Clash of the Dinosaurs (2009) is one of Discovery Channel's many dinosaur-related documentaries. It was presented in a Mini Series format, and contained a grand total of four hour-long episodes. Each concentrated on different aspects of the dinosaur lifestyle, such as how they coped with environmental changes, how they hunted and defended themselves, and how they reproduced.The show received notoriety even before its TV debut, thanks to the heavy advertising campaign the TV station gave it. When it finally aired, it quickly gained a bad reputation due to the several serious problems that plagued it. Besides its criminal overuse of (admittedly pretty) Stock Footage, Clash of the Dinosaurs infamously quote-mined paleontology expert Mathew Wedel who appeared on it, and presented wild theories as solid facts. Thanks to these shortcomings, the program is nowadays considered by dinosaur fanatics to be one of the worst dino-documentaries of recent times, and the offended scientist actually encouraged his fellow paleontologists to boycott the production company.The series was followed by a special titled The Last Day of the Dinosaurs. This time, the producers told us their story of how these majestic creatures went extinct. This one had fewer problems.
Arson, Murder, and Jaywalking: Poor Mathew Wedel. He wasn't only quote-mined on national TV, his helpful emails explaining dinosaur science dismissed by the creators and nearly made a fool in the eyes of his colleagues... the bastards even misspelled his name on screen!
"For those going to watch the show, a warning: The documentarians often take anything that any of the talking heads speculated about, and transformed these into declarative statements of fact. In some cases this is particularly egregious, because I strongly disagree with some of these statements and believe the facts are against some of these (say, about tyrannosaurid cranial kinesis…) and they present these as facts rather than suppositions."
To clarify that quote-mining part: the expert was trying to clear up the misconception that large dinosaurs had two brains (one in their head, one in their hip-region). The editors made it sound like he was confirming the notion.
Mexican Standoff: This is what the Narrator calls the situation the Saurornithoides and Charonosaurus find themselves in. The former is trying to steal the latter's egg.
Misplaced Wildlife: The narration suggests that Tyrannosaurus lived in Asia, when it was strictly North American. To be fair, some include the Asian Tarbosaurus in the genus, but most (both then & now) consider them distinct.
Rule of Cool: Hadrosaurs using a sonic weapon against theropods? A pair of small raptors attacking a sub-adult sauropod? Do note, when the talking head note The one who was quote-mined, at that! said "juvenile sauropod" and "pack of raptors", he meant tiny babies and a huge pack, but the animators instead used the largest animal that would still qualify as a "non-adult" specimen getting mauled by a pair of raptors.
Don't forget Alamosaurus! Yes, they reused the Sauroposeidon model, but who cares?
Shown Their Work: Most of the talking head segments. (They did get actual paleontologists, after all.) The key word being most.
Feathered deinonychosaurs. One would be surprised as to how rare they are in media.
The T. rex model is also one of the better ones among other recent CGI'ed reconstructions of the animal. For such a well-known and popular dinosaur, you'd be surprised how often computer modelers mess up its anatomy, especially the shape of the head. That said, there's no excuse for the crocodylian jowls of the show's model.
"[The program] is incredibly repetitive, to the point that I found it hard to watch for any length of time without my attention wandering. Not just the CGI clips, but the narration as well. You’ll learn in 30 seconds why females tend to be choosier about mates than males (eggs are more expensive than sperm), and spend the next 15 minutes having that slowly beaten in your brain using as much empty verbiage as possible. Ditto every other fact on the show."