Prehistoric Park is a six-part nature docu-fiction television programme that premiered on ITV on 22 July 2006 and on Animal Planet on 29 October 2006. The programme was produced by Impossible Pictures, who also created Walking with Dinosaurs. Each episode is an hour long including commercial breaks. Repeats of the show are broadcast in the UK on Watch.

Prehistoric Park
GenreScience fiction
Nature docu-fiction
StarringNigel Marven
Narrated byDavid Jason (UK)
Jim Forbes (US)
Music byDaniel Pemberton
Country of originUnited Kingdom
Original languageEnglish
No. of episodes6 (list of episodes)
Production
Running time48 minutes
Production companyImpossible Pictures
Original release
NetworkITV
Animal Planet
National Geographic
Release22 July (2006-07-22) –
26 August 2006 (2006-08-26)

The programme is narrated by David Jason and presented by Nigel Marven. The fictional component is the theme that Nigel goes back to various geological time periods through a space-time portal, and brings live specimens of extinct animals back to the present day, where they are exhibited in a wildlife park named Prehistoric Park, which is a big area between high steep mountains and ocean, with varied environments, in what looks like KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.

Story edit

The story, which is told in the style of a documentary, focuses on naturalist Nigel Marven leading missions to find and collect extinct animals from the distant past by use of a time machine. The animals are then placed in the confines of Prehistoric Park, a private wildlife park that is situated in a dry, mountainous region of an unspecified part of the world. Marven's core motivation in the series is to defy extinction and to give select extinct species a second chance at life.

Characters edit

  • Nigel Marven as himself, the main presenter of the show.
  • Rod Arthur as Bob, the long-suffering head keeper at the park. In charge of feeding, cleaning and controlling the animals in the park.
  • Suzanne McNabb as herself, the head veterinarian. Responsible for treating animals when they are sick or injured.
  • Morgan Williams as Ben, one of Nigel's crew. Four Mei long attacked him for meat in his backpack. Introduced in episode 3.
  • Saba Douglas-Hamilton as herself, a big cat specialist, whom Nigel invites back to catch Smilodon in episode 4.

Locations within the park edit

When the animals are brought back to the park, they are placed into a nearby enclosure. The enclosures are named after the extinct animals that they are housing.

  • Mammoth Mount: This enclosure houses the park's woolly mammoth Martha.
  • T-Rex Hill: T-Rex Hill is home to the park's pair of Tyrannosaurus rex, Terence and Matilda.
  • Big Cat Climb: This two part enclosure features a pair of breeding Smilodons.
  • Triceratops Creek: Theo is the resident Triceratops at Triceratops Creek.
  • Deinosuchus Dip: This is a huge lake, where the park's Deinosuchus is kept.
  • Ornithomimus Pond: This paddock features a flock of Ornithomimus.
  • The Bug House: This state-of-the-art enclosure keeps its Carboniferous period creatures safe. Its oxygen levels inside are double what they are today, maintaining a sustainable environment for the park's Arthropleura, Meganeura and Pulmonoscorpius specimens.

Episodes edit

No.TitleDirected byOriginal air dateUK viewers
(millions)
1"T-Rex Returns"Karen Kelly22 July 2006 (2006-07-22)3.52[citation needed]

