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- "I'm finished with the past. I just don't know if it's finished with me."
- ―Nick to Stephen and Stuart
The research of Professor Nick Cutter (b.1973) is what first led the government to investigate the anomaly phenomenon. Nick led the ARC team (at the time the "Home Office Team") through many a creature incursions, and new and dangerous anomalies, hoping to find his wife, Helen, and child, Andrew, alive, after disappearing eight years before. He did find her, but she was a changed woman.
Born in Edinburgh, Scotland, in 1973, Nick grew up with his parents, Mary and Jacob Cutter, and younger brother, Charles, born in 1979. His father Jacob, died in a mountaineering accident in 1990, when Nick was seventeen and Charles was eleven.
Evolutionary zoologist, university professor and team leader, Professor Nick Cutter is a maverick. Hard-bitten, cynical and Scottish he struggles with rules and authority – to the extent that he doesn’t even turn up for his own lectures. There are rumors he has a softer side but he’s keen to dispel those. He prefers fossils to live animals, the Stones to the Beatles and thinks there’s more chance of finding intelligent life elsewhere in the universe than there is in the government.
His mission is to make sense of the anomalies which are allowing creatures from the past, and the Future, to roam the modern world. For Cutter this is not just a professional mission, he has a personal interest. His wife, Helen Cutter (nee Ambrose), went missing along with his youngest son, Andrew, and was presumed dead for eight years. He discovered that Helen was actually traveling through the anomalies. Her return had left a lot of questions unanswered.
Nick met Helen in college and they soon had a speedy romance, before getting married in 1990 shortly after the death of Nick's father. Stephen Hart was one of his and Helen's students, and he later got a job as Cutter's lab technician. Nick's marriage, which his brother Charles did not approve of, ran into difficulties in 1994 when a family gathering - between Nick, Helen, their young twins Stuart and Andrew, Mary, Charles and his girlfriend - ended with Helen in tears, Charles in hospital and the twins covered in ice-cream, and unbeknownst to Nick, Helen had an affair with Stephen, followed by another man. In 1995, Helen became obsessed with "evolutionary puzzles" which could not be explained by conventional science. She came up with theories that Cutter found ridiculous, leading to them growing apart even more. In 1999 - at which time Nick and Helen were only living together for the sake of the children - after following up a creature sighting in the Forest of Dean (which turns out to be a Gorgonopsid), Helen discovered an anomaly and, along with her six year old son, went through, disappearing completely. The whole world assumed she was dead, and Nick was left grieving and distraught with a six year old son. Two months later, Nick received word that his nephew, Anakin Cutter, had been born; he did not visit his brother, but did sent a present to congratulate him. This was the last communication the two brothers would have until 2004, when, through their mother's interference, the two became civil to one another again.
Nine years after the disappearances of Helen and Andrew - in 2007 - at the Central Metropolitan University, young palaeontology student Connor Temple approached Cutter, his idol, Stuart (now 13) and Stephen. Cutter abruptly slings Connor's dissertation in a waste paper bin. He then shows Connor a fossilised Sarcopterygian, that should have been extinct for 70 million years. Connor shows him a newspaper photograph of an apparently therapsid-type monster. Initially disinterested, even when Connor remarked Helen wouldn't have ignored it, Cutter only became intrigued when he heard the sighting was in the Forest of Dean, where Helen had dissapeared eight years prior. Along the way they found a lorry with its trailer's side torn open by huge sharp claws and a nearby fence smashed down. Stephen concluded it was a hoax, but Nick was not so sure. At a nearby hotel, Cutter was approached and kissed by a young woman. She apologised and explained she did so to dissuade a potential date, introducing herself as Claudia Brown of the Home Office, sent to investigate the animal sighting, so he invited her to join the search. Cutter, Stephen, Connor and Claudia entered the Forest