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Episode Studies by Clayton Barr

Valley of the Dinosaurs: The Volcano Valley of the Dinosaurs
"The Volcano"

TV episode
Written by: Unknown
Directed by: Charles A. Nichols


The irritable mountain known as Magog wakes up for real this time, spewing molten rock.


Didja Know?


The writers of each TV episode are not specifically revealed, but the end credits of every episode listed the series writers as: Peter Dixon, Peter Germano, James Henderson, Ernie Kahn, Ben Masselink, Dick Robbins, Henry Sharp, and Jerry Thomas.


Didja Notice?


The markings seen on the snake at the beginning of the episode are suggestive of a python, but pythons are not native to South America; it may be intended to be a boa constrictor, which is. A pair of pink flamingoes are also seen along the river's edge. Flamingoes are found in South America, though not particularly within the Amazon rain forest.



The large aquatic reptilian seen at 1:37 on the DVD has transparent teeth!


The pterosaurs seen at 2:05, 4:32, and 7:47 on the DVD appear to be Pteranodons.


The sauropod at 4:11 and 19:13 on the DVD appears to be a Brontosaurus.


The volcano that erupts in this episode is called Magog by the cave-dwellers. In "Fight the Angry Mountain" another volcano is simply called the angry mountain.


The ceratopsid seen at 4:53 on the DVD appears to be a species of Triceratops.


The dinosaur seen at 5:00 on the DVD appears to be an Ankylosaurus.


Gorok is, at first, unconcerned about the eruption, saying, "Magog often makes angry noises, shakes the ground. Then he sleeps again." Greg comments, "...when that volcano in Hawaii blew his top, he was mad for weeks!" There are several active volcanoes in Hawaii, but I've been unable to find any citations of eruptions of any length in the early 1970's when Valley of the Dinosaurs was made. Possibly, Greg is referring the to the 1950 eruption of Mauna Loa, the largest shield volcano on Earth, on the main island of Hawaii, which lasted over 3 weeks.


John refers to the opening in the Earth's crust which emits hot gases as a fumarole. Fumaroles are often found in the vicinity of volcanoes.


The small creature referred to as naneek by Gorok at 8:53 on the DVD, looks as if it may be a type of protomammal, perhaps an Eodicynodon, from the middle-late Permian age, original habitat in South Africa.


The large bird seen at 9:54 on the DVD may be a type of Phorusrhacid from the Cenozoic era, a carnivorous, flightless bird known colloquially as "terror birds" and known to grow close to ten feet tall, as the one seen here. Gorok refers to it as "tandor". Fossilized remains have been found in North America and, possibly, Africa. A similar type of bird runs by in the animal stampede at 19:27.


At 12:37 on the DVD, Katie's eyes are rather lopsided!


Gorok claims they can catch tandor and John asks, "How? Put salt on his tail?" This refers to an old wives tale that if you sprinkle salt on a bird's tail, it can't fly away and you can catch it. Of course, terror birds like tandor could not fly anyway!


Looking down into the caldera of the volcano, Katie says, "Looks like the devil's pudding is just about to boil." Devil's pudding is a type of dessert, something between chocolate mousse and chocolate cake.


The Butlers use a metal chain to link the paddlewheel of their homemade boat to the paddles. But where did they get the chain? Did they have it with them for some reason when they came into the Valley of the Dinosaurs? The native cave-dwellers are clearly pre-Iron Age people.


When John's plan to fell tons of stone into the path of the oncoming lava to block it appears successful, Greg exclaims, "They did it! That's bigger than the Hoover Dam!" The Hoover Dam is a large dam that produces hydroelectric power on the Colorado River along the border of Nevada and Arizona. It seems likely that Greg was exaggerating about the size of their stone dam though.


A theropod (carnivorous dinosaur) with a horn on its nose appears at 19:27 on the DVD. This suggests it is a Ceratosaurus from the Jurassic Period and found in North America. 


Memorable Dialog 


when do we eat?.wav

he was mad for weeks.wav

slippery when wet.wav

they just might survive without you.wav

girls should stay home.wav

can't tell the monsters without a scorecard.wav 


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