Interview: Lucy Brown on Her Primeval Return

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For some Primeval fans, the discovery that not all the shows main characters would be returning for the fourth and fifth season came as a bit of a blow. By the time the dinosaur series had been saved after its initial cancelleation, a lot of the regular actors were signed on to other things. This Saturday's episode (ITV1, 9pm) will come as a treat then, as former regular Lucy Brown (who played Claudia and then her look-a-like Jenny) is returning to reprise her role as the latter.

TV.com: Were you surprised when you got the call, asking you back on Primeval?
Lucy Brown: No, because when I left in series 3 there were already discussions about this storyline. It was a matter of time. I knew it was there--depending on my schedule--as they'd already asked if I'd be up for coming back.

You must have been pretty chuffed when it was rescued from cancellation.
Absolutely; I was so sad to hear that it had been cancelled, and I was quite surprised. But then again, not surprised when it was picked up again because we have such a global following now. It's fantastic Saturday night entertainment.

A lot of things have changed since you were last on the show: there's a new set and whole bunch of new cast members. Did it seem strange filming the same show in an almost entirely new environment?
It was strange being in Ireland! The first scene I shot when I got to Dublin was the first scene of this episode, and as soon as I walked through the plastic parting and saw Andrew [Lee Potts] it was like I'd never been away. We have such a shorthand with each other--me, Hannah and Andrew especially--that it's just so easy and enjoyable.

So, how does Jenny fit into this episode?
They stumble upon her. Such is the way with Primeval you can never really escape unless you've passed away and even then--who knows. An anomaly opens and Jenny looks round the corner for the disturbance and Conner is literally just there. They bump into each other and then everything starts to unravel.

And it's Jenny's wedding as well, isn't it?
It is! I was very excited actually because the location we shot at was the same place Posh and Becks got married!

Last time we saw Jenny she still had feelings for Nick Cutter; can we assume she's moved on now?
Well, she's confronted by her past due to the situation in this episode. She's got her future husband asking "who was this guy?" It's very hard for Jenny--and Claudia too for that matter—to pop up without mention of Nick Cutter, because that was my tie to the show. Of course he's mentioned and discussed, but two years have gone by and one of the reasons she left the ARC was to pursue some kind of normal life. She's embraced that and got with somebody (a musician) she knew before the ARC, back when she was a PR girl, and everything's light again.

Does the romantic atmosphere help Connor and Abbey reconnect?
I think just by seeing a face from the past warm feelings of nostalgia come through. Plus, they're at a wedding and when couples go to weddings they always feel the love!

Hannah Spearritt and Andrew Lee Potts are a couple in real life too. Does that affect the atmosphere on set?
No, not at all. Having known them since season one I've known them before they were a couple, when they first got together and ever since. To me it doesn't feel any different. They're very comfortable with one another and there's never anything like that.

You've played two characters during your time in Primeval: Claudia and Jenny. Which was the most fun to play?
I couldn't really call it to be honest. I know there are still such warm feelings for Claudia, which is incredible, because she was only there for one season. Even my own father preferred Claudia! I think the death of Cutter ruled out a lot of ideas that could have involved her. They're both equally fun to play. I'm always astonished when I read things that say "isn't Jenny starting to look like Claudia"—I am the same person!

People talk about how Jenny's softened from the beginning of season two, and my answer to that is: she's a grown woman, it would have been ridiculous for her to carry on dressing and behaving like that in season three. She had to adapt to her own environment and that meant taking off the heels.

Do you think there’s scope for either character to come back full time?
I couldn't say, because I can't speak for the writers. But for a show like Primeval I think anything's possible. It'd be more realistic for Jenny because Cutter has left the show. If you remember in series two, no one knew who Claudia was--only he knew--so it wouldn't make much sense for Claudia unless Impossible Pictures want to do a spin-off.

Well there are talks of a movie!
That's been in discussions for quite some a long time, but you never know!

Would you like to come back to Primeval as a regular in some way or another?
Absolutely, I've always had such a brilliant relationship with [the shows creators] Adrian Hodges and Tim Haines. I've always said, when it comes to Primeval I will always pick up the phone. The show's been such a big part of my life, both professionally and socially.