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Characters / Planet of Dinosaurs

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Piero Angela: The main host of the series. Born in Italy in 1928, in Real Life is a journalist and writer expecially fond for scientific arguments of every kind. Since The '80s he's been the creator and curator of the Italian franchise Quark. Here he appears split in two "twin hosts" which talk to each other. One, the actual host of the program, remains all the time in a cave-shaped studio talking and explaining about the various topics. The main element of the studio is a Time Machine used to make his alter-ego time-travelling across the three periods of the Mesozoic era (Triassic, Jurassic, Cretaceous) and meeting Prehistoric Life. There are also several fossil pieces and illustrations of dinosaurs in the "technologic cave" (as the host nicknames it), and several ornamental elements often in an old-fashioned style to give to the studio a more classical look. The contacts the main host makes with his time-travelling "twin" are always eight for each episode.

Alberto Angela: The second host of the program, called "the naturalist" here. In Real Life he's a palaeontologist (born in 1962), a journalist, and Piero's son. In the main series he appears in real-world places, three for each episode, showing locations (expecially in the USA, but also in Mongolia, Mexico, Germany, Brazil, and Galapagos islands) linked somehow with Dinosaurs, Mesozoic, Evolution, Extinction etc., and is seen talking with the main host about dinosaurs or dinosaur-related items — apparently live-broadcast but actually registrated before. Alberto also appears in the commentaries with the same role of the main programs.


Dale Russell: The main palaeontological consultant of the program. He was a Canadian palaeontologist famous mainly for his researches and theories about non-bird dinosaurs made during the Dinosaur Renaissance in the 1970s/1980s, expecially the controversial Dinosauroid hypothesis. He is referenced once in the first episode by Alberto, and then appears in the last commentary as one of the three expert guests.

Luis Alvarez and Walter Alvarez: A Nobel-Prized physician and his geologist son respectively. They are briefly mentioned in the 4th episode, where it's shown an old interview made in 1979 in which Piero Angela asks L. Alvarez about the Deep Impact theory. The two researchers had first proposed the asteroid/comet theory one year before (in 1978) as a possible explanation for the mass extinction at the end of the Cretaceous, from an unusually iridium-rich sedimentary formation from the K/T boundary they had found and studied in Central Italy, near the town of Gubbio.


Sherlock Holmes: He's mentioned in the 2nd episode when the main host talks about dinosaur footprints, as the author of the following sentence: "There's no branch of investigating sciences so little-practiced, and yet so important, than the art of interpreting the footprints."

Charles Darwin: He and his theory of evolution are referenced once in the 1st episode, when Alberto is in the Galapagos Islands (where Darwin made many of his researches).

Prehistoric animals: The animals met by the time-traveler are all from the Mesozoic, but not everyone is a dinosaur — there are also other zoological groups encountered or at least mentioned, as well as several prehistoric plants like primitive ferns, horsetails, cycads, and monkey-puzzles. Dinosaurs and mesozoic reptiles are all robotic and animatronic, but a few animals are live-acted. Here we mention only the robotic ones, listed in order of apparition.


1st episode

  • Coelophysis: The first dinosaur met by the time-traveller in the whole journey. Only a brief glance of a running pack of five specimens of this small carnivore is shown when the human is flying on his balloon over a desertic/volcanic landscape. He says about them "they are about human-sized, a bit like big lizards running on two legs"; but then the main host explains that the comparison with lizards does not mean a real evolutive affinity with them. All portrayed dinosaurs are naked or scaly, but at the time non-bird dinosaurs were still believed non-feathered by most experts — or at least, there were still no proofs about the presence of feathers on their bodies. The coelophysis reappears in the second episode, but only in registered images. Its alleged cannibalism is not mentioned in the show, but is cited in the book. It has slit pupils, unlike the dromaeosaurs (the only other small predators of the series, see later).

  • Plateosaurus: The other Triassic dinosaur encountered soon after, when the traveller is shown rowing on a floating log in a swampy oasis of the Triassic desert, full of prehistoric insects which had buzzed around him in a previous scene (he's unable to identify their species). The two plateosaurs encountered in the oasis are peacefully browsing. This kind of dinosaur get more time on screen than the former — the exact contrary of what is seen in Walking With Dinosaurs, where it's Coelophysis to have the main role in the story. An unidentified pterosaur (modeled on Rhamphorhynchus) also appears flying above the two plateosaurs. Crocodile-relatives are also mentioned as abundant at the time and as a "hidden danger" of the swamp. Later the plateosaur is cited as a member of the Sauropods, but it was more precisely a close relative of them (a "primitive sauropodomorph").