of Dean and, along with Abby Maitland, a reptile keeper at Wellington Zoo, find a prehistoric Scutosaurus. They arrived at the house of Ben Trent, a young boy who had been attacked and Cutter was the only one to believe his story. They returned to the Scutosaurus to look for a strange portal Ben claimed to have seen. The frightened Scutosaurus fled back where it came from, leading them to an anomaly - a hole in time and space. Claudia took Cutter and Abby back to the Home Office, where the two them were made to sign the Official Secrets Act. They then met James Lester, who was to oversee the crisis, and their first encounter didn't go well with the two disregarding the other. After seeing a Coelurosauravus named Rex that Abby had, Cutter theorised that the anomaly may lead to Earth in the late Permian period. He also believed Helen may be in the Permian and told Lester he will find out. Lester provided Cutter with permission to go through the anomaly. Cutter also decides to return Rex through the anomaly, as the creatures should remain in their own time. Accompanied by special ops force leader Captain Tom Ryan they went through into the Permian. After releasing Rex, the pair explored their surroundings, finding to their amazement remains of a camp and a male human skeleton, as well as a camera marked "H.C.": the initials of Helen Cutter. Ryan remarked their allowed time was over and, but Cutter wanted to stay to find his wife. Ryan clubed Cutter with a pistol and carried him back towards the anomaly. Cutter threatened to stay, but not wanting to strand Ryan too, he relented and the two went back through the anomaly just before it closed. Suddenly, a carnivorous Gorgonopsid that had also come through the anomaly attacked. As the team escaped, Claudia triped and Cutter went back to help her, but they were left alone in the clearing with the Gorgonopsid advancing on them. Before it could kill them, Stephen arrived and managed to kill it. Back at the Home Office, the film from Helen's camera was developed, showing pictures of Helen in the ancient landscape. Lester seemed relieved the immediate crisis was over, but Cutter remarked it wasn't over: it was just beginning. After going back to his office, Cutter discovered a live ammonite on his desk. Racing outside, he saw a ghostly silhouette of Helen, who walked off into the night as he shouted after her.
Cutter suspected that Helen knew about the anomaly linked to the Permian, searching through her old notes wth Stephen. Cutter wasn't happy that Connor had told his friends about the Gorgonopsid and the anomaly, and after they played a trick on him and Abby he promptly fires Connor, but kept Abby on because of her valuable expertience dealing with animals. Cutter and Claudia are called to a nearby hospital, where a London Underground Cleaner who was suffering from a vicious wound to his neck and venom. After convincing Lester to close the Underground station where the attack occurred, Cutter and the team went to investigate. Captain Ryan and his soldiers go in first, but were forced to retreat due to giant spiders. After concluding the anomaly is linked to the late Carboniferous Cutter, Stephen and Abby went down to investigate. They found the anomaly, and Cutter wondered what was happening to their world. An Arthropleura then attacked them and Cutter became lost in a maze of underground passages. Lost, he hears Helen's voice calling to him. He eventualy escaped the network of tunnels and found Stephen, who was critically ill from an Arthropleura bite. Stephen gave a message to Cutter saying that Helen's alive, and she was waiting for him on the other side of the anomaly. The only way to save Stephen was to get a sample of the creature's venom so Cutter ordered that the Arthropleura be captured so a sample of its venom can be taken, but they couldn't find it. Fortunately Connor realised it had burrowed deeper underground so Cutter, Connor who was given a second chance and Ryan followed the narrow tunnel to the Arthropleura. It attacked Cutter, who had it inject venom into two absorbent pads under his suit before it was killed. Stephen recovered but does not remember anything about seeing Helen. Back in the underground, Cutter and Connor watch the anomaly while they wait for it to close, telling Connor that he would give him another chance because he did a good job. Cutter stood by the anomaly, thinking about Helen, but did not go through.
