalies are similar to the time portal in Prehistoric Park, which was also produced by Impossible Pictures; the time portal possessed a similar colour to the Anomalies in Series 1 of Primeval, and the same sound effects were used.
- In Series 3, when Anomalies are bigger or smaller than standard-sized ones, the shards are bigger or smaller as well. But in Series 5 and Fear of Flying, the shards of bigger Anomalies are the same size as with standard Anomalies.
- It was shown in Primeval: New World that Anomalies cause interference in mobile phones due to their magnetic fields. However, in numerous episodes of both New World and the original Primeval show, phones were used within feet of Anomalies and appeared to be unaffected.
- In Fear of Flying, sound apparently could not travel through Anomalies. However, it was shown otherwise in Episode 1.1, 1.4, 2.5 and 3.4.
- The effect for the Anomalies have changed throughout the franchise.
- In Series 1 the Anomalies were white in colour, tranparent, not very wide and could barely be seen during the day. They made flashing sounds and flashed light when things travelled through.
- In Series 2, the Anomalies were gold in colour, were wider and opague. They had larger shards. They made flashing sounds and flashed light when things travelled through.
- In Series 3 , the Anomalies had their shard colour changed to silver colour but had the same gold core of the Anomalies in Series 2. They lacked the flashing sound and light effects effect they had in the other series when something went through them.
- In Series 4 and 5 the Anomalies were orange/gold in colour. They also contain lots of small shards, instead of a smaller amount of large shards.
- In Primeval: New World, some of the Anomalies get larger and wider again, and some are the original white/bright grey colour, while others are gold/yellow. The shards making up the Anomalies are also still approximately the same small size as in Series 4 and 5, if not smaller.
- The effect for an Anomaly closing appears to have undergone some changes.
- In Episode 1.1, the Anomaly shimmers and flickers and then blinks out of existence.
- In Episode 1.3, the Anomaly begins to grow brighter and the shards around it move faster and faster, until the Anomaly collapses in on itself.
- In Episode 1.5 the Anomaly just flashes and collapses in on itself.
- In Episode 1.6 and 2.1, the Anomaly briefly expands, then blinks out of existence.
- In Series 1 and Series 2 , the Anomalies made a whirr-ing noise as they were closing.
- In Series 2 and 3, the shards that make up the Anomalies begin to pulsate slowly, until the Anomaly abruptly collapses in on itself.
- In Series 4 and 5, no anomalies are shown closing except in Episode 4.1, the Arena Anomaly spins open then spins closed with in 6 seconds.
- The New Dawn Anomaly in Episode 5.6 closed by ...
- In The New World, the core of the Anomaly started to blink and flicker until the Anomaly abruptly collapsed on itself.
- In the rest of Primeval: New World, the Anomalies abruptly collapses on itself and vanishes within an instant, without warning.
- ↑ Interview with Adrian Hodges