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Prehistoric Park is a 6-part television series in documentary style, from Impossible Pictures Limited, (the makers of Walking with Dinosaurs) which premiered on ITV1 on 22 July 2006 and on Animal Planet on 29 October 2006. It is in 6 episodes, each an hour long including commercial breaks.

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 time portal, and brings back 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 (which serve to help confine any escapes) with varied environments.

On the DVD of the series, the introduction says that "the events in these 6 episodes are largely to find the possibillity of keeping animals from old geological periods alive in the modern world and later they may get breeding populations of more species".

Location

The park may be in Africa, because the series says that cheetahs and elephants and weaver birds live free there. Also Nigel's car's plate says 'Queenland', and the landscapes look like Australian.

Characters

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  • Nigel Marven - responsible for travelling back in time to collect the animals. Played usually by himself, sometimes by Physical Effects Supervisor Jamie Campbell: see [1]
  • Bob - the long-suffering head keeper at Prehistoric Park. Played by Rod Arthur.
  • Susanne - the head vet at Prehistoric Park. Played by Suzanne McNabb.
  • Saba Douglas-Hamilton - a big cat specialist who Nigel invites back to catch Smilodon in episode 4, acted by herself.
  • Bill - a crew member who travels back with Nigel. Introduced in episode 5.
  • Jim - an associate of Nigel who travels with him through time. Introduced in episode 5.
  • Ben - One of Nigel's crew. Four Mei long attacked him. Introduced in episode 3.
    • There are various other staff members, but none of their names have been given. One of the more prominent is Susanne's blonde assistant.

Episode 1: T-rex Returns

Montana, 65 million years ago, very end of Cretaceous.

Species encountered:-

Nigel goes through the time portal, aiming to bring back a Tyrannosaurus. He finds a flock of Ornithomimus, tries to catch one by running out at them from ambush, catches one, tries to put a sock over its head to quieten it, but must let it go when three Tyrannosaurus come. Nigel is pursued by the Tyrannosaurus-rexes, but they give up the chase when he heads into the deeper forest, as they are so heavy, they could die if they topple over. He tracks the Tyrannosaurus to the middle of their territory. He finds some Tyrannosaurus eggs, hoping to bring some back for hatching, but they are all broken and empty, either predated or already hatched. As he returns to camp, in the sky are many meteors running ahead of the asteroid which will put an end to the dinosaurs.

The next day he finds a herd of Triceratops. Nigel then watches the pack of Tyrannosaurus attack the Triceratops herd. A female Tyrannosaurus catches a baby Triceratops, but its mother comes to its defence and gores the Tyrannosaurus in its thigh. The other Tyrannosaurus back off, leaving the wounded Tyrannosaurus to catch her prey alone. It goes after a 3-ton young male Triceratops, Nigel opens the time portal and leads the Triceratops by waving his jacket at it matador-fashion. It follows him through the time portal, but the Tyrannosaurus sees the Triceratops disappear and does not follow. Bob says "Well, that's certainly not a T-rex." when he sees the Triceratops. It is named Theo and becomes the park's first exhibit. Theo starts persistently charging the same tree, and his neck frill changes color. Susanne thinks that it is rutting. This gives Bob an idea.

As Nigel heads back to rescue a Tyrannosaurus, the team get back to building the enclosure. Bob is not completely sure what to do, but apparently, Nigel thinks that what has been built so far will be enough.

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Nigel finds a Tyrannosaurus track in volcanic ash, and sees by the dragged toes that it is the female with the gored thigh. Nigel sees that the Tyrannosaurus is walking alongside a river following a drifting Triceratops carcass. The carcass gets stuck in rocks in the riverbed. The Tyrannosaurus tries to reach the carcass, but mistrusts her footing among the loose wet rolling riverbed rocks and backs off. Nigel and others builds a crude stockade wall alongside the river, out of local Cretaceous fallen timber, trying to get the Tyrannosaurus to follow between the river and the stockade and thus through the time portal. A flock of Ornithomimus appear and run ahead, and the Tyrannosaurus chases them through the time portal into the park, where they cause surprise, but the Tyrannosaurus catches a straggler,a young Ornithomimus very near Nigel and turns back from the chase and does not reach the time portal. Instead of eating it there, she carries it a long distance into rough lava rock near the volcano despite her injured thigh. Nigel wonders why and follows her.

Back at the park, Bob, seeing the Ornithomimus flock coming through, says "Oh my giddy aunt. We've got a bit of a situation here." and settles them into their new paddock. He decides not to feed them until the next day, which gives him a chance to get back to his plan for Theo.

Meanwhile, Nigel continues to follow the wounded Tyrannosaurus until he finds that she has two babies that need feeding. Nigel plans to bring the T.Rex mother and her babies back to the park with him, but a male Tyrannosaurus then attacks the female Tyrannosaurus for her kill - it kills her, and takes the dead Ornithomimus away.

At this point, an 6-mile-wide asteroid enters the Earth's atmosphere at 20,000 mph, passes between Nigel and the sun so he is in its shadow, and impacts in the Gulf of Mexico. The explosion is 70000 times the Hiroshima bomb, and its blast column can be seen in Montana despite the curvature of the Earth. It leaves Nigel with three minutes while the blast front travels from Chicxulub to Montana at 200 times the speed of sound and reaches him. Under a sky full of bright meteors he uses the only meat that he has (what appears to be a ham sandwich) to entice the two young Tyrannosaurus through the time portal with a second to spare. In the park, they are put in an observation pen and named Terence and Matilda, as they are one male and one female.

The head keeper copes with Theo's rutting by making a "rival" for Theo by using old tires and oddments attached to a tractor 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.

Episode 2: A Mammoth Undertaking

Siberia, 10,000 and 150,000 years ago respectively, near Pleistocene-Holocene boundary.

Species encountered:-

In the park, Nigel goes to the buildings. The Triceratops and the Ornithomimus are settling in. He hauls a beef forequarter up on a derrick or similar and drops it inside the Tyrannosaurus enclosure. The T.rexes greedily eat it and pull at it. Each year they will double their weight until they weigh 5 tons each. He goes to look at a herd of African elephants in the park: there are at least four including a young calf.

