Gary and Eric's Wacky Prehistoric World
Ladies and gentlemen, young and old...I present to you for my fourteenth article here on RetroJunk my review of a very wacky half-hour show hosted by the now-late Gary Owens as well as the still-living Eric Boardman who had previously team up to host the Dinosaur shows -- 1984's Dinosaurs, 1985's More Dinosaurs, and 1986's Dinosaurs Dinosaurs Dinosaurs, as well as 1988's Son of Dinosaurs and 1993's The Return of Dinosaurs, with Dinosaurs Dinosaurs Dinosaurs featuring the world-famous stop motion animated Gary-O-Saurus brought to life by the Chiodo Brothers of 1988's KIller Klowns from Outer Space fame....
And with Son of Dinosaurs featuring a VERY cute stop motion animated baby Ceratosaurus at the very end like in these raw stop motion animation takes of the baby Ceratosaurus from Son of Dinosaurs by the Chiodo Brothers:
But this time around, they are not talking about the mighty dinosaurs themselves nor are they talking about their descendants the birds....
Rather, Gary and Eric are talking about the dinosaurs' successors as far as dominating the earth in the wake of the former's untimely extinction, the mammals!
And the prehistoric life show that Gary Owens and Eric Boardman used to host, and which I am talking about is called Prehistoric World and it first came out around 35 years ago around 1986 or sometime.
Anyway, let's start in a Californian retirement home in Los Angeles, around the future year of 2029, which is probably seven years from this pandemic-and-war-stricken world of now....
In the middle of the night, an older Gary Owens (who actually died in 2015) is pushing a wheelchair-bound Gary Owens (who actually died in 2015) as they try to find their way out so they can visit The Rancho La Brea Tar Pits that were there before they, before the first stone and paved streets of Hollywood in what is technically the Los Angeles (or L.A., for short) basin of ol' California...
When all of a sudden...
Mrs. Wilcox, the nurse (and played by illustrator William Stout's girlfriend or someone), caught the old Gary and Eric RIGHT IN THE ACT! HA HA HA !
Mrs. Wilcox the Nurse demands that Gary and Eric go back to bed, but Old Gary would have none of that and decided to play pool....
And when the nurse lays out her instructions not to let the old Gary and Eric talk about those excitable Dinosaur shows that they used to do WAY back in the day, Eric Boardman said something to her face:
Eric (to the nurse): For your information, Ms. Smarty Pants, we weren't gonna talk about dinosaurs!
Gary (to Eric): We Weren't?!
Eric: No we weren't Gary!...we're gonna talk about prehistoric...MAMMALS!
Gary asks the nurse what the prehistoric mammal show was about...
She replied that the show Gary and Eric were going to talk about was actually about the weird and mammalian creatures that came to dominate the earth after the dinosaurs went extinct sixty six million years ago -- from ferocious saber toothed cats and giant mammoths and paraceratheriums (which we never fully explore here, unfortunately)...
But was only stopped when Eric Boardman ended up in London, England, UK and a buncha strange people keep on butting into their show. And when Gary retorts that it didn't ring a bell, Eric assured that the show he's talking about began in L.A.'s very own Rancho La Brea Tar Pits in ol' Californy...
And when the nurse left them alone for a half hour to tend the other retirees, Eric and Gary sat down on chairs, remembering when the prehistoric mammal show began, Eric was going to say that "dinosaurs ruled the earth for 150 million years," but...
Gary butts in to let everyone know "that this was a special presentation!"
And so Eric and Gary cues the opening logo music: "Daaa. Da-Daaaa, Da-Daaa...."
And then we dissolve into the opening Midwich Entertainment logo before a brief fadeout:
We then fade up and as an excerpt from music composer David Spear's electronic synth piece, "Savage Landscape" began to play, we gave up a round of applause for what looks like an Allosaurus filmed in stop motion animation (and sculpted by Tony McVey who had worked on films as diverse as Jim Henson's Dark Crystal and Lucasfilm's Return of the Jedi back in the 80s) but which is actually recycled from stop motion footage from the 1981 educational short film, Age of Mammals...
