Sea Monsters (TV series)
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|Created by||Tim Haines|
|Directed by||Jasper James|
|Presented by||Nigel Marven|
|Narrated by||Karen Hayley|
|Country of origin||United Kingdom|
|No. of episodes||3|
|Running time||90 minutes|
BBC Natural History Unit|
|Original network||BBC, Discovery Channel, ProSieben|
|Original release||9 September– 23 September 2003|
|Related shows||Other shows in the Walking with... series|
Sea Monsters is a 2003 BBC television trilogy which used computer-generated imagery to show past life in Earth's seas. In the U.S. it was known as Chased by Sea Monsters. It was made by Impossible Pictures, the creators of Walking with Dinosaurs, Walking with Beasts and Walking with Monsters. In the series, the British wildlife presenter Nigel Marven is shown traveling to seven past seas in the history of the Earth and scuba diving there, in order of dangerousness with the most dangerous last. He travels in a white sailboat or motorboat roughly 24 m (80 ft) long named 'The Ancient Mariner'. His time travelling device is not mentioned or shown, and the closest thing to it is his time map, showing the timeline of the seven deadliest seas and the creatures that lived at the time. He uses a scuba set with a fullface mask so he can talk underwater to produce the commentary. He performs some dives using a strong shark cage, which is spherical to make it harder for large sea creatures to bite it.
Sea Monsters has never been released on DVD in the UK, but featured on the American Chased by Dinosaurs DVD and a similar Region 2 Dutch DVD. It was also available on Netflix in the UK and the United States, where it is referred to as Episode 2 of "Chased By Dinosaurs: Three Walking with Dinosaurs Adventures."
As originally broadcast, the first episode had three segments and the second and third two each; a format later inherited by Walking with Monsters
|1.1||"The Seventh Most Deadly Sea"||The Ordovician||450 mya||Giant Orthocones, Sea Scorpions|
Nigel Marven gets chased by Tarbosaurus and some Velociraptors chased by dinosaurs after the Therizinosaurus moved on. He Jumps into the water after the Tarbosaurus corners him at a Rock. New York in the Ordovician, the day is only 21 hours long and there is more carbon dioxide than in the 21st century, forcing Nigel to don a medical-looking backpack filled with air tanks with a special oxygen mixture. To attract a Megalograptus (1 m), Nigel finds the corpse of a dead Astraspis washed up on the beach. Because there is no land life, there are no coastal scavengers to eat what the sea spits out. Before long, Nigel wades into the shallow water and the armor-plated fish attracts a large Megalograptus. The creature devours the armor-plated fish, before attacking Nigel's foot, cutting it badly.
Later on, Nigel attempts to go after a Cameroceras (9 m) by removing the eye of a dead Isotelus and replacing it with a small video camera. He then uses the inflatable raft to venture out into the deeper waters, where he throws the trilobite video camera combo overboard. However, a Megalograptus is quickly attracted to it, and Nigel immediately gets it off the trilobite. Later in the afternoon, a Cameroceras grabs and eats the trilobite, and Nigel and the cameraman plunge overboard to film it. On the dive, Nigel wears a chain mail suit, so that any marauding sea scorpion cannot harm him. He finds the Cameroceras and, after deterring it from attacking him by shining a torch in its eyes, he watches it devour two Megalograptus. The Cameroceras is agiler in the sea than Nigel, and as it attempts to swim away, Nigel grabs onto its shell. When the Cameroceras starts to dive down into the depths, Nigel swims away to the surface, almost getting attacked by another Megalograptus. When Nigel pilots the boat back to shore, he finds a surprise: there are large numbers of Megalograptus mating in the shallow waters. Nigel manages to make his way safely through the Megalograptus hordes, but a few clamber onto the inflatable boat and puncture it.
