Episode 2.3 is the third episode of the second series of Primeval. It was broadcast as Catfight[1] in North America, as Panik im Park (Panic in the Park)[2] in Germany and as Terreur au parc d'attractions (Terror at the Amusement Park)[3] in France.

Full synopsis

At Blue Sky Theme Park, two women in paintball gear run through a wooded area, but stop as they hear an ominous howling. Something big and growly stalks them from the undergrowth and they scream as a piece of scenery falls........ to reveal a man in similar gear who proceeds to pelt them with paintballs despite them having removed their helmets. The man, Warren, takes off cackling as the girls yell at him and call him a loser as the creature that was stalking them goes after the lone Warren. Thinking its the girls, Warren looks into the undergrowth and taunts them for thinking they can frighten him, unaware that the creature is behind him. With a loud growl, the creature charges and attacks and Warren is flung around as it mauls him, his screams echoing through the woods. At a Cafe, near a river, Caroline is waiting to meet with Connor for a coffee, however he cannot stay since he and Abby have to go the ARC, claiming it to be an urgent presentation. Caroline is disappointed, but allows him to go after he manages to burn himself on the hot coffee. Alone, Caroline looks at a picture of Rex on her phone and sends it to an unknown device.

At the ARC, the whole team is there for Connor's reveal of a device made by himself and Oliver Leek. While waiting, Nick Cutter talks with Jenny Lewis about her boyfriend, which she corrects as fiance. Connor arrives and boots up the device, an array of flat-screen television screens mounted on a skeletal metal framework. In his gushingly awkward manner, Connor introduces the team to the Anomaly Detection Device, ADD for short. It monitors the whole of the UK's transmissions for the anomalies telltale interference patterns, along with a prototype handheld version for use in the field, and in theory will alert the ARC within seconds of an anomaly appearance but its reliability is immediately called into question when Leek gets a call about a new creature attack at Blue Sky Park. The team investigates and Cutter comes to believe that the attack, although horrible, could be relatively conventional: the animal to blame could be a rogue big cat. Jenny and Cutter meet with Valerie Irwin, the Deputy Park Manager, who immediately becomes suspicious at the level of secrecy Jenny wants kept on the situation. Valerie's boss, Peter Campbell, refuses to evacuate due to it being peak season which would be financially crippling to the park and Jenny agrees believing it would draw too much attention from the press. Campbell agrees to close the paintballing area as a compromise, cheerfully promising to sue Cutter if he mentions big cats again. Cutter and Jenny argue over the secrecy, him worried about the risk to civilians and her about the media fallout, with Cutter reluctantly acceeding since the noise might keep the predator away. A toddler whose mother briefly leaves him to sort out a dispute among her other children hears noises coming from the undergrowth and sees a pair of glowing blue eyes. He flees screaming back to his mother, while the predator watches silently.

As Cutter, Abby and Stephen go in search of the animal, Connor is left to look after the safety of the holiday-makers. He disgraces himself when he shoots at what he believes to be an attacking animal, but turns out to be the manager dressed up as the furry park mascot. In the meantime, a nearby farm is discovered to have been used in an illegal import of exotic animals by its owner, a Mr. West, and Cutter goes to investigate. Jenny gets there in time to smooth things over and tells Cutter that from now on, she will handle the public sector.

The team begin to comb the nearby woodlands for the animal, using infrared goggles to counter its likely nocturnal abilities: in the search, Stephen discovers Valerie lost in the woods and offers to take her home, showing great reluctance in evading her questions regarding their work. Meanwhile, at a nearby railway station, Campbell finds himself stalked by the creature and attempts to barricade himself inside, only for it to come crashing through a window and kill him after a brief chase; Stephen, who is with Valerie, hears the screaming and rushes to investigate. He sees the huge animal devouring the unfortunate Campbell but before he can shoot it, Valerie calls out from behind him and the creature flees into the forest. 

A train spotter, however, has recorded the whole attack and to Jenny's fury, is about to upload pictures of the creature to the internet; while she manages to pay him off to prevent the media fallout, Cutter is more concerned by what he finds on the pictures, a powerfully built creature with deadly twin sabre-teeth -  a Smilodon, or sabre-tooth cat, a truly lethal killing machine. There can be no doubt - this is an ancient creature: it could only have come through an anomaly. The team are left baffled as to why the anomaly detector failed to work. The team prepare to set traps to catch the creature: however, Valerie reappears and becomes visibly agitated by what they are planning. Stephen is concerned, but Cutter and the others dismiss it as stress and shock over everything that has happened.