The familiar narration voice of Gary Owens informs us that dinosaurs really do ruled the earth for what we think of as 160 million years...
But living under the shadow of these giant, mighty prehistoric beasts called dinosaurs is actually another type of animal, as we cut to another recycled stop motion animation shot from 1981's Age of Mammals, in which a marsupial mammal of some sort was digging into an abandoned dinosaur nest during the late Cretaceous....
We dissolve into a stop motion animated Megatherium feeding on the treetops, as Gary narrates that "when the dinosaurs died out, the Age of Mammals began."
Gary narrates that this new dynasty began 65 (or now 66) million years and still continues today, though many strange creatures come and go along the way, from some giant armored armadillo called a Glyptodont....
to the briefly seen gigantic Paraceratherium, which was the largest prehistoric mammal to ever walk the earth, at eighteen feet in shoulder length, to say the least.
Here is Paraceratherium being drenched in the rains in Oligocene Mongolia...
And there is a small herd of these things from a different show on prehistoric mammals, the Land of Giants episode from The BBC's Walking with Beasts (known here in the USA as Walking with Prehistoric Beasts):
We eventually dissolve to Gary Owens and Eric Boardman in their younger years prime as they introduced the show on prehistoric mammals, Prehistoric World, in front of the entrance to the La Brea Tar Pits George C. Page Museum in L.A.:
"So fasten your seat belts as Eric Boardman, and Gary Owens, take you back to our extraordinary....Prehistoric World!"
And now for the main title animation for Prehistoric World, as we dissolve to two illustrated Cro-Magnon guys, or the very first artists in the whole wide world, were adding the finishing touches to their latest painting on a cave wall in either Ice Age France or Spain (depending on the place)...
Ahhhh....the birth of art as we know it to this very day and age....well, do you know what these primitive guys are drawing up with their primitive paintbrushes and palette dish, do you?
Why, it's not Bambi (once Disney's property, now in the public domain, just like Winnie the Pooh)…
And it's not even An American Tail's Fievel's big sister Tanya, especially in her lovely and beautifully stunning Fievel Goes West or Girl You Left Behind saloon girl diva performance makeup and dress (and let alone with the lovely singing chops of Cathy Cavadini of the 1998 Powerpuff Girls, mind you!)...
NO!! None of those two!
Rather, the Ice Age creature that these two illustrated Cro Magnon guys are drawing up on the wall is called Megaloceros, better known as the Irish Elk. Here how it looks in life:
And so we zoom away from the Irish elk as we pan from a swamp area to some elephant before a primeval jungle waterfall....
And we pan way past either a mammoth or a mastodon with his back turned away from the camera...
Before we finally stopped by to see a pair of gigantic ground sloths as well as a group of Eohippus (a primitive horse type) and two trunk-nosed long necked and long legged creatures from South America called Macrauchenia foraging in the tall grass while a dragonfly sneaks past them....
But wait! That's not all, In an abrupt zooming in kind of jump scare that scared the living daylights out of me growing up...you know who's sneaking up for potential trouble in paradise, do you?
ROAR!!! hisses like an angry cat
Uh oh, look out behind you, folks! It's better not be ---
AAAAAAAAGGGHHHHH!!!!!! : O Oh my freaking god!!
**IT"S A SABER TOOTHED TIGER!! ** : O
Well, I told you all that saber toothed tiger is going to jump out of the tall grass during the main titles of Prehistoric World with Gary Owens and Eric Boardman just to scare the freaking living daylights out of me or anyone else who watched these programs growing up!!
Anyway, that dreaded saber tooth tiger dissolved into a cave drawing portrait of the same beast on the same cave wall we started in as we zoomed away slowly as the title "Prehistoric World" fades up...
And we all know that this show, like the dinosaur shows are hosted by Gary Owens (now dead since 2015)…
And with Eric Boardman (still living) as his co-host:
I don't know who drew or illustrated the opening main title graphics for the Prehistoric World intro with Gary Owens and Eric Boardman, but please keep me posted about who illustrated what in the comments section.
