Wednesday, April 29, 2009


The History Channel premiered this show at 8 p.m. Eastern on 3/29/2009. Pretty cool 2-hour presentation, about the rather difficult process of finding and reconstructing an as-yet-unnamed-by-monkey-science AQUATIC DINOSAUR, predatory type.
>> Good on dinosaur specialist Dr. Hurum for even undertaking this huge task. There could not have been anything pleasant about scraping away at the permafrost for weeks surrounded by Polar Bears, then turning over one piece after another of ancient shale with bare hands in the Arctic wind to figure out which fragments belonged to OUR OPERATIVE.
>> I also have to hand it to the massive-looking team of scientists who spent hours and hours bent over work stations fitting and gluing the fragments together. Those five-fingered hands DO HAVE THEIR USES. It means more when you realize that these scientists got NO CREDIT on the show. In an age of reality programming full of people willing to trample their offspring underfoot to get their names on the small screen, that really means something. Bravo, people. Working that hard to bring an aquatic operative to light GETS YOU IN GOOD WITH US.
>> Hurum implied, but did not state, that the sea monster legends he grew up with in Norway not only might have a basis in fact, but have a basis that leads ALL THE WAY BACK TO THE JURASSIC. I wish he had just gone ahead and said it. IT'S ONLY THE TRUTH. I pity the Naked Apes who cannot remember back that far, THE WAY WE CAN. Who do you think keeps those stories alive age after geological age -- THE EASTER BUNNY?
>> Very nice computer graphics. VERY nice. For once, I would have liked to see a lot more footage of the sea hunter in action. I have to say they were pretty near PERFECT when it comes to factual accuracy.
>> The science they used to undertand the mechanics of having four flippers, like the ones this operative had, is...interesting. They built a remote-controlled robot with four flippers and threw it in a pool to see what would happen. The science they used to see inside the fossilized skull of Predator X was also interesting; they borrowed some breathtakingly powerful CT scanner which (bizarrely) is used at an auto factory. The gadget they used to calculate the bite pressure of an extinct animal was pretty cool, too, especially since they flew Hurum all the way to St. Augustine's Gator Zoo to demonstrate it. Using a rescue helicopter to transport the skull from the North Pole was pretty dramatic. They then flew the good doctor to the coast of South Africa to hang out with Great Whites. What kept occurring to me, though, was ISN'T THIS COSTING YOU PEOPLE A FORTUNE? I always thought of dino-hunting as a fairly low-budget operation. I gather from this presentation that they are willing to make an exception if it's a REALLY SCARY PREDATOR.
>> And that's what they stressed over and over in this show. Big dang predator. Combines the worst features of a Crocodile, a Great White Shark and a speeding semi. FIVE TIMES THE SIZE OF T. REX. I know, I know, in America bigger is better, but come on!
>> Of course, if that's the final criterion of greatness on American TV -- and I'm sure it is -- at least the biggest, toothiest and scariest is ON OUR SIDE.
>> With all the great things I have to say about this show, I have to add that as usual THEY MISSED THE WHOLE POINT. It is right there if you want to see it: LIFE IMPROVES IF YOU RETURN TO THE SEA. If you're lucky, you might even get to see an aquatic operative like this one. Or become one. Or, better yet, GET EATEN BY ONE.

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