Saturday, January 15, 2011

Dinosaur Wars; Monday on PBS!


Set your calendars (those of you in the States who get to see this): Dinosaur Wars will be broadcast on American Experience (PBS) on Monday, January 17th at 9:00pm.
From the producers Mark Davis and Anna Saraceno:
Edward Cope and O.C. Marsh, pioneers of paleontology in the decades after the Civil War, unearthed thousands of fossils, including hundreds of dinosaurs, from the prehistoric bone yards of the American West. They also nearly destroyed each other in the process, consumed by one of the most bitter feuds in the history of science.

I have great admiration for the way Mark Davis' MDTV Productions has presented science in the past, particularly with The Four-winged Dinosaur, so I very much look forward to how they treat this very interesting conflict of egos / media and science. One of the things I appreciate is the decision to use puppetry to portray microraptor and kin. That may sound odd coming from a 3D artist, yet the way they portrayed the reconstructions maintained a tight focus on the people and the scientific questions. Of course, I'm also sure that this can be done with cg animation, but the efforts wee see are all too often driven by low-budget attempts to mimic Jurassic Park style realism. Hats off to Mark Davis, and - please, someone get this to Europe so that I can see it!