Walking with Cavemen

Walking with Cavemen

Infobox Television
show_name = Walking with Cavemen
genre = Documentary
runtime = 100 min.Amazon.com product description [http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008AOWQ] ]
developer =
series producer = Peter Georgi
producer = Nick Green, Mark Hedgecoe, and Peter Oxley
executive_producer = Richard DaleBBC - Press Office - Walking With Cavemen [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/03_march/12/walking_cavemen.shtml] ]
starring = Suzanne Cave, Ruth Dawes, Peter Elliott, Caroline Noh, and Anthony TaylorAmazon.com product description [http://www.amazon.com/dp/B00008AOWQ] ]
narrated = Robert Winston in Great Britain, Alec Baldwin in North America
theme_music_composer = Alan ParkerBBC - Press Office - Walking With Cavemen [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/03_march/12/walking_cavemen.shtml] ]
country = UK
location =
language = English
network = BBC and Discovery Channel
first_run = April 1st, 2003
num_seasons = 1
num_episodes = 4 in UKBBC - Press Office - Walking With Cavemen [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/03_march/12/walking_cavemen.shtml] ] ; 2 in North America
related = Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Monsters, Walking with (Prehistoric) Beasts
website = http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/tv_radio/wwcavemen/
imdb_id = 0370053
tv_com_id =

"Walking with Cavemen" is a four-part television documentary series about human evolution produced by the BBC in the United Kingdom. It was originally released in April 2003. It was subsequently presented in the United States as a two-part series by the Discovery Channel and its affiliates. The documentary was produced largely by the same team who produced the award-winning documentary series "Walking with Dinosaurs" (1999) and "Walking with Beasts" (2001), though the original series' director, Tim Haines was not involved.


In the previous "Walking with..." documentaries, extinct animals were recreated with CGI and animatronics. For "Walking with Cavemen", a slightly different approach was taken. While most of the animals depicted were still computer generated or animatronic, the human ancestors were portrayed by actors wearing makeup and prosthetics, giving them a more realistic look and permitting the actors to give the creatures a human quality.

Like its predecessors, "Walking with Cavemen" is made in the style of a wildlife documentary, featuring a voice-over narrator (Robert Winston in the British release, Alec Baldwin in the North American release) who describes the recreations of the prehistoric past as if they were real. As with the predecessors, this approach necessitated the presentation of speculation as if it were fact, and some of the statements made about the behaviour of the creatures are more open to question than the documentary may indicate.

Each species segment takes the form of a short drama featuring a group of the particular hominid in question going about their daily lives (the search for food, protecting territory, and caring for the sick and injured). The intent is to get the human viewer to feel for the creatures being examined, almost to imagine being one of them (a trait that the documentary links to the modern human brain).

UK Episodes

The UK transmission and DVD contained four episodes. The North American release merged the first two and last two episodes into two single, separate episodesBBC - Press Office - Walking With Cavemen [http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2003/03_march/12/walking_cavemen.shtml] ]

First Ancestors

*3.2 million years B.C. - Tanzania

In the first episode, we see "Australopithecus afarensis", and focus on their evolved bipedality (walking on just rear feet - our legs). More specifically, the story follows the famous Lucy and her relatives, as they first develop a leadership conflict following the death of the alpha male due to a crocodile attack, and then are attacked by a rival troupe. The attack ends with death of Lucy herself, and her eldest daughter caring for Lucy's now-orphaned baby (her sibling), as a sign of the developing humanity in these "apemen".

*"Australopithecus afarensis"
*white rhinoceros

Blood Brothers

*3 million years B.C. - East Africa

The second episode leaps forward to a time when "Paranthropus boisei", "Homo habilis" and "Homo rudolfensis" co-exist. "H. habilis" is depicted as an intelligent omnivore that is more adaptable than the herbivorous "P. boisei". The two species are contrasted, with "H. habilis" being "a jack of all trades", while "P. boisei" are "a master of one" - i.e. they are specialized herbivores while "H. habilis" are generalized omnivores. Consequently, though "P. boisei" are able to eat termites, tall grasses and hard acacia pods in difficult times, they will not be able to survive in the future, when at the beginning of the next Ice Age the climate will change, and these plants will be gone for good. "H. habilis", on the contrary, have become smart by eating carrion and bone marrow among other things, and evolving a basic social behavior, which is more firm than that of "P. boisei", will continue to survive, until it evolves into "Homo ergaster", seen in the next episode, who has developed these traits to a greater extent.

The episode also briefly shows the "H. rudolfensis", remarking that albeit they are taller, they are very similar to the "H. habilis."

*"Paranthropus boisei"
*"Homo habilis"
*"Homo rudolfensis"
*black rhinoceros
*dung beetle

avage Family

*2 million years B.C. - Africa and 1.5 millions years B.C. - Asia

In the third episode, "Homo ergaster" is depicted as the first creature to master the art of tracking. This was made possible because their diet has grown increasingly more carnivorous, and the nutrients in meat made them even smarter than "H. habilis" of the previous episode. They also begin to form into tribal societies, with genuine bonds between their men and women, though violence is still occurring.

The episode later shows "H. ergaster" spreading into Asia, becoming "Homo erectus" and encountering the enormous herbivorous ape "Gigantopithecus", "the original King Kong".

However, for the next million years, "H. ergaster" is still very much an animal, following its instinct, but then, they are shown developing or inventing fire and beginning to break-away from their direct dependence on their environment. (This ties neatly into the next and final episode, which is centered on human mind and imagination.)

*"Homo ergaster"
*"Homo erectus"
*white rhinoceros

The Survivors

*500 thousand, 200 thousand and 150 thousand years B.C. - Europe

The fourth episode talks about the mental evolution of the humanity, as opposed to the physical in previous ones. First we leap forward to a time when "Homo heidelbergensis" is living in Great Britain. " H. Heidelbergensis" is depicted as intelligent and sensitive but lacking in the ability to comprehend an afterlife, or anything that isn't in the "here and now".

Next, the episode shows a life of a clan "Homo neanderthalensis", how they lived and hunted, including the mighty mammoth during the latest Ice age. They are intelligent but still lack the imagination of modern humans.

Finally, we see modern "Homo sapiens" (represented by Bushmen) in Africa, who had to become imaginative and inventive to survive the long drought, and finally glimpse the cave painters of Europe, who had "evolved" the idea of the afterlife and the supernatural, and who are now ready to start the human history as it is now known (and drive-out the Neanderthals to extinction).

*"Homo heidelbergensis"
*"Homo neanderthalensis
*"Homo sapiens"
*"Woolly Mammoth"
*"Cave Bear"
*African wild ass
*Arctic Hare

ee also

* Prehistoric Park
* Walking with Dinosaurs
* Walking with Beasts
* Walking with Monsters
* Chased by Dinosaurs
* Sea Monsters

External links

*imdb title|id=0370053|title=Walking with Cavemen


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