  • Brontosaurus: The biggest and perhaps the most prominent dinosaur met in the first episode, after the human has travelled from Triassic to Jurassic (150 mya). note  The human is seen "navigating" in a river upon the same log of the previous scene, and a herd of three adult brontosaurs is seen drinking from the river and feeding on conifer trees of the riverbank. Then the human tents to approach one of them cautiously on foot, and gets almost hit by its tail. Here the "brontosaurs" actually resemble more other relatives like Diplodocus or Barosaurus in their overall shape: long slender neck, concave profile of the head, comparatively small body. They have also too short tails compared with real diplodocid sauropods. Compensating this, all the sauropods of the show have correctly clawed feet, and not elephant-nailed or hoofed as often seen in media. For some, the sounds the brontosaurs emit recall those of a man screaming within a metallic pipe. Another unnamed pterosaur (this time based on Pterodactylus) is seen flying near one of the sauropods: it appears tiny compared to the latter, underlining these animals' enormous size ("I'm wondering how many elephants could stay liquified within a brontosaur, maybe 10", comments the main host). The whole scene is ambiented at night in a mountainous landscape with a large full-moon in the sky. The animals are very calm, and don't walk at all but stay still in their place.

  • Allosaurus: One lonely individual of this tyrannosaur relative makes a brief but striking apparition after the human had just left the Brontosauruses alone in the nocturnal scene above. First the carnivore announces itself with a Mighty Roar, then arrives abruptly from behind the rocks nearby running fast on its two legs, and finally tempts to attack the human who's however already safe on his "raft" — and the predator is unable to follow him. In this program the allosaur is shown with prominent "horns" above the eyes, looking a bit like the Carnotaurs of Dinosaur. This is also the only time that a big theropod different from Tyrannosaurus appears in the mesozoic journey.

  • Stegosaurus: After a brief time-travel of 10 million years the human encounters two of these armored 1.5 tons dinosaurs in a more arid hilly Late Jurassic landscape, this time at daylight. One is shown sleeping (and even snoring like a human!), while the other is walking behind it in the background. The traveller says that Stegosaurus loves more arid places than Brontosaurus, and that its dorsal plates are probably for thermoregulation and not for protection — thermoregulation was the dominant theory of the time, and still believable today. The two hosts also talk about its proverbially small brain, "maybe the smallest of all dinosaurs", but also that this doesn't mean the stegosaurus was stupid, and that with its "apricot-sized brain" it did well survive for a long time nonetheless. It is also said to possibly swallow stones to better-digest its plant-food like modern crocs, chickens and ostriches do. Stegosaurus is the first ornithischian (bird-hipped dinosaur) met in the voyage; the former are all saurischians (lizard-hipped dinosaurs). The three dinosaurs below are also Ornithischians.

  • Corythosaurus: The first dinosaur encountered after the travel from Jurassic to the Cretaceous, 70 mya, and the first of the four kinds of hadrosaurs ("duck-billed dinosaurs") met in the time-trip. A small herd of three individuals is shown near a river in a wooded landscape, with two of them partially submerged in water and one swimming "like a horse" as commented by the main host. They have slightly different-sized crests, so could be mixed females and males, but their gender is not revealed. The traveller gets the occasion to explain that, despite living often in watery environments like these ones, hadrosaurians were land animals and not aquatic at all — a reference to the already outdated "swimming hadrosaur" theory at the time. Other corythosaurs appear in the 3rd episode near another river, as possible preys for the "croc" Deinosuchus (see later).

  • Anatosaurus: Two of these crestless hadrosaurs are met just after their crested relatives in the forest, which shows the first flowers (of the Magnolia tree kind) in the background. They are cited for their duck-like flat bills that gives to them their name, "duck-dinosaur". The biggest of the two walks very near the human who's hidden in the vegetation; a third smaller specimen is shown soon after, escaping a tyrannosaur by diving in the river Just in Time. In the 2nd episode, a hadrosaur shown already dead and eaten by another Tyrannosaurus is referred to possibly belong to its species.

  • Parasaurolophus: The third kind of hadrosaur encountered in the forest. Appears three times in the series as a whole: a lone individual is met just after the two anatosauruses above by the human who manages to walk cautiously around him, explaining the Wild Mass Guessing about the meaning of its famous "horn"-like crest. Then, three specimens are briefly spotted escaping the tyrannosaur together by running on two legs (here hadrosaurs are almost-always bipedal like in Jurassic Park and unlike in Walking With Dinosaurs). In the 2nd episode a lonely youngster is attacked at night by a pack of dromeosaurs when is walking slowly and effortly in a swamp; and a third lonely individual is shown seeing a Supernova star in the night sky in the 4th one.