We then dissolved to a mural painting depicting prehistoric life in Ice Age California before Hollywood which includes American lionesses bringing down an unfortunate horse:
And then we see some old painting of a pack of wolves with horses and camels in the background...
We also zoomed up to see a Columbian Mammoth from trunk to the top of its head (pictured here with Gary and Eric back in their prime):
Anyway, Gary Owens narrates that The Age of Mammals has been going on for the past sixty six million years, although, rather scientifically, this span of time in which these warm-blooded, fur-or-hair-bearing animals had been the dominant life forms on the Earth's surface is called The Cenozoic Era, and during this huge and expansive, many of these prehistoric animals evolved into animals that we know today (at the time at least, circa 1987 or sometime), while others had disappeared forever whether through natural selection or extinction.
Well, at one point we dissolve into...
Oh boy! Look at that giant ground sloth head reconstruction, it looks funny and wrong at the very SAME time! HA HA HA HA HA !
Well, anyway, let' us finally go to be what Gary and Eric revealed as a world renowned link to humanity's prehistoric past, Rancho La Brea's world famous tar pits in Los Angeles, California:
and here they are in Rancho La Brea:
Well, anyway, Gary and Eric were talking about the La Brea Tar Pits which were there before Hollywood itself, when all of a sudden....
Who would show up but a strange museum tour guide, who turned out to be a former collaborator of comedian Mel Brooks from History of the World Part I (1981) named Charlie Callas:
When Charlie Callas said to the tourists that "this black tar here and this pool that you see above ya…buried countless bones of animals that once roamed this area, about 40,000 years ago!," a boy summoned up his courage to ask him "How the bones get in there?" And then Charlie Callas proceeds to frighten the living wits out of the kid and every other tourist around Charlie Callas himself by launching into this weird and wacky tirade that graphically depicted how the animals gets stuck in the tar of Rancho La Brea in L.A.:
"Let’s go back, 30 or 40,000 years…now the Tar Pits look very much like they do today; After a rain, the pits would be covered with a shower or pool of water. Now a prehistoric horse is thirsty, right? He goes down into the pool...(loudly snorting like a horse) As he drinks – WHA?! He sinks and stuck in the deadly tar! He struggles! (snorts again) He’s trapped and can’t get out! A wandering saber toothed cat--(hisses like an angry cat) Hears the horse as he cries for help! What does he do? Wacko! Jumps down on top of the horse! Stumbles – he falls in – Sinking low and then – Hungry pack of wolves! (does a weird wolf howl) They’re hungry and jumped on both and yo – Woof! Woof! On top of it – (blows raspberry and then hisses like said angry cat again) And high above – the vultures! (squawks loudly) What a free launch! They dived down on top of the saber toothed cat! The horse and wolves stuck together! Getting down waists and du—laying in the tar for monthly! These pool-a-wicky scoundrels! WOULD HAVE SINK BENEATH THE SURFACE! (calm down) And scenes like this...would play out countless times over thousands of years."
As Charlie Callas finally gives in to his senses and escorts the stunned tourists away to see the skeletal remains of the mastodon, Gary Owens will tell us now how the bones got back out of the tar pits after getting into such for thousands of years:
According to Gary, the tar pits are in fact the remains of very crude oil that has seeped up from beneath the surface of the earth itself...
Thereby leaving behind sticky asphalt pools like this one above.
Anyway, as we dissolved to old silent documentary newsreel footage of scientists excavating bones from the ground in L.A., Gary Owens tells us that not long after the US Civil War between North and South way back in the 1860s...
the asphalt from Rancho La Brea (Spanish for Tar Ranch) were used to help paved the streets of Los Angeles (aka L.A.)...
But in the year 1875 however, some scientist guy named William Denton discovered that there are bones of prehistoric animals that were found in the very asphalt of Rancho La Brea.