Animals: Cameroceras (identified as Giant Orthocone) · Megalograptus (identified as a Sea Scorpion) · Astraspis (identified as an Armor-plated Fish) · Isotelus (identified as a Trilobite) · Graptolite · Tarbosaurus · Giganotosaurus(appears in a cutscene)· Velociraptor
|1.2||"The Sixth Most Deadly Sea"||The Triassic||230 mya||Nothosaurs, Cymbospondylus|
As Nigel walks along the tropical coastlines of Triassic Switzerland, he explains that the reptiles are taking over the surface of the earth from the skies (e.g. Peteinosaurus (1 m)), to the land (e.g. Coelophysis (2 m)). But of course, he is here to see the earliest sea reptiles.
From the deck of the Ancient Mariner, Nigel and crew watch as a Nothosaurus (3 m) comes up for air. When he sees one, Nigel dives into the seas, pursuing the elusive sea reptile.
Before long, Nigel finds a pair of Nothosaurus. The Nothosaurus circle him, and Nigel has his prod ready to put off any Nothosaurus that comes too close. One of the Nothosaurus moves in closer, so Nigel grabs it around its head to swim with it, explaining that although the Nothosaurus would be able to close its jaws with tremendous force, the muscles that open its jaws are very weak. He lets the Nothosaurus go discovers another bizarre sea reptile: a Tanystropheus (4 m).
Nigel follows the female Tanystropheus, and attempts to get a closer look at her by grabbing onto her tail, impeding her movement. The Tanystropheus struggles with all of her might, but Nigel still had a grip on her tail. However, the Tanystropheus loses her tail, similar to the modern day leopard gecko. Nigel can hold onto the tail only with difficulty because it is thrashing around (intended as a predator decoy). Suddenly the tail is snatched up and then eaten by a Cymbospondylus (9 m).
The Cymbospondylus begins to circle Nigel, and he explains that its slow movement is designed to deceive prey, and it can move very quickly when it is needed to. After he pokes it with the prod several times, the Cymbospondylus swims away, and Nigel returns to the relative safety of the Ancient Mariner.
Animals: · Cymbospondylus · Coelophysis · Nothosaurus (identified as a Nothosaur) · Tanystropheus · Peteinosaurus (identified as Pterosaur) · Placodont (appears in book) · Neusticosaurus (appears in book) · Mastodonsaurus (appears in book) · Cynodont (appears in book)· Prestosuchus (appears in book)
|1.3/2.1||"The Fifth Most Deadly Sea"||The Devonian||360 mya||Dunkleosteus|
On a preliminary dive, another crew member of the Mariner (Mike) films a huge female Dunkleosteus (9 m), swimming around the shallow reefs near the Ancient Mariner. The crew springs into action, and Nigel goes fishing for Bothriolepis (30cm). Nigel places a bet with one of the other crew members that the Dunkleosteus will be able to slice through the Bothriolepis wrapped in chain mail. When the round shark cage is fully assembled, Nigel descends into it. The smell of the dead Bothriolepis begins to attract a young Stethacanthus (70cm). Eventually, the monstrous Dunkleosteus is sighted, which scares away the Stethacanthus, and the enraged fish repeatedly bashes the cage with its thick head. The episode ends on a cliffhanger as the Dunkleosteus comes straight at the cage.
In the next episode, "Into the Jaws of Death", the Dunkleosteus indeed rams the cage, though only putting dents into it. Eventually, the Dunkleosteus snatches the Bothriolepis out of the cage (and almost rips Nigel's arm off in doing so), and slices through the bait, chainmail and all. A young Dunkleosteus (1 m) feeds on the remains, but the huge adult turns cannibal and devours the young Dunkleosteus. She then regurgitates the indigestible parts of its meal (the armor plating and the chainmail).
Before all this, Nigel explains that the placoderms as a whole have a grim future ahead of them. After thriving for fifty million years, the entire Class of placoderms will disappear, much to the other Devonian fish's relief.