He goes through the Time Portal to 10,000 BC northwest Siberia just east of the Ural Mountains where the last mammoths lived. It is early spring but the land is still under snow. He drives a snowmobile over a frozen lake. He sees nothing but dense taiga forest and rocky mountains: as the land became warmer as the Ice Age ended, trees replaced tundra grass and the mammoths lost their grazing; they cannot eat pine needles, even if pine moth caterpillars can. This reduced their numbers, then prehistoric Man finished them off by hunting them. He remarks that "They knew no better, but modern Man is still wiping out rare species."

He sees a cave and stops and goes into it. Something growls in the cave. He hurries out. A male cave bear follows him out; he had disturbed its sleep. It stands 13 feet tall and is more muscular than any modern bear. He had thought that cave bears would already be extinct by this point. It follows him. He calls to the cameraman to drop the camera and run. They run and climb trees. The bear cannot climb trees, and goes away. They watch it foraging, gathering up berries and shoots as it prepares to hibernate, then get to the snowmobile and drive away. Without the equipment to transport it safely, Nigel regrets that he cannot save it, so he decides to leave sleeping bears lie and get back to saving a mammoth.

Nigel goes up a rocky slope for the view. He knows that Ice Age men also have been killing mammoths. He sees what may be a gap in trees: it may be open land, and perhaps there are mammoths there. In a snowdrift Nigel finds a native-made flute made of mammoth ivory. They drive away.

Through binoculars he sees prehistoric men hunting.

On the way there he finds mammoth footprints and then warm mammoth dung. He hears distant mammoth trumpeting and drives towards where the noise came from.

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He sees a mammoth standing and a mammoth lying down. Both are female, as their thin tusks show. The mammoth lying down is dead and in a pitfall trap: after it fell in, native hunters killed it with spears. One of the party find a native palaeolithic spear with its head broken off - a bad sign. The standing mammoth makes rumblings in her stomach, trying to communicate with her dead companions. She looks ill. She staggers and then goes on her knees and then on her belly. She is so weak that she can barely lift her trunk. She is staying with the fallen mammoth: the two are clearly emotionally close to each other, and may be sisters. Nigel sees a spear wound in her left shoulder; the wound is starting to swell. He walkietalkies to the Park for help; it seems that its signal can travel through the Time Portal.

In the park, the Ornithomimus are not eating the grass, because Bob had treated them like ostriches because they look like ostriches. Bob sees that "they have more in common with Daffy Duck than Emu": their mouth insides are rough like sandpaper, like with ducks and geese. He throws duck feed pellets into the metal containers that they shelter in. They chase the pellets out and chase excitedly around and go into a nearby small lake and dabble about like ducks.

They need to get the mammoth strong enough to walk through the Time Portal. A group of two or more Park staff arrive. One loads a short dart gun and syringe-darts the mammoth with antibiotic. 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.

Hyenas come, seen by yellow eye-shine, and behind them wolves, seen by green eye-shine. And the human hunters, the most dangerous predators, have no eye-shine to be seen by in the dark. The wolves charge. Nigel chases the wolves away, shouting "Leave her!".

Dawn and then morning come. Nigel sees that the end of the mammoth's trunk is wet: that is a good sign, like with a dog's nose. The mammoth stands. It shows no aggression, and stays with her dead sister: a worthy emotion, but they must get her away and into the modern age. They set up the Time Portal. Nigel backs away from the mammoth through the Time Portal. The mammoth follows, perhaps trying to keep Nigel away from her dead sister, or wanting to be with someone, or following food in his hand. Nigel holds his left hand out, and the Time Portal activates. They come into the park and into the modern age. Nigel walkietalkies for urgent medical help.

In the park, Susanne gives sedative and antibiotic to the mammoth, who lies down on her side in the entrance stockade. Susanne treats the wound and after some pulling extracts a stone spearhead from it. As usual with treating elephants, she leaves the wound open to dry and drain. The mammoth stands. One difference from modern elephants is that the mammoth has three inches of fat under her skin. She is on the road to recovery. She will need antibiotic the next 2 days. They name her Martha.

In the park, the Ornithomimus are in their lake dredging and filtering for food. Martha shows all medical signs good, but is not eating, and needs to eat for strength to recover. They put Martha in an enclosure labeled "Mammoth Mount". 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. Maybe the reason Martha is not eating is because she needs a specific diet.

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To solve the mystery, Nigel goes through the Time Portal to the same place in Siberia 150,000 years ago at the peak of the ice age, on a snowmobile. The land is under snow, but dwarf willow sticks out of the snow. Mammoths range across from Europe to northeast Asia. He finds a large herd of female mammoths. The land is dry and has many kinds of grass and no trees. Each herd follows a matriarch, who is 50 or 60 years old. He collects grass and mosses and dwarf willow to bring back to be analyzed. Mammoths eat 200Kg of vegetation each day. A male mammoth on musth comes, looking for females ready to mate. All the mammoths are thriving on the grassland diet. Nigel collects a big sample bagful of the vegetation.

He sees a month-old mammoth calf stuck in mud in the edge of a lake. Its matriarch drags it onto land with her trunk and tusks.

He sees a large male Elasmotherium by the snowmobile. It is twice as big as any modern rhino, and weighs up to 5 tons. It is downwind from him. but there is a risk of it seeing him, and if it sees anything unexpected, such as him, it may charge. It gets restive. 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. The Elasmotherium noses the bag and leaves it.

Nigel decides to bring the Elasmotherium back, riskily using himself as bait, as Elasmotherium will soon be extinct due to climate change. Nigel runs to the sample bag and kneels by it. When the Elasmotherium runs at him, he picks the bag up and runs. The Elasmotherium chases him through the Time Portal into the entrance stockade in the park. He throws the bag over the side of the stockade and calls that the bag is samples and climbs out up an escape ladder. Men close the stockade's gates. The Elasmotherium is contained.

In the park Bob remarked that "There's only you could go to collect a few grasses and come back with something like that." and to another "Nigel's got a little surprise for you."

Nigel offers Martha the Ice Age grass, but Martha still refuses to eat. Whilst he admits it is anthropomorphic to say so, Nigel thinks that she looks lonely; in the wild female mammoths are always in groups; "I would have brought two back, but the hunters killed her sister." They realize that Martha is not eating because she is all alone; she is weakening and starving to death because of refusing to eat.