Now, the oil rich lands of the Los Angeles Basin in Old California was owned by a family who goes by the name of Hancock. In the year 1913 (the year before the first World War), a guy named George Allan Hancock granted the Los Angeles County Museum permission to excavate the prehistoric bones from Rancho La Brea for a maximum of three years.
I mean, over a half million prehistoric animal bones were found during that time, making Los Angeles' La Brea Tar Pits the world's richest Ice Age fossil deposit ever! And when Hancock discovers the significance of these paleontological finds, George Hancock decided to donate about 23 acres to Los Angeles County, in order to preserve this very unique paleontological digging site. Important discoveries continued in what was now Hancock Park.
In fact, in the year 1977 (the same year that George Lucas' kid friendly science fiction adventure film Star Wars first went viral in America and around the world in very unexpected ways), they built the George C. Page Museum to house Rancho La Brea's Ice Age fossil treasures in L.A. or Hollywood or wheresoever.
Now Eric Boardman was telling you and I that over a half million people came from all around the world to visit the La Brea Tar Pits museum in Los Angeles, before he bumps into a red door...
So he asks the museum entrance guy, who turns out to be this weirdo named Frank Nelson or someone who responds with a weird "YEEEESSSS?!"
When Eric asks him whether or not this is the entrance to the Page (or La Brea Tar Pits) museum, he jokingly responds that this is more like the line for some Disneyland or Disney World indoor roller coaster attraction like Space Mountain! : )
And when the guy asks Eric for tickets to get past the entrance to the museum, Eric responds that he's doing some big time primetime TV special (especially one for Disney Channel back in the day!)
And so Eric summons the host of his show, Gary Owens, to prove to the guy that they are doing a television special.
Eric tells Gary to deliver something like "Hi! This is Gary Owens!" and he did so very lowly a speaking voice:
When the ticket guy doesn't recognized that, Eric has Gary hold his hand over his own ear and speak very strongly....JUST....LIKE THIIIISSSS!!!:
The ticket guy's shouty response?
And there you have it: Eric and Gary's very living proof (at the time, to say the least) that Eric Boardman and Gary Owens are the hosts of the dinosaur shows of our childhoods!
And when Gary and Eric was finally granted permission to enter the museum further, the guy cautions them that this would be two adult admissions. So Gary decides to pay for the tickets because they don't have time to argue, So he dropped two dollar bills into the guy's hands.
And then the ticket guy interrupts this departure with this joke:
"Did you brought your cameraman to come in with you, didn't you?...And the makeup ladies....and the ladies that holds the cue cards....and your salary man....and the three fellas that say 'RUN! RUN! RUN!'"
And so off Gary and Eric went to the La Brea Tar Pits museum beyond that oddball point where the oddball man collects the dollar bills....
Anyway, among the more unique features that the La Brea Tar Pits (or Page) museum had (at least at the time that show came out on VHS circa 1986 or 87), according to Gary Owens, was a window where you can see scientists at work in their laboratory recovering and reconstructing Ice Age fossils:
Here, Gary Owens was shaking hands with and talking to the museum's curator of paleontology at the time, who would be George Jefferson:
Eric was enjoying the museum and meanwhile George was telling Gary that as of right now, a buncha paleontologists and science volunteers are cleaning up the original matrix of sediments from 15 to 20,000 years before this show came out:
And George Jefferson also tells us that when the museum was first built in 1977, a particularly huge deposit was recovered from the asphalt that include Ice Age fossil bones and skeletons from that period...
Also, scientists looked at micro-fossils such as the remains of pollen, plant seeds, small shells, parts of insects, and small vertebrate animal bone bits and pieces from lizards and mice and other things like those. I mean, talk about finding so many million specimens from the La Brea Tar Pits in a very huge collection like that in order to well understand and see a very close and very minutely detailed picture of what L.A., Hollywood, and even California was really like some forty thousand years before we were born and raised...in other words....
What Hollywood culture in L.A. or Southern California was really like in that pre dawn before recorded human history, a time of our very imagined beginnings if you will!