Animals: Dunkleosteus · Bothriolepis (identified as a Placoderm) · Stethacanthus (Identified informally as an "Ironing Board" Shark) · Onychodus (appears in book) · Cladoselache (appears in book) · Cheirolepis (appears in book) · Graptolite (appears in book)· Coelacanth (appears in book)
|2.2||"The Fourth Most Deadly Sea"||The Eocene||36 mya||Basilosaurus|
While walking in the mangrove swamps of Egypt, Nigel comes across some mysterious footprints and a mound of fresh dung, by smelling the manure, he proves that the owner is a fruit-eater. Following the tracks, Nigel comes across an Arsinoitherium (3 m) migrating overland. Nigel takes a calculated risk and offers the huge fruit-eater an apple, but apparently, this upsets the Arsinotherium and it charges at Nigel. Only by making a break into the thicker forests does Nigel escape from the mammal. Nigel watches from the forest as the Arsinoitherium plunges into the water, and follows it. In the water, Nigel watches as a trio of Dorudon, a species of ancient whale, pass by, and he explains that whales are the reason he came: not for the Dorudon (4 m), but a far bigger and meaner whale, Basilosaurus (15/24 m) who eats Dorudon for a meal.
The Ancient Mariner sails offshore, where the crew tries a tactic to attract whales that have been used with mixed success: record a Basilosaurus call and play it back via a huge speaker that is lowered from the boat. After playing it for a while, an enraged Basilosaurus (15 m) rams into the boat before diving again. Wasting no time, Nigel suits up and dives. However, the whale could attack from any direction, so Nigel stays close to the hull of the Mariner, using the boat as a shield to ward off the Basilosaurus. The Basilosaurus is evidently distressed by the calls, and attacks and disables the speaker (which is explained as a territorial response).
As the Ancient Mariner sails off forward through time, the narrator explains that the tropical Eocene is a world on the brink of great climatic change. As the Oligocene dawns, Basilosaurus, Arsinoitherium and Dorudon will all vanish, victims of the climatic shifts that ended the Eocene, changing the warm sea into a cold ocean and causing the Tethys Sea to disappear.Sarkastodon (appears in book)
|2.3/3.1||"The Third Most Deadly Sea"||The Pliocene||4 mya||Megalodon|
In the coast of Peru, the crew of the Mariner come to an agreement. Before diving in offshore waters with the adult Megalodon (15 m), Nigel will dive in the coastal waters, with the juveniles.
Before very long, Nigel finds an Odobenocetops (2 m) foraging for oysters in the mud, and it is being hunted by an adolescent Megalodon (6 m). Only by taking cover in the thick underwater foliage do Nigel and the Odobenocetops manage to escape the huge shark.
On the next dive (with the adults), Nigel uses the round shark cage that he previously used in the Devonian era against Dunkleosteus. This time, Nigel hopes to fire a small video camera into the dorsal fin of the shark from the relative safety of the cage. Eventually, a Megalodon (15 m) is spotted, and Nigel quickly gets into the cage, while the crew sets up bait (a bag of chum), which quickly attracts the shark. As it attempts to attack the cage, Nigel tries to fire the camera.
However, Nigel panics, and never fires it. Later, he tries again, this time from the surface of the Mariner, as the dorsal fin of the Megalodon was much too high to aim at. The shark is drawn again to the boat via liberal amounts of chum. The shark tries to grab the chum but Nigel is nowhere to be seen, ending the second episode on another cliffhanger.
In the final episode, "To Hell..... and Back?", it is revealed that Nigel has been knocked off the boat by the shark and when he swims back, he finally managed to land a hit with the shark-camera, and the Megalodon grabs and swallows the chum. In a few days, they find the camera floating in the sea, and when they load it into the onboard television, they watch the Megalodon in question attack a Cetotherium.
