Andrew-Lee Potts (‘Primeval’) interview

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Adventure series Primeval returns to ITV1 in January for a fourth series, starring Andrew-Lee Potts as Connor.

> Order the Series 4 DVD on Amazon.

How does Series 4 start for Connor?

“Well, Connor and Abby have been stuck in the past for about a year or so, and there have been many adventures that have happened in the time period. You don’t see these things, but you understand that they have survived pretty much injury free and are all in one piece, albeit with dreadlocks and facial hair. Even though Connor had a few tools in his bag, a razor wasn’t one of them. So I thought it would be more realistic if we had matted dreads and all that. So we’re a bit grungy, a bit Mad Max. It picks up with Connor and Abby being self-sufficient, a kind of super team. Obviously we’ve dealt with all kinds of things, come up with solutions to problems and caught our own food.”

There’s always been a ‘will they, won’t they’ element to Connor and Abby’s relationship. How does their relationship progress in Series 4?

“Their relationship is more developed than ever actually, because of that experience away. They only had each other to rely on, so the dating options were limited. They’ve been thrown together, they have survived together and they weren’t sure whether they were going to make it. So the love between them has formulated respect and massive trust. But it’s interesting when you see them they’re very jaded and Connor has kind of lost his spark. It’s been really hard for him. But Abby is a real survivor and has been dealing with the fact that they might be stranded forever. He never gave up on believing that they’d get back.”

Connor has always loved his gadgets and gizmos. Was it tough for him to live without a wireless reception?

“Yeah, the phone reception was really bad back in the Cretaceous period (laughs). He would have been frustrated, but as a character he’s extremely resourceful. So he makes things that are more basic. You see he’s made little anomaly detectors, and an early warning system. But they’re constantly on the move, and Connor’s worry is that every time they move they get further and further away from where the anomaly was originally.”

So when you eventually come back to the ARC, how does Connor react to the changes?

“I think his nose is put out of joint a bit. Obviously they’ve survived one thing, but they then walk into another situation. They’re really happy to be back, but they feel like they don’t belong anymore. They get sacked when they come back and it’s like, ‘we went through all of this, for you to sack us?!’ Everything’s moved on, including the technology. Connor goes into the ARC and sees a young girl sitting in his seat and he can’t believe it. He designed the thing she’s playing with!”

And then there’s Philip Burton…

“Connor is given a lot of things to focus on from Philip, stuff that’s above and beyond his original ARC work is. The fact the anomalies appear means it becomes second fiddle to the bigger scheme of why we’re here and how they could help us in any way. I love the story arc within that has some really explosive outcomes.”

Connor seems to be growing up fast in Series 4…

“Every time he’s been on screen he’s got a little bit braver and a little bit wiser. He’s always been super-brave, especially when it comes to Abby. But after surviving a year in the past it lends itself to the character, because you ask what exactly happened during that year away. All I know is that he’s faster and stronger. Connor upgraded. I love his sense of humour and innocence, but even that gets pushed in this series. You even begin to question his motives.”