  • Tyrannosaurus: The last dinosaur to show in the episode, at the very end of it. The giant predator appears suddenly out by surprise from the forest, with the traveler saying "Yes, it's just a Tyrannosaur: a big Tyrannosaur Rex. It's searching for preys." note . It runs towards all the hadrosaurs above who flee in safety (some by swimming in the river and others by running away in the forest), and ultimately fails to catch everyone; during the hunt it comes very close to the human hidden by a rock nearby, but apparently doesn't notice him and finally goes away. Another particularly giant specimen of tyrannosaur appears in the 2nd episode in a Sequoia forest, successfully hunting a young Triceratops — surprisingly, since it had apparently missed the target at first. At the end of the same episode another tyrannosaur is seen eating a hadrosaur during a bright sunrise with an enormous reddish Sun. In the forth episode, a struggling T. rex is shown feeding on a dead Triceratops corpse after the strike of the asteroid.

2nd episode

  • Pachycephalosaurus: The first dinosaur shown in the 2nd episode, entirely ambiented in the Cretaceous. We're at night; some specimens are grazing, but then two headbutt each other. They are 8 m long and with many blunt knobs around their bulged heads. The traveller says 13 species of pachycephalosaurs exist: this because at the time about 13 genuses (not species) of pachycephalosaurians were officially recognized. The host also says that "a headbutt from such an animal could break down a front door".

  • Edmontosaurus: The "forth" kind of hadrosaur seen in the program, though widely recognize today as a the same animal of Anatosaurus. It's seen in the same scene just after the pachycephalosaurs, and is described "rather horse-headed" instead of "duck-headed". When some of them are browsing conifers, a giant unnamed pterosaur flies near them. The "edmontosaurs" are colored blackish, probably to make them more distinguishable from the "anatosaurs" which are greenish. Interestingly, the Edmontosaurus and Anatosaurus depicted by John Sibbick in the Great Dinosaur Encyclopedia (1985) have a very similar coloration: this was a very popular dino-book in those years, and thus a possible font of inspiration for the programers.

  • Deinonychus: One lonely individual appears running and then stopping to observe the herbivores above but doesn't attack them, because "perhaps has recently eaten". Very interestingly, unlike other dinosaurs here which have slit-like pupils like a croc or a rattlesnake, the Deinonychuses have round bird-like pupils — in vivid contrast with Jurassic Park and its imitations. They are naked-skinned like in JP, but proofs of feathers were still missing in deinonychosaurian fossil record, so is justified. Pachycephalosaurus, Edmontosaurus and Deinonychus are shown in an arid hilly landscape similar to the one roamed by the Stegosauruses in the previous episode. This is a classic case of Anachronism Stew in both old and recent documentaries, as Deinonychus actually lived well before Pachycephalosaurus and Edmontosaurus (but all three were found in North America, however). Most dinosaurs encountered in the whole series are North American, despite the docu is from Europe — averting Creator Provincialism.

  • Triceratops: The first individual of it appearing in the time-travel is the aforementioned youngster hunted and eaten alive by the giant tyrannosaur in the redwood forest. Then, a herd of four animals (three fully-grown adults and a young with still-underdeveloped frontal horns) is shown marching in an open plain, and the animals are seen oscillating rythmically their head up-and-down when walking. The human watches them from a hill, and soon after he searches and finds a nest full of round Triceratops eggs under the sand; but when he grasps one egg, an angry mother appears and chases him away. The Mama Bear Triceratops finally buries her eggs again in the sand. In a successive scene, another small herd of these dinosaurs is shown running all together "like a herd of gigantic buffaloes" in a video when the human is flying again with his balloon. Finally, some triceratopses are seen fleeing in terror from the Asteroid in the 4th episode, and soon after they appear dead/starving thanks to the global famine after the cataclysm. Triceratops, Styracosaurus, and Torosaurus skulls (the last two belonging to related animals) are also described by the main host in the studio. Interestingly, while the living triceratopses have the classic tubercled frill seen in most media, the Triceratops skull in the studio belongs to the less-common smooth-shielded variety.