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The Elasmotherium, which is accustomed to being alone, is settling in. but Martha, like people, is accustomed to being with relatives. There is a council, to decide on putting Martha with the elephants. Bob says that "If you put a new elephant with an established herd, there is risk of trouble. What if Martha tried to become the dominant female?". Elephant matriarchs have been known to kill new elephants that tried to push into an established herd. Martha at first sight would appear to have the weaponry advantage, but adult mammoth tusks are designed for sweeping snow off ground vegetation to graze in the winter, more than for fighting. But they decide to try it.

Two egrets watch as Nigel drives a roofed jeep to Mammoth Mount and lets the elephants come up to Martha's enclosure. Elephants can be unpredictable, especially if faced with the unfamiliar. Suzanne recommends letting them meet. Martha seems to be happy. Martha and the elephants' matriarch approach each other, curious, and not seeming to want to attack. Nigel calls to open the gate. All signs seem good. Martha follows the elephant matriarch. Martha is now eating well.

Episode 3: Dinobirds

Northeast China, 125 million years ago, mid Cretaceous

Species encountered:-

This is a rescue mission just before the site area's dinosaurs were wiped out by a volcano. It is aimed at getting specimens of Microraptor, which is threatened by volcanoes and with being out-competed by the coming birds.

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In the park, there are now more than 24 animals. The two young Tyrannosaurus often threaten each other. There is a heat wave and Martha the mammoth with her small ears and long hair and blubber is affected by the heat, as she had been brought from an Ice Age winter.

Nigel and four other people go on foot through the time portal to the site. A large threatening volcano stands over the area. There are hot springs, and a risk of natural carbon dioxide seepage. There is a small earthquake. They get away onto higher ground.

They come to an apparently non-volcanic lake. Pterosaurs fly in and fly with their lower jaws skimming in 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. This loss of food supplies causes a crisis. As they walk through a forest, something follows them through the fern undergrowth, then goes away.

In the park, Martha the mammoth is led to stand between two jeeps, and several members of the team stand on one of them to clip her hair short to avoid the overheating. During this Martha sneezes over everybody and the camera.

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 finds an Incisivosaurus. It displays at him and then charges, and bumps the camera with its nose, leaving spit and snot on its lens. It has short "flight feathers", too short for flight, and also quill feathers on the sides of the ends of their tails. It was thought that dinosaur / bird feathers first arose for insulation for warmth, then the quill feathers arose for displaying and later got big enough for gliding.

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 looking in undergrowth, and there are fears about its health.

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On site, Nigel using binoculars sees some Microraptor 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 as if a convoy of trucks had gone that way. 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. 12 Microraptor 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 tried to catch some Microraptor, but they are all too quick for him.

Nigel makes an enclosure of net, with inside it a hollow baited with insects, as Microraptor can only glide and cannot take off from flat ground. The Microraptor 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 Microraptor 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 one Ornithomimus has started lying about in the shade. Someone has seen this behavior in birds, and guesses that the Ornithomimus is broody.

Nigel and at least 4 others go back through the time portal to the site. Nigel now has a net gun (which he has tested on Bob), and a carbon dioxide detector. Each man has a gasmask in his pack, as volcanic ash in the air damages the lungs. In a forest Nigel comes across a pair of Incisivosaurus who seem to be courting, by calling and displaying at each other close up.

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. (Modern birds only have a left oviduct.)

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 long which had gone to sleep in a flat-bottomed hollow. Nigel plans to avoid the hollow to avoid waking them, but something seems wrong. He claps a few times, but nothing happens. He pokes one with a stick, but it does not wake. He realizes that the Mei longs are dead from gassing by carbon dioxide of volcanic origin. He looks at his carbon dioxide detector, which gives a reading. He calls out "carbon dioxide!" and orders everybody to go to higher ground.

In the park the two Tyrannosaurus burst into an aggressive battle,. They are separated by water blast from a watercannon mounted on a large water tanker truck and put in separate small pens while a partition is built dividing their enclosure. Both growl and roar in frustration after all of the chaos,

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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 Microraptor arrive, and with his netgun 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 Microraptor until they pass. He is uninjured and the Microraptor has a simple broken left radius or ulna. The volcano erupts, blasting out a huge ash cloud. The dinosaurs stampede. Nigel and his team put their gasmasks 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; Bob says "I don't believe it." seeing them come through the time portal.

In the park the broody Ornithomimus starts to lay eggs: it has laid four pairs of eggs (one pair per day) in a part circle when the episode ends. The injured Microraptor's arm is splinted under anaesthetic; one of the staff refers to it as "she".

Episode 4: Saving the Sabretooth

South America, 1 million and 10,000 years ago respectively, late Pliocene

Species encountered:-

Nigel is shown walking with a tame cheetah. He comments that specialization has threatened the cheetah, and later that it may have wiped out the Smilodon. In the park the titanosaurs break their fence and have to be let wander around the park. They go towards the park's main gates. Bob follows one in a tractor. During this he shouts at a titanosaur "Get back, you great lummox." To his disgust it discharges runny smelly faeces in front of him: its gut clearly does not like some of the modern vegetation. At the same time, Nigel radios to Bob that he will need a birdcage for a bird standing 3 metres high, but due to tractor engine noise and titanosaur noise, Bob only hears part of the message, and provides an ordinary parakeet-sized birdcage. Nigel explains to Bob what is needed.

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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 Panama land bridge formed), but the terror birds (Phorusrhachids) 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: he sees that they lived like modern hippopotamuses, and thus may be dangerous like hippos. A 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 Susanne must rescue them for artificial incubation, as all those eggs are precious. Susanne stalks up to them and picks up them; the Ornithomimus does not chase, but demonstrates, causing a flurry among some white 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 stalk a Toxodon and then after a short chase jump on its head and neck and bite its throat and kill it. More Smilodon come, including some 6 to 8 week old cubs. While waiting Nigel has a coffee. The Smilodon eat their fill and go away. A Phorusrhacos starts to eat from the carcass. A Smilodon comes back and chases it away, forcing it to drop a lump of meat which it had pulled off. That sort of pressure is why the Phorusrhacos were dying out. 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 Phorusrhacos 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 for 65 million years), but the two eggs in the incubator do not hatch. The young Ornithomimus are covered in downy feathers.

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Accompanied by big cat expert Saba Douglas-Hamilton, Nigel goes through the time portal to South America in 10,000BC when the sabertooth species 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 old remains of carcasses.

