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Feature: Primeval

Temple of Doom

Publicity cast shot

On Set!
It’s all change for Connor Temple as he finds himself part of a new reality. His alter ego Andrew-Lee Potts tells us more…

As became very clear in the final scenes of Season One, things have altered for the Primeval team. There are obvious changes like new base the Anomaly Research Centre, and less obvious ones, as lead writer Adrian Hodges and his cast apply the lessons they learnt in the series’ first run. “I’ve been lucky,” comments actor Andrew-Lee Potts, the team’s in-house nerd Connor Temple. “Adrian really enjoyed writing for my character last year, he’s said himself that he relates to me the most. Not that I’m saying Adrian Hodges is an oddball at all!” he adds hastily.

“So that’s very lucky for me because I get the kind of experiences that maybe he would want to go through, so I’ve progressed quite a lot in this series.” The actor has also latched on to the key point of the first season cliffhanger – that history has been somehow changed – and used it to fine-tune his performance. “The great thing about an alternate reality, which is something we’ve tried to create here, is that we give everybody a platform to go, ‘Hang on, what doesn’t work about the first series, and what does work? Let’s just chuck away the shit stuff.’ And that’s what basically has happened. So we’ve lost the stuff that we thought didn’t work, and we’ve made what did work stronger, hopefully. I mean, I get a girlfriend…”

Oh, really? “He gets chatted up by this beautiful woman [Caroline] who you’d never expect to be interested in him,” the actor explains, “but seems to be extremely into Connor-isms. But that might be more than meets the eye…” he hints.

“The thing is, he’s never had attention from anyone before, and is obviously infatuated with Abby, so the fact that a beautiful girl like that shows him any attention whatsoever…” The irony is that, behind the scenes, Potts and his co-star Hannah Spearritt, who plays Abby, did become a couple just after shooting on Season One wrapped, and have bought a house which they’ll be moving into in the New Year. That’s a weird echo of the more platonic flat share of Abby, Connor and prehistoric reptile Rex in the series itself. “Yes, they still live together. In a cooler flat; it was quite cool last year and they have an even better flat this year,” Potts comments. Not that cool though, what with the reptiles to keep happy… “Yeah,” he confirms. “Every time they go and film there it’s the snake man that comes. I held my first python this year.” Far from being a frightening experience, Potts says he found it, “Quite relaxing. It was quite calming, a little bit like a cat. And then I got quite proud of myself that I was brave to do that.”

What about screen kisses? “Such a tabloid question!” the actor laughs. “That’s the thing about Caroline: even though she’s quite full-on, she’s quite guarded physically, so even though Connor might go in for the kill, she might turn the cheek, and there’s the whole, ‘Why is she like that?’” With his actual girlfriend on set, Potts found that quite reassuring. “Obviously people have to kiss people as actors and stuff, but yeah, I wouldn’t have enjoyed that at all, it would have been quite uncomfortable.”

by Anthony Brown

Read the full interview in
Cult Times #148

Photo © ITV
Feature © Visual Imagination 2007. Not for reproduction

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Cult Times #148
January 2008
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