|Narrated by||Ben Gazzara (Season 1), Nick Schatzki (Season 2 and Season 3) and Ted Maynard (Season 4)|
|No. of seasons||4|
|No. of episodes||50|
|Running time||24 minutes|
|Original channel||The Learning Channel (TLC)|
|Original release||September 28, 1994 – 1997|
|Related shows||When Dinosaurs Roamed America, Beyond T-rex, Valley Of The T-rex and The Ultimate Guide: T-rex|
Paleoworld is an American documentary television series that aired on The Learning Channel from 1994 to 1997. The series focuses on paleontology and comprised a total of 50 half-hour episodes. It was the first television series dedicated to paleontology that spanned multiple seasons. The series is now owned by the Discovery Channel, along with other documentaries such as Beyond T-rex, Valley Of The T-rex, Dinosaur Planet and When Dinosaurs Roamed America. Paleoworld currently airs in reruns on Science.
Making of Paleoworld
Many scenes show still photos (Paleo-Art) of the prehistoric creatures being featured and in the background are various styles of music. Some of the shows' features are:
- Season 2-4: A time-travel effect, in which the screen goes through a tunnel of rings and on each ring are the various time periods in earths history, starting at the present and gradually going further back in time. The screen eventually stops at one of the rings, depending on what era/creature is being featured.
- Mostly Season 1: The screen moves slowly around an image (usually Paleo-art).
- Mostly Season 1: Instead of CGI animation, it uses animatronics of the creature being talked about, in a realistic environment (although the amount of eerie mist and fog used in these scenes is not natural).
- Season 1: Shows a picture of a creature (e.g. Cryolophosaurus) and morphs it into another different species to show how creatures evolve.
- Interviews with many famous paleontologists on certain questions, such as Robert T. Bakker, Phil Currie and Paul Sereno.
- Paleoworld uses a lot of model prehistoric creatures, one e.g. is in the episode "Killer Birds". It talks about a 2m tall flightless meat eating bird called Andalgalornis and uses a model of the creature numerous times to show it attacking a horse-like mammal called Diadiaphorus.
- Each episode is normally about a certain group of creatures like carnosaurs or prehistoric sharks, however there are certain episodes dedicated entirely to Tyrannosaurus rex and Troodon.
- Paleoworld rarely used animation. It mostly showed still photos while playing music in the background (giving it a slideshow effect). Stock footage of living animals is also used.
- Paleoworld was narrated by Ben Gazzara in Season 1(1994), Nick Schatzki in Season 2 (1995)/Season 3 (1996) and Ted Maynard in Season 4 (1997).
Paleoworld never returned for a fifth season. However, TLC released a new series about dinosaurs the following year (1998) as a spin-off to the Paleoworld series. It was called "When Dinosaurs Ruled" ("Jurassica" in some countries).
Season 1 (1994) featured a smooth style to it and was narrated by Ben Gazzara. This series had lots of musical scenes, which resulted in what some consider to be an extremely calm and relaxing show. It also uses a lot more Paleoart than later series. Season 2 (1995) and Season 3 (1996) lost the musical element (as well as changing narrators), which resulted in a more conventional style nature documentary. Even so, seasons 2 and 3 were still perceived as maintaining the quality standard. For season 4 (1997), the series changed narrators again, and viewers felt the show suffered a drop in quality, shifting from musical and calm, to full-on and repetitive. Consequently, season 4 was cancelled mid-season. The show never returned for a fifth season.
Many DVDs and VHS tapes have been made with episodes from the series, however most have been discontinued and are no longer available to buy anymore. 3 DVD's of Paleoworld with 5 episodes on each were released in Australia in 2002 and a 5 disc set with 15 episodes from the series was released in the US and Canada. A link can be found below to a site where you can still buy a copy of this 5 disc set. However, a 3 disc set containing the same 15 episodes from the 3 DVDs at the top of this paragraph is now being released again as a 3 disc set on 13/1/10.
List of episodes
Season 1 (1994)
Original Airing Dates of The Episodes
- Rise Of The Predators - 28 September 1994 at 8 pm
- Flight Of The Pterosaurs - 2 October 1994 at 9 pm
- Back To The Seas - 9 October 1994 at 9 pm
- Carnosaurs - 16 October 1994 at 9 pm
- Missing Links - 23 October 1994 at 9 pm
- Seamonsters - 30 October 1994 at 9 pm
- Tale Of A Sail - 6 November 1994 at 9 pm
- Dino Doctors - 13 November 1994 at 9 pm
- Attack Of The Killer Kangaroos - 20 November 1994 at 9 pm
- The Legendary T-rex - 27 November 1994 at 9 pm
- Dino Sex - 4 December 1994 at 9 pm
- Mistaken Identity - 11 December 1994 at 9 pm
- Mysteries Of Extinction - 18 December 1994 at 9 pm
- In 1995, Discovery Channel ran "Prehistoric Predators" which was an hour-long consolidation of certain episodes.[unreliable source?]
Season 2 (1995)
Season 3 (1996)
Season 4 (1997)
- Before We Ruled the Earth
- Beyond T-Rex
- Dinosaur Planet (2003)
- Dinosaur Revolution
- Planet Dinosaur (2011)
- The Ultimate Guide: T-Rex
- Valley of the T-Rex
- When Dinosaurs Roamed America