And before the obligatory commercial break, Gary Owens promised all of us...
"We'll be right back with more on this mammoth subject..."
Flash forward to the year 2029...
Old Eric was thinking about what happened next for the prehistoric mammal show that is Prehistoric World....
When suddenly, Old Gary blows his nose with a tissue and Eric thought Gary blowing his nose with a tissue signifies an elephant trumpeting....
You see, Eric Boardman used to stand right next to one actual elephant....
And so he flashes back to his younger years doing just that...standing right next to a modern Asian elephant who goes by the name of Gypsy:
Young Eric proceeds to tell us to imagine her ancestors from about a million years ago which are six feet taller than her, covered in long furry coats and boasting very long, pointy ass tusks to boot, and not even to mention, ten and a half feet long!
And so we flash back to what Gypsy the elephant's ancestors really looked like through these two good ol' Charles R. Knight paintings of good ol' Wooly Mammoth!
Gary Owens the narrator tells us that it was during a time when the earth turned very cold called the Last Ice Age that wooly mammoths evolved, and yes, sure, some of those glacial ice from that time is still on the way out these days thanks to climate change and global warming and things like that, but the remains of mammoths are still found in Far Eastern Russia, or Siberia....
And heck! The Russians even found a well preserved baby mammoth like this guy:
And it's not simply us humans who brought them mammoths to extinction through hunting like in Roland Emmerich's ill received prehistoric adventure from 2008, 10,000 BC:
We now know that climate change and isolation is to blame for the mammoth's demise; the last wooly mammoth died on Wrangel Island (the arctic isle of Wrangel, I say) from isolation (maybe almost like Orson Welles as Charles Foster Kane dying alone and croaking 'Rosebud' at the very beginning of his 1941 masterwork Citizen Kane) four thousand years ago, around the same time period that the Ancient Egyptian people were building the Giza Pyramids for Pharaoh Khufu.
And sorry folks, but I don't think that the Powerpuff Girls can ever go back in time to the distant past circa 10,000 BCE in the middle of a mammoth hunt by racing themselves through time and space so fast!
Pardon me, but anyway, the preserved specimen of Wooly Mammoths, present a very interest possibility for scientists to try and cheat extinction...at least in theory. Professor George Seidel has this theory in mind:
"If one found just the right frozen mammoth, there may be a possibility of recovering some genetic material intact. And if one had thought about the idea of genetic material, it will probably be the sperm. Now, the sperm in the mammal is kinda like the seed to a plant. It's a mechanism of nature that you evolve to store the genetic material in a kind of state. And it is possible that the genetic material could be recovered from a mammoth, but what we couldn't do with it and put it in an elephant album."
But wait! Hold on! Who's making that honking noise? Who are these two migratory birds doing taking off to the wintry air when George Seidel is talking about a mammoth's genetic material such as its sperm?
Is it a bird? Is it a plane? Is it Superman?
NO dummies! It's rather a Canada goose (pictured here trying and failing to evade a predatory American Bald eagle):
Anyway, so much for that, but if successful, so according to Gary Owens, the very first test tubed wooly mammoth would be the final future result.
Meanwhile, Eric Boardman shows us another North American ice age creature that's also related to elephants:
The Columbian Mammoth, that is, one of the largest mammals to ever walk to earth, and one that happened to be found in the La Brea Tar Pits.
And here it is in life as reconstructed by paleo artist Mark Hallett:
Also in the meanwhile, Gary Owens shows us a bunch of skulls belonging to something called the Dire Wolf:
Gary tells us that the dire wolf roamed in packs and found easy prey stuck in the tar pits of Rancho La Brea, but even if they pounced upon their prey, they will get trapped in the asphalt of Rancho La Brea in Los Angeles, California, making them the most abundant Ice Age fossils ever found in La Brea.
And NO! The Dire Wolf is not the one on HBO's Game of Thrones show or even its source material, George R. R. Martin's A Song of Ice and Fire!
