As well as the usual beasts, actor James Murray reveals that he has to battle demons of a different kind in this series of Primeval.
How does series two kick off for Stephen?
“Series Two starts exactly where Series One ended, with Cutter not only in huge emotional turmoil and confusion about the existence of Claudia, but also what has happened between Stephen and Helen. So, it is with these two bombshells that we start the second series. And its obvious right from the off, that the dynamic between the characters of Stephen and Cutter has altered completely.”
But Cutter and Stephen work together – surely they can’t be enemies.
“You get a genuine tension between the two characters. It’s sad, but great too as when you put that in the context of the storylines that Primeval offers, with the high stakes every week, it becomes like a double jeopardy. There is this mini power struggle going on between these two guys who no longer trust each other, set against the bigger struggle of them trying to do their job and save the world.”
In the first series, there were hints of a romance between Stephen and Abby. What happens there?
“It’s fair to say that as soon as Abby finds out about the affair that he has had with Helen, all affection she had for him is dropped. Stephen really feels the loss of her friendship as Abby is such a warm person – you really have to do something major for her to shut you out. But towards the end of the series, for better or worse, this helps him make choices.”
This time round, the entire team is involved in the action. But does Stephen still get his hands dirty?
“To be robbed of some of the action is no bad thing as it’s meant I’ve been able concentrate on the character a bit more. It’s great to get some big storylines and there’s more to get my teeth into. But I haven’t been totally usurped – while everyone can shoot, I’m still the guy who hits the target every time.”
Has there been a particular sequence you’ve enjoyed filming?
“I really enjoyed the sequences in the desert. We spent a couple of weeks filming the sequence of Cutter and Stephen rescuing this little girl from an oxygen-starved period in history, where there was nothing but scorching sun, and giant insects that live in the sand. That gave us time to explore things between the two characters a little bit as they are essentially stranded out there.
Finally, how does it feel to have your own Stephen Hart action figure?
“People ask me how I feel about it, and to be honest, I don’t know yet. Having action figures is a real part of the hit of the series which is great, but it’s also kind of bizarre! It’s rare to be immortalised in plastic but I’m looking forward to seeing the finished product, and perhaps putting it on my mantelpiece – and hoping it doesn’t melt.”