Cutter tried to make Lester understand the deadly seriousness of the situation, but the Home Office official remained infuriatingly optimistic. A swimming pool lifeguard was killed, and his regurgitated body was found in a reservoir, Cutter suspected that only a prehistoric creature had the ability to do that and that the anomaly has moved in our time, but remained fixed on the other side. While searching for the anomaly at the Queen Mary Reservoir he admitted to Claudia he was thinking of Helen and dismissed her suspicions before he realised where the anomaly was. Diving to reach it he located it and kept an eye on it until a Mosasaur went through and it closed. Cutter theorised that the anomaly was moving along a faultline, and he predicted exactly the next position of the anomaly - a basement in Wakefield Road, London. Tied around a lost diver's wrist was a message from Helen. Claudia was furious that Cutter hadn'd revealed earlier that Helen was still alive, and when Lester arrived he orders Cutter to go through the anomaly to get Helen or he would be fired. Cutter agreed on the condition that no soldiers accompany him. He swam through the anomaly into the Cretaceous period where he found Helen, swimming in a rock pool. They had a long discussion: Helen revealed that she did know about the anomalies, but kept it to herself because she wanted to study them, fearing he would expose them to the wider scientific community and she would never get a look-in. Cutter tried to convince her to come back with him, but Helen said she has been exploring the anomalies and seen many wonders, and want him to join her. He couldn't forgive her for letting him think she was dead all this time. Enraged by his refusal, she states that he should have moved on after her apparent death, like herself, and that humans will be extinct soon. Cutter realised that the Helen he knew was gone and went back alone. While swimming to the anomaly, a Mosasaur attacked, managing to rip open his air tube, leaving him drowning. Luckily a bigger Mosasaur arrived and killed the smaller one. Cutter was pulled back through the anomaly was given CPR by Claudia. After recovering he saw that Lester had sent Ryan and an armed team through the anomaly and brought Helen back by force. As she was carted off to the Home Office, Cutter looked on in horror.
While Helen was being interrogated, Cutter, Stephen, Connor and Abby responded to a creature call though it was only a relatively harmless, modern-day python. Claudia called to ask for his help in talking to Helen, and he agreed. Helen initially accused him of setting her up, before abruptly warning Cutter that "a pride of sabre-toothed killers will be rampaging through Central London". Helen led the team to the kitchens of a deserted football stadium where they found an anomaly, but no sabre-toothed cats. While the team prepared, Helen escaped through the anomaly, and Cutter was prevented from going through. Later a flock of curious Dodos come through and they realise Helen's story about sabre-toothed cats was a bluff. The team return all the dodos through the anomaly, save for one which had mysteriously died. Back at the Home Office, Cutter, Abby and Stephen are about to perform an autopsy on the dodo, when a strange, worm-like creature slithers out of its beak. After some study, Cutter told Lester that the creature is a highly dangerous parasite that destroys its host's body, keeping them alive just long enough to reproduce itself and once that is achieved, parasite and host die together. Just then they receive information from Connor that his friends Tom and Duncan have captured a dodo, and Connor suspects that Tom has been infected with a parasite. The team head over there, and find the dodo's dead body, but not Tom. Seeing a broken lightbulb by the dodo's body, Cutter realised that the parasite is light-sensitive and wherever Tom is, he'll be trying to stay in the dark. He warned Lester that they had to find Tom before he infected anyone else or they would have a pandemic. Lester agrees, though he thought the whole situation was part of Helen's 'twisted plan' and Cutter tried to defend his wife. Upon realising that they need to understand more about what Tom is thinking, Cutter and Stephen talked to Connor and Duncan, who explained that Tom would likely be tracking the device that they used to find the dodo. It transpires that Tom goes after Abby, who ends up being chased round the football stadium by an increasingly vicious Tom. the team arrive just before Tom is going to bite Abby, and who then dies in Connor's arms. A grief-stricken Connor tried to resign, but Cutter, in a display of remarkable compassion, told Connor "There's a handful of people in the whole world who know exactly what we're dealing with and you're one of them. He would have loved it, it would have made his day. So you can't back out now". Cutter then consoles an upset Connor, who agrees to stay.
