Ruth Bradley (‘Primeval’) interview

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Ruth Bradley is back as Emily Merchant in the fifth series of time-travelling dinosaur drama Primeval, airing at 8pm on Tuesdays, exclusive to Watch.

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Forever traversing times and places, Emily comes back from the Victorian era… and to Matt.

How does it feel to be back for Series 5?

“It feels amazing. We only had a week and a half’s break in between series, but it was great to be back. I don’t come back straight away in Series 5, but you never know where Emily is going to pop up! That’s the beauty of time travelling!”

Where would Emily like to check out if she had the chance do you think?

“I think she’d quite like the late 1960s, early 70s… part of that whole Germaine Greer feminist crew. Because she’s such a strong, feisty woman who even though is from the Victorian era, doesn’t act too much like a Victorian lady, I think she would have burned the corsets if she was ever in the 60s or 70s.”

Would you like to burn those corsets too?

“They are a nightmare to wear, but they’re kind of a brilliant diet trick. They take pounds off you!”

In the last episode of Series 4 we saw Emily go back to her own time via an anomaly. How does Series 5 pan out for her?

“She’s gone back to her own time and she stumbles upon a member of the ARC there, which is pretty amazing. But generally she’s back to her old tricks of trying to protect everyone and trying to save the world. But this time within the confines of her own world, so she’s not walking down the road with spears and daggers. She’s leading a bit of a double life when we see her – keeping up appearances during the day and fighting the good fight at night.”

How does her relationship with Matt develop?

“I think he is pleased to see her. He’s got this whole journey going on as well, so he sees her as someone to confide in. She’s carrying all this information for him, and they kind of depend on each other in a ver y subtle way. They’re so independent and very much equals. Neither of them are the type of people to say [adopts sweet voice] ‘I love youuuuuu’ because that would certainly make her too vulnerable, and she’s so not a vulnerable person.”

What about her other relationships with the female members of the team?

“I think as Series 5 develops, so her relationship develops with the rest of the team too. The likes of Jess and Abby become more of her life, even though she’s so used to protecting herself and being on her own. They’re not going round to each other’s houses for sleepovers or anything like that, but they do get closer.”

Let’s talk guns, because, as you say, Emily is a feisty character who mixes it with all kinds of monsters…

“I love the guns! Especially the big ones! I was given some of the guys’ guns so that was great fun. I had to learn how to hold them because it was a great big rifle. I think the funniest thing was trying not to make the sound of the gunshot when I held it.

“I so wanted to go ‘dududududududu’ whenever I held my gun! It’s so like being a kid. I was five again! Not that I was shooting guns when I was five, but I definitely discovered my boy qualities again. I was loving playing with the guns!”

What was the scariest monster Emily had to come up against?

“You know, I haven’t actually seen them yet, but according to my imagination – which we all had to use when we were using green screen – it would probably be the future predators, because they’re unlike anything Emily has ever seen before. All new and scary!”

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