Episode 3.5 is the fifth episode of the third series of Primeval. It was broadcast as Future Epidemic in North America, Der Pilz (The Fungus) in Germany and Un champignon venu du futur (A Mushroom/Fungus from the Future) in France.

Full synopsis

Lloyd, the assistant of London businessman Sir Richard Bentley, is waiting in his boss's flat to collect some paperwork when he sees an Anomaly. Unaware of what it is, believing it to be a piece of modern art, he goes through it, finding himself in a Future woodland, overlooked by cliffs. As Lloyd explores, he comes into contact with a strange fungus, which spurts a cloud of spores into his face, leaving him dangerously ill. He tries to return to the flat, but the anomaly seals shut on him, though not before he vomits several spores into the flat. When Sir Richard returns to his flat to collect the paperwork, he comes into contact with the spores and rapidly begins to succumb to an unknown infection.

Back at the ARC, Connor is being forced to live in his office, having moved out of Abby's flat, accompanied by the two Diictodon (who Connor has named Sid and Nancy). An intruder is detected in the ARC: fearing it to be Helen Cutter, Captain Becker and his soldiers prepare to shoot to kill, but the intruder merely turns out to be Danny Quinn. Danny speaks to Lester and Jenny, offering his services to the team (especially since his brother was killed by a creature), but they refuse, and decide to keep him under arrest at the ARC until they decide what to do with him. Unfortunately, after Sid the Diictodon plays havoc with the Anomaly Detection Device, and Connor gets the ADD working again, the team discover the presence of the anomaly in Sir Richard's flat and go to investigate. Before she can join them, Jenny is given Cutter's personal effects, since he has no family to pass them onto. Jenny is horrified to discover a photo of Claudia Brown, and follows after the team, extremely confused and frightened at the meaning of it.

At Sir Richard's flat, the team take a sample of the spores and Connor is sent back to the ARC to analyse them. To his horror, Connor discovers the spores are from an extremely aggressive and highly contagious fungus: he tells Jenny to quarantine the flat and find anyone who may have come into contact with the spores. Fearing that Sir Richard has, and on discovering that he is heading to catch a train at St Pancras Station, the team goes after him: however, Bentley evades Abby, Jenny and Becker at the station, before escaping into underground tunnels, where he completely succumbs to the infection, becoming a strange humanoid fungus creature.

Back at the ARC, the team have an unwelcome guest: Christine Johnson, accompanied by her associates, Captain Wilder and Mark Baker, has arrived. Johnson takes Lester aside in private, where she insists that Lester take on Wilder as Cutter's replacement, and asks whether he has found the artefact left by Helen: however, Lester refuses to give into her demands. Meanwhile, Danny (who has been working with Sarah Page on the artifact in a lab) sees Baker skulking round the ARC. Baker breaks into Connor's lab and touches the fungus, rapidly succumbing to the infection. The lab is quarantined and Connor and Danny, clad in hazmat suits, go in to assess the damage. Johnson furiously accuses Lester of her man's death (though Lester coldly retorts he shouldn't have been trespassing) and storms out, remarking to Wilder on the way out she wants the ARC under complete surveillance, since she believes Lester is lying about the artifact.

Unfortunately, the team now have to contain the infected Baker, who like Bentley, has transformed into a fungus creature (Lester dryly comments "This'll be difficult to explain to the next of kin: good news - he's not technically dead. Bad news - he's turned into a mushroom!"). The team seal the creature in the contaminated lab and, at Sarah's suggestion, try exposing it to extreme heat in the hope of killing it. The plan seems to work when the creature explodes in the extreme heat, and Danny is dispatched with a number of flamethrowers to Jenny, Abby and Becker, who are trying to contain Bentley in the tunnels. However, when Connor goes back into the lab to rescue Sid, he discovers that heat only destroys the fungus's body, but causes the spores to spread more virulently: if they use the flamethrowers, the team could end up infecting half of London with the spores. Sarah manages to get this information to Jenny before the team uses the flamethrowers on the creature. Connor discovers that cold stops the spread of the fungus and tells Sarah to turn down the lab's temperature to as low as she can, ignoring the risk of himself freezing to death. After the temperature reaches -25.0 degrees, the fungus is destroyed and the team rescue Connor from the lab. The team then decide to use the cold to kill Bentley.