The episode starts with the crew erecting the prehistoric animal enclosures. Nigel immediately knows which animal he wants to bring back first: the huge and most famous dinosaur Tyrannosaurus rex. Nigel goes through the time portal, aiming to bring back a Tyrannosaurus. He finds a flock of Ornithomimus and tries to catch one by putting a sock over its head to quieten it, but must let it go when three Tyrannosaurus arrive. Nigel is pursued by the Tyrannosaurus, but they give up when he heads into the deeper forest where they cannot pursue as they are so top-heavy, tripping could kill them. He tracks the Tyrannosaurus to the middle of their territory and finds some Tyrannosaurus eggs, hoping to bring some back for hatching, but they are broken and empty. As he returns to camp, in the sky are meteors running ahead of the asteroid which will wipe out the dinosaurs. The next day he finds a herd of Triceratops, but they are then attacked by the pride of Tyrannosaurus. A female Tyrannosaurus is gored in the thigh during the attack and the males back off, leaving the wounded female to catch prey alone. She goes after a young male Triceratops, but Nigel opens the time portal leading the Triceratops through it by waving his jacket at it matador-fashion. The Triceratops follows him through but the female Tyrannosaurus does not follow. The young Triceratops is then named Theo and becomes the park's first exhibit. Theo starts persistently charging the same tree, and his neck frill changes color. Suzanne thinks that it is rutting, which gives Bob an idea. Nigel heads back through the time portal and finds Tyrannosaurus tracks in volcanic ash, and sees by the dragged toes that it is the wounded female. Nigel sees that the wounded female is walking alongside a river following a drifting Triceratops carcass. The carcass gets stuck in rocks in the riverbed, which she cannot reach and carries on downriver. Nigel and others build a crude stockade wall alongside the river out of local fallen timber, trying to funnel her through the time portal. A flock of Ornithomimus appear and run ahead, and the female Tyrannosaurus chases them through the time portal into the park. She successfully catches a straggler and turns back. Instead of eating it there, she carries it towards the volcano despite her injured thigh. Back at the park, Bob puts the Ornithomimus flock into their new paddock and gets back to his plan for Theo. Meanwhile, Nigel continues to follow the wounded Tyrannosaurus rex until he finds that she has two babies. Nigel plans to bring the mother and her babies back to the park with him, but a male Tyrannosaurus attacks the female for her kill. In the ensuing battle, the male Tyrannosaurus smashes the female's head against a rock formation, an injury that results in the mother's death after her last roar to Nigel to save her children. At this point, an asteroid enters the Earth's atmosphere and crashes into the Gulf of Mexico. It leaves Nigel with three minutes while the blast front travels from Chicxulub to Montana at 200 times the speed of sound (c 245,000 km/h) and reaches him. Under a sky full of bright meteors, he uses the only meat that he has, a ham sandwich, to entice the two young Tyrannosaurus through the time portal with a second to spare; a bit of the impact blast chases him through the time portal. In the park, they are put in an observation pen and named Terence and Matilda. The head keeper copes with Theo's rutting by making a "rival" for Theo by using old tires and oddments to build a crude mock Triceratops head and neck on the front of a tractor, providing something for Theo to take his aggression out on. Later, Terence and Matilda are moved to their new enclosure. The Park takes into account that keeping the pair under control is going to be a major challenge.

2"A Mammoth Undertaking"Karen Kelly29 July 2006 (2006-07-29)2.73[citation needed]

In the park, the dinosaurs are settling in. The Tyrannosaurus rex are being fed. Nigel goes to visit a herd of African elephants in the park: there are at least four including a young calf. He now wants to rescue a woolly mammoth from extinction. He goes through the time portal to 10,000 BC Siberia just east of the Ural Mountains where the last woolly mammoths lived. It is early spring but the land is still under snow. He drives a snowmobile over a frozen lake, seeing nothing but dense taiga forest and rocky mountains: as the land became warmer as the ice age ended, trees replaced tundra grass and mammoths lost their grazing lands. As they cannot eat pine needles, this reduced their numbers. Then prehistoric humans finished them off by hunting them for food. He explores a nearby cave and comes face to face with a muscular male cave bear; he had disturbed its hibernation. He had thought that the cave bear would already be extinct by this point. It chases Nigel and the cameraman away. Without the equipment to transport it safely, Nigel cannot save it, so he decides to get back to saving a mammoth. Nigel goes up a rocky slope to scout the area, seeing what looks like a gap in the trees, and hopes that mammoths may be present there. He then finds two adolescent female mammoths; one of them is dead in a pit. The other mammoth makes rumblings in her stomach, trying to communicate with her dead companion. She staggers and collapses to the ground, being so weak that she can barely lift her trunk. Nigel sees a spear wound in her left shoulder. He brings in his team to help. In the park, the Ornithomimus are not eating the grass, nor the beetles living there. Bob realises that they have duck-like mouths: rough like sandpaper. He decides to put them into an enclosure with a pond. The Ornithomimus thrive in their new home. Nigel needs to get the mammoth strong enough to walk through the time portal. He gives her an antibiotic injection. Evening comes and the palaeolithic hunters are back. The Park men put up a line of big burning torches stuck in the ground. The men plan to guard in turns, but Nigel decides to sit up with the mammoth all night, to keep her company, protecting her from cave hyenas, humans and wolves all night. Morning comes and the mammoth is strong enough to stand. She shows no aggression, and stays with her dead sister, but the team must get her back to the park. Nigel leads the mammoth back to the present and calls for urgent medical help. In the park, Suzanne gives sedative and antibiotic to the mammoth, treats the wound, and after some pulling extracts a stone spearhead from it. She is on the road to recovery. They name her Martha. Martha is healthy, but is not eating, and needs to eat for strength to recover. Suzanne looks at an African elephant molar and a mammoth molar, and sees that they are designed to chew about the same sorts of food. To solve the mystery, Nigel goes back to Siberia 150,000 years ago at the peak of the ice age. Mammoths range across from Europe to northeast Asia. He finds a large herd of adult female mammoths. The land is cold but dry and has many kinds of grass and no trees. He collects a large sample of grass and mosses to bring back and analyse. A male mammoth on musth comes, looking for females ready to mate. He sees an adult male Elasmotherium by the snowmobile. It is downwind from him, but there is a risk of it seeing him, and if it sees anything unexpected it may charge. Nigel is between the Elasmotherium and the musth male mammoth. He drops the bag of vegetation and runs to the snowmobile and drives to a safe distance, riskily using himself as bait for the Elasmotherium, who charges at him, chasing him through the time portal into the entrance stockade in the park. Back at the Park, Nigel offers Martha the Pleistocene grass, but Martha still refuses to eat. Nigel suspects that she is lonely: as in the wild female elephants and mammoths are always in herds. There is a council, to decide on putting Martha with the elephants. It is risky but they decide to try it. At Mammoth Mount, the elephants come up to Martha's enclosure. Martha and the elephants' matriarch approach each other, curious, and non-aggressively. Martha follows the elephant matriarch and is now eating well.

