Walking with Dinosaurs is a six-part documentary television mini-series
that was produced by the BBC, narrated by Kenneth Branagh, and first
aired in the UK in 1999. The series was subsequently aired in North
America on the Discovery Channel in 2000, with Branagh's voice replaced
with that of Avery Brooks. It is the first entry of the Walking with...
series and used computer-generated imagery and animatronics to recreate
the life of the Mesozoic, showing dinosaurs in a way that previously had
only been seen in feature films. The programme's aim was to simulate
the style of a nature documentary and therefore does not include
"talking head" interviews. The series used paleontologists such as Peter
Dodson, Peter Larson and James Farlow as advisors (their influence in
the filming process can be seen in the documentary The Making of Walking
The Guinness Book of World Records reported that the series was the most expensive documentary series per minute ever made.
Episode Three: "Cruel Sea"
149, 000, 000 BC - Late Jurassic - Oxfordshire
The Ophthalmosaurus breeding ceremony is the main event of the episode, but sharks and other predators, including Liopleurodon are on the hunt. The opening portrays a Liopleurodon snatching a Eustreptospondylus from the land, but there is no evidence of this ever occurring (according to the producers, they were influenced by similar attacks by killer whales on land creatures). A pod of Opthalmosaurus arrive from the open ocean to birth. Many of the babies slip out successfully. But when one mother has trouble giving birth, a pair of Hybodus go after her, but are frightened off by a male Liopleurodon, which eats the front half of the Opthalmosaurus, leaving the tail to sink down. Meanwhile a Eustreptospondylus swims to an island. It discovers a carcass and must fight another Eustreptospondylus for it, though the fight really consists of them roaring at each other. Later during the night,a group of horseshoe crabs gather at the shore to lay their eggs,which attracts a flock of Rhamphorhynchus during the morning, however many are caught and eaten by a Eustreptospondylus. While the Opthalmosaurus juveniles are growing up, they are still hunted by the Hybodus, which in turn, are prey for the Liopleurodon. While a male Liopleurodon is hunting for prey, he is encountered by a female Liopleurodon, and after biting one of her flippers, she retires to escape. In the end of the episode, a typhoon kills many Rhamphorhynchus, and washes the Liopleurodon ashore and he is then suffocated by his own weight and is eaten by a pair of Eustreptospondylus. The episode however ends on a more positive note, as it shows that the juvenile Ophthalmosaurus have survived the storm, and are now off to live and breed in the open sea.