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RE: MORE ON DINOSAURS ON TV OVER XMAS



I think the problem with this was that the programme never made up its
mind about whether it was a drama about a dinosaur naturalist (in which
case it would have focused more on the character of the explorer, and he
would need to be a fictional character so that it was less obvious that
the creatures weren't actually there), or a natural history show (in
which case the observer should have kept his distance - both physically
and scientifically).


That said, it was good to see visualizations of dinosaurs looking and
behaving as much as they would have as we can make them.  That's what
it's all about at the end of the day - being able to picture in your
mind's eye how the world would have been.  

Inconsistencies between what's known and what appears on TV remain, but
the trend is a good one.  As a child I remember being very frustrated
that toy dinosaurs were frequently hopelessly inaccurate - triceratops
with fangs, Trex standing upright, and general "dinosaurs" bearing no
resemblance whatsoever to anything I knew of.  Film was little better
with dinosaurs being frequently represented as real crocodiles or
lizards with rubber fins grafted onto their bodies.  

As I remember, the only place you could go to get an accurate dinosaur
toy was London's Natural History Museum.  Things have improved - and not
just because technology has.  There's now a more grown-up attitude, and
a recognition that just as the audience won't accept ropy effects, they
will also see though unrealistic behaviour (Dinotopia apart).

Christian Darkin








 

>Twenty years ago, this programme would have been made very differently.
It
>would have transported David Attenborough back to the Cretaceous where
he'd
>have remained concealed in the bushes and whispered in awed tones about
the
>awesome sight before him, explaining the animal's behaviour, form and
>function. Instead we had a guy running around scaring large creatures
>(personally, I'd have preferred Calvin and Hobbes in their time
machine).
>While it's tempting to blame the BBC for this shift in approach,
remember
>its based upon audience expectations and ratings. WWD was one of the
most
>popular things the BBC has done, so you can't blame them for
perpetuating >it
>and trying different approaches.

Adam