When the crew of the Ancient Mariner head backward in time, the narrator says that as the Ice Age begins, the whales that Megalodon preyed on migrated to colder waters, where Megalodon could not follow. Megalodon is doomed to extinction, by hunger.Great White Sharks (appears in book)
|3.2||"The Second Most Deadly Sea"||The Jurassic||155 mya||Liopleurodon|
Set around England, which was then largely underwater. This is the second most dangerous sea. Hazards include Liopleurodon (25/28 m), the largest carnivorous animal of all time. Nigel spies a school of migrating Leedsichthys (25/28 m). One weaker one is lagging behind the school, and a native Metriorhynchus (3 m) and a foreign Hybodus (2 m) shark launch a joint attack. Using sonar, Nigel discovers that a huge Liopleurodon (28 m) is heading toward the injured and dying Leedsichthys (28 m). The camera spots it circling the Leedsichthys which is already dead, though the Liopleurodon is eventually spooked away by the camera.
Nigel equips his and the cameraman's diving suit with a chemical system that will spray a cloud of deterrent similar to shark repellent at the huge pliosaur should they get too close. The crew uses huge waterproof lights when they descend to the corpse of the Leedsichthys because it is nighttime. A pair of Liopleurodon (every 18 m and 20 m) are feasting on the carcass, and Nigel starts to move closer toward them. When one turns its head towards him, Nigel panics and ejects the chemical, which works on the huge predator.Rhamphorhynchus (appears in book)
|3.3||"The Most Deadly Sea Ever"||The Cretaceous||75 mya||Xiphactinus, Sharks, Giant Mosasaurs|
Nigel is now entering his final sea mission in "Hell's Aquarium" as he calls it. On the land, there's Daspletosaurus (9 m), but even it can't compare to what's in the water. After viewing a colony of Hesperornis (2 m) on the coastline, Nigel and another member of the Mariner pause for a second to view a huge underwater bloodbath. As far as Nigel (using a periscope) can figure out, an elderly Hesperornis was killed, and the resulting carnage has attracted many sea animals, such as Squalicorax (5 m), and Xiphactinus (6 m). However, Nigel noticed another predator around: a mosasaur known as Halisaurus (5 m). Nigel and the crew head out to deeper water in search of Tylosaurus (18 m). But Nigel explains that this sea is far too dangerous to go diving in because of Mosasaurs (18 m) and other huge carnivores like Xiphactinus. Instead, the crew of the Ancient Mariner has rigged an ROV to dive for them, while the sonar and cameras on the side of the boat would give them early warning if any mosasaurs are nearby. While sailing they see a Daspletosaurusroaring on land.
The next morning, Nigel discovers that they have hit a dead Archelon (2 m), which was mauled by some other predator before being hit by the boat. Later, after managing to domesticate a Pteranodon (6 m), the sonar picks up some creatures right beneath the boat. This was a good time for them to use the ROV, and when they send it down, the crew finds that it's a small pod of Elasmosaurus (12/14 m) riding their wake like 21st century dolphins, but soon they depart due to the risk that they may provoke the herd. Some of them knocked the ROV when they were investigating it, and an Archelon (3 m) is also spotted. Having done the same thing with present-day leatherback turtles, Nigel risks his personal safety to track down the Archelon and ride it. He and the cameraman ride off in the small inflatable raft.
Before long, Nigel finds the Archelon when it comes up to the surface for air. He dives, grabbing onto the huge turtle's shell. But not long after, the sonar picked up something nearby: a Xiphactinus was circling Nigel and the Archelon. He quickly makes his escape back up to the raft, but disaster strikes. A family pod of Tylosaurus (18 m) attack and completely overturn the raft, plunging the crew into the sea. Fortunately for Nigel, the Tylosaurus (18 m) seem more interested in the boat than the humans, and they quickly escape back to the Mariner. However, that night, as the men sleep, several kinds of mosasaurs (5/18 m) appear, apparently attracted to the Mariner, and rush straight to the boat, leaving the crew's fate unknown.
