Saturday, November 15, 2014

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Korg 70,000 B.C.: "The Guide"

In “The Guide,” the second episode aired of Korg 70,000 B.C. (1974), young Tor (Charles Morteo) is captured by a blind hunter from a different tribe. The adult hunter wants to get back to The River People, and needs Tor to guide him safely through the jungle.

Unfortunately, Tor knows that once he is with the River People, they will enslave him and make him a hunter. He will never see his own family again.

Korg (Jim Malinda) and Bok (Bill Ewing) pursue the hunter and Tor, realizing they must rescue the boy before he reaches the River People.

“The Guide” is a solid second outing for Korg 70,000 B.C. and a much better episode than “Trapped.”  Here, Tor, a young boy, reckons with the reality of his dangerous, prehistoric world.

Specifically, Tor knows that no “strange family” would help him return home, even though he is a child. Instead, he would forever be an “alien” in another tribe.  

The Guide” nicely captures Tor’s sense of fear of being separated from his family, and balancing that sense of terror with his sense of compassion for the blinded, desperate hunter.

Ultimately, Tor is able to balance his fear and his humanity (Neanderthal-ity?) He leads the blind hunter into a river, and escapes, but then goes back to guide the flailing man to safety. The episode is called “The Guide” and Tor acts in this episode as both reluctant, involuntary guide, and later as a willing one. 

In the end, the hunter’s sight returns and all is well, a fragile peace established.  Most episodes end in this positive way, with some social good being established between Korg’s family and another, and that’s as it should be for a kid’s show. 

The nice part is that the better episodes of Korg also feature a strong sense of danger so that we can understand -- while ensconced in our comfortable world of safety and security -- what it is like to live in a world not fully understood, where death lurks around every corner.

Next week: “The Exile.”

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