Episode 4.1 is the first episode of the fourth series of Primeval. It was broadcast as Zurück aus der Kreidezeit(Back from the Cretaceous Period)[1] in Germany.


"Things have changed at the ARC. Connor and Abby are still missing in the Cretaceous, and Danny is stranded in his search for Helen. In their absence, a new ARC team springs into action. The new ultra-efficient operation descends into disarray, however, when the Dracorex escapes from the Menagerie.

After a year in the Cretaceous, Abby and Connor finally escape through an Anomaly... only to be followed through by a giant Spinosaurus. Becker, along with new field leader Matt, attempt to corral the creature back through the Anomaly during a high octane chase. In the end, Connor inadvertently saves the day.

Unfortunately, new boss Philip informs Connor and Abby that they are no longer needed. Will things ever be the same again?

Meanwhile, Matt meets a mysterious stranger who seems to know all about the ARC operation. Is there more to Matt than meets the eye?"[2]

Full synopsis

A year after Danny, Connor and Abby pursued Helen through an Anomaly in Episode 3.10 and didn't return, things have changed greatly at the ARC in their absence. After all rescue missions sent through the Anomaly failed, a new team has been put in place - consisting of military leader Becker, new team leader Matt Anderson and new team coordinator Jess Parker - the ARC has moved to a new headquarters, and the ARC is now co-founded by Prospero Industries.

Matt is daydreaming to himself of a mysterious harsh wasteland landscape, when an alarm alerts him to the escape of the Dracorex from the Menagerie, because Jess opened the airlock too early during maintenance. After Matt has a brief confrontation in the hall, the creature makes its way to the hub, where it confronts Jess just as Lester arrives, and as Becker and his men arrive, Matt lures the Dracorex into Lester's office with water, ending the crisis.

Meanwhile, in the Cretaceous, Abby is searching for roots and bulbs when Connor sneaks up on her to test their self-defence skills. At their camp, Connor hears his makeshift Anomaly detector go off, but it is only the wind, and Abby, thinking they have no chance of ever getting home tells Connor to forget it. Connor talks of when they do get home, sick of eating bulbs and roots, and Abby tells him to do some fishing.

Lester isn't happy about the Dracorex's escape, and Matt takes the blame for Jess. After Becker has tranquilised the dinosaur, Matt tells Becker to meet him in the armoury when he's done moving the Dracorex, as his new EMD weapons have arrived. Becker, not liking the idea of using non-lethal weapons, reluctantly agrees.

Back in the Cretaceous, Abby is flicking through one of Connor’s books, when a few pages fall out. She tries to put them back in, but accidentally drops the book into the fire. Connor catches a fish at a river, but a Spinosaurus arrives and chases him, as he is in its territory. as he is chased back to the camp, and though the Spinosaurus tries to get them, it is unable to get past the thick tree roots protecting the two. After it finally leaves, Abby decides its time to leave, but Connor is reluctant to move away from the original Anomaly site, until Abby finally convinces him.

In the ARC armoury, Matt and Jess show off the EMDs and explain how they work to Becker, but he believes they are mere tasers and won't have any effect on creatures. He tells Matt to shoot him with it, and that if he thinks its an effective weapon he'll use it, otherwise Matt will have to drop the matter. Despite Jess' protests, Matt does shoot Becker with an EMD, and proves to be very effective.

During Abby and Connor's journey, the pair hear a Raptor nearby, and Abby drops her bag as they go to hide behind a tree. The raptor steals her tin foil blanket, and Abby and Connor chase after it.

Becker complains to Matt about using the EMD on him, and Matt assures him that he won't do anything to risk the team's lives. Becker tells Matt it was his job to protect the old team, and after the disappearance of Danny, Abby and Connor as well as the death of Sarah during an attempted rescue mission, he now feels guilty for not been able to do his job, and asks Matt if he trusts him, and Matt tells him he does. Philip Burton, the new co-owner of the ARC, arrives and tells Lester that he is putting more money into the ARC at the minister's request, showing much enthusiasm for the ARC's work. He then confronts Matt, knowing it was Jess that released the Dracorex, and warns him if he screws up again he'll be fired.

The Raptor adds Abby's blanket to its nest-like bower, and once the raptor leaves, Connor begins raiding its nest in search of Abby's blanket. In the process, Connor comes across his missing old gloves, and most pleasantly-shocking of all, Helen's Anomaly Opening Device. He is initially excited, but Abby's hopes are crushed when they find that the Device is badly damaged and torn open. While trying to repair it as they head back to their camp, Abby sarcastically suggests shaking it, but it works and the device is back online, both thrilled that they can finally leave. Connor successfully opens an Anomaly, but as they prepare to enter it, the Spinosaurus reappears and blocks their way through. While they take cover, the Spinosaurus becomes mesmerised by the Anomaly. Abby, knowing they can't sneak around the dinosaur, comes up with an idea and heads off with her blanket. Meanwhile back in the present, the ARC has picked up the Anomaly, and the team head out to deal with it, armed with their new EMDs.

