Dear Producers: Put Dinosaurs Back On TV
We’re better equipped to tackle the challenge of putting dinosaurs on TV than we’ve ever been, but all we’ve seen lately is 'Terra Nova'.
Listen, producers: we understand that there are dangers of fan service. Truly, we do. But surely you must know that there’s something to be said for giving the people what they want.
Well, the people want dinosaurs, and it’s high time you came through, don’t you think?
We’ve had cartoons aplenty, and even a Jim Henson dino puppet sitcom called Dinosaurs in the early 90’s.
But it’s been awhile since dinosaurs have graced the small screen. And on some level, that’s understandable. Dinosaurs are tough. They’re big and weird looking and require some top-notch special effects work to make sure they don’t look like scaly slimy CGI mush-bags.
But we’ve got better CGI than ever before.
Look at the work of Legacy Effects, for example. A studio that specializes in practical effects, Legacy did some outstanding work for Jurassic World that was designed to work in symphony with the famed effects from ILM.
In terms of effects, we’re better equipped to tackle the challenge of putting dinosaurs on TV than we’ve ever been, and all we’ve gotten is Terra Nova. It’s a travesty on par with having the world’s finest piano and only using it to play Chopsticks.
It’s not as if these effects are out of reach for the likes of television. Sure, they’re expensive, but plenty of shows have proven that as long as there’s an audience, budgets can be overcome. Look at Game of Thrones: HBO’s forking over $10 million or more per episode, but clearly they’re doing something pretty right.
The thing that stands in the way of dinosaurs on television isn’t quality effects, but a meaningful narrative. Terra Nova’s failure is something of a cautionary tale in that department.
Including dinosaurs is expensive and complex, but it’s vital that producers and showrunners aren’t distracted by sauropods and commit to garbage storytelling. Because while we have better effects than ever before, we also have more discerning audiences than ever before — audiences that won’t sit still for spectacle without substance.
We need a show that gets to the heart of the issue: Dinosaurs are really fucking cool and they make the creatures and villains on our shows look like kittens. We’re talking about some of the most brutal creatures in the history of this planet and we’ve hardly touched them.
It’s time for a good dinosaur show. History has given us some of the most bizarre and formidable foes we could ask for and we’ve left them on the table in favor of squishy reanimated corpses, vampires and robots.
Dinosaurs deserve a place in the sun, dammit. So please, somebody give them the spotlight they deserve sometime before the next Ice Age.