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Guns of the Silver Screen: V21N2

By Kyle Shea

Primeval

There are countless stories about men armed with modern weaponry fighting giant prehistoric beasts from the past. From “King Kong” to Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s “The Lost World,” to video games like the Jurassic Park Arcade games where the player uses a gun to fight off a giant T-Rex, it is a fun fantasy to fight giant dinosaurs and other long extinct creatures. In 2007, a British series called “Primeval” aired and tried to show us such a world.

The plot of Primeval is that a series of strange portals appear in the English countryside. These portals are basically holes in time, where if you step into one, you could find yourself in the distant past or in the distant future. However, it works both ways, and large and dangerous creatures eventually start to come through the portals. To combat this problem, the British government assembles a group of scientists and wildlife experts to help control the situation without the public knowing. The show is actually the creation of the producers of the “Walking with Dinosaurs” and sequel shows.

In one episode of the show, the heroes go up against a giant Mosasaur, a marine reptile that is terrorizing the local rivers in London. To fight it they get their hands on an underwater spear gun, a tool used by scuba divers when they swim in more dangerous waters. The spear guns are always smaller than the one used in this episode, nothing more than a thin stick. They are fired either by rubber band or by air (called Pneumatic).

The spear gun in the movie is really just movie magic, but it can actually shoot. I remember it being a bit heavy for its size. The harpoon is made out of solid metal, making up most of the weight. The tip was sharp, and you had to be careful how you held it. You can’t really hunt with it, but it would look good on your wall.

The spear is probably one of the oldest weapons in the world, and fishing with one goes back thousands...

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