Nigel hears vegetation noise from an animal near him. He finds, catches and releases an ordinary modern-type 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. This has at least given them a hint. A female Smilodon cannot be far away. However, she must be in very poor condition

Nigel has a videocamera 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.

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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 deer: when she charges, the deer runs away easily. Later they see her suckling a live cub, but she is making little or no milk for it. A 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. The female Smilodon charges out of bushes and jumps on the front of the jeep; they back off.

In the park the men have finished building a partition across the Tyrannosaurus enclosure, and put a Tyrannosaurus on each side. Matilda keeps threatening Terence 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 the female Smilodon. 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 to him and think 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 Phorusrhacos recover from their hunger over the next fortnight.

Episode 5: The Bug House

Isle of Arran in Scotland, 300 million years ago, Upper Carboniferous/Pennsylvanian

Species encountered:-

In the park, Nigel puts the two imprinted baby Ornithomimus in an enclosure with the other baby Ornithomimus and tells them to stay there. The Smilodon are in adjacent enclosures. The male wants the female, but the more mature female is not interested, either ignoring him or acting aggressively towards him.

Nigel goes to modern Arran (in a large RIB with an A-frame and a steering wheel), and sees a fossil Arthropleura track in rock. He talks about what Arran was 300,000,000 years ago.

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He goes back to the park to serious trouble among the Tyrannosaurus: Matilda has broken into Terence's enclosure: Terence 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. Terence has been badly bitten about the face. Bob has drug-darted Matilda, but these drugs take time to act on reptiles. When Terence is badly injured by his sister, Nigel arrives in a roofed jeep and encourages her to chase his jeep. 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 tranquiliser.

The injured Terence is in good hands, so Nigel, with assistants, drives in the jeep through the time portal to Upper Carboniferous Arran, 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. The forest is very quiet, as there is no bird song or tree-frog noise, only wind and insects. A Meganeura flies over.

In the park, Terence is in the animal clinic, anaesthetized, and Susanne is operating on the wounds. She prefers absorbable sutures to surgical clips, since Terence would need to be anaethetised again for the clips to be removed. She sews the wounds with the skin edges sticking out a bit, as is sometimes done when operating on reptiles.

On site, Upper Carboniferous air is 35% oxygen, not 20% as now, and that is why the insects are so big. Nigel climbs a 150-foot-tall tree (Sigillaria or Lepidodendron or similar): it 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 says that the Titanosaurs cannot seem to settle in one area. Bob offers the Titanosaur a cycad leaf, but it does not eat.

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On site, 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. It rears and confronts him. It is 10 feet long and has big dangerous-looking mandibles. Some modern millipedes can squirt cyanide, which smells of almonds, and Nigel fears that Arthropleura may also.

In the park, Susanne has put climbing poles in the Smilodon enclosures: this is environmental enrichment, which will hopefully make them happier so she will be more accepting of the male.

Bob suspects that the titanosaurs are looking for stomach stones, and collects stones for them.

On site, the Arthropleura has gone, leaving a track. Nigel says that that may be the same track that he saw fossilized on modern Arran. He sees two male Meganeura have 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 Nigel makes a move to catch a Meganeura, something in the water bites his right ankle. He says "Animal bites for us wildlife folks are just a badge of courage." They look for a dry area to camp. Evening is coming. The crew camp for the night. They have head lights strapped to their heads. Nigel warns them never to walk without boots on in case of stinging animals. Someone by force of habit puts mosquito net up, and Nigel tells him to take it down, as mosquitoes have not evolved yet. Nigel sleeps under a waterproof sheet in a hammock slung between two giant lycopsid trees in the coal forest. There is a thunderstorm in the night.

In the park, Bob brings a wheelbarrow full of the stones to some titanosaurs; one of them investigates it.

In an observation enclosure, Terence is lethargic, and blood tests show Susanne that Terence has septicaemia, and she reluctantly gives him antibiotic (not knowing how the drugs will react with a prehistoric reptile). While this is risky, giving antibiotics to an unknown species, Suzanne knows if she does not, the infection of his injuries will probably kill Terence.

File:Crassigyrinus scoticus.png

On site, the thunderstorm stops, and it is still night, and animals tend to become active after rain. Nigel goes about with a large ultraviolet light. He finds a Pulmonoscorpius nearly a meter long, 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 Jim's bed, and looks as if it may sting him when he twitches in his sleep. Nigel grabs it by the tail end, and it nips him with its pincers. He lets it go away from the camp. This wakes Jim, and Nigel to Jim explains what happened.

In the park Sabrina, the female Smilodon, seems happier, and as if she will accept the male. Susanne 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 solution to squirt on a Meganeura so that it will fall in the water and become wet, so it can be caught easily. The Meganeura are very fast and agile, but after many failed attempts, he hits one perched on a floating log. Nigel gets his net and catches the Meganeura. In the water he sees a big amphibian. He passes the net with the Meganeura in to a companion and swims underwater (without a diving mask) and catches the amphibian after a struggle, as it is very strong and slippery. He shows that it an underwater ambush predator. It has two rows of teeth in its upper jaw and one in its lower jaw. He sees that it is a Crassigyrinus scoticus, whose fossils have only been found in Scotland; he nicknames it a "swamp monster" as it has no common name. That is what bit his ankle earlier. He has to let it go, as he has no way to transport it safely. He holds the Meganeura vertically by its thorax so its wings fan his face, as the forest is very hot and damp, then puts the Meganeura in a net cage.

In the park Susanne lifts the door between the Smilodons' enclosures. They have a water jet ready to separate the two if they fight. The male goes into the female's enclosure. They growl somewhat 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 its 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.

File:Bug House.png

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. It rears to confront him. Nigel, who was wanting to get away quickly, was not thankful for this delay, but says he must rescue it, else it will be burned alive. After a struggle, he and another man wrap it in plastic sheet and tie red cord round 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 towtruck or other vehicle, but by a titanosaur, which Bob was enticing with the wheelbarrowful of gastrolith stones. (This seems to imply that someone went back through the Time Portal earlier to tell the park staff to arrange a tow.)

The Arthropleura, the Meganeura, and the Pulmonoscorpius are put in the high-oxygen building. Terence is recovering well from his injury and infection but wrecks Suzanne's surgery once he wakes up from anesthetic: Susanne had not restrained him, not realising he would come round so fast. Nigel's sting site has swollen but still shows no serious symptoms, so either the Pulmonoscorpius's venom does not effect mammals (it came from a time before mammals, or even reptiles (except for a few very early and prototype species) had evolved), or it did not inject any venom, or he pulled his hand away before it could inject.

