- « "After a million pound worth of research and development, I'm hoping for something a little more than theoretical." »
- — James Lester questioning Connor Temple on his mechanism[src]
The Locking Mechanism worked by reversing an Anomaly's polarity, which locked the Anomaly and renders it "locked", unable to allow anything to pass through. The device can also reverse the process; opening locked Anomalies.
The original Locking Mechanisms used by the ARC, before it was suspended, consisted of a transmitter to transmit the locking signal into an Anomaly, which was connected to numerous computer case containing the controls for activating and controlling the Mechanism. (Episode 3.4, 3.7, 3.8, 3.10)
Container and stand mechanisms
There were two different types of the new Locking Mechanisms which the ARC used after its revival, both of which were more portable than the original version. The first was a Mechanism transmitter on a stand, and the second was a Mechanism transmitter and controls contained in a briefcase-like box. (Series 4, Series 5)
At some point in the near future, the ARC began using a new type of locking Mechanism. This one was in a very large briefcase-like container, the transmitter had five prongs instead of the studded ball transmitter (seen in all others), and the whole mechanism folded up and down on pivoting arms to aim at an Anomaly. This model took longer to set up than the other two portable versions. (The Sound of Thunder: Part 2)
At some point the government funded the ARC over a million pounds for Connor to build the device. Subsequently he began working on the mechanism. Lester questioned the reliability of it.
When the prototype Anomaly Locking Mechanism was nearly finished, Connor took it to an Anomaly site at an Airport to test it on the Anomaly there. He quickly finished working on it and commenced the first test of the Mechanism, to which it short-circuited and failed to lock the Anomaly.
The second time Connor tested the Locking Mechanism, it successfully locked the Anomaly. Connor later used the Mechanism to unlock the Anomaly (so that Danny Quinn could lure a Giganotosaurus back through), and then locked the Anomaly again after Danny came back through, to stop a herd of more Giganotosaurus from coming through the Anomaly.
Following the prototype Anomaly Locking Mechanism's successful use on the airport Anomaly, more Locking Mechanisms were produced and regularly used by the ARC at Anomaly sites to lock Anomalies so that creatures could not come through.
After the ARC team located an Anomaly at a junkyard, an Anomaly Locking Mechanism was used to lock the Anomaly. Sarah Page later had the guard guarding the Anomaly unlock it so that she could go through to the Medieval ages, then lock it again behind her for exactly an hour. After this hour ended, the ARC guard used the Locking Mechanism to unlock the Anomaly, and Sarah then returned through to the Present.
After the ARC located an Anomaly at a Race Circuit, Sarah locked the Anomaly so that no more Megopterans came through. The next day, Jack Maitland, while trying to escape a Megopteran in a sportscar, accidentally ran over the Locking Mechanism at the race circuit, unlocking the Anomaly.
When the ARC team went into the Future through the Anomaly to rescue Jack, Sarah took a backup Locking Mechanism to replace the run-over one, and quickly learned how to work it by testing it on the Anomaly. When a Megopteran hatchling landed on the Locking Mechanism's control box, the Mechanism locked the Anomaly.
After Sarah contained the Megopteran, she then used the Locking Mechanism to unlock the Anomaly so that the team could return through, and Connor then re-locked the Anomaly behind them to stop the Megopterans from following them through.
Danny, Connor and Abby Maitland unlocked the Race Circuit Anomaly so that they could go through into the Future on their mission to stop Helen Cutter. Danny then had Sarah use the Anomaly Locking Mechanism to lock the Anomaly behind the trio, and to unlock it in two hours.
Becker had an Anomaly at a theatre locked with an Anomaly Locking Mechanism, then later had it unlocked when he realised that Matt Anderson was on the other side. The Anomaly was subsequently locked again after Matt returned through.
When Connor and Abby located an Anomaly at a Stately Home, they locked it with an Anomaly Locking Mechanism. Connor later unlocked the Anomaly to return several Hyaenodon pups through, but two adults then came through before Connor could lock the Anomaly again. According to Abby, the Anomaly was locked again after the Hyaenodons were returned through.
When the ARC team located an Anomaly at a prison, Connor locked it with an Anomaly Locking Mechanism. But as the Anomaly was actually two Anomalies that had opened on the exact same spot, the merged Anomalies kept unlocking whenever the ARC team tried to lock them.
Connor subsequently checked the Locking Mechanism for any faults, but found none and had a replacement Mechanism sent by Jess Parker to the prison. When Connor and Abby used two Locking Mechanisms on the merged Anomalies at once, the two Anomalies separated and locked. Patrick Quinn later used one of the Locking Mechanisms to unlock one of the Anomalies so that he could escape through.
Connor brought an Anomaly Locking Mechanism with him and the ARC team onto a Nuclear Submarine, and placed it inside a torpedo. The team later had the torpedo fired through an Anomaly in the North Sea, and the Locking Mechanism inside the torpedo locked the Anomaly as it passed through into the Jurassic.
Abby used an Anomaly Locking Mechanism to lock an Anomaly at an Art Museum. When the team discovered that there was a Raptor on the loose in 1868 on the other side of the Anomaly, Abby unlocked it so that Matt could go through and bring the Raptor back to the Present. The Anomaly was presumably locked again after Matt and Emily Merchant returned through with the Raptor.
When numerous ARC teams and squads were sent to deal with the numerous Anomalies that had opened for Convergence, many Anomaly Locking Mechanisms were sent to the teams to lock the Anomalies with. Becker and Abby used one Locking Mechanism to lock an Anomaly at an Infant School.
- Episode 3.3 (still being assembled)
- Episode 3.4 (first appearance)
- Episode 3.7
- Episode 3.8
- Episode 3.10
- Episode 4.1
- Episode 4.3
- Episode 4.4
- Episode 4.6
- Episode 4.7
- Episode 5.2
- Episode 5.3
- Episode 5.4 (mentioned)
- Episode 5.5 (last appearance as recurring)
- The Sound of Thunder: Part 2 (latest appearance)
- In reference to Doctor Who in Primeval, the notion that the Locking Mechanism reverses the polarities of an Anomaly, is reference to the Third Doctor's catchphrase was, "Reverse the polarities of the neutron flow".
- In reference to Primeval in Doctor Who, the Locking Mechanism's studded ball emitter was used on the Eleventh Doctor's TARDIS' console, seen from 2010-2012
- The studded ball also had a cameo in the Doctor Who spinoff, Torchwood.