And I hate to prove you wrong now, Gary Owens and Eric Boardman, but the real dire wolf is more like a really big fox than a big canine! Sorry, but science still marches on!
And meanwhile, anyway, Eric Boardman was standing next to a prehistoric American Lion skeleton, when yet another oddball guy, this one being a fedora-wearing, cigar-holding guy being played by somebody named Bill Seluga, adds that the American Lion is different and bigger than today's endangered lions of Africa.
And when Eric introduces himself to the weirdo, he refers himself as "Raymond Jay Johnson Jr.," before going off on this weird rant for somebody to shorten his name like this:
"Ohhhhh, you shouldn't have to call me Johnson...you can call me RAY! Or you can call me JAY! Or you can call me JOHNNY! Or you can call me SONNY! Or you can call me JIMMY! Or you can call me RAYMOND JAY! Or you can me R.J.! Or you can call me R.J.J.! Or you can call me R.J.J. JR.! But you doesn't have to call me JOHNSON!"
To illustrate this weirdo's rant my very own way, here's The Powerpuff Girls who hailed from the City of Townsville--as in the original, classic, 1998 Blossom, Bubbles, and Buttercup--encountering Raymond Jay Johnson Jr. the weirdo (who multiplies himself here) before deciding to rush to help their creator-father, The Professor called Utonium with an explosive beaker:
Anyway, Eric Boardman accepts the weirdo's offer to shorten his name to Ray...
Before the oddball escorts him to see the skeletal remains of a prehistoric American (rather than a North African) camel.
Ray the Weirdo and Eric Boardman was talking about the American camels before they go extinct in the Americas, and why was there a land bridge in what's now the Bering Strait between Siberia and Alaska, before Ray and Eric began arguing about how many humps American camels actually has....
When who would show up but Gary Owens, and when Ray went off on this rant to convince Gary to shorten his name to Ray, Jay, Johnny, Sonny, Jimmy, Raymond Jay, R.J., R.J.J. and R.J.J. Jr. instead of referring to him as Johnson, Gary and Eric was so annoyed, that they walked far away from the weirdo, stranding him in the museum in the process!
Nice breaking it, Ray, you fedora-wearing, cigar-handling weirdo!
When Gary escorts Eric to where the skeletal remains of a saber toothed tiger was displayed, Gary asks Eric to guess the meanest, and most ferocious, dinosaur, and he answered "Tyrannosaurus Rex," but when Eric tries to guess the meanest and most ferocious prehistoric mammal, Gary interrupts him "Time's Up! I'm sorry...THE SMILODON!"
Gary's last narration we heard from in Prehistoric World tells us all that "A smilodon is commonly known as a saber toothed cat. The remains of different species of saber toothed cats were found in many parts of the world. In size and shape, they were like a cross between a lion and a hyena, and of course, were distinguished by their two upper canine teeth. They were powerful hunters, which explains their more than thirty million years of existence. But interestingly, some scientists believed that those teeth that grew up in nine inches in length, may have ultimately caused their extinction. it is possible that those fangs are growing so big that the cats could no longer hold their mouths wide enough to successfully bite their prey."
Sorry, Gary, but science still marches on...even if Gary Owens' commentary on Smilodon are still heard over a clip from 1981's Age of Mammals educational short where a saber toothed cat, filmed in stop motion animation, harasses and kills a giant ground sloth in a forest clearing, making a bloody hell out of the ground sloth's upper back shoulders!
Next stop: the cave systems of Albuquerque, New Mexico!
Where Eric Boardman will show you how cave systems are developed...
New Mexico are famous for their underground cave systems, but Eric knows how caves are formed: first you need limestone in the ground; then you need rainwater from the clouds; amd finally, last but not least, you will need carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.
If you combine the rain and carbon dioxide together, you will get carbonic acid or something like that, that gets in the ground, meets the limestone underground, and dissolves or eats away the limestone, thereby leaving a big hole that leads to a cavern or cave.