  • Struthiomimus: Some of these toothless birdlike theropods are shown running together in a brief video when the human is flying on his balloon in the 2nd part of the episode. Like the dromaeosaurs they too have eyes with round pupils, but like all bipedal dinosaurs here they are portrayed with too short tails, and with wrong backwards-pointing hands — the latter is justified however, because this was the most common view among experts at the time about theropods. The other "ornithomiman" of the series is Deinocheirus, whose huge forearms are shown and described in the 1st episode — a painting even shows it like it's going to grasp Piero Angela with its hands! The host also describes one huge Therizinosaurus claw and the colossal forelimb of the today-invalid sauropod "Ultrasaurus", considered the biggest dinosaur ever in those years in competition with "Seismosaurus" and Supersaurus, see Stock Dinosaurs Saurischian DinosaursArgentinosaurus, Sauroposeidon and Maraapunisaurus ("Amphicoelias") were not still discovered or re-discovered yet by paleontologists.

  • Brachiosaurus: Some specimens of this gigantic brontosaur-relative are shortly portrayed in the same video above, described as "a sort of 12/15 m tall prehistoric giraffes, with a very small and funny head". The brachiosaur is probably Giraffatitan judging by the shape of its head, but at the time the latter was still classified as an African species of Brachiosaurus. This sauropod is also the first of the 7 prehistoric reptiles seen in the opening of each episode — the others are in sequence Triceratops, Ankylosaurus, Tyrannosaurus, Stegosaurus, Brontosaurus, and Pteranodon. Despite this, the brachiosaur has a less-relevant overall role in the series than "Brontosaurus", which is the token long-necked dinosaur here. Diplodocus and Camarasaurus (wrongly named "Camarosaurus"), other well-known sauropods, are briefly cited in the first episode as well as Brachiosaurus itself — in the latter's case also in the correspondent 1st commentary, which shows a curious experiment regarding the possible blood circulation in its head. Another sauropod, Mamenchisaurus, is briefly portrayed in the 3rd episode (see below). Barosaurus is mentioned only in the book - with the famed upright skeleton of the New York Nature Museum.

  • Dromaeosaurus: In the perhaps most tragic scene of the 2nd episode, a pack of three individuals of these Deinonychus relatives (and actually modeled upon Deinonychus itself, and possibly also oversized) brings easily down a young hadrosaur by leaping on it, wounding its body with their sickle-talons, and starting to eat its flesh where's still alive, all in a dense forest and during a stormy night full of lightenings. When the hunt ceases because the prey is finally killed, the rain briefly arrives as well and then the traveller says to the main host "It's not full night, it's almost dawn...but as I see it's seemingly stopping raining, we'll perhaps see a splendid sunrise". The sunrise occurs spectacularly in the last scene of the 2nd episode where a tyrannosaur is seen eating another hadrosaur, and an unnamed giant pterosaur (based on Quetzalcoatlus) flies near the human when he's atop of a mountain arch. The pack-hunt of the dromaeosaurs serves mainly to introduce the (at the time expecially controversial) warm-blooded/cold-blooded dinosaurs argumentation: they might have easily killed the hadrosaur just because were active at night thanks to their homeothermy (the "warm-bloodedness" condition) shared with the true birds and mammals of their time, while other less-birdlike dinosaurs like the killed one (a Parasaurolophus, thus an ornithischian) were more torpid at dusk because were more heterothermic, aka more "cold-blooded" than the dromeosaurs.

3rd episode

  • Rhamphorhynchus: The first named pterosaur in the whole series, at the start of the 3rd episode. The human meets some flying near his balloon, and then one successfully catching a fish over a lagoon and another failing. We are in Late Jurassic. The Rhamphorhynchus are correctly shown with rigid tails and upward-pointing beaks like in WWD (and unlike other old portrayals). All pterosaurs of the series emit bird-like screams of different kinds — some are taken from real bird cries and then artificially modified. In "Behind The Scenes" it's said that the experts have not chosen casually the sounds of the animals of the series, but have made an educated guesswork from the structures of their skulls.

  • Mamenchisaurus: When the human is on land after having seen the pterosaurs above, he encounters two of these Brontosaurus cousins in a very similar scene of the one seen in the 1st episode with the proper brontosaurs, but this time in daylight, and near the sea and not to a river. The mamenchisaurs even emit the same metallic sounds of the brontosaurs.

  • Pterodactylus: They appear as a sort of counterpart to the Rhamphorhynchus, being toothed and the same size of them. Some are seen flying mixed with the Rhamphorhynchuses in the same lagoon, and are distinguished from the latter mainly by their lack of visible tail. Nearby, the traveler is searching for pterosaur nests on a high pointed cliff, but finds anyone. A juvenile Pterodactylus fossil is also presented in the following commentary.

