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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Valley of the Dinosaurs: Forbidden Fruit Valley of the Dinosaurs
"Forbidden Fruit"

TV episode
Written by: Unknown
Directed by: Charles A. Nichols

 

Greg causes a chain reaction of problems when he takes a bushel of arok fruit forbidden by the cave dwellers.

 

Didja Know?

 

Valley of the Dinosaurs was a fully-animated Saturday morning series for children, produced by Hanna-Barbera Productions for the CBS television network for the 1974-1975 season. It lasted just one season. It had similarities to the NBC live action series produced by Sid and Marty Krofft, Land of the Lost, namely both feature a family that travels down a raging river until an accident flings them into a world filled with dinosaurs and primitive men. Both series premiered on the same date, September 7, 1974, but Land of the Lost lasted for three seasons.

 

The storytelling of Valley of the Dinosaurs seemed to be geared towards including scientific lessons for the children who watched.

 

It seems to have been a requirement that, despite the stories being largely dramatic themselves, each episode must end with a gag (usually a lame one, at that), undercutting the moral or lesson the story sought to tell.

 

The voice of Greg Butler, the modern-day boy character, is provided by Jack E. Haley, who would go on to be become better known as Jackie Earle Haley, portraying such characters as Rorschach in the 2009 film Watchmen and Freddy Krueger in the 2010 remake of A Nightmare on Elm Street.

 

The story editor of the series was Sam Roeca, who would later go on to write a few episodes of the third season of Land of the Lost.

 

The writers of each TV episode are not specifically revealed, but the end credits of every episode listed the series writers as: Peter Dixon, Peter Germano, James Henderson, Ernie Kahn, Ben Masselink, Dick Robbins, Henry Sharp, and Jerry Thomas.

 

Didja Notice?

 

The synthesizer background music of Valley of the Dinosaurs is also similar to Land of the Lost.

 

The pterosaur seen at 1:31 on the DVD is a Pteranodon.

 

The dinosaur called Maligue by the cave-dwellers appears to be an apatosaur.

 

The creature seen at 1:50 on the DVD may be a Postosuchus, a reptile of the family Rauisuchidae during the late Triassic period, and not a true dinosaur.

 

The long-tailed pterosaur that flies past Maligue at 2:07 on the DVD is a Rhamphorhynchus, from the Jurassic period.

 

John describes the valley's arok fruit as tasting like a cross between a peach and a pineapple.

 

   The pet baby dinosaur Glump, kept by Gorok's clan, is not a Stegosaurus, as evidenced by the widely-spaced, parallel rows of plates along his back. The wide-spacing makes it hard to place, but appears the closest to Wuerhosaurus.

   Glump is also depicted with small ear flaps. It is not known that stegosaurids (or other dinosaurs) had any such protuberances on the ears; the feature was probably added by the animators to up the character's cuteness factor a bit.

 

As he eats the arok fruit, Greg remarks on how it beats "spoiled moths for breakfast and owl eggs for lunch," an indication of staples of the cave dwellers' diet.

 

Somehow the Butlers and the cave-dwellers are able to understand each other. For purposes of the television viewership, all parties speak English, but we might assume that the Butlers have learned to understand and speak the language of the cave-dwellers and that is what is really intended to have been spoken.

 

At 2:50 on the DVD, notice that Lok is carrying a small dead dinosaur over his shoulder that he and Gorok have apparently hunted and killed for a clan meal.

 

At 3:02 on the DVD, Lok is suddenly no longer carrying the dead dinosaur over his shoulder!

 

John and Kim both still wear boots, but for some reason both Greg and Katie go barefoot throughout the series, as the cave dwellers do. Have the two kids gone native?

 

Why did Tana help the Butlers gather the arok fruit? She should already have known the tribal law that forbids it.

 

Greg remarks that Maligue has got to be bigger than the Empire State Building. An exaggeration, of course.

 

Another unidentified species of pterosaur appears at 4:52 on the DVD. The lack of crest or tail suggest it may be of the genus Pterodactylus.

 

At 5:22 on the DVD, Maligue seems to have eaten not only all of the arok fruit from the tree, but all of its leaves as well!

 

At 5:36 on the DVD, a wooden post mounted in Gorok's cave has a couple of skulls mounted to it...one of them apparently human.

 

For some reason, Gorok and his entire family have blue eyes. The entire Butler family have brown eyes.

 

At 7:48 on the DVD, Maligue is depicted with a rather long, lizard-like tongue.

 

Throughout the series it is subtly hinted that Katie has a crush on Lok.

 

As Katie soothes his wounded head, Lok remarks on her kindness and says he will teach her to catch the giant eel. A double entendre? But seriously...Katie responds, thanks anyway but she'd rather catch the 8:10 to Brooklyn. Brooklyn is a borough of New York City. Was the Brooklyn mention merely for the sake of the joke or could it be an indication that the Butlers are from the New York area?

 

John refers to the water flow that suddenly springs up in the cave after the mouth collapses as an Artesian flow. This refers to an underground water source that flows up and out of the ground due to hydrostatic pressure, seeking an equilibrium.

 

Greg remarks that the inner chambers of Gorok's cave, discovered by he and Tana, are like Carlsbad Caverns in New Mexico.

 

The young theropod dinosaur that threatens Greg, Katie, Digger, and Glump at 14:20 on the DVD is probably of the clade Ceratosauria, judging by the four-fingered claws on its forelimbs. It is also presented with a lizard-like tongue.

 

When the Ceratosaur bites onto the broken stalagtite wielded by Katie, Greg remarks the creature is hanging on like a Gila monster. Indeed, the Gila monster is known to grip tightly to its victim, not letting go for some time as the lizard's venom is slowly worked into the wound.

 

When Greg and Tana escape from the cave and go to the village for help, Tana calls for Bakor, Doga, and Tok, but finds that all of the villagers are gone except for an old woman who tells them all the others have gone on a hunt. It seems unlikely the entire village could have gone on a hunt without Gorok and his family knowing about it ahead of time.

 

Greg reveals that his father was a science teacher at school. 

 

Digger and Glump The group saves Digger and Glump for last in the rescue from the cave, hoisting them up and out together in a sling. But if the two animals were last to be lifted out, who put them in the sling and tied the vine to the ends to hoist them out? Someone above must have lowered a second vine so that the last person (probably John or Gorok) could tie the sling for the animals in preparation before being hoisted out himself.

 

Unanswered Questions

 

If there is no time- or dimension-hopping occurring in the creation/preservation of the Valley of the Dinosaurs, then how did dinosaur species which originated on different continents all come to be located in the Amazon jungle of South America? For example, Wuerhosaurus originated in China, while Stegosaurus is from North America, etc.

 

Memorable Dialog

 

pteranodon.wav

who's scared'a dinosaurs?.wav

who or what got devoured yesterday.wav

you are kind to Lok.wav

a strange world.wav

all kinds of choices.wav 

 

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