Series 1, episode 3
Cutter seems to be presenting their findings to a meeting at the Home Office, with Lester and Claudia and variety of other people. They are being shown a recording of Connor at the anomaly site in the underground, and he reports to the camera that the anomaly is remaining consistent at five tesla, and proceeds to demonstrate by letting the magnetic field pull a metal container out of his hands. Connor then does a little enthusiastic celebration. Apparently as far as Connor is concerned, watching anomalies drag metal objects in never gets old!
In the meeting room, Lester and Cutter have brief conversation.
Lester: Who’s that idiot?
Cutter: Connor Temple. He looks like a half-wit, but he has a very good brain.
Cutter is not the sort of man who gives out praise lightly, so it seems Connor has managed to make a good impression after all.
It’s also interesting that Connor has apparently been allowed to remain at the anomaly site and observe, or even assist, with research into the anomaly, including measuring the magnetic field. In the background of the video, we see white-coated people, presumably Home Office scientists, milling around the anomaly, and yet Connor is the one presenting their findings. Perhaps he is acting as Cutter’s proxy in some way, and the grunt work of recording measurements, etc, has been delegated to him (as would seem fitting for a university professor asking one of his students to do the data collection for him). Grunt work or not, however, Connor appears to be loving it.
We next see Connor visiting Stephen in hospital, as Stephen packs his things into a bag. He does seem interested and concerned about the fact that Stephen can’t remember what happened to him. Then we get something of a classic Connor-Stephen moment.
Connor: It’s all been pretty scary, hasn’t it? You know, it’s not until you got bitten that I thought that one of us might actually die from doing this. Really upset me.
Stephen: (Sarcastic) You must have gone through hell.
Connor: (Deadpans) Yeah. (Then he gives Stephen a cheeky grin). It did make me think about what’s important, though, you know. Sorts out your priorities a bit. If you get killed, can I have your I-pod?
It’s another nice flash of their sibling-like friendship, and typical Connor, acknowledging something serious, and then tempering it with a joke to lighten the moment.
Then Abby arrives, and Connor looks her up and down with undisguised surprise when he sees she is dressed in a skirt and is wearing more make up than usual. He also looks surprised, and curious, when Stephen reveals he has a girlfriend, and Connor is apparently oblivious to Abby’s sudden disappointment and change in mood, at least at first. Connor again lightens the moment with a joke about Alison hopefully not bringing her work (infectious diseases) home with her, and about how much sex Stephen is going to be having after two years apart.
He does finally seem to realise that Abby isn’t happy once Stephen has gone, and says, apparently sincerely, “I think you look great.” Perhaps he is trying to make Abby feel better, or perhaps he knows how she feels – being rejected even after making an effort. We don’t see Abby’s reaction to him, but this may be the first time he has said something genuine and sensible about his feelings for her, rather than relying on cheesy chat-up lines.
At the swimming pool, Connor is sitting at the side of the pool with his feet dangling in the water, but otherwise fully clothed. Stephen, dressed far more for swimming, sits beside him, while Abby appears to be testing water samples a little way off.
Connor comments that with the chlorine in the pool it would have been, “like swimming in a bucket of acid,” for any reptile that came through. As usual, Connor is the one distilling scientific facts into a humorous comment, I suspect partly so that it doesn’t simply sound like an info dump for the viewer.
Connor then goes on to question Stephen about Alison, and comments how Stephen always gave the impression he was single. Connor is obviously fishing for information, presumably because he is interested in his friend’s surprise girlfriend, but also perhaps to see how the situation lies in relation to Abby and Stephen, for which Connor clearly has an ulterior motive. Of course, Stephen gives nothing away, and it merely sets up the joke for Stephen implying that Connor is gay.
Out at the reservoir anomaly site, we initially see Connor standing alone on a pier, poking the water with a stick.
Connor: Professor! Professor! (Cutter comes running) You’re really going to want to see this. The reservoir’s landlocked, right?
Connor: So allowing for condensation and rainfall, the depth should be pretty consistent.
Connor: Well, I made this mark at water level earlier. (Holds up the stick with a piece of red tape wrapped round it, then puts the stick in the water – the red tape is clearly well above water level). The water level’s fallen 40 centimetres since then. This isn’t a reservoir any more. It’s a tidal lake. The water’s literally pouring out of it.
Cutter: it must be flowing out through the anomaly.
As in 1.1 with the magnetic field, Connor has taken note of the details, and conducted his own little experiment, apparently entirely of his own accord, and drawn conclusions with a little bit of lateral thinking. And again it is Cutter who he turns to first to demonstrate his findings.
As Cutter and Stephen go out to investigate the underwater anomaly, Connor and Abby are left collecting water samples.
Connor: See, why does Stephen get all the fun stuff to do while we get stuck collecting water samples?
Abby: He looks better in a wetsuit.
Connor: Debateable. I can do the action stuff too, you know. I’m not just a massive intellect.
(Abby has an amused smile at his last comment.)