3"Dinobirds"Sid Bennett5 August 2006 (2006-08-05)N/A

Nigel aims to get specimens of Microraptor, which is threatened by volcanoes and with being out-competed by the coming birds. The two juvenile Tyrannosaurus often threaten each other. There is a heat wave and Martha the mammoth is affected by the heat. Nigel and four other people go on foot through the time portal to China during the Early Cretaceous. A large threatening volcano stands over the area. There are hot springs, and a risk of natural carbon dioxide seepage. A small earthquake happens and they get onto higher ground. The team come to an apparently non-volcanic lake, where pterosaurs skim the surface of the lake for fish. When they get back to camp they find that something had raided their camp and torn much of their equipment apart looking for the meat that was part of their rations. As they walk through a forest, something follows them through the fern undergrowth, then goes away. In the park, Martha is led to stand between two jeeps, and several staff members stand on one of them to clip her hair short to avoid overheating. On site, four Mei long attack one of the party, who gets them off him by jettisoning his pack, which contains the meat which they were after. Nigel then finds an Incisivosaurus, which displays at him and then charges,, bumping the camera with its nose, leaving spit and snot on its lens. In the park, Bob is looking at the Ornithomimus from a hide and sees that one of the Ornithomimus starts to go off by itself, and there are fears about its health. On site, Nigel using binoculars sees some Microraptors going in the same direction, and follows them. This brings him to a herd of titanosaurs pushing through the dense forest making a trampled track. That is not a usual habitat for titanosaurs, and it turns out that they are looking for somewhere to lay eggs safely hidden from egg-eaters. Twelve Microraptors come: they were after insects disturbed by the titanosaurs pushing through vegetation and tearing up the ground and treading on insect-ridden rotten logs. Nigel tries to catch some Microraptors, but they are all too quick for him. Nigel makes an enclosure of net, with inside it a hollow baited with insects, as Microraptors can only glide and cannot take off from flat ground. The Microraptors see the insects but mistrust the net. Out of nowhere, two male Incisivosaurus, one chasing the other, run into the net and flatten it and get away. Then the Microraptors land and eat the insects. Nigel runs at them but catches nothing. The men go back through the time portal to the park. In the park the Ornithomimus has started lying about in the shade. Nigel has seen this behaviour in birds, and guesses that the Ornithomimus is broody. Nigel and at least four others go back through the time portal to the site. Nigel now has a net gun, and a carbon dioxide detector. Each man has a gas mask in his pack. In a forest Nigel comes across a pair of Incisivosaurus who seem to be courting. In the park, the Ornithomimus is taken into the vet's examination room. A bag is put over its head, to quieten it. Medical ultrasound shows that it has two fully developed functioning oviducts, each containing an egg. The two Tyrannosaurus are threatening each other. On site Nigel sees that the titanosaur trail goes downhill towards the volcano, but he must follow it. They find several Mei which had gone to sleep in a flat-bottomed hollow. He claps a few times and pokes one with a stick, but it does not wake. He realises that the Meis are dead from gassing by carbon dioxide of volcanic origin. He looks at his carbon dioxide detector, which gives a reading. He tells everybody to get to higher ground. In the park, the two Tyrannosaurus start to fight. They are separated by water blast from a water cannon mounted on a large water tanker truck and put in separate small pens while a partition is built dividing their enclosure. On site, Nigel and his party finds the titanosaurs laying eggs in ground warmed by underground volcanic heat, a good place for incubation. He picks up one of the eggs and puts it back in the nest. Unlike with a hen's egg, it must always be the same way up, to avoid damage to the embryo. He reflects that the hatchling would grow to 30,000 times the weight to become adult. The Microraptors arrive, and with his net gun Nigel catches 4 of them. The strongest quake yet happens, and the top of the volcano explodes violently with an ash cloud. This spooks the titanosaurs, which stampede. Some titanosaurs are coming straight at Nigel, who curls up on the ground wrapped around the Microraptors until they pass. He is uninjured but one of the Microraptor has a simple broken left forearm bone. The volcano erupts, blasting out a huge ash cloud. Nigel and his team put their gas masks on and quickly set up the time portal in the falling volcanic ash. It comes active just in time, and nine titanosaurs come through it, surprising the men in the park, who have to find somewhere to put them. In the park the broody Ornithomimus starts to lay eggs in a part circle. The injured Microraptor's arm is splinted under anaesthetic. Bob erects a new fence which he believes will keep the titanosaurs contained: however, they easily smash it down.

