Saturday, January 24, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Korg 70,000 BC: "The Ancient One"

In “The Ancient One,” Korg (Jim Malinda), Bok (Bill Ewing) and Tane (Christopher Man) find an old man in a grave while out hunting, following a week of rain.  The stranger’s name is Lar, and the people of his tribe have abandoned him because it believes an old man has no value in the survival-oriented world of the Neanderthal.

Although Bok wants to leave Lar for dead in the burial mound since that is the old man’s wish, Korg rescues him and brings him back to the cave.  

This proves to be a good decision, because Lar demonstrates for his family a hunting technique that will distract a deer, and allow an easy kill.  “A man can hunt a deer without throwing a spear,” Korg and the others learn.

The hunters in Lar’s tribe find Korg’s family, but don’t want to take Lar back with them, because he is too old to go hunting.  Korg says the old man can remain with his family, because he has one great value: experience.

Although the message -- to respect and value your elders – is quite nice,“The Ancient One” is pretty much a straight-up re-hash of “The Picture Maker.” 

To wit, this is the story of someone with unconventional, non-physical, non-survival skills (like the ability to draw, or the benefit of experience), but who is nonetheless welcomed into the family Korg. 

Oddly, Lar stays with the family at the end of this episode, but by the next episode, “The Story of Lumi,” is gone, and not even mentioned once.  It would have been much more interesting to report that the old man died, rather than to leave open a gaping discontinuity in the series.

And speaking of discontinuity, neither this episode, nor “The Picture Maker,” explain how Korg and his family won their home cave back from the original bear intruder.

I really like and enjoy Korg 70,000 BC, but it seems apparent that the rush of production is having an impact on the scripts at this juncture (more than half way into the run).  There are a lot of good stories early on, like the amazing “The Hill People,” “Magic Claws” or even “The Moving Rock.”  But this is one of those stories that seems to be flying on automatic pilot.  There is nothing new here, just a substitution of one character (an elder too old to hunt) for another (a boy afraid to hunt).

Next week: “The Story of Lumi.”

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