Primeval’s Mr Nasty has got something to smile about this series – he gets a new sidekick, as actor Ben Miller explains…
Remind us of what happened at the end of series one?
“The whole of the last series was all about visiting the past, and they were always very careful not to alter anything for fear of changing the future. But of course, that was NEVER going to work and all that crashing around in past times saw them in the very last episode change something. The Future Predator got released into history, which affected the future.”
Primeval II sees James Lester get a new sidekick. What can you tell us about them?
“To replace Claudia, in this series, I get a new sidekick called Oliver Leek. He’s played by Karl Theobald from Green Wing who has been just fantastic to work with. Lester pretty much despises everyone and Leek is no different. But Leek, unlike Claudia before him, adores Lester. He’s like Lester’s puppy – smack him on the nose and he will love you even more.”
At the end of series one, Lester and Cutter’s relationship was one of hostility, is that still the case?
“At the start yes, but it becomes something approaching respect by the end. Cutter despises Lester in the first series, and that is entirely mutual. That’s where we start out again, but Cutter has vulnerability that he didn’t have in the first series and Lester can see he’s all over the shop. It could be the ideal opportunity to exploit this as a potential weakness, but he doesn’t.”
Does Lester get out in the field this series?
“This series for me was very exciting because, in the last one, for the team, going to see Lester was pretty much like going to see the Headmaster, and sitting in the Headmaster’s office. But in this series I actually get out of the Headmaster’s office and I get to fight some creatures. At the end of this series, Lester gets a Rambo moment: he faces a future predator. And it’s a case of kill, or be killed.”
All of the other characters are being made into toys. What about you?
“I don’t get a toy. Apparently, everybody has to have a monster – in the new series every action figure has to have an appropriate nemesis. Now I’m thinking that maybe I could have the future predator! Or the mammoth. Or just a gun – I’d be happy with a gun!”
You’re also currently on our screens in Echo Beach spin-off Moving Wallpaper. You’re certainly a busy man…
“I was shooting Moving Wallpaper and Primeval at the same time and am hoping these will keep me busy for a little while. My career has really taken off since we had a baby – it’s very odd! I’ve been really, really lucky and I’m very excited and it feels like happy days.”