4"Saving the Sabretooth"Sid Bennett12 August 2006 (2006-08-12)N/A

Nigel is shown walking with a tame cheetah. He comments that specialization has threatened the cheetah, and later that specialization may have also wiped out the Smilodon. In the park the titanosaurs break their fence and have to be let wander around the park, heading towards the park's main gates. At the same time, Nigel radios to Bob that he will need a birdcage for a bird standing 10 feet high, but Bob only hears part of the message, and provides an ordinary sized birdcage. Nigel goes through the time portal to South America 1 million years ago when the sabre-tooth species known as Smilodon were in their prime (having recently entered South America after the Isthmus of Panama land bridge formed), but the terror birds were dying out; before that South America had been cut off from the other continents for 30 million years. He drives through a moving herd of Toxodon; he follows them to find where they were going, and he sees that they were going to water to swim or wallow in. A huge male Toxodon chases Nigel's jeep and he has to drive fast and far before it gives up the chase. In the park the female Ornithomimus had laid more eggs. Two of them have rolled out of the nest and she leaves them there, so Suzanne must rescue them for artificial incubation, as all those eggs are precious. Susanne stalks up to them and picks them up; the Ornithomimus does not chase, but demonstrates, causing a flurry among some egrets. Bob puts the 2 eggs in an incubator at 33 °C, as this is best temperature for crocodile and ostrich eggs. On site Nigel sees a female Smilodon stalking a Toxodon and then after a short chase, she jump on its head and kills it with a bite to the throat. More Smilodon come, including some cubs. While waiting, Nigel has a coffee and the Smilodon eat their fill and go away. A Phorusrhacos starts to eat from the carcass but another Smilodon appears and chases it away, forcing it to drop a lump of meat which it had pulled off. Nigel stalks up to that dropped piece of meat and picks it up. The Smilodon on the kill demonstrates at him but does not charge at him. Nigel tows the piece of meat behind his jeep and entices the terror bird to chase it through the time portal into the park. In the park the eggs incubated by the Ornithomimus hatch and the resulting young run about; the first baby dinosaurs in 65 million years, but the two eggs in the incubator do not hatch. Accompanied by big cat expert Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Nigel goes through the time portal to 10,000 BC when the saber-toothed cats were dying out. They find a drier climate and no big game. Nigel and Saba separate, on foot. Saba hears animals' alarm cries, but Nigel finds nothing. Saba finds a deposit of fresh Smilodon faeces. She pulls it apart with a knife and fork and finds that it is full of hair and bone and bits of animal hide, as if hunger had forced the Smilodon to scavenge. Nigel hears vegetation noise from an animal near him. He finds, catches and releases a six-banded armadillo and remarks that a million years earlier there were giant armadillos about. Saba later finds something in the grass; sadly, it is a dead Smilodon cub. Nigel cannot find any signs of ill health and realises that the cub must have died from starvation. They speculate that a female Smilodon is nearby. Nigel has a video camera with a movement detector: he leaves it overnight watching over a trail. In the morning he plays it back and finds that a male Smilodon had investigated it and knocked it over, urinated on it and left a musky mammal smell. Saba watches the female Smilodon hunting. It sees her and confronts her. She backs off. Nigel meets Saba. Due to lack of prey the female Smilodon is hunting unsuitably light fast prey, a brocket deer; which she fails to catch. Later they see her suckling a live cub, but she is making little or no milk for it. The male Smilodon turns up; there is risk that it will kill the cub to bring its mother into oestrus sooner. In the jeep they anaesthetic-dart the male Smilodon and start to wait 10 minutes while the dart drug works. In the park the men have finished building a partition across the Tyrannosaurus enclosure, and put the two Tyrannosaurus on each side. Matilda keeps threatening Terrence but now cannot reach him. On site, they find the male Smilodon and load it up on the back of the jeep. Then they go for the female, planning to anaesthetic-dart her and load her and her cub. When they reach her, the cub has starved to death. The female Smilodon is badly underweight from trying to lactate on too little food, and is dying as well, so Saba anaesthetic darts her. A little while later, Nigel and Saba load the female into the jeep, but both are upset that the cub could not be saved. The two Ornithomimus eggs in the incubator hatch, late but successfully: Bob guesses that the incubator's temperature had been set a little too low. The two resulting hatchlings see Bob and imprint on him, thinking that he is their mother and follow him about. They eat food pellets out of his hand. With good food and no need to lactate, the two Smilodon and the terror bird recover from their hunger over the next fortnight. However, tensions remain high, as Matilda's increasingly aggressive behaviour could spell danger for the Park.