Animals: Tylosaurus (identified as a Giant (Mosasaur) · Hesperornis · Squalicorax (identified as a (shark) · Xiphactinus · Halisaurus (identified as a (Mosasaur) · Daspletosaurus (identified as a (Tyrannosaur) · Pteranodon · Elasmosaurus · ArchelonPlatecarpus (Appears in Book)
Tyrannosaurus did not live 75 million years ago though the tyrannosaurid might be Daspletosaurus but it still looks a lot like the Tyrannosaurus from Walking with Dinosaurs.  Liopleurodon was smaller and Odobenocetops did not live during the Pliocene as the genus was thought to have gone extinct before the Pliocene it was restricted to the Miocene. Cymbospondylus would mostly eat cephalopods and turn apart tender meat and fish, not entire thick reptile tails. Mosasaurids and other marine reptiles had flukes. Basilosaurus was unable to swim in deep water due to a study of its vertebrate.
- The Animal World (1956, narrated by Theodore von Eltz, directed by Irwin Allen)
- Dinosaurs: The Terrible Lizards (1970, directed by Wah Ming Chang who reedited a new version of this same film in 1986)
- Horizon: The Hot-Blooded Dinosaurs (1976, season 13 / episode 2, narrated by Paul Vaughan, written and produced by Robin Brightwell & Robin Bates)
- Dinosaurs: Fun, Fact and Fantasy (1982, with Derek Griffiths as the voice of Dil the Crocodile, directed by Clive Doig)
- Dinosaur! (1985, hosted by Christopher Reeve, directed by Robert Guenette)
- Dinosaurs! – A Fun-Filled Trip Back in Time! (1987, narrated by Josette DiCarlo, hosted by Fred Savage, directed by Ray Cioni & Kelli Bixler; claymation footage from the 1980 short film Dinosaur directed by Will Vinton)
- The Infinite Voyage: The Great Dinosaur Hunt (1989, season 2 / episode 2, narrated by Fritz Weaver, directed by Lionel Friedberg)
- The Great Dinosaur Hunt (1991, narrated by Kenneth Welsh, directed by Tom Radford & Andy Thomson; in spite of sharing a similar title, this documentary is completely different than the Infinite Voyage programme: that one was released in 1991 within the GoodTimes Home Video collection of VHS tapes, edited by Radford and Thomson with the same reels obtained during the filming of The Hunt for China's Dinosaurs)
- The Hunt for China's Dinosaurs (1991, narrated by Peter Thomas, directed by Tom Radford & Andy Thomson; this documentary was first aired as a NOVA programme on 5 February 1991, and was edited by Radford and Thomson with the same reels obtained during the filming of The Great Dinosaur Hunt)
- Dinosaur! (1991, four-part miniseries, hosted by Walter Cronkite, directed by Jim Black & Christopher Rowley; in spite of sharing the same title, this four-part miniseries has nothing to do with the TV documentary film that was hosted by Christopher Reeve in 1985)
- The Dinosaurs! (1992, four-part miniseries, narrated by Barbara Feldon, directed by Trudi Brown & Kathi White)
- Dinosaurs: Messages in Stone (1993, hosted by Leslie Nielsen, directed by John Robichaud; this documentary was re-released in 1998 under the title Dinosaur Park)
- Eyewitness: Dinosaur (1994, narrated by Andrew Sachs, produced by Ben Southwell)
- Paleoworld (1994-1997, 4 seasons / 50 episodes, narrated by Ben Gazzara, directed by Greg Francis)
- Dinosaurs: Myths & Reality (1995, hosted by Fred Applegate, directed by Graham Holloway)
- The Ultimate Guide: Tyrannosaurus rex (1996, narrated by Will Lyman, directed by Jane Armstrong)
- Beyond T-Rex (1997, narrated by Michael McNally, directed by Charles C. Stuart)
- T-Rex: Back to the Cretaceous (1998, directed by Brett Leonard)
- When Dinosaurs Ruled (1999, six-part miniseries, narrated by Jeff Goldblum, directed by Tony Mitchell)