Back in the Cretaceous, Abby returns, chased by the Raptor, luring it with the blanket then runs towards the Spinosaurus. The Spinosaurus attacks the smaller carnivore, and the two begin a fight to the death, during which Connor and Abby run through the Anomaly as the Spinosaurus wins. To their relief, the Anomaly has brought them back to the present day and are back home at last. Within seconds, the new ARC team arrives and locks the Anomaly. After sharing a joyous reunion with Becker, they are introduced to Matt, who prepares to send the two to the ARC while they stay to keep an eye on the Anomaly, but Connor says that he can close the Anomaly with the Opening Device. Instead, he unintentionally unlocks it and lets the Spinosaurus through. The dinosaur runs past them and begins rampaging throughout the city. Matt and Becker give chase.

Jess tells Lester of the situation, and demands that Abby and Connor be brought back in one piece. Connor and Abby steal one of the ARC vehicles and follow the others, and allow the Spinosaurus to chase them when it is attacking the garbage truck Matt is in. Jess contacts Connor and Abby and tells them to lead the Spinosaurus into a nearby arena. They do so, with Matt and Becker following. Once the creature is inside, the exits are blocked. Connor tries to get rid of the dinosaur by opening a new Anomaly with the Device, but he is in the way of the team, who can't use their EMDs with him so close. The Spinosaurus spots Connor and prepares to attack, when Abby activates the arena's lights and music while Matt, who has climbed into the rafters of the building, hangs down on a rope to save Connor. Becker and the soldiers shoot the Spinosaurus with EMDs, but it quickly gets back up and Connor, despite refusing to let go of the device, drops it into the Spinosaurus' open mouth. An Anomaly then opens from within the Spinosaurus, consuming the creature, before closing.

Returning to the ARC, Abby and Connor are amazed at the new facility, and reunite with Lester, telling him that Danny must have finished off Helen but never returned. Abby asks where Sarah is and everyone stays quiet (she was killed in the last of the four missions to try and rescue Abby, Connor and Danny) as Philip arrives and meets Connor and Abby, the former excited to meet Philip because of his reputation. He and Lester tell the pair that due to the new rule stating that all field team members are from a strictly military background, both are not going to be allowed to return to their old jobs and will be given new ones inside the ARC, to their fury.

Matt meets up with Gideon, a wealthy elderly man living at a beautiful countryside estate, who seems to know all about the ARC operation. Matt tells him of Abby and Connor's return, and Gideon suggests getting them both back on the team, and it is clear he two men seem to be working on something that involves the entire ARC; they are apparently seeking a particular someone within the operation, but they don't yet know which person it is or even if it could be everyone. Connor wakes up in an apartment the next morning to find Abby keeping watch as they did in the Cretaceous, and offers to take her place. Abby, however, wants to stay with him, and the two kiss, showing they are in a relationship.

Cast and crew





Objects and technology



  • This episode takes place one year after the events of Episode 3.10, both in the present and the Cretaceous.
  • James Lester's opening recap says that this episode takes place five years after the ARC was founded. Series 4 takes place in 2011, the same year it was broadcast, meaning that Series 1 takes place in 2006.
    • However, this could be debated as it is not known exactly whether Lester considers the beginning of the ARC to be the events of Episode 1.1 or the founding of the actual organisation which took place in the post-original timeline at some stage before the events of Episode 1.6. Since we do not know exactly how much time passed between Episode 1.1 - Episode 1.6 we cannot say for certain which year this series occurs in.


  • From this episode onward, North America stopped naming Primeval episodes when broadcast.
  • This is the first episode to feature the new title sequence.
  • When Abby turns up the music in the arena, the song Don't Stop Movin by S Club 7 begins to play. Hannah Spearritt was one of the members of S Club 7 before they broke up in 2003. In the DVD releases, however, the music was changed, presumably for legal reasons.
  • For James Lester's recap when he looks at the audience, stock footage from Webisode 4 is used (or vice versa).
  • This episode used pre-filmed footage from Episode 5.6 for Matt Anderson's flashback of the sterile earth desert.


  • In James Lester's recap, the scene of Matt showing Becker the new EMDs is shown which actually happens later in this episode.