Wednesday, April 26, 2006


Pastor Bob Brewster:
"Dinosaurs and human beings lived on the Earth at the same time."
Tony Soprano:
"What? Like the Flintstones?"
'The Sopranos'

While Tony Soprano was in the hospital recovering from his gunshot wound to the gut, he was visited several times by an evangelical minister named Reverend Bob Brewster. (1)

As seen in the quote above, Pastor Bob believed that the dinosaurs and the humans existed on Earth at the same time. For his part, Tony didn't put up much of an argument, preferring to take a high road and let the fundamentalist enjoy his opinion.

But the thing of it is, Pastor Bob and Tony live in Toobworld, not the Real World. And as such, Pastor Bob is actually correct - humans did live during the same time as the dinosaurs. However, this wasn't so much because of divine intervention, but instead because of a handful of temporal accidents.

In other words, time travel.

In the beginning, dinosaurs did rule the world; developing their intelligence and evolving their humanoid attributes. They had a civilization similar to our own today... which of course isn't saying much. (2)

While they were still the dominant life form, humans began to evolve as Neanderthals and Cro-Magnon men and were constantly underfoot like vermin to the dinosaurs. (Although some of them kept humans as pets.)

Due to a cataclysmic explosion, the climate of the planet shifted and brought about an end to the reign of the dinosaurs. This explosion was triggered by an E-space native named Adric who thwarted the plans of the Cybermen to alter the course of the Earth's history. An ice age began and for the most part the intelligent saurians were wiped out. (3)

A race of lizardmen survived, however, in a hidden valley dubbed by Professor George Edward Challenger to be "The Lost World". They were humanoid reptilians most likely evolved from velociraptors. (4) Others may have been swept into an altermate dimension, where they evolved into a race of saurians known as "Sleestaks". (5)

However, the proto-humans didn't exactly jump on this chance to bang the rocks together and evolve into the dominant life forms on the planet. In fact, they were dying out.

It took the crash landing of a transport spaceship from Golgafrincha to jump-start the evolution process. The transport's passenger manifest was full of phone sanitizers, management consultants, marketing executives, and other unnecessary members of Golgafrinchan society (as well as a human from 1981 and his friend, a humanoid from a planet near Betelgeuse). (6)

More than likely there was eventually some breeding between the two species, giving rise to the modern version of Man. In this, they may have also had an influx of genetic contributions from the crew and passengers of Flight 33, an airliner whose odyssey took them from the early 60s to the Jurassic Age and back to the late 1930s. (7)

Their fate is unknown, but it could be that they once again returned to the so-called Stone Age. By this point, their fuel would have been expended and they'd have no choice but endure a forced landing among those early humans and the waning dinosaur population.

Two other humans thrust back to the age of the dinosaurs would be Charles Grover, M.P., and Professor Whitaker, who were originally attempting to transform the world of the 1970s into a "Golden Age" when civilization had not yet taken hold. (8)

The contributions of the humans of Flight 33 and the Golgafrinchans on board Ark B were cultural as well as genetic. They would have taught those early humans, and their own descendants, how to speak English, for example.

This splains why several generations later, two lost astronauts named Mac and Hector were able to converse with a tribe of cavemen they encountered after their Scorpio EX-1 spaceship hurtled back in Time. (9)

Eventually Mac and Hector returned to their own time in the mid-1960s, and they brought along with them the caveman family who had befriended them - Gronk and Shad, and their children Mlor and Breer. (10)

In the forty years since they've been living in modern-day Los Angeles, Mlor and Breer must have been educated so that they could be fully integrated into society. And while living amongst modern humans, they more than likely fell in love with their virtual descendants and raised families of their own.

Unless of course they were gay, not that there's anything wrong with that.....

However, even with the influx of the genetic material from their mates, the children of Mlor and Breer would still have been part Cro-Magnon. And there might have even been some evolutionary back-sliding in their offspring. They would have still been intelligent, but their physiognomy, like their supra-orbital ridges, would have reverted to a more primal development.

They didn't hide their existence, but the general populace was mostly unaware that they were still around, as evidenced in a rather embarrassing TV commercial for car insurance. (11)

(Over in the TV dimension geared to comedy sketches, one "Skits-oid Man" was the Unfrozen Caveman Lawyer. He also did his part in keeping the caveman bloodline alive in modern society.) (12)

Meanwhile, the evolved dinosaurs didn't die out either. Armed with holographic devices to disguise their appearances, these dinosaurs live among the humans, work alongside them, and have taken human names as their covers. (13)

If they have fully integrated themselves into human society, there must be several TV characters who could be in reality dinosaurs disguised as humans. And I have rounded up the usual suspects:

Miles Drentell, advertising executive (14)
Dale Cooper, FBI agent (15)
The Prophet, leader of a polygamous community in Utah (16)
Bull Shannon, court bailiff (17)
Bree Van deCamp, housewife (18)
and just for the name alone -
Peter Dragon, movie producer (19)

I can't prove any of them are actually dinosaurs in disguise, but when has that ever stopped me?

It's unlikely Tony Soprano knows that there are cavemen living in the same world as he does, let alone "dyno-men". But I would not be surprised to find out that he's dealt with at least one mobster who was not too far down the evolutionary chart from his more primitive forebears.

For instance, Big Pussy Bompansiero would have fit right in with Boss and Clon in Gronk's village. And Christopher Moltisante does seem to have that unibrow thing going on......

1 - 'The Sopranos' - "Fleshy Part Of The Thigh"
2 - 'Dinosaurs!'
3 - 'Doctor Who' - "Earthshock"
4 - 'The Lost World' - "More Than Human"
5 - 'The Land Of The Lost'
6 - 'The Hitch-Hiker's Guide To The Galaxy'
7 - 'The Twilight Zone' - "The Odyssey Of Flight 33"
8 - 'Doctor Who' - "Invasion Of The Dinosaurs"
9 - 'It's About Time' (first half of the season)
10 - 'It's About Time' (second half of the season)
11 - various "Geico" blipverts
12 - 'Saturday Night Live'
13 - "Anonymous Rex"
14 - 'thirtySOMETHING'
15 - 'Twin Peaks'
16 - 'Big Love'
17 - 'Night Court'
18 - 'Desperate Housewives'
19 - 'Action'


"I am the mighty Megalosaurus, the king of the dinosaurs.
And when the king of the dinosaurs wants a 90-inch television set,
He's going to get a 90-inch television set
Earl Sinclair

1 comment:

I.V. said...

Your blog essay subject made my brain hurt. :)

Speaking of The Sopranos, Gene and I damn near choked with surprise -- and laughter -- over That One Scene -- won't tell you if you haven't seen the ep, but if you did see it, you'll probably know which one.