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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Valley of the Dinosaurs: Torch Valley of the Dinosaurs

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


While the Butlers are building a natural gas rig for a signal torch, the village is staked out by marauding thieves.


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?


At the beginning of the episode, rival cavemen called Tamors are seen to ride camels, even though no true camels exist in the wild in South America where the Valley of the Dinosaurs is located. The camels seen here appear to be much larger than the modern dromedaries, indicating it may be one of the extinct, giant, prehistoric species (though the giant species of camel discovered thus far were from the Arctic, not a tropical region). prehistoric camels


At 2:36 on the DVD, Digger is seen chasing a small dinosaur that is probably either a Compsognathus or Procompsognathus. Notice also that Digger is wearing a flower wreath around his neck, no doubt placed on him as part of the Feast of Plenty celebration.


In this episode, the Butlers have built a gas drilling rig in the hopes of striking natural gas from which they can light a gigantic torch as a signal to aircraft that can be spotted up to a thousand miles away.


The baby ceratopsian dinosaur that follows Katie after she feeds it is probably intended to be a Styracosaurus. She apparently names it Funnyface.


Describing the approach of the Tamors, Greg calls them "Genghis Khan and his troops". "Genghis Khan" (Great Emperor) was the title given to Temujin, the son of a 12th Century leader of the Mongols, who went on to found the Mongol Empire by uniting many of the nomadic tribes of the region and building a powerful army from them.


Tana also refers to the Tamors as "the camel people".


Funnyface In getting Funnyface to turn the drill of the gas rig, the Butlers rig him to the turntable and tie a branch to his back which dangles a bunch of bananas in front of him to make him move forward to get it. The presence of bananas would suggest that either outside visitors have been into the valley in the past or valley residents left and came back with bananas or seeds. Bananas are not native to the Americas and were only introduced to Central and South America by Portuguese colonists in the 15th Century.


Turns out there is a plentiful supply of diamonds in the Valley of the Dinosaurs! The cave dwellers call them cacara stones and the Butlers put a number of them on the end of their gas rig drill bit to cut through the sandstone below ground. I would presume they also horde a sackful somewhere to take back with them when they finally discover a way out of the valley!


When Funnyface's mother keeps pursuing Katie and Lok, Katie asks if she ever gives up and Lok responds, "She hangs on like the turtle who bites a stick." The common snapping turtle's habitat does not extend south farther than the southern U.S., so he may be referring to the giant turtle seen in "Pteranodon", which Gara is able to guide by getting it to clamp its jaws down on a giant horn she carries.


When the Tamors ride in to attack the cave dwellers village, Greg says it looks like the Charge of the Light Brigade. The Charge of the Light Brigade was a charge of British light cavalry against Russian forces during the October 1854 Battle of Balaclava of the Crimean War (1853-1856).


Camlok states that his people feed guava beans only to camels. The term "guava bean" is one occasionally used in reference to winter melons and has nothing to be with beans. The guava is another, unrelated, fruit plant, so how the "guava bean" appellation came about I have no idea and have been unable to find its origin.


Gara says the Tamors and the cave dwellers should be friends and that the kongas and cave bears are their enemies. The term "konga" was introduced in "What Goes Up" as the cave dwellers' word for a Tyrannosaurus rex.


Memorable Dialog 


sand and roots.wav

the only holiday you've got.wav

one dinosaurpower engine.wav

valley women.wav

where are the men?.wav

let us be friends.wav

it's a little different in this neck of the woods.wav


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