Walking with Dinosaurs

Walking with Dinosaurs

Infobox Television
show_name = Walking with Dinosaurs

genre = Documentary
runtime = 30 min.
developer = Andrew Wilks
producer = Tim Haines, Jasper James
executive_producer = John Lynch
narrated = Kenneth Branagh
theme_music_composer = Ben Bartlett
country = UK
language = English
network = BBC
first_aired = 16 April 1999
num_series = 1
num_episodes = 6
list_episodes = Walking with Dinosaurs#Episodes
related = "Walking with Beasts", "Walking with Monsters"
website = http://www.abc.net.au/dinosaurs/

"Walking with Dinosaurs" was a six-part television series produced by the BBC, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, and first aired in the UK in 1999. The series was subsequently aired in North America on the Discovery Channel, with Branagh's voice replaced with that of Avery Brooks. The series used computer-generated imagery and animatronics to recreate the life of the Mesozoic, showing dinosaurs in a way that previously had only been seen in feature films. The program's aim was to simulate the style of a nature documentary and therefore does not include "talking head" interviews. The series used paleontologists such as Peter Dodson, Peter Larson and James Farlow as advisors (their influence in the filming process can be seen in the documentary "Walking with Dinosaurs - The Making Of").

The "Guinness Book of World Records" reported that the series was the most expensive documentary series per minute ever made. [http://www.guinnessworldrecords.com/content_pages/record.asp?recordid=53368]


Each episode of "Walking with Dinosaurs" focused on the lives of one or more "protagonists", depicting fictional and speculative events based mainly on inferences and the behavior of modern animals, produced in a style that mimicked traditional wildlife documentaries.

"New Blood"

The first episode filmed and broadcast.220 Million Years Ago — Late Triassic; Arizona :Filming location: New Caledonia :Conditions: semi-desert with short rainy season. In the year of the episode, the rains are late.

The episode followed a female "Coelophysis" as it tried to survive in the dry season. The "Coelophysis" was shown hunting a herd of "Placerias", looking for weak members to prey upon. Early pterosaurs (specifically "Peteinosaurus") were also featured, depicted cooling themselves in what little water was present during the drought. A female rauisuchian ("Postosuchus", one of the largest carnivores alive at the time of the Triassic) was also shown following the "Placerias" herd. Still searching for food, the "Coelophysis" are shown discovering a burrow of the small mammal-like cynodont, Unfortunately one youngster strays too close and is eaten, The father cynodont attempts to protect the youngster, but to no avail. At night, the pair of cynodonts are shown eating their remaining young, then moving away. The female "Postosuchus" is later wounded by a "Placerias"'s tusks, and is beaten out of its territory by a rival "Postosuchus". Wounded, sick and without a territory, the female dies and is eaten by a pack of "Coelophysis". Finally, the wet season comes again, and the "Coelophysis" have survived, along with the cynodont pair. The episode ends with the arrival of a herd of the prosauropod "Plateosaurus", foreshadowing the future dominance of giant sauropod dinosaurs as depicted in the second episode."'


"Time of the Titans"

The second episode to be filmed and broadcast.152 Million Years Ago — Late Jurassic — Colorado:Filming locations: Redwood National Park (Fern Canyon), Chile, Tasmania, New Zealand:Conditions: warm with mixture of forest and fern-prairies.

This episode followed the life of a young female "Diplodocus". After hatching at the forest edge, she and her siblings retreat to the safety of the denser trees. As they grow, they face many dangers, including "Ornitholestes", "Allosaurus" (which kills one) and even "Stegosaurus", which spears one with its tail. When they are close to adulthood, the group of young "Diplodocus" are nearly all killed by a huge forest fire, which leaves two survivors including the female. They are driven out onto the open plains, where they find a herd. The main female mates , but not long afterwards is attacked by a bull Allosaurus. She is saved when another Diplodocus strikes the Allosaur with its tail.

*Dung beetle

"Cruel Sea"

The third episode filmed and broadcast.149 Million Years Ago — Late Jurassic — Oxfordshire:Filming locations: Bahamas, New Caledonia:Conditions: Hurricanes hit the islands repeatedly, making it difficult for dinosaurs and sea reptiles to adapt.

The "Ophthalmosaurus" breeding ceremony is the main event of the episode, but sharks and other predators, including "Liopleurodon" are on the hunt. The opening portrays a "Liopleurodon" snatching a "Eustreptospondylus" from the land, but there is no evidence of this ever occurring. (According to the producers, they were influenced by similar attacks by Killer Whales on land creatures.) In the end of the episode, a typhoon kills many "Rhamphorhynchus", and washes a female "Liopleurodon" ashore and she dies suffocated by her weight. The episode however ends on a more positive note, as it shows that the juvenile "Ophthalmosaurus" have survived the storm, and are now off to live and breed in the open sea - a promise of the next generations to come.