Episode 6: Supercroc

Texas, 75 million years ago, Upper Cretaceous

Species encountered:-

In the park, near the Time Portal site there is a crocodile enclosure. There is a suspension bridge across it (the simple sort where the footway follows the catenary); Bob walks across it to feed the Nile crocodiles in the lake. Nigel plans to add a Deinosuchus, an ancient species of giant crocodile which weighs up to 9 tons, to the park.

File:Crocodile Pool.JPG

In a jeep, Nigel goes through the Time Portal to the Cretaceous in Texas, where Dallas is now. 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 half-size juvenile Parasaurolophus go by and stop about 10m away. Nigel chases them towards the jeep. Then two Albertosaurus appear. The Parasaurolophus honk and run away. 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 presumably to diesel exhaust smell). He drives away. They chase him, at speed up to 30-38 mph, but they tire and turn away.

In the park, Bob is planting young trees to help feed the Titanosaurs: he says that he will have to plant 2000 trees each year for this. The Titanosaurs, of course, are no help whatsoever at this, and keep trampling trees down.

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.

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 vocalizations: they make noises using their hollow crests.

Nigel, with binoculars, sees 5 Nyctosaurus fly in from the sea. They fish by skimming the lower jaw through the water surface. 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.

File:PREHISTORIC CROCODILE ATTACK.JPG

In the park, Susanne visits Martha the mammoth. Martha tries to be an "auntie" to the elephant herd's matriarch's calf. The 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, 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 (geologically) 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. 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. They take 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 4 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. Something is following him. He feels relieved when 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. He chases them away using a portable aerosol-like horn.

File:TROODON.JPG

In the park Bob is shoveling up Elasmotherium dung when he sees the Phorusrhacos looking at him through a fence. He calls on his walkietalkie that the Phorusrhacos has escaped again. A keeper comes in a jeep, and by towing some meat behind the jeep leads the Phorusrhacos 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. They rig hammocks. It gets dark. With their helmet headlights they see that some a Troodon was pulling away his bait. When Nigel chased after it, another came and ran off with the rest. 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. There is noisy confrontation and some biting, and tugs-of-war over the flesh. The Albertosaurus admit defeat and back off.

In the park Martha the mammoth 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. He backs off too soon; the Deinosuchus backs off. He splashes again. The Deinosuchus 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. It is enticed with a piece of meat to its pond (made close by the time portal), which it goes into.

File:TYRANNOSAURUS VRS MAMMOTH.JPG

In the park Bob as usual has to "pick up the pieces". He drives the jeep to his next job, and mutters that Prehistoric Park needs more keepers, as they have so many problems: the Phorusrhacos escaped its enclosure again; the Smilodon cubs have had Suzanne up half the night, the titanosaurs eat too much; 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 bites at Bob, and the swerving jeep runs straight at a titanosaur, causing it to stampede through several enclosures, causing the Ornithimimus herd, terror bird, Elasmotherium, and, worst of all, Matilda the T - Rex, to flee through the broken fences and run around freely through the park. Paying no attention to the Titanosaur 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. Bob runs off to try and capture the escapees. 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 - she separates the calf from the rest of the herd and quickly runs it to ground. But Martha, although the herd earlier drove her away, instinctivly defends them, and with some trumpetings, growls, roars, and waving of tusks, her attack stops Matilda. Nigel then arrives and runs away on foot, luring Matilda away to follow him.

Nigel runs past the Nile crocodile pond, across an open area, and along a jeep track past the Deinosuchus lake, with Matilda ever nearer behind him. The Deinosuchus, accustomed to fighting giant theropods, surges out of the lake at Matilda, who swings round 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.

File:CROC VRS T-REX.JPG

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 a time portal, suggesting that a future series will be made.

Locations within the Park

Main Complex

File:PREHISTORIC PARK.JPG

The park appears to have a central base, not far from the entrance, on a grassy hill. The main road appears to lead to the Main complex and is surrounded by trees next to an ornate lake. The main complex appear to be a many buildings next to each other. The design is wooden supports with asymmetrical thatch roofs. This may have been a deliberate design choice, as the enclosure fences also appear to be made of wood in an attempt to make the park seem as natural as possible. This complex is actually Didima camp in front of Cathedral Peak in the Drakensberg mountains in South Africa.

The buildings appear to have back entrances like the unloading entrances that factories have for delivery trucks. The layout of the buildings is unknown at this time, as so far there has been no overall view of the complex, although it can be assumed that each of the buildings that make up the Main Complex has its own function, and that there are park security, living quarters for the parks employees, garages for the park's vehicles, etc. Presumably Susanne’s veterinary labs and Bob's work shed are here.

Time Portal Site

The Time Portal is near a set of barracks. The portal is inside a strong stockaded corridor which channels the creatures coming through down into the many (roofless) containment chambers along its length. The containment chambers are built along side the main corridor and are connected to it via sliding doors that herd the animals into different sections of the barracks, like a labyrinth.

The compound has walkways all along the main corridor and the containment chambers to let park workers look down at the animals, with metal ladders for climbing up and down into the corridor and chambers. Each chamber has a back door for trucks and containment vehicles to move back and forth and its own stone water trough and appears designed to hold the animals for extended periods until transportation can be sent to pick them up.

Nigel's Base

File:NIGEL MARVIN'S HQ.JPG

Nigel’s base appears to be separate from the main complex, which means it deserves special mention. Like the main complex it appears to be a wooden structure with a thatch roof (which the escaped Titanosaurs seem to find tasty, as seen in one of the episodes). Unlike the main complex it is a two-storey structure with balconies connecting the rooms. The ground level was never seen, although below one balcony there appears to be an Aviary, which is probably where the Microraptor were put, given that one of them was seen with Nigel on a balcony at the end of the third episode. The Base is definitely home to Nigel’s pets AND maybe the tame cheetah) which have free run of his office and the facility.