5"The Bug House"Matthew Thompson19 August 2006 (2006-08-19)N/A

In the park, Bob puts the two imprinted baby Ornithomimus in an enclosure with the other baby Ornithomimus and tells them to stay there, one nips his leg. The male Smilodon wants the female, but the more mature female is not interested, either ignoring him or acting aggressively towards him. Nigel goes to modern Arran and sees a fossil Arthropleura track in rock. He goes back to the park to serious trouble among the Tyrannosaurus: Matilda has broken into Terrence's enclosure. Terrence has refused to allow his sister to intrude on his territory and a fight has broken out, in which Matilda is gaining the upper hand, soon knocking him down. Terrence has been badly wounded on the face and is losing blood quickly. Bob has drug-darted Matilda, but these drugs take time to act on reptiles. Nigel arrives in a roofed jeep and encourages her to chase his jeep, distracting her from fighting off the wounded Terrence. When he comes to dense woodland, he can drive no further and climbs a tree. Matilda pulls the cloth cover off the top of the jeep, and then collapses due to the tranquilliser. The injured Terrence is in good hands, so Nigel, with assistants, drives in the jeep through the time portal to the Carboniferous, where the land is covered with coal forest. He had aimed at an island of dry land, but drives out of the Time Portal's field into a swamp over his jeep's axles. The jeep's engine gets wet and stops and will not start. In the park, Terrence is in the animal clinic, anaesthetized, and Susanne is operating on the wounds. Nigel climbs a 150-foot-tall tree, which has no branches until near its top, and he must use a loop of strap around himself and the tree, to climb. He reaches its top and sees a wide view, and patches of open water: the place to look for Meganeura. A Meganeura flies over. In the park, an enclosed building to contain a 35% nitrox atmosphere for the coal forest wildlife is being built, with airlock doors. A titanosaur goes past, knocks a partly built wall down with its head, looks at the rubble, then goes away. Bob offers the titanosaur a cycad leaf, but it does not eat. Nigel wades through a swamp. Something big moves about underwater and makes bubbles. Nigel hears something big moving about in undergrowth on land, and chases it, and finds an Arthropleura, who rears and confronts him. Some modern millipedes can squirt cyanide, and Nigel fears that Arthropleura may also. In the park, Suzanne has put climbing poles in the Smilodon enclosures: as environmental enrichment, to make them happier so the female will be more accepting of the male. Bob suspects that the titanosaurs are looking for gastroliths, and collects stones for them. On site, the Arthropleura has gone, leaving a track. Nigel then sees two male Meganeura having a dogfight. Afterwards, one flies away and the other looks for food. Nigel has a butterfly net, but a butterfly net big enough to catch a Meganeura is cumbersome. As he makes a move to catch a Meganeura, something in the water bites his right ankle. They look for a dry area to camp. Evening is coming. The crew camp for the night. There is a thunderstorm in the night. In the park, Bob brings a wheelbarrow full of the stones to the titanosaurs. In an observation enclosure, Terrence is lethargic, and blood tests show Suzanne that Terence has septicaemia, and she reluctantly gives him antibotic. While it is risky giving antibiotics to an unknown species, Suzanne knows if she does not, the infection of his injuries will probably kill him. The thunderstorm stops, and it is still night, and animals tend to become active after rain. Nigel goes about with a large ultraviolet light, finding a Pulmonoscorpius by its shell fluorescing. He films it, but his camera work is shaky and he would need the team's cameraman to take good footage. The Pulmonoscorpius then begins crawling onto a crew member's bed, but Nigel grabs it by the tail end, and it nips him with its pincers. In the park the female Smilodon, seems happier, and as if she will accept the male. Suzanne wonders whether to raise the door between their enclosures. On site, Nigel tries to catch a Meganeura by a technique known for catching modern dragonflies, by filling a long two-handed hand-pumped water-gun with detergent to squirt on a Meganeura so it will fall in the water and become wet, meaning it can be caught easily. After many failed attempts, he hits one perched on a floating log, catching the Meganeura. In the water he sees a big amphibian. He passes the net with the Meganeura in to a companion and swims underwater and wrangles the amphibian, a Crassigyrinus after a struggle. He has to let it go, as he has no way to transport it safely. Back at the park, Suzanne lifts the door between the Smilodon enclosures. They have a water jet ready to separate the two if they fight. The male goes into the female's enclosure and they growl at each other, but do not fight. On site, Nigel looks for the Pulmonoscorpius. He finds one nearly a meter long under a half casing of a rotted-out fallen lycopsid log. It has thin claws, so Nigel is worried, because with scorpions small claws mean big sting. He holds its attention with a thin stick and works his a hand behind it and grabs its telson just in front of its sting. As he puts it in a dog carrier, it stings the back of his right hand as he lets it go. But a worse danger is coming. In the park, Bob has filled the insect house with 35% nitrox atmosphere and has realized the resulting increased fire risk. He lights a thin piece of wood to show the fire risk. The lightning storm has started a forest fire, which is spreading fast towards them, and in the 35% oxygen air vegetation is much more inflammable than in modern air. They run towards the jeep. Nigel trips over a big Arthropleura hidden in ground litter; which he decides to rescue. After a struggle, he and another man wrap it in a plastic sheet and tie red cord around it. They load everything on the jeep and set up the time portal just in front of the jeep, whose engine still will not start. Nigel runs through the time portal, comes back with the end of a tow rope, and ties it to the jeep, which is towed out of the coal forest swamp back into the modern age. They see that the tow rope was being towed not by a tow truck or other vehicle, but by a titanosaur, which Bob was enticing with the wheelbarrow full of gastroliths. The Arthropleura, the Meganeura, and the Pulmonoscorpius are put in the high-oxygen building. Terrence is recovering well from his injury and infection but wrecks Suzanne's surgery once he wakes up from anaesthetic. Terrence is taken back into his enclosure, since he seems likely to make a full recovery. Nigel's sting site has swollen but still shows no serious symptoms, so either the Pulmonoscorpius's venom does not affect mammals. Bob seems to take a liking to the Arthropleura and hand-feeds it ferns. At the end of the episode, Terence roars in the sunset.

