Gareth Edwards’ TV Review 15/09/2011

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Planet Dinosaur

BBC One, 8.30pm, last night

EVERYONE knows that millions of years ago giant monsters ruled the planet. The dinosaurs were huge, and while T-Rex might have been big, the biggest was Spinosaurus, a long-snouted, big-clawed fish-eating terror that wasn’t afraid to shed a bit of dino-blood as well.

We know all this thanks to exhaustive research, and armed with this, some nifty computer graphics and a voice-over from John Hurt, the BBC have endeavoured to bring it all to life.

While the science was clearly rigorous, however, the problem - apart from more than a few moments when it all looked a bit cheap and shoddy - was the scale. It’s all very well telling us that these were the biggest of the big, but since everything else was big too - the trees, the rocks, the swordfish monsters - the big dinosaurs just looked like regular dinosaurs.

Even the ‘camera’ angles were wrong - if these behemoths had been filmed by a man the camera would be staring up, but instead most of the time we saw these animals at snarling jaw height. Great to show off those killer teeth, not so good for creating a believable bit of dino history.