Along side one balcony there is a small veranda with a drinks table, chairs, and a hammock that overlooks the park, presumably where Nigel entertains important visitors. Nigel’s office is surprisingly small, although it is made to look that way because Nigel rarely puts anything away and leaves books and bones all over his desk and shelves, clearly more interested in rescuing more and more animals than the day-to-day running of his park (which falls on Bob's shoulders). But it has telephones, computers, and the latest equipment, and a pin-up map of the park. The park conferences are convened in his office. An interesting piece of trivia is that the only employees given free access to his base are Bob and Susanne, which shows just how important they are in the parks command hierarchy.

Mammoth Mount

Mammoth Mount is in the upland regions of the park and has a home for the park's resident mammoth and a small herd of modern African elephants. The terrain is dry, made up mostly of Serengeti-like open grassland with a few trees and shrubs. Its one of the few exhibits that is not suited to its residents, as the climate is far too warm for an Ice Age mammal; building the park in a warm country was necessary for the park's growing reptile and dinosaur population which make up the bulk of the park's inhabitants, so this problem was rectified by making sure Martha's hair is regularly cut to prevent overheating.

Unlike the other exhibits, Mammoth Mount only has small wooden barriers, which appear to keep the animals caged despite their paltry appearance. There is also a small holding paddock within the enclosure where Martha was kept before releasing her into the main enclosure because they were unsure of how the elephants would react. Mammoth Mount recently endured a serious Tyrannosaurus invasion, which broke barriers and almost caused the death of the elephant herd's only calf, which given their slow reproductive rate would have been a major blow. Fortunately Martha repelled the attack and the damage to the enclosure was quickly repaired by the new employees.

Triceratops Creek

File:TRICERATOPS.JPG

Located in a region of the park with little grass, Triceratops Creek is on the banks of a creek which flows through it, presumably under the fence, and is probably the most visually attractive enclosure in the park. Because of the Triceratops's diet it has a thick forest of low shrubs and small trees. The enclosure is surrounded on all sides with tall wooden fences and a dirt road leading up to a bare region near the enclosure's main entrance (which is big enough to drive a tractor through) and sign. The wooden fences are surprisingly strong, as they withstood the temper tantrums of a five-ton Triceratops. It was also spared destruction during the mass breakout, which Theo did not take part in.

Sabertooth enclosure

The Smilodon enclosure is surrounded on all sides with tall wooden fences, as Smilodon, like most cats, appear to be excellent climbers. The terrain is open grass with little foliage. There is a partition, with a door that can be raised, separating the two Smilodon from each other. When the two mated the door was presumably left open letting them wander between both sides. It has two small wooden bunkers on both sides for the cats to sleep in and find shade and numerous climbing frames to keep the Smilodon happy.

Crocodile lake/Deinosuchus lake

In the park, a crocodile lake has been made near the Time Portal site. The lake appears artificial with small islands and a foot suspension bridge across it, the simple sort where the footway follows the catenary. The Deinosuchus pond is nearby and is almost identical. It could be the same location (and the same real lake was likely used to film both), although this is unlikely given that the Deinosuchus is aggressive and would most likely eat the resident Nile crocodiles if left unattended. Although both have jeep roads running alongside, there are no visible barriers or fences around either lake, although the storyboard sequences shows Nigel jumping over a chain link fence, showing that both lakes have fences to contain the animals, but the fences were never shown.

T. rex Hill

The Tyrannosaurus enclosure is at the base of a hill and is filled with thick forest for shade with open areas for the dinosaurs to run around in and a lake with a small footpath cutting through it.

The enclosure has a derrick used to feed the animals inside. The derrick probably remains on site, as it would be illogical and unnecessary to bring it back and forth every day. The Tyrannosaurus enclosure is surrounded on all sides with tall wooden fences and a dirt road leading up to a bare area near the enclosure's main entrance and sign. The wooden fence near the entrance is made up of slats with gaps between them, for viewing the animals, but the fence at the back is made up of wooden slats with no gaps as a solid wall.

As the Tyrannosaurus got older, they began to fight, so Bob built a partition across their enclosure, and put one of them on each side. The first partition was not strong enough and Matilda broke through. The repaired partition worked better, and now Matilda, while still keeping on threatening Terence, cannot reach him nor do anything to him except roar with impotent rage. During the mass breakout Matilda’s side of the enclosure was breached and she promptly escaped. Terence's side of the cage was untouched and he played no part in the rampage.

Ornithomimus paddock and Pond

File:ORNITHOMIMUS CAGE.JPG

The Ornithomimus paddock is a converted Ostrich paddock and was seen as an ideal place to keep them. The terrain is mostly large open areas with woodland around a central lake. The lake was added after the Ornithomimus where put into their new home when it was realised that they cannot eat the grass. They may look like ostriches but "they have more in common with Ducks than Emus".

Bob also built a small hide on the lakeside where he could observe what appear to be his favourite dinosaurs. It was in the foliage near there where the broody Ornithomimus nested. The fences are waist-high and wooden made up of slats with gaps between them. Unlike most other enclosures, the main entrance door is kept shut with rope rather than with metal locks. The Ornithomimus Paddock was damaged during the mass breakout, but none of the herd was hurt and the damage was repaired.

The Bug House

Located in a secluded valley and plagued with sauropod-related construction difficulties, the Bug House is a concrete and brick structure with two adjoining rooms, each with a dome on its roof. They resemble the biomes used in the Eden Project and are presumably constructed in the same way, with tubular steel frames with hexagonal transparent panels made from a triple layer of thin UV-transparent ETFE film, inflated to create a large space between the two sides and trapping heat like double-glazed windows. (Glass is too heavy and potentially dangerous). The occupants include an Arthropleura, a Meganeura and a Pulmonoscorpius.

The entrance has two air-tight doors with a long corridor between, serving as an airlock. The two adjoining rooms have walls made mostly out of transparent bubbles, presumably for viewing the animals inside. Inside there appears to be no partition separating the species. It is filled entirely with tropical plants, but does not have a pond: this may be why Nigel was reluctant to bring back large amphibians. A demonstration with a lighted taper showed that the structure, due to its high oxygen atmosphere (35% nitrox), is vulnerable to fire; so it presumably has adequate fire alarms and sprinkler systems. It was spared destruction during the mass breakout, which is fortunate, as the inhabitants would probably suffer hypoxia if exposed to our atmosphere with its 20% oxygen level, if they were not crushed by the heavy walls and roof collapsing in on them.