- Walking with Dinosaurs (1999, six-part miniseries, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, directed by Tim Haines & Jasper James)
- Walking with Beasts (2001, six-part miniseries, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, directed by Jasper James & Nigel Paterson)
- When Dinosaurs Roamed America (2001, narrated by John Goodman, directed by Pierre de Lespinois)
- Valley of the T. rex (2001, narrated by Stephen Kemble, directed by Reuben Aaronson & James McQuillan)
- The Ballad of Big Al (2001, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, produced by Tim Haines & Jasper James)
- Chased by Dinosaurs (2002, hosted by Nigel Marven, directed by Tim Haines & Jasper James)
- Horizon: The Mystery of the Jurassic (2002, narrated by Jack Fortune, written and directed by Jonathan Renouf)
- Walking with Cavemen (2003, four-part miniseries, hosted and narrated by Robert Winston, directed by Richard Dale & Pierre de Lespinois)
- Dinosaur Planet (2003, four-part miniseries, narrated by Christian Slater, hosted by Scott D. Sampson, directed by Pierre de Lespinois)
- Before We Ruled the Earth (2003, two-part miniseries, narrated by Linda Hunt & John Slattery, directed by Pierre de Lespinois)
- Walking with Monsters (2005, three-part miniseries, Kenneth Branagh, directed by Chloe Leland & Tim Haines)
- Prehistoric Park (2006, six-part miniseries, narrated by David Jason, hosted by Nigel Marven, directed by Sid Bennett, Karen Kelly & Matthew Thompson)
- Dinosaurs: Giants of Patagonia (2007, narrated by Donald Sutherland, directed by Marc Fafard)
- Dinosaurs Alive! (2007, narrated by Michael Douglas, directed by David Clark & Bayley Silleck)
- Jurassic Fight Club (2008, 12-part miniseries, narrated by Erik Thompson, directed by Kreg Lauterbach)
- Clash of the Dinosaurs (2009, four-part miniseries, narrated by Jason Hildebrandt, directed by Nick Green)
- Bizarre Dinosaurs (2009, narrated by Peter Cullen, directed by Jenny Kubo)
- Dinosaurs Decoded (2009, narrated by Michael Carroll, written, produced and directed by Dan Levitt)
- Prehistoric Assassins (2010, two-part miniseries -"Claws and Jaws" & "Blood in the Water"-, narrated by Phil Crowley, written and produced by Sean Dash)
- Prehistoric (2010, four-part miniseries, written and produced by Sven Berkemeier)
- Last Day of the Dinosaurs (2010, narrated by Bill Mondy, directed by Richard Dale, this documentary reuses footage from Clash of the Dinosaurs)
- Land of Dinosaurs (2010, directed by Lee Dong-hui)
- Tyrannosaurus Sex (2010, narrated by Michael Carroll, directed by Gabriel Gornell)
- Dinosaurs, Myths and Monsters (2011, written and hosted by Tom Holland, directed by Jamie Muir)
- Planet Dinosaur (2011, six-part miniseries, narrated by John Hurt, directed by Nigel Paterson)
- Extinct: A Horizon Guide to Dinosaurs (2011, hosted by Dallas Campbell, directed by Penny Palmer, this documentary reuses Horizon footage)
- Dinosaur Revolution (2011, narrated by Rick Robles, directed by David Krentz & Erik Nelson)
- Dinotasia (2012, narrated by Werner Herzog, directed by David Krentz, Erik Nelson and David E. Duncan, Dinotasia utilises used and unused footage from Dinosaur Revolution)
- Adventures of Ceratops (2014, two-part miniseries, directed by Hong Sang-woon, Kim Hwan-gyun & Lee Dong-hui)
- Dinosaur Britain (2015, two-part miniseries, hosted by Ellie Harrison, directed by Gareth Johnson)
- http://www.dinosaurfact.net/Marine/Liopleurodon.php. Missing or empty
- http://fossilworks.org/bridge.pl?a=collectionSearch&taxon_no=62922&max_interval=Miocene&country=Peru&is_real_user=1&basic=yes&type=view&match_subgenera=1. Missing or empty