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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Valley of the Dinosaurs: What Goes Up Valley of the Dinosaurs
"What Goes Up"

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


Giant army ants threaten the village.


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 pterosaurs that appear at 1:16 on the DVD appear to be Rhamphorhynchus. Likewise the pterosaur at 11:16 (although at 11:20 the beast suddenly is depicted as a Pteranodon!) and at 16:01.


The carnivorous theropod dinosaur called Konga by Gorok is referred to as a Tyrannosaurus rex by John. Yet the beast appears to have three claws on its forelimbs, whereas T. rex had only two.


Ants similar to fire ants but larger, are called tagas by the cave-dwellers. Greg asks his father if they are like the ones in the Amazon. But the Valley of the Dinosaurs is in the Amazon! Anyway, the tagas are about the size of a man's hand; modern world army ants are about a half-inch at best.


The dinosaur seen at 3:55 on the DVD may be a Gallimimus, judging from what appear to be three-clawed forelimbs.


John comments that army ants can bridge streams, sometimes using their own bodies. This is true, army ants are known to build structures such as nests, walls, and bridges out of their own living bodies.


At 6:32 on the DVD, notice that Tana is standing on Glump's back in the background!

Tana and Glump


At 6:37 on the DVD, Digger and Glump cover their eyes at the news that the tagas are on the way to the cave and there is no escape. Oh, what would little child viewers do without animated pets to provide comic relief?


The primitive birds seen at 7:00 on the DVD are unidentified. They do not seem to be the popularly-known Archaeopteryx, as they are missing the characteristic frond-tail. Likewise, the more eagle-looking bird seen at 10:32 (possibly a Chilean Blue Eagle, though a bit out of its range in the Amazon).


The reptile at 7:04 on the DVD may be a Postosuchus.


John remarks to his wife, "You know, Kim, that's why I married you. Every time we're in hot water, you come up with a good idea." Were the two of them in the habit of getting into hot water together before they were married? Ah, the untold stories of their courtship!


Gorok tells John that the tagas do not move at night. This is true of many species of army ant, though there are some that are nocturnal.


When Gorok questions the small model balloon John and Kim are making, John responds it's just to show him and his clan how a hot air balloon will work, adding, "Call it a sales pitch." But I doubt Gorok understands what the term "sales pitch" means either!


Some type of plesiosaur is seen at 11:20 on the DVD.


The synapsid (not a true dinosaur) seen at 11:32 on the DVD is a type of Dimetrodon. Lok tells Katie not to be afraid because it is a plant feeder. But Dimetrodons were actually carnivores.


The pterosaur seen at 12:41 on the DVD is a Pteranodon. Another is seen at 13:55.


The dinosaur seen at 13:59 on the DVD appears to be a Stegosaurus.


John remarks that Lok's flint is better than matches, able to light a fire even when it's wet. It is true that flint will create a spark when scraped against iron pyrite or steel, but not generally when it is wet. John would seem to be thinking of ferrocerium, a man-made metallic substance often referred to as "flint".


As they light a grass fire to turn back the tagas swarming around Gorok, John remarks to Lok that it's like forest rangers lighting a backfire. A backfire is a controlled burn ignited intentionally by fire fighters in the wilderness to burn out a small, prescribed area to prevent a larger fire from spreading.


Greg throws a large rock against a tree to stop the tagas from climbing up it and he calls it his "stone fishing sinker". Presumably, he is referring to primitive stone sinkers used on fishing lines by stone age tribes and even into the modern day by primitive fishing enthusiasts.


At 20:51 on the DVD, it appears that Tana is laughing at Greg's accident, but no sound is heard. Greg also appears to say something after tasting the fruit that has splattered over him, but it is also not heard. 


Unanswered Questions


Why don't the Butlers build another balloon and attempt to escape the valley? Just because this one escaped from them doesn't mean they can't try again.


Why did the tagas turn around and leave the valley mostly unmolested? Just because of the rain? It's not explained.


Memorable Dialog


that's why I married you.wav

I'll pass on that invitation.wav

I hope it doesn't take me for a Geranium.wav

with our luck.wav 


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