Prehistoric Park

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Prehistoric Park
Prehistoric park.jpg
prehistoric park dvd cover
Genre Science fiction / Docu-fiction
Starring Nigel Marven
Country of origin United Kingdom
Original language(s) English
No. of seasons 1
No. of episodes 6
Production
Running time 48 minutes
Production company(s) Impossible Pictures
Release
Original network ITV (2006)
Animal Planet (2006–present)
National Geographic Channel (2012–present)
Original release 22 July – 26 August 2006
Chronology
Related shows Primeval
Chased by Dinosaurs
Sea Monsters
Walking with Dinosaurs
Walking with Beasts
Walking with Monsters

Prehistoric Park is a six-part docu-fiction television mini-series that premiered on ITV on 22 July 2006 and on Animal Planet on 29 October 2006. The program was produced by Impossible Pictures, who also created Walking with Dinosaurs. Each episode is an hour long including commercial breaks. Repeats of the show are broadcast in the UK on Watch.

The program is narrated by David Jason and presented by Nigel Marven. The fictional component is the theme that Nigel goes back to various geological time periods through a space-time portal, and brings live specimens of extinct animals back to the present day, where they are exhibited in a wildlife park named Prehistoric Park, which is a big area between high steep mountains and ocean, with varied environments, in what looks like KwaZulu-Natal province in South Africa.

Prehistoric Park Title card

Story[edit]

The story, which is told in the style of a documentary, focuses on naturalist Nigel Marven leading missions to find and collect extinct animals from the distant past by use of a time machine. The animals are then placed in the confines of Prehistoric Park, a private wildlife park that is situated in a dry, mountainous region of an unspecified part of the world. Marven's core motivation in the series is to defy extinction and to give select extinct species a second chance at life.

Characters[edit]

  • Nigel Marven (playing himself).
  • Bob (Rod Arthur) - the long-suffering head keeper at the park. In charge of feeding, cleaning and controlling the animals in the park.
  • Suzanne (Suzanne McNabb) - the head veterinarian. Responsible for treating animals when they're sick or injured.
  • Saba Douglas-Hamilton (playing herself) - a big cat specialist, whom Nigel invites back to catch Smilodon in episode 4.
  • Bill - a crew member who travels back with Nigel. Introduced in episode 5.
  • Jim - an associate of Nigel who travels with him through time. Also introduced in episode 5.
  • Ben (Morgan Williams)- One of Nigel's crew. Four Mei long attacked him for meat in his backpack. Introduced in episode 3.

There are various other staff members, but none of their names have been given. One of the more prominent is Suzanne's blonde assistant, who appears in all episodes except episode 1.

Locations within the park[edit]

When the animals are brought back to the park, they are placed into a nearby enclosure. The enclosures are named after the extinct animals that they are housing.

  • Mammoth Mount: This enclosure houses the park's woolly mammoth Martha.
  • T. rex Hill: T. rex Hill is home to the park's pair of Tyrannosaurus rex, Terence and Matilda.
  • Big Cat Climb: This two part enclosure features a pair of breeding sabre-tooth cats.
  • Triceratops Creek: Theo is the resident Triceratops at Triceratops Creek.
  • Deinosuchus Dip: This is a huge lake, where the park's Deinosuchus is kept.
  • Ornithomimus Pond: This paddock features a herd of Ornithomimus.
  • The Bug House: This state of the art enclosure keeps its Carboniferous period creatures safe. Its oxygen levels inside are double what they are today, and this keeps the Arthropleura, Meganeura and Pulmonoscorpius happy.

Episodes[edit]

Asterisk indicates animals brought to the park.

Episode 1
T-Rex Returns

Nigel goes to Cretaceous North America to rescue T. rex from extinction. He encounters a T. rex pack on their quest for food, and rescues a flock of Ornithomimus, a Triceratops, and two baby T. rex after their mother is killed by a rival T. rex, all shortly before the K-Pg meteor strikes. He names the male T. rex Terence and the female Matilda.

Episode 2
A Mammoth Undertaking

Nigel goes to rescue mammoths from extinction, and ends up rescuing a female mammoth. After seeing that she feels discomfort in the present day, he goes back in time again to gather contemporary plants. He also brings along an Elasmotherium.

Episode 3
Dinobirds

Nigel rescues a Microraptor and some Borealosaurus prior to a volcanic eruption, encountering troubles such as Mei and Incisivosaurus. The Ornithomimus lay eggs.

Episode 4
Saving the Sabre-Tooth

Nigel rescues a Smilodon male and female along with a Phorusrhacos.

Episode 5
The Bug House

Nigel goes back to the Carboniferous to rescue giant arthropods. Terence and Matilda start to fight, causing the park workers to intervene.

Episode 6
Supercroc

Nigel rescues a Deinosuchus from Cretaceous North America, along with a stowaway Trodon. The Troodon causes the Borealosaurus to panic and escape, wreaking havoc as they break animal enclosures. Nigel and the park staff attempt to contain the creatures in their pens.

Filming locations[edit]

Episode Where set Where filmed
1 Montana, United States The Andean national parks of Chile where there are plenty of Araucaria and Nothofagus trees
2 Siberia The Yukon in Canada
3 China Rotorua, New Zealand, in the Redwood, Ohakuri, and Tikitere forests
4 South America Dry grassland near Brasilia in Brazil
5 Coal forest in Scotland Swamp forest in southern Florida, but some of the vegetation was CGI
6 Texas, United States The freshwater lakes of Fraser Island, Australia

DVD[edit]

  • The Region 1 DVD was released on 5 June 2007 by BCI Eclipse, under license from Fremantle Media.
  • The Region 2 DVD was released in Britain on 28 August 2006 by Fremantle Media. [1]
  • The Region 4 DVD was released in Australia and surrounding islands on 6 October 2006. Charles Wooley narrated the series when broadcast on Australia's Nine Network, and the Region 4 DVD has the original narration by David Jason.
  • The Region 3 DVD was released in Indonesia by Medialine Entertainment.

See also[edit]

ITV's Prehistoric Park was created by the makers of a series of BBC documentaries that also include:

The following are Walking With... series specials:

The following are similar programs, produced by the BBC:

External links[edit]