Saturday, January 03, 2015

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

“The Beach People” continues the story begun in “The Moving Rock.”  

The Korg family has relocated to the beach/ocean in an attempt to find food during a time of famine.  

But here, Korg (Jim Malinda) and his family realize they know very little about hunting for sea life.  The bottom line is that if they don’t adapt to their new environment, they could still starve to death.

Tane attempts to hunt out in the surf and is pulled out to sea on the tide. He is rescued by a denizen of another tribe, “The Beach People.”  But the other members of Korg’s family believe that this individual is not a person, like them, but a Spirit or God of the Waves. 

Bok and Korg get stuck on a rock as high tide comes in, and it is up to the Beach People to save Korg’s family.  Tane begs them to do so, and they acquiesce. Later, the Beach People teach Korg’s family how to fish and hunt at the ocean…

“The Beach People” is a fairly exciting episode of Korg 70,000 B.C., made more so by the family’s desperation, and by the visual techniques used by the filmmakers.  

On the latter front, “The Beach People” includes some immediacy-provoking hand-held camera footage, shot from water level, in the ocean. This composition is used late in the episode, and there’s an urgency to it that makes the rescue of Korg and Bok all the more dangerous.

As was the case in last week’s episode, “The Moving Rock,” “The Beach People” reckons with the idea, brought forward by Korg and Mara, that the Gods are angry with the family, and thus denying them food.  Once more, the Neanderthals mistake an action (this time by another Neanderthal) as a sign from a spirit. In this way, Korg very subtly associates religion with superstition, and more than that, with ignorance of the natural world.

But “The Beach People” also focuses on another idea that is standard to this Saturday morning series (and featured in such stories as “The Story of Lumi,”) that people can cooperate and show decency to one another, even if they are strangers and even if times are difficult.  Here, the Beach People teach Korg and his family about the sea, and don’t covet all the resources of the area.  Korg would return that favor in “The Story of Lumi,” specifically, sharing the family’s water during a time of drought.

Next week’s story, “The Web,” mysteriously finds the Korg family back at their old cave, as if nothing happened, with no mention of the sea or the Beach People…or the adventures of the last two episodes.

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