6"Supercroc"Matthew Thompson26 August 2006 (2006-08-26)N/A

In the park, near the time portal site there is a crocodile enclosure: Bob walks across a suspension bridge to feed the Nile crocodiles in the lake. Nigel plans to add a Deinosuchus, an ancient species of giant crocodilian which measures 50 feet long and weighs up to 9 tons, to the park. Bob mutters that Nigel may have bitten off more than he can chew this time. In a jeep, Nigel goes through the time portal to the Cretaceous in Texas. At this time North America is divided into three land areas by a Y-shaped internal epicontinental sea. The land around the time portal exit point is dry: gravelly sand with patches of trees and bushes. Two juvenile Parasaurolophus go by and stop about 10 m away. Nigel chases them towards the jeep. A pair Albertosaurus appear and the Parasaurolophus flee. Nigel revs his jeep's diesel engine: that makes the Albertosaurus back off, but not for long and they get accustomed to the noise and they chase him, but eventually tire and give up. In the park, Bob is planting young trees to help feed the titanosaurs. The Smilodon have bred and now have two cubs. Susanne sees that their mother is not making enough milk for the cubs, so she has to take the cubs and bottle-feed them, thus breaking the natural mother-cub link. If she were to put them back into their mother's enclosure, they would be killed. On site, Nigel drives onto a sea beach, and looks out to sea for signs of Deinosuchus which could survive for a limited time in salt water like modern saltwater crocodiles. He stops. A herd of Parasaurolophus run past. They are each 10 meters long. He shouts at them to clear off in case they damage his jeep's paintwork. He finds a conch-sized gastropod shell and makes a hole in it and blows it to try to have an exchange of vocalisations: they make noises using their hollow crests. Nigel, with binoculars, sees some Nyctosaurus fly in from the sea. Nigel has brought a microlight with him: he uses it to fly with the Nyctosaurus. A Deinosuchus reaches its head out of the sea and grabs one of the Nyctosaurus. Nigel sees another Deinosuchus swimming from the sea up a river, and decides to head in that direction. In the park, Susanne visits Martha the mammoth, who tries to be an "auntie" to the elephant herd's matriarch's calf, but the frightened matriarch drives Martha away. Martha is becoming isolated again, and there is fear that she will again stop eating. On site, Nigel paddles in a red inflatable boat on the river. A Deinosuchus bites the boat's stern, but does not like the taste of rubber, and lets go. It snaps out of the water again by the boat, then disappears. Nigel paddles two miles upstream to a freshwater lake, where he sees some Deinosuchus on a sandbank, and a herd of Parasaurolophus forced by thirst to come to the lake to drink. Nigel paddles. He mentions that Deinosuchus will soon be wiped out when sea floods the area, as they have a specialised lifestyle, so he must rescue one. An unwary young Parasaurolophus goes to the lake to drink and a Deinosuchus rockets out of the lake and grabs it by the chest. The two roll over and over in the lake. More Deinosuchus swim in, taking turns to hold the kill while another tears at it. In the park, the Phorusrhacos has developed a habit of dust bathing near its enclosure's fence, undermining it. Each time, Bob fills the resulting hole with big stones. He realises that this tactic is only "firefighting" and that he will have to make a new fence with the bottom ends of all its posts buried four feet deep. On site, Nigel has made a long double row of wooden posts ending in a blind end. He plans to entice a Deinosuchus with meat up the fenced route to the blind end. To get back to the jeep, he walks through a dense forest, but he is worried about dangerous predators. A Troodon sticks its head up out of bushes and shows that it is much smaller than an Albertosaurus. When he reaches the jeep, he sees that three Troodon are eating the meat that he had brought as bait chasing them away using a portable aerosol-like