Monsters We Met
is a BBC Documentary Mini-Series, made in 2004 and shown on Animal Planet in two rounds, under the name Land of Lost Monsters
. Its focus is on the prehistoric encounters between Homo sapiens
and the most spectacular extinct species, on three continents: The first episode was in North America, the next in Australia, and the final in New Zealand. Each episode was an hour long, including commercial breaks, and it was narrated by Ian Holm.
Tropes used in Monsters We Met:
- Adaptation Expansion: Although the companion book is not a classical adaptation, rather than dramatizing the events, it goes in detail to explain the science between the animals and people appearing in the program, but does contain many new animal descriptions, and two whole new continents, Africa and Europe, as well as several islands, such as Madagascar, Hawaii and Easter Island, which were completely ignored in the TV show, save for a less than a minute walkthough of Easter Island in "The End of Eden".
- Bears Are Bad News: Played straight by the short-faced bear in "The Last Frontier". It appears in the introduction sequence, and later when one of the hunters returns to scavenge the dead mammoth. It completely ignores the presence of a large edible mammoth, laying there just for it, and instead pursues the hunter into the forest to kill him. Super-Persistent Predator indeed.
- The Chief's Daughter: Played straight by the main protagonist in "The Eternal Frontier".
- Everything's Better with Penguins: Snares penguins appear in an extremely minor role in "The End of Eden"
- Everything Trying to Kill You: "The Burning" is set in Australia, after all.
- Feathered Fiend: Played straight by the Haast eagle in "The End of Eden", which kills people for food. Averted by the harmless giant moa, and the somewhat weird genyornis.
- Foregone Conclusion: All the coolest of the animals will go extinct. No spoiler.
- Gentle Giant: The giant ground sloth, diprotodon, and giant moa plays these straight.
- Giant Flyer: The Haast eagle.
- Humans Are Bastards: Not thoroughly, but "The End of Eden" has the undercurrent that humans are bastards, and turn other magnifiscent species extinct.
- Kangaroos Represent Australia: Oddly, the show's creators ignore the prehistoric giant kangaroo procoptodon, but does show modern red kangaroos as the main prey of the aborigines.
- Kill It with Fire: The aborigines in "The Burning" eventually resorts to do this to the megalania. It works, and the species go extinct.
- Land Down Under: "The Burning"
- Mama Bear: Averted with the Genyornis. It is described to be one, until the megalania starts devouring her eggs. She does not dare interfering.
- Never Smile at a Crocodile: Played straight by saltwater crocodiles, which are actually modern animals. One of the aboriginals is killed by one in "The Burning".
- Prehistoric Monster: Mostly averted, but played straight by the short faced bear, the megalania, and the Haast eagle, although a shed of sadness is placed on the fact that they did go extinct.
- Panthera Awesome: Although not thoroughly, the homotherium, or scimitar toothed cat in The Eternal Frontier, is greatly admired, namely in the book, as being capable of eating mammoths. And of course, the saber-toothed cat, although it does not get that much of a role.
- Reptiles Are Abhorrent: Played straight in most of "The Burning". The brown snake appears and is described as very deadly, a saltwater crocodile kills one of the aboriginals, and a megalania is the Big Bad of the episode. Averted by the frilled lizard and the peretnie though, as well as the tuatara in "The End oF Eden".
- Roger Rabbit Effect: In multiple sequences, live-acted animals appears alongside computer.animated oens, occasionally for goofy results.
- Savage Wolves: Dire wolves appear in "The Eternal Frontier", but only in a minor role, and live.acted by wolves.
- Slurpasaur: Averted by the main animals, such as mammoth, short-faced bear, megalania and moa, but played straght by the Haast eagle, American cheetah and American lion, which are portayed by a harpy eagle, common cheetah, and African lion, respectively.
- Stock Dinosaurs: Although dinosaurs does not appear, the mammoth and saber-toothed cats were a must, apparently.