Part 2: Time
of the Titans
Time: 150 million years BCE
Place: "Colorado," during
a warm period when Pangaea is starting to break up and there is
no ice at the poles
Actual Locations: California State
Parks, Chile, Tasmania, New Zealand
The first year of life for a Diplodocus
occupies the first portion of this episode, from the egg laying
through the hatching and the search for food. When the little
heads come popping out of the forest floor, we feel momentarily
transported to Spielberg land, even Disney world. The legend "One
Year Later" evokes a chuckle after so many larger time announcements
in the series.
Despite the fact that part 2 is
possibly the most "conventional" of the seriesí looks
at dinosaurs, there are some distinctive details: the camera passes
calmly over the sight of defecating and farting Dipolodocus; we
get a closeup of a dung beetle at work; there is a subtle and
brief mating sequence during which Branagh notes that mating "is
a dangerous activity for the female," who must support an
extra 10 tons on her back; and we are introduced to Agnurognathus,
a small pterosaur who lives, feeds, and breeds on the back and
side of Diplodocus (as do damselflies, who get a brief closeup).
Brachiosaurus is also one of the supporting players in this part.
The filmmakers provide but donít
belabor a short, unsensational incident of forest fire, which
includes the cries of trapped dinosaurs and a smoking carcass
in the morning light. Probably the most visually exciting sequence
involves the encounters of adolescent Diplodocus, a Stegosaur,
and an Allosaur in a narrow, green canyon (although late in the
episode, an Allosaur tries unsuccessfully to take down a grown
Diplodocus, as well).
Thereís quite a bit of surprising
and not entirely convincing color. Ornitholestes, familiar to
long-time saurian fans only in standard dull dinosaur grey or
brown, has startling red eyes at the center of baby blue eyepatches.
The Allosaurs have bright red eyebrow ridges, and Stegosaurs throw
a defensive display pattern of fiery orange into their back plates.