And Eric Boardman knows that any spelunker knows these two cave features: stalactite for the top stone thingies
and for the bottom thingies, they are called stalagmite, you know, and Eric Boardman knows it too and so does many spelunkers!
Eric was standing next to the skulls of two animals that tumbled through a hole in the earth, and died falling down the underground cave in Albuquerque, New Mexico, around twenty or thirty thousand years previously. The damp, down, cool conditions of the cave system slowed down their decomposition so it could preserved the bones; if they died on top of the world's surface, the weather and the heat will make their remains disappear.
Anyway, Eric Boardman picked up the skull of one of the dead animals and try to ask it, "How long had you died, buddy?"
Or as Shakespeare's Hamlet himself (the unlikely loose source material for Disney's 1994 2D hand drawn animated epic blockbuster, The Lion King) famously said to a human skull: "To be, or not to be? That is the question."
And here is one more stop for Eric Boardman...London, England in the UK, culminating in a climactic showdown interview of sorts with the author of After Man and other scientific books, Dougal Dixon!
But first, a stop at the prehistoric mammal exhibit at London's Natural History Museum!
With the giant ground sloth skeleton! A glyptodont skeleton! and a toxodon skeleton or something, too!
And now, for the Prehistoric World climax: Dougal Dixon and examples of his future creatures of After Man (or maybe even the TV show the Future is Wild)!
Here, Dougal and Eric are staring at the skeletal remains of a early rhino or so relative, Uintatherium, and we zoom back from this classic Charles R. Knight reconstruction of the 50 million year old prehistoric beast:
and dissolving to video footage of the nearly extinct rhinoceros lying down in, and staring straight at us from a dusty zoo floor:
Well, if the rhino ever becomes extinct, reasoned Dougal Dixon, then something else might replaced Mr. Rhino, like, 50 or so million years from now!
"So evolution really never stopped," replied Eric Boardman.
Here, Eric Boardman was being shown some miniature sculpture thingies of Dougal Dixon's After Man future animals, like this camel-faced kangaroo creature thingy:
Dougal Dixon then shows Eric Boardman a sculpture of some kind of creature that somewhat resembles a strange hybrid between a whale and a penguin; and it's called a vortex in After Man and it may appear 50 million years from now if whales ever become extinct indefinitely:
And then spoke Dougal "After Man" Dixon when holding up some pack animal skull:
"The wolf is the killing animal of today, but the wolf may well become extinct sometime in the near future. And if that happens, then something else might well evolve to take its place."
And Dougal Dixon then suggested to Eric Boardman that rats, a type of rodent that we humans would rather condemn or persecute as useless vermin or pests (unless you're a Walt Disney or a Don Bluth, of course!) might well filled in the niche that will be left behind by today's wolves....JUST....LIKE....THIIISSSS!!!:
Eric fears that he won't survived an attack from a wolf-sized giant rat like that! Especially 50 million years from now!
And oh! By the way, Eric Boardman and Dougal Dixon are telling us and you all right now...does anyone remember the deer?
Because the deer, like the wolf, is another animal that's going to be extinct some time in the near future yet to come, and somebody else would evolve to fill in the niche left behind by the deer, especially the white tailed deer that populated the forest near this writer's home.
And Dougal Dixon of After Man fame decided that the bunny rabbit (and not just Bugs Bunny, mind you) is going to fill in the niche left behind by the deer in some near future time yet to come, like this:
But wait! Dougal Dixon's not done yet, Eric! Fifty million years ago, the ecological system that is taken by the bunny rabbit of today was once the reserve of the horse, like Eohippus, for instance:
So in some future time yet to come, expect the bunny rabbit that could not only grow long running legs rather than hopping ones, but also a long neck that would allow the bunny rabbit to graze on the tree tops or even the grass on the ground, like some kind of near or far future offspring between Felix Stalten and Walt Disney's Bambi the deer and Thumper the bunny rabbit yet to come:
So so quipped Eric Boardman himself. Finally, Dougal Dixon shows Eric a very bizarre flightless bat creature from a ocean island group in some future time yet to come:
Now this guy walked on his forelimbs, which his muscles really were way back when the bat has wings, with the hindlimbs acting like hands, but when the stupid stupid bat creature of the future yet to come would ever use echolocation to find food:
Boy! Look out! For these guys will kill you for food in the dark of the night!