  • Oviraptor: Before starting the time-travel toward the Late Cretaceous the human encounters some of these ostrich-like (and ostrich-sized) dinosaurs robbing Protoceratops eggs — these eggs are of the same shape of those of the related but much bigger Triceratops of the previous episode, and appear even the same size. The owner of the eggs, a horn-lacking ceratopsian not bigger than a sheep, is never seen on screen. Then, some large unnamed pterosaurs soar elegantly above the oviraptors and the human (note that in the program pterosaurs are always flying and never seen on land). Sadly, we're coping with the most striking case of Anachronism Stew of the series: Oviraptors and Protoceratopses in real life lived only in Late Cretaceous, 70 million years after the end of the Jurassic.

  • Pteranodon. In one of the most beautiful scenes of the program, the human-voyager is dressed like an aviator and hang-glides near a peaceful Giant Flyer (arguably male) Pteranodon before preparing the meeting with the "living fighter-bomber" (as Piero Angela nicknames the Quetzalcoatlus). He explains that the function of the pteranodont's striking crest on its head is uncertain, that has a sac under its beak like a pelican (and even looks like a pelican), that is 7 m wide, and that can fly for hundreds or thousands kilometers offshore thanks to its albatross-like flying-style. Before launching himself from a cliff with his aircraft the traveler talks in detail about hang-gliders and their flying capabilities. Other pteranodonts are seen in the 4th episode as among the victims of the meteorite. All of them are correctly toothless, a very rare sight in non-documentary media. In this series pterosaurs in general fly both by flapping their wings and by soaring, like what the big modern flying birds usually do. Indeed, the programers affirmed they have based the pterosaurian way-of-flight upon pelicans and other big modern feathered flyers.

  • Quetzalcoatlus: The biggest pterosaur of the program, and perhaps the central animal-character of the 3rd episode. It too initially soars apparently-peacefully alongside the glider (which is slightly smaller than itself) after the Pteranodon has gone away, but then goes behind the flying object and pursues it in a dramatic sequence with the human landing on a beach (and loosing the contact with the main host for a moment) and then fleeing toward the rocks nearby, successfully escaping it. Also toothless and with a small crest on the head, the human says this giant pterosaur is the biggest flying animal that ever lived — with a wingspan of 15 m — and that belongs to the same taxonomical family of the pteranodonts: to be more precise, however, Quetzalcoatlus is from a distinct but still related group of toothless pterosaurs, the Azdarchids, and today we know it was possibly outweighed by its recently-found close relative Hatzegopteryx.

  • Ichthyosaurus: After its flybies with pterosaurs the traveler goes underwater with a small Nautilus-like submarine in the 2nd part of the episode, and these dolphin-like (and dolphin-sized) animals are the first marine reptiles he meets, swimming peacefully and silently around the ship like large fish in an aquarium. Considering the epoch (100 mya), they probably belong to the late-surviving genus of ichthyosaurians named Platypterigius, but here they are simply referred to as "ichthyosaurs". They have large fix eyes without eyelids and round goldfish-like pupils, accentuating their resemblance with typical true fish. In the successive commentary two fossil female ichthyosaurs are shown dead while giving birth to their offspring. In the main program, like what had done with the hang-glider, the traveler describes to the main host all the things present in the submarine: geographical maps, navigation tools, underwater windows, ancient books, and old-style lamps.

  • Kronosaurus: After the encounter with the ichthyosaurs a gigantic 13 m long kronosaur (a pliosaur very similar to Liopleurodon but Cretaceous and not Jurassic) with a 2.5 m long head "larger than the tyrannosaur's one" approaches the submarine — both the animal and the ship are about the same size. The traveler says it is "one of the biggest marine reptiles, maybe the biggest" because at the time its size was considered greater than with the modern measurements. Also totally silent like the ichthyosaurs, after showing its huge teeth to the human it turns back with the mouth open, ends barely colliding against the submarine (without damage for the craft and his owner), and then goes peacefully away. Its method of swimming is not the side-undulation of the tail of the ichthyosaurs, but not even the "double-winged" movement of the liopleurodon of Walking with Dinosaurs: here the chosen pliosaur moves its flippers sinchronically like two pairs of oars. It is also colored generically grey (not blue-white patched like in Walking With Dinosaurs and in all its imitations), and lives more correctly in open seas and not near the shore as shown in WWD. After the meeting, Alberto Angela talks about other two famous sea-reptiles from an U.S. museum by describing their skeletons: the Mosasaur and the Plesiosaur. Their exact species is not said however: the mosasaur might be Tylosaurus or similar, the plesiosaur is a smaller relative of Elasmosaurus.

