Sci-fi simply entertaining

MONDAY VIEWING

Those familiar with the ITV cult drama Primeval know the drill by now. Critters from a long-ago era miraculously appear in the city.

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Not knowing how to behave when volcano mists and prehistoric plains are suddenly replaced by diesel exhaust and concrete jungles, these critters do what any tyrannosaurid would do when confronted by unfamiliar surroundings: They go on a rampage.

Usually it falls on a plucky band of adventurers working off the grid - the math geek, the science nerd the He-Man action hero and the kick-ass gal who's tougher, smarter, more resourceful and more determined than the others put together - to figure out what's going on and why, and then to do something about it without alarming the public (who might go on a rampage themselves if confronted by angry birds with 12-metre wingspans).

The homegrown spin-off Primeval: New World, set and filmed in Vancouver, debuts tonight on Space. The good news is that it's a rousing, rip-roaring adventure yarn, worthy of the original, that manages to pique one's interest without taking itself too seriously.

The better news is that it's slick and professional to look at. One of the unintended - though expected - benefits of a thriving U.S.-generated production industry in cities like Toronto, Vancouver and Calgary is that the local crews, technicians and creative artists are soon working at a world-class level.

That means that when a homegrown drama like Primeval: New World gets off the ground - and New World is Canadian, despite the original's UK pedigree - it no longer has that look of compromise about it.

Primeval: New World looks like an early winner, that may soon be exported around the real world.

Edmonton native Niall Matter stars as Evan Cross, New World's de facto hero.

7 p.m., Space

Three to see

? Canada's Worst Driver is back for an eighth turn-of-the-wheel, which means that, stastically speaking, there are now seven previous "worsts," with an eighth on the way. Three contenders in this year's group are from B.C., by the way.

10 p.m., Discovery

? Revolution shows early signs of becoming the fall's first - and possible only - breakout hit, in the U.S., anyway. In tonight's outing, brooding anti-hero Miles Mathison (Billy Burke) takes the survivors on an unscheduled detour in trying to save Nora (Daniella Alonso) from her most unfortunate injury.

10 p.m., Citytv, NBC

? Robin (Cobie Smulders) frets for Barney Stinson's (Neil Patrick Harris) sanity, after the unrepentant ladies' man chooses a dog to be his wingman on his latest tour-de-club on How I Met Your Mother. It's a comedy, in case you hadn't guessed by now.

8 p.m., Citytv, CBS

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