While Cutter and Abby dig a pit trap for the creature, they find the body of a man buried in a shallow grave. Before Cutter can ponder this discovery, the cat attacks them, drawn by the scent of the fresh meat they have put out as bait. While Abby fends the Smilodon off with a mechanical digger, Cutter is forced to escape on an zip-wire slung between the trees, only to find the gigantic cat following him below. As he finally lands in easy reach of the cat's claws, Abby gets a shot with a tranquiliser gun, missing but scaring the creature off.

Back at the grave site, Cutter manages to dig the man out enough to ascertain what killed him. He reports to the team that he's been almost virtually cut in half and deduces that the corpse must have been there for some time. Connor explains that the anomaly which the creature came through must have opened and closed before the ADD came online but Cutter mentions a more serious problem; while the Smilodon undoubtedly killed the guy, " It sure as hell didn't dig a trench ten feet deep and bury his body". Abby surmises that someone must know about it and has been protecting it, with Leek revealing that Jenny had come up with a cover story involving West being responsible for an escaped lion. Stephen, Abby and Connor arrive just in time to prevent her being shot, but West proves to have absolutely no knowledge of the Smilodon which means he cannot be hiding it. Back at the grave, however, Cutter finds a wallet which reveals the true culprit; Valerie, pictured with the dead man who evidently is (or was) her boyfriend. In her garage, Valerie feeds the Smilodon with some meat, promising not to let any harm come to it. Cutter goes to her house and finds a photograph of her with a Smilodon cub, confirming that it has been in the present for some time.

Stephen and the rest of the team spot her car heading off in another direction, but it turns out to be a diversion. Cutter is cornered by Valerie, who holds him at gunpoint and angrily calls him out on the Smilodon, believing it was created in a horrific experiment and that Cutter and the team had come to destroy it: she also confesses to hiding her boyfriend's body after the creature killed him in an unfortunate accident. When the creature itself arrives, Cutter warns her that the animal is more than capable of killing them both, but Valerie asserts the cat has imprinted upon her as its mother, and won't harm her. She then flees, abandoning Cutter to his fate.

Cutter manages to fend the cat off with a table and then flees through various rooms before finally jumping from a balcony, pursued all the while by the angry cat. Cutter arms himself with a pitchfork and prepares to fight to his likely imminent death, but Valerie shows up and implores Cutter not to hurt the sabre-tooth. Ignoring his warnings to keep away from the creature as it is now berserk with bloodlust and anger, Valerie tries to placate with a calming gesture. Unfortunately, in its feral state the Smilodon interprets it as a hostile move and pounces on poor Valerie. Stephen manages to shoot it with a tranquiliser, taking the Smilodon out but not before it has dealt a fatal blow to its erstwhile adoptive mother. In the aftermath, Stephen and Cutter argue: Stephen regarding how many more people like Valerie will die before knowledge of the anomalies becomes public, while Cutter accuses Stephen of having told her what they were doing. Stephen denies the accusation, but retorts that he wishes he had spoken.

Back at the ARC, Oliver Leek informs Cutter that the Smilodon died being transported back to the ARC. Cutter can't believe him, as the cat was perfectly healthy. Leek suggests shock, or an overdose of tranquilizer, but when Cutter asks to do his own post-mortem, Leek refuses, saying that the body has been destroyed to stop the spread of disease. However, the ADD goes off, indicating there is an active anomaly: the team go to investigate, though Connor laments the fact it will interrupt his plans for a date with Caroline.

It is also then revealed to the viewer that Caroline is working for Leek. In a secluded area, Leek pays Caroline for more information on Connor and Abby, for his own purposes.

Cast and crew





Objects and technology




  • When the Smilodon killed Peter Cambell, it was up the railway line from the bridge, however when Stephen arrives at the train station, the Smilodon has Peter's body is down the line.
    • The Smilodon could have dragged the body there.
  • Kenny the train-spotter apparently disappears off the bridge when Stephen arrives at the train station.
  • At the end, when Leek gives Caroline her payment, blank pieces of paper can be seen in along with the bank notes.
    • The light reflecting off the money makes it look blank.
      • Or Leek could have been trying to scam her.

Story connections

  • In Episode 1.4, Helen Cutter had previously lied about some Smilodon coming through an Anomaly.
  • Also in Episode 1.4, Tom and Duncan assumed the Dodo was the result of secret government experiments. Valerie makes the same assumption about the Smilodon.
  • The Anomaly Detection Device first appears in this episode and is present in every Primeval episode after this. It also occurs in all of the Primeval novels.
  • In reference to Episode 2.1, the Anomaly Detector was built, conceived from radio interference, discovered at the Shopping mall, that was caused by an Anomaly.
  • In reference to Episode 2.2, Connor built the detector as authorised Lester in the previous episode.
  • In Episode 2.7:
    • Valerie Irwin's death is mentioned.
    • The true fate of the Smilodon is revealed


User Reviews

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External link

  • Episode Guide on [1]