*"horseshoe crab"s
*"Bark beetle"
*"Green Sea Turtle" Carcass

"Giant of the skies"

The fourth episode filmed and broadcast.127 Million Years Ago — Early Cretaceous — Young Atlantic Ocean (Brazil, Cantabria):Filming locations: New Zealand, Tasmania:Conditions: Sea and coastlands.The story begins with a male Ornithocheirus dead on a beach. It then goes back 6 months to Brazil, where the Ornithocheirus flies off for Cantabria among a colony of Tapejara. He flies past a migrating column of Iguanodon and a Polacanthus. He reaches the southern tip of North America, where he is forced to shelter from a storm. To pass the time, he grooms himself, ridding his body of Saurophthirus. Then he stets off across the Atlantic, which was then less than half as wide is it is today and, after a whole day on the wing, reaches the westernmost of the European islands. He does not rest here, as a pack of Utahraptor are hunting Iguanodon. He flies to the outskirts of a forest, but is driven away by Iberomesornis. He reaches Cantabria, but was delayed by the storm and cannot reach the centre of the many grounded male Ornithocheirus. Consequently, he does not mate and dies from exhaustion under the glaring Sun.

"Spirits of the Ice Forest"

[The chapter was named Spirits of the Silent Forest in the book.] The fifth episode filmed and broadcast.106 Million Years Ago — Mid Cretaceous, in the rift valley where Australia is beginning to separate from Antarctica.:Conditions: Forest dominated by podocarps, very near South Pole (the sun did not rise for 5 months in the winter). The lopsided arrangement of the continents keeps ocean currents and strong monsoon winds blowing across the polar area, keeping it free of icecap and warm enough for forests to grow.:Filming location: New Zealand

This episode focuses upon a small clan of Leaellynasaura, hypsilophodonts native to Australia at the time, examining their lifestyle over the year - as they defend their territory against a rival clan, as they proceed through the mating season, as they rear their chicks, and as the cycle repeats again at the end of the episode. Other features of the episode are a carnosaur, identified as a dwarf species of Allosaur, as it stalks a herd of Muttaburrasaurus' and manages to kill the alpha female of the Leaellynasaura clan, and a Koolasuchus as it, and every other permanent denizen, endures the polar winter of the Antarctic circle while the Allosaur and the Muttaburrasaurus herd move further north to warmer climates.

* Polar "Allosaur"

"Death of a Dynasty"

The sixth episode filmed and broadcast.65 Million Years Ago — Late Cretaceous — Montana:Conditions: Areas of low herbaceous plant cover, and forest, affected by volcanism. The episode shows some effects of volcanic activity:Filming location: Chile (Conguillío National Park)

This episode starts several months before the extinction of the dinosaurs. The last dinosaurs are depicted living under stress due to excessive volcanism. The episode focuses on a female "Tyrannosaurus" who abandons her nest, the eggs rendered infertile due to volcanic poisoning. Her calls for a mate are answered by a smaller male whom, after repeated copulation, she eventually drives off. The mother fasts for an extended period as she tends to her nest, dealing with raids by dromaeosaurs and Didelphodons. Only three eggs hatch and the mother brings down an "Anatotitan" to feed herself and her brood. While defending her two surviving offspring several days later, the mother tyrannosaur is fatally injured by an "Ankylosaurus". The chicks remain next to the carcass of their mother until they, and the rest of the non-avian dinosaurs, are killed when a comet slams into the Earth, a catastrophe that triggers the K-T extinction. A short final sequence shows the present-day Earth, dominated by large mammals, but still populated with numerous dinosaurs known as birds.

*"Triceratops" carcass
*"Daspletosaurus" carcass
*"Alphadon" carcass

Companion book

A companion book was written by Tim Haines to accompany the first screening of the series in 1999. The settings of some of the six episodes were changed between the time the book was written and the screening of the television series, and some of their names were changed: 'New Blood' is set at Ghost Ranch; 'Cruel Sea' is set at or near Solnhofen in Germany near what then were the Vindelicisch Islands [http://hoopermuseum.earthsci.carleton.ca/solnhofen/solnhofen3.html] . The book elaborated on the background for each story, went further in explaining the science on which much of the program as based, and included descriptions of several animals not identified or featured in the series.

Critical reaction

In a list of the 100 Greatest British Television Programmes drawn up by the British Film Institute in 2000, voted on by industry professionals, "Walking with Dinosaurs" was placed 72nd.

