Sunday, May 3, 2015
The shows were a mixture of educational visits to various museums and parks and silly side-stories featuring the two hosts. In one other special, Gary was actually turned into a "Garyosaurus," complete with mustache. I'm not sure why Son of Dinosaurs was the one I liked best. It might have been the novelty of its meta-premise - Gary and Eric are entrusted with a dinosaur egg that has a still living embryo inside it and decide to produce another dinosaur special as a means of doing some additional research. There was a lot of variety squeezed into this hour, including a visit to a black-tie "dinosaur ball" at a Los Angeles museum, a look at paleontologist digging sites in Alberta, Canada and my favorite bit, footage of Loch Ness that concludes with a pan under the lake's surface that seques into a stop-motion Nessie prowling around. When I actually got to visit Loch Ness many years later, that scene wasn't far from my mind.
The science in these shows is already quite dated (no feathered dinosaurs here) and I expected that they had been lost to time or restricted to bootleg VHSs like mine. But then I found out (can't remember how) that they actually were released on a couple DVDs. I recently ordered one that had three of the specials on it and obviously decided to watch Son of Dinosaurs first. Right from the first bit of footage, I got hit with a huge deja vu/nostalgia bomb. Once that wore off, it was delightful to see that it was still as enjoyable and pleasant as I remembered it. There's none of that darkness that has accompanied some of the other stuff in this series. This was just doing what good educational programming does - making learning fun. And I still want to go to that zoo in Alberta with all the life-size dinosaur replicas. That place looked awesome as a kid and it looks awesome now.