Lester has been piling the pressure on Claudia to get answers from Cutter about the Anomalies but he has no response. Meanwhile, at a nearby golf course, the discovery of a murdered golfer brings the team in. Cutter examined the body and concluded that the man was torn apart by something of phenomenal power and savagery... something that could only have come through an anomaly. However, when Cutter, Abby and Stephen scour the surrounding countryside, they can find no trace of an anomaly, but there is a strong magnetic field present. Cutter noticed there was no sound: the birds and insects have all been scared off. Looking up, they saw the anomaly was in the sky. While Cutter wondered where the creature has gone, Stephen spotted a Pteranodon swooping straight for them, skimming over their heads before flying off. The Pteranodon was apparently attacking Connor, and Cutter prevented Ryan from shooting it, thinking that something wasn't right. The Pteranodon escaped and Cutter and Stephen give chase with Claudia in tow. The Pteranodon is caught and tranquilized but not before Claudia is knocked out by its flailing beak. Cutter was there to comfort her at the clubhouse before realising she was temporarily blind. Stephen called to confirm Cutter's theory: the Pteranodon didn't harm the golfer, and it wasn't after Connor, but Rex (whom Abby had secretly been keeping). Cutter and a still-blinded Claudia, soaked in blood, swiftly found themselves under attack from a flock of flesh-eating Anurognathus. After being chased around the house, Cutter attempted to escape to get help, leaving Claudia in a secure room, kissing her before he leaves. Escaping into an ambulance he calls the others for help and uses an oxygen tank a a mini flamethrower to kill some of the small pterosaurs. He initially assumed Claudia had been killed when the building exploded, but was relieved to discover she was alive and shocked to discover that she was rescued by Helen. The team meet up at the anomaly and release the Pteranodon. Cutter used a red flag to draw in the creature (which was how he and Stephen managed to capture it earlier) and watched as it flew back home just before the anomaly shut
Cutter spoke with Claudia on the recent events, and though he claimed that he and Helen could have repaired their relationship with counselling before she disappeared, but found it hard to speak about his feelings with Claudia, made more awkward following their kiss. Helen returned, claiming to know the reason behind recent disappearances: a incredibly dangerous predator which is lightening fast, ruthless, almost invisible until the moment of attack and has near-human levels of intelligence. But worst of all is that this creature is from the Future, literally years ahead of them - a Future Predator. While searching to kill it (due to it being too dangerous and not affecting the timeline with its death) the creature attacked and bested them. Then Cutter and Connor realised it is a highly-evolved form of bat, using echolocation to always stay one step ahead of its prey. They use an oscilloscope to hunt down the Predator's lair, where they find a nest of baby predators. Then a Predator attacked, so Cutter kidnapped one of the babies to lure the creature away into a greenhouse. He starts shooting at the glass panels to confuse the creature's echolocation, and then finishes it off with a shot to the head. The babies are all captured and Helen convinced everyone that they can use the babies to find the future anomaly and secure it permanantly. To get to the future anomaly they have to travel into the original anomaly in the Forest of Dean. Cutter, Helen, Ryan and his men prepared to enter the anomaly with the infants. Just before they leave, Claudia walks up to Cutter and kisses him, right in front of Helen. Once they had made a camp, Cutter takes some souvenir photos of Helen. With a shock he realises that the photos he had just taken were the same ones that he had found in Helen's camera on the first mission into the Permian. He is horrified, as this means that they have created their own past. Suddenly another Future Predator attacks - the remaining parent of the babies. It tears though Ryan and his men, but as it prepares to attack Cutter, a Gorgonopsid appeared. The two beasts fought, ending when the Gorgonopsid crushes the Future Predator under its own body. Cutter goes over to Ryan, realising that the body they found the first time was his. Cutter and Helen bury the men killed in the attack, and then return home. Cutter tells everyone no one was going back, but Helen had one final blow to deliver. She wished to return through the anomalies, but this time with Stephen, revealing the two had had an affair before she had disappeared, and although Cutter was furious that it had been kept from him Stephen decides to stay in the present day. Helen left, and Cutter realises that Jack and James - friends of his sons who had joined the team in the previous chapter - weren't there. When he asks the team where they they say they don't know anyone called Jack and James. Cutter quickly realised that something had changed which resulted in Jack and James never existing, and turned to the anomaly...