Jenny and Danny manage to lure Bentley to the surface and trap him in a security van. They then transport him to the ARC where, in the Operations Room, Connor has lowered the temperature to below zero, allowing them to kill Bentley once he enters the room. However, Bentley escapes into the ARC, and while Lester evacuates the rest of the staff, Jenny, Abby, Sarah and Danny go to find CO2 fire extinguishers to lure Bentley into the Operations Room. However, Jenny is trapped in the room by Bentley who, being slowly killed by the cold, is focusing on the only source of heat left in the room: Jenny's body. After holding Bentley off for a few moments, Jenny succumbs to the cold and collapses, unconscious. With Bentley seconds from killing Jenny, Danny bursts into the room and attacks him. As the creature turns on him, it finally succumbs to the cold and dies. The team rush to Jenny's aid, only to find she's been infected: although she's dying, the team cannot remove her until the cold has killed the infection. Once the fungus is dead, the team remove Jenny from the Operations Room and manage to resuscitate her.

In the wake of the incident, the ARC is cleaned up. Lester and the team, impressed by Danny's skills, resourcefulness, courage and ability to lead, appoint him as Cutter's replacement as team leader, in front of a scowling Christine Johnson, who had continued to insist on Captain Wilder (though she congratulates him, Danny and Johnson exchange a cold glare). Jenny, upset and traumatised over her near-death experience, Cutter's death, the truth about Claudia Brown and all the other tragedies that have occurred, resigns from the ARC. Though Danny tries to convince her to stay, Jenny says that she feels she doesn't have a place on the team now, and that she wants to try for a life where she can "just forget the ARC, the creatures, the anomalies and above all, forget about Nick Cutter and Claudia Brown!". Jenny wishes Danny luck, and leaves, but not before Danny comments she'll never be able to forget what she has seen working with the ARC. Jenny takes one final look around the ARC before she leaves for the last time.

Lester, discovering Connor is now living in the ARC, offers him a place to stay at his house in London as a temporary measure, until Connor finds somewhere else to live.






Objects and technology



  • It is possible that the fungus encountered in the future jungle may have been an infected future creature, as other creatures are known to exist in the jungle due to the sounds heard in the background. The creature either lived its entire life in one place, or the fungus eventually roots itself down after a duration of time moving around. The orifice used to spray spores is not present on the fungus that infected humans, and may give insight into whatever creature the fungus had infected.
  • Helen Cutter is absent from this episode. Juliet Aubrey is still credited in the opening titles.


  • We never find out what happens to the member of Becker's team who gets attacked by the fungus creature - since they didn't know about freezing at that point, one would expect him to turn into a new fungus creature.
    • They may have relocated him and frozen him, though it was never shown on screen. Jenny did call for an isolation truck.
  • When Sarah tries to tell Danny and Connor about the Fungus Creature behind them she has to use the intercom but when Connor tries to tell her about lowering the tempature he just shouts through the glass.
    • The intercom was probably still on since Sarah last used it.
  • When the Lloyd vomits the spores onto Sir Richard's floor, the scattering is different to when the team visits.
    • As is shown in the episode, the spores start to grow when the assistant falls back into the anomaly. It is possible that they may have recollected themselves.

Story connections

  • In reference to Episode 2.7 and 3.3; When Jenny is nearly frozen to death, Connor states "Not again" referencing Cutter and Stephen's deaths.
  • In references to Episode 3.2, Danny mentions the disappearance of his brother.
  • References to Episode 3.3:
    • One of the labs damaged by the bomb was rebuilt to be temperature controlled.
    • In this episode and 3.4, the ARC is still looking for a replacement for Cutter.
    • When Danny intrudes the ARC, Jenny and Becker initially believe it is Helen Cutter.


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