  • Deinosuchus: At the end of the episode the human travels 20 million years in Late Cretaceous again, and is seen watching this 15 m long crocodilian safely from a tree, when it's swimming slowly in a river and tempting to capture some drinking dinosaurs like a Nile Croc with zebras or antelopes, but its preys flee away. Then, the croc points toward the human and the main host says to him "Well, it has really appetite today!". The Deinosuchus is described to have a head the size of as a bed, but that "nobody has ever measured its body length" (because it was not known at the time). After the encounter with the giant crocodilian (not nicknamed "supercroc" like in Prehistoric Park) the main host explains that it will disappear like all the other extraordinary great reptiles of the Mesozoic, anticipating the argument of the last episode.

4th episode

  • Ankylosaurus: This episode is almost-entirely ambiented in the Maastrichtian stage of the Cretaceous, 65 mya, except for the scene with the Supernova star, which is more generically said to be "in the Cretaceous" without specifying the exact time. Considering there's a Parasaurolophus there, it should be 80-70 mya. In general, most of the time-travel scenes of Planet Of Dinosaurs happen in the Cretaceous which is portrayed in every episode, and also averting The Cretaceous Is Always Doomed, while the Jurassic period is always Late-Jurassic and is shown only in the 1st and 3rd episode — and the Triassic only in the first half of the 1st episode. Ankylosaurus is shown here as one of the few still-living dinosaurs at the very end of the Mesozoic Era, together with Triceratops, Tyrannosaurus, hadrosaurs, Oviraptor, and (wrongly) pterosaur Pteranodon. It is presented as a slow-walking armored critter almost 10 m long and weighing about 10 tons: its body shape is more correct than other pop-portrayals, with the armor full of short spikes pointing not exclusively sidewards, four-"horned" head with osteoderms above it, and bilobed club-tail. It's also described as one of the most powerful dinosaurs — easily able to defeat even a Tyrannosaur in a fight unless is overturned by its predator like a tortoise — but nonetheless totally unable to defend itself againt the cataclysm that is going to happen: strikingly similar to what was said and shown in the last episode of Walking With Dinosaurs 6 years after, where the animal's overall shape is actually more incorrect (being devoid of true spikes in its armor and even with a wrongly-shaped head). The ankylosaur is also one of the creatures present in the moment of the fall of the asteroid, together with Triceratops and Pteranodon — then Tyrannosaurus and Triceratops appear in the scene after the bolid-strike, but not ankylosaurs and pterosaurs anymore.
  • Elasmosaurus: The last animal encountered in the journey that was still not seen before in the program. Mentioned as one of the classic marine reptiles of the end of the Cretaceous, a lonely specimen of this 13 m long plesiosaur briefly swims under the human's submarine "like it's flying in the water" (with a rather similar swimmimg style of the Kronosaurus above) in the 2nd half of the episode, showing to the human how enormously-long its neck is. The traveller also see some bony fish and a generic shark from the submarine before encountering the giant sea-reptile. He says that the latter crawls effortly when on the beach, but is a very skilled swimmer in water — at the time the most common view was plesiosaurians were amphibious like seals, not totally aquatic like the ichthyosaurs. After this encounter the traveler goes on a moutain in the following scene because "water will be the worst place to stay in at the moment of the collision" because of the gigantic tsunamis. On the mountain top, he says that "all flying and marine reptiles around us will disappear": this is a slight imprecision because sea-turtles will actually survive the disaster — mesozoic sea turtles like the famous giant Archelon are never mentioned in the program.

The Asteroid: The real protagonist of the 4th episode. It's shown as a large brownish rock with a rather elongated shape (not taken from a common rock but sculpted deliberately for the program), that spins around itself and relentlessly approaches the Earth filmed from Real Life space (The Earth's images are taken from NASA footage) accompanied by a menacing musical score. Then the bolid is seen near the Earth's atmosphere, and finally hits the soil making Apocalypse Wow soon after. Before the giant rock strikes the human is shown in a deceptively-relaxing full-moon night under the same mountain arch seen in the 2nd episode. A week after the disaster the time-traveler appears with a thick coat, cap, and gloves to protect himself against the freezing temperatures — and when talking he makes even echoes, underlining the silence of the dying plant and animal wildlife around him.


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