Cutter tried to go back through the anomaly, desparate to make things right again, but Stephen and Connor held him back as it closed. Cutter realised the full extent of the changes that have occured to his world; for one thing the Home Office was no longer the team base, instead the they have an incredibly hi-tech, highly sophisticated facility called the Anomaly Research Centre, or ARC. There was also a whole new team of secondary staff working for them, primarily Oliver Leek, the man now doing Claudia Brown's job. Cutter tried to tell the team about his theory of the past being changed, but everyone thought he was goinge mad - except for Connor, who believes him. The team got a call about an incursion at a shopping centre so Cutter, Stephen, Connor and Abby went over there and armed themselves with tranquilisers, as Cutter is adamant that they can't kill any more creatures as it risks changing the past. Stephen tried to explain his affair with Helen, but Cutter was unwilling to confront the issue. They eventually find three Deinonychus in the mall: two adults and one child, and are attacked. When Connor and Abby go off to evacuate a cleaner, Cutter and Stephen are attacked by one of the raptors, but when Cutter tries to tranquilise it the gun jams. Stephen accused him of intentionally allowing the creature to kill him in revenge, but Cutter rebuffed the claim on the grounds that if he wanted Stephen dead, he'd have shot him personally. The creature attacked again and it was successfully tranquilised by Stephen only after he realizes that the gun was actually jammed. Nick then forgave Stephen for his affair with Helen, since he didn't go with Helen and stayed when it really mattered. Connor brings back the baby raptor. The team tie it up, hoping that it would draw in the remaining adult. The plan failed as the tranquiliser wasn't enough and the adult raptor devoured the baby, and Cutter and Stephen argued over using real ammunition. After a lenghty chase the creature is tranquilised. Cutter noticed that all the radios were suffering from some interference on the 86.7FM frequency, and he suspected it to be connected to the anomaly. He theorised that they could build a receiver tuned in to that frequency that would alert them whenever any interference occurs - an anomaly detector. Cutter decided to take the raptors back through the anomaly but alone. After freeing the creatures he stops he starts to walk away from the anomaly and his past life, but Stephen, having expected Cutter to do something like this, tries to get him to come back. Cutter stated that he wanted to travel through the anomalies, find out what went wrong and put it right, but Stephen convinced him to return, on account of the fact he has work to do, and the fear that by meddling with the anomalies he could potentially change things for the worse - even wipe out humanity - and still not get Claudia back. They start to go back, but the now awake raptors come after them. They eventually get back through safely. Back at the ARC, Lester introduces them to a new member of their team, a PR professional named Jenny Lewis and Cutter was shocked when he saw that Jenny Lewis is a complete copy of Claudia Brown...
Cutter struggled to cope with the appearance of Jenny Lewis and began to expand on this idea to the team, but Connor prevented his professor from embarrassing himself even further, and urged him not to mention the subject again until he had proof. Cutter and Connor later got down to the serious work of trying to build an anomaly detector system. Lester was sceptical but reluctantly agreed to giving them a budget. As Cutter decided to talk to Jenny, the team recieved a creature alert in a high-rise city centre office block. Cutter was intrigued by Jenny's demeaner when they arrived, and he and Stephen entered the building to find it filled with a thick fog. Rescuing a firewoman from a giant, carnivorous Worm, Cutter speculated the anomaly lead to somewhere in the Precambrian and that the worms cant breathe without the fog. While trying to make their way up, Stephen gets lost and Cutter has to flee. Jenny, who was completely disbelieving about the team fighting prehistoric creatures, entered the building and had to be rescued by Cutter, who used a samurai sword to attack a worm. Though initially furious at her, for defying his orders and for replacing Claudia, he came to respect her determination to help. While sending Connor and Abby to turn up the heating in the building to remove the fog, he and Jenny went to find Stephen, who was surrounded by worms. As the fog lifted, the heat caused the creatures to explode, shooting their parasitic young all over the room. Cutter warned everyone not to let them break the skin, and after setting off the building's fire control system, the worms fall to the ground where they die. Later Stephen offered his opinion that the anomaly's were a test for humanity, but Cutter dismissed him. That night Cutter went to Jenny's house and offered to explain everything to her but he quickly apologized and left when her fiancé came to the door.