- « "My name's James Lester. Five years ago, I was put in charge of the ARC; a top secret government project investigating rips in time known as Anomalies. These Anomalies allowed long extinct creatures from distant eras to cross into our own time. Our leading research scientist was murdered... by his insane wife Helen, who planned to wipe out humanity. Danny Quinn, Connor Temple and Abby Maitland went through an Anomaly to stop her. No-one knows what happened to them; but as the human race survived, we must assume they succeeded. None of them ever returned; lost forever in a distant past, with no way home. All attempts at rescue failed. A new team was put in place, and many changes made to the ARC. The battle continues. There is always a new threat; whatever it is, we'll deal with it." »
- — James Lester's recap of the events leading up to Series 4.[src]
Series 4 of Primeval is the fourth series of the original British Primeval television programme. Series 4 focuses primarily on the changes to the ARC in Connor and Abby's absence, Connor and Abby's changing relationship, and Matt Anderson's mysterious past and mission.
After a year marooned in the Cretaceous, Connor and Abby finally return to the present to find that the ARC has greatly changed in their absence, and is now funded by entrepreneur Philip Burton and led by the quiet and mysterious Matt Anderson. Connor and Abby are initially not allowed back on the main team due to a new military code, but soon manage to get back on, though they still have to try and earn their old positions on the team back.
When two Anomaly travellers (the Victorian lady Emily Merchant and the murderous Ethan Dobrowski) come to the present, Matt takes Emily in, and begins to open up to her on his past and who he really is, while hunting Ethan and trying to protect Emily from him. Meanwhile, Connor becomes more and more allied with Philip and the latter's mysterious New Dawn project for the Anomalies, and Connor and Abby's relationship begins to become strained because of this.
Eventually, Danny Quinn returns from the past as well, and Ethan is revealed to be Danny's long-lost brother Patrick. Both Danny and Ethan/Patrick return to the past, and Emily returns to her time as well; but not before Matt reveals to her that he is from the future and has been sent back to stop an apocalyptic disaster with the Anomalies in the present from destroying the planet. Meanwhile, Connor learns of a catastrophic upcoming event with the Anomalies, and ultimately allies with Philip and New Dawn against it.
|Director||Writer(s)||Air date||Main creature(s)|
|24||1||Mark Everest||Paul Mousley||1 January, 2011||Spinosaurus|
|25||2||Mark Everest||Steve Bailie||2 January, 2011||Kaprosuchus|
|26||3||Cilla Ware||Debbie Oates||8 January, 2011||Tree Creeper|
|27||4||Cilla Ware||Paul Gerstenberger||15 January, 2011||Therocephalian|
|28||5||Robert Quinn||Adrian Hodges|
|22 January, 2011||Labyrinthodont|
|29||6||Robert Quinn||Matthew Parkhill||29 January, 2011||Hyaenodon|
|30||7||Mark Everest||Paul Mousley||5 February, 2011||Terror Bird|
Cast and characters
Main cast and characters
- Andrew-Lee Potts as Connor Temple
- Hannah Spearritt as Abby Maitland
- Ben Mansfield as Hilary Becker
- Ben Miller as James Lester
- Alexander Siddig as Philip Burton
- Ciarán McMenamin as Matt Anderson
- Ruth Kearney as Jess Parker
- Anton Lesser as Gideon Anderson
- Ruth Bradley as Emily Merchant
- Jonathan Byrne as Ethan Dobrowski/Patrick Quinn
Guest cast and characters
- Lucy Brown as Jenny Lewis
- Jason Flemyng as Danny Quinn
- James Bradshaw as Duncan
- Patrick Gibson as Steve
- Ciarán Flynn as Darren
- Brian Gleeson as Ray Lennon
- Anne Kent as Moria Lennon
Primeval Series 4 received generally mixed critical reception; some praised the action and new characters and the cliffhanger ending, but some others felt Series 4 to be bland and lacking in Primevals original spirit in comparison to the previous three series.
Due to the amount of time between Series 3 and Series 4, numerous rumours started concerning the plot.
- Most rumours focused on the supposed return of characters such as Nick Cutter and Helen Cutter. These rumours were fueled further by supposed "insiders" who reported supposed lines from Series 4 scripts. Ultimately these rumours were revealed to be untrue, but people who followed Primeval closely knew that there were never plans to bring back deceased characters, as Haines and Hodges wished to avoid destroying the dramatic impact and feeling of the show.
- One rumour was that Helen Cutter returned and released a pack of Future Predators on London. Juliet Aubrey even teased that she might return to Primeval. 
- Another rumour was that Danny Quinn would still be the team leader. This has some truth to it as he was set to return for Series 4 before the cancellation of Primeval happened but his actor Jason Flemyng had other commitments (X-men First Class) when the actual series was in production. There was also speculation he would be in three episodes not just one.
- Some Pliosaurs were thought to appear in this series before the cancellation. In a later interview with Hodges, showing a Primeval script, pliosaurs were seen in the script and they were thought to be in Series 4 but were actually in Series 5.
- The Future Predators were thought to be in Episode 4.5, 4.6 and/or 4.7.
- There were rumours during broadcast that there would be a creature incursion within the ARC during Episode 4.7 and all the creatures in the Menagerie would become involved in a huge battle, including Sid and Nancy. This proved untrue, and Sid and Nancy were confirmed not to reappear.
- In ITV's description for Episode 4.2, it was said that the Kaprosuchus would attack Abby Maitland in a boat, and the land-based team would be forced to rescue her. This plot is very similar to that of Episode 2.4.
Behind the scenes