The series won three Emmy Awards, including Best Animated Program (For More Than One Hour). [http://www.imdb.com/title/tt0214382/awards]


In the initial U.S. broadcasts of the series, a few scenes were omitted from some of the episodes. The most notable deletions were a shot of the cynodont pair devouring their offspring, and a scene where a dead-in-shell "Tyrannosaurus" embryo is preyed upon by a pair of "Didelphodon". The DVD and VHS contains the original UK broadcast, so the omitted scenes were restored.


"See more info in the Walking with..."

The popularity of "Walking with Dinosaurs" led to numerous spin-offs in various media.

Walking with Dinosaurs - The Live Experience

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - The Live Experience, based on the award- winning BBC Television Series is now on tour in North America and over one and a half million people have already seen the production since it opened in July 2007.

The show originated in Australia, where after years of planning, WALKING WITH DINOSAURS came to life at Sydney's Acer Arena in January 2007.

The production has won the 2007 THEA Award for Outstanding Achievement in Touring Event. The THEAs recognize excellence in the creation of compelling educational, historical, and entertainment projects.

Artistic Director William May developed the creative vision of the show based on an original idea by entrepreneur Bruce Mactaggart to create an arena version of the Walking with Dinosaurs television series.

A talented and experienced team of creative artists came together to produce WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - The Live Experience. The show is directed by Scott Faris, a Broadway veteran who has worked side by side with Harold Prince, Trevor Nunn, Michael Blakemore, Gene Saks, John Caird, Tommy Tune and Jerry Zaks. The creatures are designed and built by Sonny Tilders; the set and projected image design are by Peter England; the show's lighting is by John Rayment, our score was composed by James Brett; and Warner Brown wrote the script.Tim Haines, creator and producer of the original BBC series, which was seen by a worldwide audience of 700 million, serves as Project Consultant to WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - The Live Experience. The series won six Emmy and three BAFTA Awards.

WALKING WITH DINOSAURS - The Live Experience was originally produced in Australia by Gerry Ryan, Malcolm Cooke and Jill Bryant and is brought to North America by The Creature Production Company

The dinosaurs featured are:
*"Iguanodon" (shown dead)
*"Liliensternus" (not seen in documentary)


Tim Haines and Paul Chambers have also written a "Walking With..." encyclopedia known as "The Complete Guide to Prehistoric Life", featuring most animals from the series, including the specials, and the accompanies Walking with Monsters.

"Prehistoric Planet"

A child-oriented reversion of this series was released in America under the title "Prehistoric Planet" for the Discovery Kids Saturday morning line-up on NBC, with new narration read by Ben Stiller and Christian Slater over the same visuals. This version cut out the majority of the "violence" of the original.

The "Walking With" series

Because it was a big success, Tim Haines's direct follow-up in, what is known, the "Walking with series". In 2001 the sequel "Walking with Beasts", set in the Cenozoic era. This series featured extinct mammals and birds like "Indricotherium" and "Gastornis". In 2005 the prequel "Walking with Monsters", set primarily in the Paleozoic era, was produced.


"Chased By Dinosaurs", featuring Nigel Marven, stars "Argentinosaurus" and "Therizinosaurus" in two episodes in which Nigel tries to track down the biggest dinosaurs and the longest claws. "The Ballad Of Big Al" follows the life of an "Allosaurus" (inspired by evidence found on a single "Allosaurus" skeleton). Nigel returns in "Sea Monsters Trilogy", trying to survive the seven most dangerous seas of all time and meet the dangerous sea predators of the past -- "Cameroceras", "Cymbospondylus", "Dunkleosteus", "Basilosaurus", "Megalodon", "Liopleurodon" and "Tylosaurus". Nigel also stars in the latest special: "Prehistoric Park", six episodes in which he tries to collect "Tyrannosaurus", Mammoth, "Smilodon", "Microraptor", "Arthropleura", and "Deinosuchus" for a prehistoric zoo known as Prehistoric Park.

Computer Games and Arcade games

Dinosaur World is a free downloadable, "Walking with Dinosaurs" game available at the BBC website. [ [http://www.bbc.co.uk/sn/prehistoric_life/games/dinosaur_world/ Dinosaur World] "Walking with Dinosaurs" video game. Accessed August 13, 2008.]


ee also

*"Prehistoric Park"
*"Walking with..."
*"Walking with Monsters"
*"Walking with Beasts"
*"Sea Monsters"
*"Walking with Cavemen"
*"When Dinosaurs Roamed America

External links

* [http://www.abc.net.au/dinosaurs/ Australian copy of the now down BBC site]
* [http://www.dinosaurlive.com/ "Walking with Dinosaurs - The Live Experience" Official Website]
* [http://imdb.com/title/tt0283245/ IMDB information about The Ballad Of Big Al]

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