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RE: new BBC program(me)



Seeing as Ken has "spilled the beans", I couldn't resist throwing my two
cents in too. . .

> The filming in England involved two versions of everything: one for BBC in
> England (with an English host) and another for the Discovery Channel (US).
> Regrettably, the Discovery version is greatly dumbed down at the demand of
> the Discovery Channel executives. I could not say "we dissected an
> alligator tail" but "we cut-up and alligator tail." Anyone notice how bad
> the Discovery Channel has become? Anyone who has seen the English (BBC)
> and US (Discovery)versions of Walking with Dinosaurs will know what I
> mean.  Write to the Discovery Channel and complain; we are not stupid and
> we have an attention span greater than 5 minutes

I agree. The producer for the BBC was very easy to work with, and had a
pretty good grasp on how science works. I think it helped that he did his
graduate work in paleontology (in conodonts!). We need more paleontologists
working in the news media.

And like Ken, I claim no responsibility for what I'll be saying on the
Discovery version.

> There had been other filming there involving reconstructed Triceratops and
> T rex skulls (no, they were not interacting), as well as a Velociraptor
> foot. But since those are not my stories, I won't elaborate (consider it a
> tease).

I've been fortunate to be involved on the ceratopsian side of things.
Without giving away too much, there should be some interesting footage for
our Triceratops reconstruction. . .I can't say that I'll get any real
scientific data out of the project, but it was a pretty kick-ass project to
be involved with, nonetheless.

> Naturally, once the new shows air (next year), there will be the usual
> arm-chair paleontologist criticisms. But the shows are trying to separate
> what we know from what is speculation, and does try to "test" hypotheses
> with working models (hence the reconstruction). So try to view them as
> "half-full" rather than "half-empty", know what I mean?

I agree. I mean, it is TV we're dealing with, but they seem to be making an
honest effort to return dinosaur reconstructions to some level of sanity.
Needless to say, our Triceratops will not be galloping at 25 mph.

I'll likely have more to say once the show airs. . .this should be a good
one (and not just because half the DML is featured on it)!

Andy