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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

enik1138
-at-popapostle-dot-com
Valley of the Dinosaurs: Smoke Screen Valley of the Dinosaurs
"Smoke Screen"

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

 

A race of primitive ape-men attack the cave-dwellers.

 

Notes from the Valley of the Dinosaurs Chronology

 

I have placed this as Episode 2 in the chronology, despite its original airing as Episode 5, since it is here that John Butler shows the cave-dwellers how to make and use a bow and arrow and Lok is seen carrying one in "Katie's Challenge", which seems to take place early in the Butler family's time in the Valley of the Dinosaurs.

 

Didja Know?

 

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 pterosaur seen at the beginning of the episode appears to be a Pteranodon. A water-dwelling plesiosaur and a pair of brontosaurs are also seen, as well as what could be a Gallimimus.

 

The ape-like hominoid species seen in this episode (called "geebos" by Gorok) are difficult to identify taxonomically.

A geebo

 

The giant lizard seen at 3:36 on the DVD may be a Postosuchus. Fossils of this species of ancient reptile have been found only in North America, not South.

 

Gorok identifies a large, male geebo he calls Creen as leader of the apes.

 

Oddly, Gorok states that the ape-like geebos do not climb!

 

When Greg wants to accompany Lok and Katie to confront Creen, his father says, "Hold on, Tarzan." Tarzan, of course, is the world-renowned character created by Edgar Rice Burroughs in 1912, a British boy who was lost in the African jungle and raised by apes.

 

Katie compares Creen to a baboon in the San Diego Zoo. Her mention of this zoo may mean the Butler family lives in the southern California area. However, a statement she makes in "Forbidden Fruit" vaguely suggests a Brooklyn origin for the Butlers; however, the San Diego Zoo reference here is stronger.

 

Notice at 8:02 on the DVD that Creen still has a piece of rope around his left ankle from the Butler's snare. But it wasn't there just moments earlier!

 

The birds seen at 8:14 on the DVD are probably Archaeopteryx judging by the large frond-tail.

 

The equids seen at 11:28 on the DVD may be the extinct species Eohippus, a miniature ancestor of the modern horse, known to have lived in North America during the Eocene epoch 56-34 mya.

 

To protect them all from the rampaging geebos, John shows his cave-dweller friends how to make a bow and arrow, adding, "Later, you'll find it a fine tool for hunting." Yeah, and also for making war with your neighbors! Of course, this is a kid's show, so we don't see these negative ramifications of the Butlers' interference in the lives of the primitive cave dwellers!

 

As Lok pulls back his bow in the confrontation with the geebos, Katie tells him, "Fire away, Robin Hood!" Robin Hood is the heroic outlaw archer of English folklore known since the late 13th Century.

 

When Greg says, "Big deal" at 20:27 on the DVD, it sounds like someone other than usual voice actor Jack E. Haley doing the voice!

 

Memorable Dialog 

 

what have we done wrong now?.wav

lizard stew and worm spaghetti.wav 

 

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