Other Locations

File:TITANOSAUR CAGE.JPG

These locations were seen only briefly, only mentioned, or have been abandoned.

  • Titanosaur enclosure. Made of thick wooden wall, some parts had gaps and some parts did not. Soon after Nigel brought them back, however, the Titanosaurs reared up and smashed down their fence, and the titanosaurs now roam free.
  • Elasmotherium paddock. Composed mostly of muddy grassland. Its fence was broken during the mass escape, but was presumably mended by the end of the episode.
  • Terror bird Paddock. Composed mostly of sandy grassland due to the Phorusrhacos's need to dust bathe. The fences were tall but did not go deep enough into the ground, so the Phorusrhacos undermined it when digging dust-bathing holes. It was broken during the mass escape and rebuilt with fence posts buried 4 feet deep.
  • Troodon enclosure. Although never seen, it is safe to assume that the stowaway Troodon had its own enclosure built for it.
  • Microraptor Aviary. This is never seen, but it is safe to assume the Microraptor have an aviary, perhaps the aviary seen at Nigel's headquarters.

List of creatures in the park

BR = "this species has bred while at the park".
CB = "this species has enough members to be capable of breeding at the park though they have not yet".
NT = "this species was not brought through the time portal".
No personal names are given for the animals unless stated.

Mammals

Birds

Dinosaurs

Other reptiles

Arthropods

Animals that appear in the Opening Credits Only

These animals appear only in the opening credits of the series, and the opening credits contradict what is seen in the series. However, the animals in the opening credits may be in the park, although it is unconfirmed, if events happened in the park that were not filmed and not mentioned.

Animals needing treatment

ep animal symptom diagnosis cause treatment result
1 male Triceratops (Theo) kept charging a tree aggressiveness rutting made an artificial opponent good
2 female mammoth (Martha) injury, later collapsed infected spear wound Palaeolithic hunters before capture (they killed her companion) antibiotic. (Vet went through time portal?) good
2 not eating injury shock, bereavement introduced to a herd of African elephants good
3 overheating park area summer weather after Siberian winter fur clipped good
6 lonely again being separated from the herd elephant herd's leader does not make her feel welcome She solved her own problems: by protecting a baby elephant from Matilda the Tyrannosaurus she was again welcome to join the herd good
3 female Ornithomimus isolating herself ultrasound showed eggs inside broody, looking for safely hidden nest site allowed to nest; she laid and sat eggs later hatched young
3 Microraptor left arm injury simple fracture of left ulna near brush with Titanosaurus stampede after capture splinted good
4 male Smilodon underweight and low condition chronic shortage of prey before capture big game dying out food and rest good
4 female Smilodon severe underweight and starvation trying to lactate to feed cubs during chronic shortage of prey before capture big game dying out food and rest good
5 male Tyrannosaurus (Terence) bite wounds on face and resulting septicaemia fight with Matilda dart tranquilizer on Matilda took time to work operation and antibiotics good
5 Titanosaurs kept walking around looking uneasy would not eat when given food undigested food in stomach, needed gastroliths fed stones to grind the food in stomach good
6 2 Smilodon cubs mother did not have enough milk for them their mother's milk dried up Unknown. Presumably due to age and long-term malnutrition of mother before capture Susanne bottle-fed them good

Technology

File:TIME PORTAL.JPG

The Time Portal (similar to Babylon 5's Jump Gates) is generated by two metal-cased poles about 3 feet tall. The tops of the poles swivel and need to be turned to switch the gate on. When activated, a blue light near the tops flashes, and the gate field develops between them. It is probable that when switched on, the poles exist in both time periods (the past and the present day) at once. They also appear to cut across distance as well as across time given they travel to China and Scotland without taking the present-day end of the Portal beyond the park boundary, implying that the time portal is a kind of wormhole. The park end of the Time Portal is always at the same place, and leads into a long strong high-walled stockade passage. The portal field seems to be several yards deep and is not a two-dimensional surface like in the Stargate.

A list of the technology seen in the series:-

These items were taken through the Time Portal:-

Template:Endspoiler

Where the prehistoric scenes were filmed

List of paleontological faults and inaccuracies

  • Some scientists theorise that a Smilodon could not use its sabre-teeth to take down its prey, in case of damaging them, as was said in Walking with Beasts
  • It is said: "but these drugs take time to act on reptiles"; but that applies to modern cold-blooded reptiles. The physiology of dinosaurs would be more like the physiology of birds. (Due to the small size of most modern birds, there is little experience of drug-darting birds.)
  • The species that the Titanosaurs belong to was never stated. Titanosaur remains are known from this location (Liaoning, China), but have not been assigned to a genus and species.
  • In a few scenes when they browse their necks seem to be very flexible up-and-down like Brachiosaurus, although some say that that posture is physically impossible for Titanosaurs.
  • In episode 5, it was said that the coal forest was later replaced by conifers and then by ice. The conifer part is correct. If the ice part refers to the Palaeozoic Gondwanaland ice age, Scotland was a long way from Gondwanaland; if it refers to the Pleistocene ice age, a very big "eventually" should be inserted.
  • In episode 5, it was said that the coal forest was later replaced by conifers; and then by ice, which presumably refers to the Palaeozoic Gondwanaland ice age, which did not affect Scotland or anywhere near.

Other errors

  • In episode 3 the camera zooms on a Microraptor who climbs on tree but no claw marks appeared on the tree.
  • In episode 5, running the jeep in air with nearly twice as much oxygen as it was designed for, its motor would likely have run badly, or overheated and wrecked itself (unless it had a suitable electronic fuel feed control system, when the oxygen sensor would signal the Engine Control Unit to alter the fuel metering to get the mixture correct for combustion). The producers may have realized this, and thus scripted it to ditch in a swamp within a minute of arriving. Later when escaping the fire, they said that the engine was useless, but that may have been due to the engine being flooded.
  • A Parasaurolophus's tail goes though Nigel's jeep without damage.
  • The paddle goes through the Deinosuchus.
  • When the Terror Bird stepped out from behind a tree, its wing went inside the bird.
  • Unless a longer story-line time period elapsed between episodes:-
    • The Tyrannosaurus appear to age far too rapidly.
    • The Smilodon cubs in episode 6 appear from nowhere: there is no way that Smilodon pregnancies could have lasted just two weeks.

