The weird thing about this show for me was that as I was watching it, I could kind of imagine the hypothetical TWoP recap in my head, and I was counting all the plotholes that a recapper would be picking out - and there did seem to be a lot.
Let's give it a try:
Thankfully, the writers have a basic understanding of how a 'giant rampaging dinosaurs' TV show will be promoted so don't dick us around by being coy about what the Thing in the Woods is. Instead, we get a great big lizard chasing a woman, a Professor Cutter, around a car park from the very first shot. Eight years later another Professor Cutter, a palaentologist distinguished by his Y chromosome and his angsty pining for his wife (the original Cutter XX from the teaser, who's been missing ever since), is cornered by a student who has a report of a big monster less than a mile from where Cutter XX vanished.
Cutter XY and said student high tail it down to investigate along with Cutter XY's research assistant. After hooking up with a hot Home Office official in a hotel bar, they discover a half eaten truck full of mostly eaten chickens. Fortunately Cutter XY's assistant is an expert big game hunter and tracker (is Cutter the most forward planning palaentologist in the world or what?) and they follow the trail through the woods only to come face to face with a genuine, no-bullshit dinosaur.
While all this has been going on, Poor Man's Billie Piper is getting the sack from her job from the zoo despite being one of the world's leading reptile expert (hot teenager division) but takes on one last task for them - to pick up a rare reptile a young Anakinalike is unable to care for. PMBP is shocked that the 'reptile' is in fact a small flying dinosaur called Rex. So shocked, in fact, that her brain falls out her head and she takes a small child and the rarest animal in the world
into the middle of the forest Rex was found in, just to look about. Because, y'know, if it runs off or anything she can pick one of those up almost anywhere. Oh look, it has
Just as well, considering the giant dino that roars through the forest, makes them shit their pants, and chases Anakinalike all the way home and tries to make like Jaws and Robert Shaw only with beds, not boats. Fortunately, he manages to beat it off with his mad lightsabre skillz but is still stuck with a mother so stupid that she thinks he ripped off the side of the house himself. PMBP finally bumps into the Cutter Crew (they just died in your arms tonight.. must have been something you said) in time to confirm Cutter's view that the dino they've found is a veggiesaurus and find a big hole that's been punched in the fabric of space/time ("I don't want to say magic door"). They retrieve Rex and head back to Chez Anakin where they totally sell out the kid and act like he's crazy with all his dino talk (that's what you get for leaving PMBP to be eaten alive, chump. Bitch holds a grudge).
Cutter XY and PMBP get hauled off to London by Home Office Lady where Poor Man's Ben Stiller (who, funnily enough, is actually an actor called Ben Miller) tries to boss them around before he lauches into a "hilarious" setpiece that involves falling over, mugging, running around like a slack jawed idiot and, yes, dino poop. Jesus Christ. The upside is that if them made an episode that was 45mins of Rex bopping along to elevator muzak I'd probably watch it. Because that? Was CUTE. Back in the sticks, Meatasaurus is tracking down Anakin to his school and this obsession with little boys is making me think Meatasurus is a card carrying member of NADBLA. Anyhoo, it somehow shrinks down enough to comfortably fit in a school corridor (My God! It's a Slitheen!) and attacks Anakin and his teacher in a blur of poor continuity where the classroom can't decide what floor it's on. Fortunately, Cutter's assistant shows up and distracts it by running away a lot.
Cutter, meantime, returns to the Magic Door with a bunch of Stargate extras and voooms through to the ancient past. The bodyguard that's been sent with him doesn't seem to grasp the concept of being close to the body in order to guard it and just lets Cutter wander off on his own until some wobbling of the Magic Door gets him antsy and he goes looking for him. He finds Cutter XY at a destroyed basecamp containing Cutter XX's camera and a male skeleton that, strangely, doesn't have any of the crush damage you'd expect from entering one end of a dino and exiting the other. After some hideously macho bullshit, Cutter XY is literally dragged back through the Magic Door just before it sputters out completely.
It's at this point that Meatasaurus pops up again to say "Hi!" (although it pronounces it "GaRRRRRAAARRGGHH!!") and completely fails to eat any extras. To be fair, though, the extras pump huge amounts of ammo into it with no effect so it's 0-0 there. But, lo! Here comes academic research assitant cum big game hunter cum hit and run driver man who preserves his boss's tenure (and arms, and legs, and head) by ramming Meatasaurus with an SUV. The dino's down for the count, but the SUV doesn't even have a scrape and I SO don't want one of those things on the same road as my kid (crumple zones save lives, people!). After finishing meatasaurus off with some more gunfire (and seriously, there's no point in my book in being all 'what about the children!?' about deaths onscreen if you're just going to put in so much "Guns rock!" crap in your show).
The Cutter Crew head back in London where Poor Man's Ben Stiller is relieved the crisis is over, but Cutter observes that this isn't actually a pilot and they've already been pre-commissioned, shatnering that "This! Is! Not! Over!" as the music goes crazy to persuade us that five more episode of this stuff is a good thing.
Home once more, Cutter XY looks through the photos from Cutter XX's camera - discovering that she's taken photo after photo of herself despite being in the fucking ancient past surrounded by fucking dinosaurs
(which is like a 9.8 on the Cordelia Scale of Self Absorbment). But what's this? Someone has broken into his office and left him an early Valentine's - a million year old snail (Snails = True Love). Chasing the shadowy intruder he catches sight of her -- it's Cutter XX! Despite all his moaning all episode about doing anything to find her, everyone has their limits - Cutter XY's being crossing a road, cause chasing into the ancient past is one thing but she just totally stepped into the shadows. There's no coming back from that. Or maybe Cutter XY's just in shock about the fact that his wife seems to have been just dicking him around for the past eight years and has been perfectly okay the whole time!
NEXT WEEK: The writers put that persistent "Doctor Who rip-off" tag to rest by having spiders build a giant web in the London underground
. Oh, and it's getting hot in here so PMBP takes off all her clothes. As you do.
Edited by Nuallain, Feb 13, 2007 @ 8:07 AM.