Connor: He doesn’t remember a thing you know, Stephen
Abby: That’s not the point. He knew what he was doing when he asked me out; he knew he had a girlfriend.
Connor: Yeah. And he’d also just been poisoned by a giant centipede. That might have affected his judgement just a little bit.
(Abby gives an annoyed sigh.)
Connor: What am I saying? You know, you’re right. He’s a two-timing weasel and maybe you should put that down to experience and move on. There’s plenty more fish in the sea.
Connor’s assertion that he can do the action stuff has yet to be proven (although it soon will be!), and seems to be yet another attempt to big himself up in front of Abby. What is interesting is that he sticks up for Stephen, and then makes a joke about it, rather than using this as an excuse to make Stephen look bad (and, by extension, himself look better) in Abby’s eyes. Connor seems to be very much a live-and-let-live type person, always willing to look for the good in people rather than being cynical, and he pretty much never speaks ill of a friend, even on occasions when they might deserve it (note – I’m not saying Stephen does deserve it here, it’s an observation about Connor in general).
When they are waist-deep in the water, Connor is the first one who notices the mososaur approaching. At first he obeys Abby’s instruction to keep still, but eventually, presumably when he believes the creature has gone, he shouts at Abby to go, and they both get out of the water as fast as possible.
Of course, the creature follows them, and when it becomes clear there is nowhere to go to get away from the creature, Connor yells at Abby to stay back, and then he grabs an oar and attacks the mososaur, batting it on the nose, and then ramming the oar into its mouth in much the same way as he did with the chair and arthropleurid. The mososaur seems more annoyed than injured, but it apparently decides they are too much bother to keep going after, and returns to the water in search of easier prey. Connor and Abby turns to stare at each other in shock after their close encounter.
When everything has calmed down, Connor and Cutter stand together, Connor relating what happened. He identifies the creature as a mososaur, describes its length, and suggests it is probably from the Cretaceous. This time, there is no sign of his laptop database, so it seems he does know some creature facts without having to look them up. Perhaps he knows more on this occasion because the creature is from a classic dinosaur era? Cutter comments at that size it couldn’t have been fully grown, and pats Connor on the shoulder, saying, “Which is just as well for you.” The pat on the shoulder is probably partly relief that Connor is okay, and partly congratulations for his actions.
Abby joins Connor again and thanks him for saving her, and hugs him. Connor looks startled at first, but a huge smile quickly appears on his face, and he hugs back, a little too enthusiastically, because Abby has to prompt him to let go. They both look a little embarrassed, but not uncomfortable, and Connor lets out a deep breath. This is the first time Abby has initiated any sort of affection towards him, and Connor doesn’t seem to know how to react, although he’s clearly over the moon about it.
Connor is researching mososaurs on his laptop in the university canteen when Tom and Duncan arrive. Tom tries to read over his shoulde, but Connor quickly closes the laptop and stands up and goes to leave. It seems he has learned his lesson since the incident in the previous episode, and now he tells them nothing, and tries to actively avoid talking to them about anything creature related. Tom reminds him that it’s a DVD night, and Connor’s turn to get the pizza, but Connor says he has somewhere to be, and gives them money to get the pizza. After he has left, Tom and Duncan discuss his recent behaviour, saying he has repeatedly missed their DVD nights, and speculate that he might have a girlfriend – a suggestion which they quickly dismiss as unlikely!
It seems Connor has been pulling away from his friends. Perhaps this is because of what happened when he told them too much before, or perhaps it is because he is now spending more time with Cutter and his new friends, Stephen and Abby. From the way that Tom and Duncan talk to and about Connor, you suspect that Connor may actually only have been friends with them because of their mutual interests, rather than because of any strong bond between them. Neither of them seems at all sorry for the joke they played on Connor with the fake dinosaur, and they quickly dismiss the idea that he might be holding a grudge about it.
Connor actually doesn’t give any impression that he is holding a grudge, and gives them pizza money, even though he won’t be joining them. It does all rather imply that he is used to being the butt of their jokes, and that he usually accepts it without complaint or anger.
During the discussion of Helen Cutter at the next anomaly site, Connor interrupts the conversation to express surprise about Helen Cutter being alive, and why he didn’t know about this earlier. He follows this with some rather inappropriately timed humour, until Claudia tells him to shut up. He doesn’t say anything else, but does appear to be watching Cutter carefully.
There is a brief scene later where Connor tells Stephen and Abby that a small mososaur may be able to travel along the sewer drains and get into the river system. It doesn’t seem to lead anywhere plot-wise, but again shows Connor thinking laterally and going off and doing his own research when left to his own devices. It’s also another example of him turning to Stephen with information when Cutter isn’t around.
Connor and Abby are waiting with Cutter in the ambulance as he comes round, and Connor looks extremely uncomfortable, and lets Abby do all the talking. He is watching the house and the soldiers with suspicion, and looks as shocked as the others when Helen is brought out under arrest.
Link to part 2, episode 1.2