I’m going to start this blog without saying “so…”, instead I’m going to start by saying that Mario Kart 64 should have beat Crash Team Racing! I mean come on there is no comparison. I’m not bitter though…I promise. Any way I’ve elected not to talk about games this week, mainly because we have the second GHoF coming up and I don’t want to write about games twice in a week, and secondly because I occasionally like to branch out, to be adventurous, to leave my comfort zone once in a while. In that vein I’m going to talk about a 90’s kids TV show that only I seem to remember. So sit back adjust your Zubaz pants, and crank up that Offspring record and put that skateboard down. It’s time to take a journey into my memory.
So anyone remember Denver the last dinosaur? Anyone? No…Well I’m used to it. One year (I don’t remember which), I got a VHS off my Nan. It was called Denver the last dinosaur. Now to say it changed my life would be a bit of a stretch, but it did basically become the only thing I ever watched. It got to the point where my mother secretly gave the video away to a school fair and said it had broke. I’m still pretty pissed off about that. Any way I digress. I became obsessed with this film. It was so awesome! It had a dinosaur, wise cracking kids, adventure, an evil Texan and a dinosaur playing guitar, riding a skate board and slam dunking. I am very aware that I mentioned dinosaurs twice but it was important. Also the film had a seriously rad theme tune! http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zdUhf1s1Btk I am willing to admit that the line “he’s my friend and a whole lot more” is a bit creepy, but once more I’m digressing.
The show itself was a dub of a French cartoon from 1988. The key themes where ecology and environmentalism and was used to teach children about being good to the environment and stuff. It was then picked up by an American network and dubbed. It eventually made it over to the UK in 1990. The one hour pilot episode was then released on VHS some time after, and found its way into my possession at some point in the mid 90’s. Then in 1998 the series was picked up by the now defunct channel Carlton Kids, which was an exclusive to the short lived and ill fated ONdigital. It also ran from time to time on Nickelodeon during the mid to late 90’s, but not as part of a regular schedule. This is most likely how I watched it, since I didn’t have ONdigital, nobody did.
In the first episode the kids find an egg in a tar pit and it turns out to be a dinosaur. Some evil douche tries to take Denver away but the kids don’t let him and they begin to hide him. First in a pool house, then the old school gym. It is around this time where they dress the dinosaur up as a kid and teach him to skateboard. They make him wear sun glasses and an awesome jacket, it’s totally tubular! Things start to go bad when he is kidnapped by the evil Texan, who puts him in a band. The kids then begin a race to set him free. There is an awesome scene where Denver is on stage rocking out. It pretty funny to be honest. Then Denver gets sold to a scientist, who wants to become famous by finding a dinosaur, because this guy is the only person in the entire show that has a brain. Anyway things turn out fine, because Denver gets away and returns to the gang. He then does some Vulcan mind meld thing and shows the kids that he wants to go back in time to his own family and with a shard of his egg he is transported back to his time period. It’s all very heart warming. The kids then reminisce about the good times, and life is good again. After this two series of the show were commissioned, with each episode following the basic peril and triumph format. The gang would get into a situation, Denver would almost be exposed then they would escape and everything would go back to normal. Then after the two series the show was decommissioned and it entered the annals of history. Since then it has been released as a DVD boxset and every episode has been placed on YouTube, by the studio as well as on the Hulu service.
Anyway, I’m going to round this up because I’ve ran out of things to say. I remember this show fondly and I have a lot of happy memories. My issue is that nobody else seems to remember it, nobody. Sure if you go on YouTube there are loads of great comments about the show, but I’ve never met a person in meatspace who knows about the show. When I told Ian that I was writing a blog about it, he had no idea what I was talking about and I had to link him to the show on YouTube. It saddens me that I cannot share this large part of my childhood with people. So… (I knew I’d use it somewhere) If any of you reading this remember this show, drop me a line in the comment section, or on Twitter, or Facebook, ect. Oh and here’s the pilot episode that I went on and on about…You best watch it!
By Matt Husselbury