horn. In the park Bob is shoveling up Elasmotherium dung when he sees the Phorushracos looking at him through a fence. He calls on his walkietalkie that the terror bird has escaped again. A keeper comes in a jeep, and by towing some meat behind the jeep leads the terror bird back to its enclosure. On site, Nigel plans to use the rest of his meat to bait a Deinosuchus up the stockade. He sets the bait at the stockade's end. At night, they see that some Troodon dragging the bait away. The meat that was left was not enough to lure a Deinosuchus. They go to bed. They are woken in the morning by the noise when three Albertosaurus kill a Parasaurolophus. Three Deinosuchus come out of the lake to steal the kill. The Albertosaurus admit defeat and back off. In the park Martha is still isolated from the elephant herd. On site, Nigel must use himself as bait. He wades into the water and splashes it hard with a paddle until a Deinosuchus investigates. It then charges out of the sea and chases Nigel, who runs up the stockade path and at its blind end squeezes between two of its posts. He and 4 men with him struggle to hold the stockade posts upright, until the Deinosuchus tires, as cold-blooded reptiles tire quickly. They set up the time portal close outside the blind end of the stockade. Nigel in the jeep tows three of the end stockade posts out and through the Time Portal; the Deinosuchus is confined too closely to turn round, so it must follow him through the portal. In the park, Bob drives the jeep to his next job, and mutters that Prehistoric Park needs more keepers, as they have so many problems: the terror bird escaped its enclosure again; the Smilodon cubs have had Suzanne up half the night, the titanosaurs eat too much, and to make matters worse, their digestive systems cannot handle the modern vegetation resulting in bad diarrhea, and Nigel constantly bringing back more creatures is not helping. Suddenly, a Troodon emerges from the kit on the back of the jeep: enticed by the meat in the jeep intended to lure the Deinosuchus, it has stowed away. It attacks Bob, and the swerving jeep runs straight at the titanosaurs, causing them to stampede through several enclosures, causing the Ornithomimus flock, Phorusrhacos, Elasmotherium, and Matilda the Tyrannosaurus, to flee through the broken fences and run around freely through the park. Paying no attention to the titanosaurs lumbering through her enclosure, Matilda walks right out into freedom, getting the scent of an easy meal. Bob manages to stop the jeep, and the Troodon leaps out and escapes into the undergrowth nearby. When trying to round up a group of escaped Ornithomimus and the Elasmotherium, Bob is warned that Matilda is on the loose and closing in on him, so he must flee. Matilda then heads for the elephants – separating the calf from the rest of the herd and she quickly runs it to the ground, but Martha blocks her path, and defends the calf. Nigel then arrives and runs away on foot, trying to lure Matilda away to follow him. Matilda, seeing the prospect of an easy meal, turns away from Martha and starts chasing Nigel. In the chase, Nigel runs towards the Deinosuchus lake, with Matilda closing the gap behind him. The Deinosuchus, accustomed to fighting giant theropods, surges out of the lake at Matilda, who swings around just in time to dodge the attack. This delay buys time for Nigel, who runs into the time portal's entry stockaded enclosure and climbs out of it by a ladder. Matilda's jaws are only about a foot distance from one of his feet as he climbs to safety. Nigel shuts the enclosure and Matilda is contained. A few weeks later, extra keepers have been hired. The escaped animals are back in their enclosures. Bob catches the Troodon in a long tunnel trap with droppable doors at both ends, and presumably finds somewhere to keep it. The elephants, thankful for the help and rescue, let Martha join them as a full herd member and be an "auntie" to the elephant calf. The Smilodon cubs have been weaned and are eating meat, but they have not grown visible saber teeth yet.