Continuity errors

These continuity errors have been noticed:-

  • In episode 1, when confronted by the three Tyrannosaurus, Nigel says "no sudden movements", presumably to a cameraman who is where the viewer is seeing from. Yet when he is seen from another viewpoint running away soon after in the next scene, there is visibly no-one behind him.
  • In episode 1, when Theo charges the fence, it bends and almost breaks. However, moments later, at the same camera angle, the fence is undamaged.
  • In episode 6:-
    • When Nigel is in the red inflatable boat which is attacked from behind by a Deinosuchus:-
      • In one shot from behind he is barefooted, whereas in the next shot, supposedly moments later, he is wearing boots.
      • When he is attacked, his paddle changes colour from black to orange.
    • The fence along the Elasmotherium pen disappears at times.
    • Near the end, when Nigel has penned in Matilda the Tyrannosaurus, she snaps at the camera. The CGI model of Matilda is in error, as it appears to be a baby Tyrannosaurus and not Matilda, who by then was well grown.
    • In the scene where Nigel is climbing the ladder to get away from Matilda (after tricking her into a containment pen), the T.rex head that snapped at him had a large scar on its side, something that only Terence had; it was probably the same animatronics head that was used when Terence's bite wounds were treated.

Supposed continuity errors

  • Some say that "the park's jeep's driving seat changes between left hand drive and right hand drive", but some scenes (e.g. Episode 2 (clipping Martha's hair), and a scene in Episode 3) show that the park has at least two jeeps.
  • In Episode 6, some say that "if the Deinosuchus's pond is behind the stockades, then when Matilda chases Nigel, it is not behind the stockades"; but a close look will show that it is behind the stockades.

Points and trivia

  • The park logo has what looks like a sauropod of the Diplodocidae family, but no diplodocid is in the park, nor did Nigel meet any, as he never visited the Jurassic Period. But as it was the logo before they ever went through the time portal they could have been planning to get some, unless it is a badly drawn titanosaur.
  • With the Titanosaurs running loose, there is a risk of them eating poisonous plants which evolved since the dinosaurs died out, because of not having evolved immunity to poison or bevavior to avoid them.
  • Nigel's drawing of a terror bird is Titanis, a North American terror bird, and Nigel brought back a Phorusrhacos, a South American terror bird.
  • For some reason Nigel collects animals just before they go extinct. This may be because he does not want to change the future.
  • The Ornithomimus show sexual dimorphism. The females are all grey and the males have bright blue heads and necks.
  • Some palaeontologists say that Tyrannosaurus rex could grow by up to 5 pounds each day.
  • Until episode 6, the Elasmotherium is not mentioned since it was taken to the park in Episode 2, and even then it is not mentioned by name.
  • The park's laboratory could presumably grow ice age plants from the samples that Nigel brought back from the ice age in Episode 2.
  • Nigel has been lucky to be able to name all the prehistoric creatures he has encountered. Fossilisation is rare and most organisms leave no traces when they die, so Nigel could meet many new species that have never been found as fossils and named.
  • When Nigel grabbed the piece of meat and ran away from the Smilodon, why did the Smilodon not chase him? Even if there is a carcass lying around, predators often cannot resist a running target.
  • We never see the snowmobile going through the Time Portal in either direction. It is to be suspected that there was a production difficulty here. In the story, it is to be presumed that after each visit, someone went back through the time portal and retrieved the snowmobile.
  • Since the four Microraptor were caught, only one was seen and they were never shown or mentioned again, not even during the mass escape in episode 6. They are likeliest kept in a building, perhaps Nigel's headquarters, as an aviary can briefly be seen below a balcony, as in the open any gale may blow them away and when gliding they would be vulnerable to hawks and eagles.
  • The park's laboratory would likely be eager to examine the coal forest swamp mud brought back stuck to the jeep, and to try to germinate any spores found in it.
  • One coal forest feature not shown was fallen lycopsid and Calamites spores covering everything, as would have often happened in reality, as seen by palaeontologists examining coal.
  • There would have to be some precaution against contaminating the prehistoric times visited by accidentally bringing modern organisms including microorganisms through. And the same in reverse, including with plants. For example, Calamites brought through as spores without anything that naturally fed on it, would likely become invasive in some modern wetlands in the area.
  • Some would say that it may be that only living things can come though the Time Portal, because in episode 1 when Nigel brings the baby Tyrannosaurus through, the meteor blast front does not come though and destroy Prehistoric Park. But the jeep and various kit, which are not alive, go and come through repeatedly; and the amount of the impact blast that would fit through the Time Portal could not do much damage. Perhaps the time portal can be programmed to not let through certain things such as meteorite impact blast and microorganisms.
  • In Episode 5 CGI seems to be used for much of the vegetation (a species of lycopsid tree, probably Lepidodendron). A CGI model only seems to have been made for one species of tree; there is no sign of Sigillaria, or Calamites or similar. Ground shots were made in a modern swamp forest in southern Florida: as a result, the bases of the tree trunks are not the usual Carboniferous lycopsid tree shape with the trunk splitting into 4 equal big roots (Stigmaria). (However, the tree trunks could be supposed to be referable to Cordaites which is thought to have been a swamp tree).
  • A lone animal may breed if it is a female who mated soon before capture; or if it is parthenogenetic, as happened in December 2006 with a Komodo dragon at Chester Zoo, but parthenogenesis is less likely for mammals.
  • The DVD of the series contains some storyboard sequences. One shows a different older superseded version of the confrontation between Martha and Matilda. In it: Matilda is smaller than in the movie. Matilda jumps on Martha's head, making it into a fight. Nigel throws a big stone at Matilda.
  • Lower atmospheric oxygen content in the early Palaeozoic and before may cause Nigel to have hypoxia, if he goes there is any more episodes which (as at November 2006) have not yet been scripted and released.
  • Any differing atmospheric pressures would probably create a gale blowing though the time portal.
  • The park may start to have an overstocking problem when the Titanosaurs start breeding.
  • Some say that it was supposed to be the park's security cameras that took some of the shots shown in the series.
  • On the Animal Planet version many of the scenes were cut out, including Bob bringing a too small bird cage, and Nigel's first encounter with the Parasaurolophus.

DVD

  • The Region 2 DVD was released in Britain for £19.99 on 28 August 2006 by Fremantle Media. [2]
  • The Region 4 DVD was released in Australia and surrounding islands on October 6, 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.

External links

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