About the only thing that Dougal Dixon didn't conjured up yet in the 1980s is The Future is Wild's Cara the Killa, but that is 16 years yet to come (we finally got the likes of Cara the Killa in the Future is Wild TV show):
Anyway, Eric Boardman assures Dougal "After Man" Dixon that he will stick around for fifty million years yet to come to see if Dougal Dixon is correct about the future being wild after man...
When suddenly, the nurse from the year 2029 disrupted Old Eric and Old Gary's Prehistoric World reveries in the hopes of banishing the old retirees to their beds!
Nice breaking it, Ms. Wilcox!
But Eric Boardman the old retiree wards off the nurse by pushing back their sleepy bedtime nap request order from the nurse,...
And so the nurse of 2029 slinks away back to the dark shadows of elsewhere in the retirement home, allowing Gary and Eric the old retirees to escape from the retirement home so they can visit the La Brea Tar Pits of Rancho La Brea one last time before the break of dawn...
And off they went to Rancho La Brea while pushing themselves in wheelchairs they happened to stole from the retirement home of 2029.
Here are the La Brea Tar Pit Bloopers that showcased the same shot of Gary and Eric riding in wheelchairs in the middle of the night but in hilarious ways:
And when they reached their destination at the George C. Page La Brea Tar Pits museum in Los Angeles...
The night watchman halts the two retirees with his flashlight telling them that Hancock Park is closed for the night:
But then, the night watchman recognizes the Gary Owens and Eric Boardman that made the prehistoric life program that aired years before, so long ago now, when there was once a time where he was a high school student.
Then Eric the retiree asks the night watchman if it's okay for him and Gary to take a quick peak at the asphalt of Rancho La Brea and the watchman said okay...
When the phone rang and the night watchman rushes to receive a phone call from a very upset Ms. Wilcox who was upset that Gary and Eric had escaped to the La Brea Tar Pits on their wheelchairs, and when the old Gary and the old Eric went upstairs to stare at the tar pits down below their view and as the night watchman looked way up stairs...
Gary and Eric the retirees were doing just that: staring at the bubbling crude oil asphalt tar bubbling away far below like they already had forty thousand years before...
And so we zoomed away from Gary Owens and Eric Boardman staring at the tar pits with those Columbian Mammoth statues beyond their distant view as an elderly narrator closes the half hour show that, "Yes, they've told us so much about the past, and long after we're gone, they're still revealing secrets of our Prehistoric World."
cue end credits set to the first half of music composer David Spear's Stegosaurus Stomp piece
Now, some 14 years after Gary Owens and Eric Boardman's Prehistoric World special, Walking with Beasts narrator Kenneth Branagh closes Walking with [Prehistoric] Beasts on a rather more ominous note for humanity as he remind all of us and all of you that "we [humans] had since built museums to celebrate the past and spend decades studying prehistoric life. And if all of this has taught us anything, it is this: no species last forever." And that means that we humans, as a species, will eventually have to pay the piper just like the dinosaurs and the mammoths and the cavemen long before us!
Anyway, here's a minute long promo for the aforementioned Prehistoric World show on prehistoric mammals:
So what do you think of Gary Owens and Eric Boardman's Prehistoric World and the rest of their Dinosaur shows? What are your memories of the Dinosaur shows of Gary Owens and Eric Boardman?
Well, as for me, now that I've just gotten the Dinosaur shows of Gary Owens and Eric Boardman on a pair of DVDs a whole decade ago, I just can't wait to buy the Dinosaur Shows of Gary Owens and Eric Boardman on Blu-Ray Disc as well!
Anyway, this Retro Junk article is dedicated to the memory of the Northern White Rhino:
and it is also dedicated to the loving memory of Gary Owens, too!