At the end of the episode we see Nigel at his headquarters planning his next mission before travelling through the time portal, suggesting future expeditions into prehistory.

Filming locations edit

Episode Where set Where filmed
Main Park South Africa Crocworld Conservation Centre, Didima Camp and Cathedral Peak (aerial shots.), Natal Lion Park, Hluhluwe– iMfolozi Park
1 Montana, United States Conguillío National Park of Chile where there are plenty of Araucaria and Nothofagus trees
2 Siberia The Yukon at Kluane National Park and Reserve and British Columbia at Tatshenshini-Alsek Provincial Park in Canada
3 China Rotorua, New Zealand, in the Redwood, Ohakuri, and Tikitere forests, Kakahi Falls and Lake Rotokawau
4 South America in Parque Nacional da Chapada dos Veadeiros near Brasilia in Brazil
5 Coal forest in Scotland Jonathan Dickinson State Park in southern Florida, but some of the vegetation was CGI
6 Texas, United States The freshwater lakes of Fraser Island, Australia

Home release edit

  • The Region 1 DVD was released on 5 June 2007 by BCI Eclipse, under license from Fremantle Media.
  • The Region 2 DVD was released in Britain on 28 August 2006 by Fremantle Media.[1]
  • The Region 4 DVD was released in Australia and surrounding islands on 6 October 2006. Charles Wooley narrated the series when broadcast on Australia's Nine Network, and the Region 4 DVD has the original narration by David Jason.
  • The Region 3 DVD was released in Indonesia by Medialine Entertainment.

Awards and nominations edit

Year Award Category Work Result Ref.
2007 Visual Effects Society Awards Outstanding Visual Effects in a Broadcast Series (for George Roper, Matt Fox, Laurent Hugueniot, Kevin Spruce) Prehistoric Park Nominated [2]

References edit

  1. ^ "The ITV Shop". Archived from the original on 29 September 2007. Retrieved 16 July 2022.
  2. ^ "5TH ANNUAL VES AWARDS". Visual Effects Society. Retrieved 30 September 2021.

External links edit