Saturday, February 14, 2015

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

In “The River,” a raging fire near the cave as driven animals far away.  Hunting is bad, and there is a real chance the family will starve. At one meal in the family cave, Mara (Naomi Pollack) goes without eating so that her children, Ree (Janelle Pransky) and Tor (Charles Morteo) can eat.

Bok (Bill Ewing) returns from a several day hunt and reports that he saw game near a big body of river.  It is a long hike to reach that river, but Korg makes a difficult decision.  The family abandons the cave and makes the multi-day trek to the river, which Korg calls “the wide water.”

When Korg nearly drowns attempting to cross the river and catch a deer, Mara declares that “the water is evil.”  Korg, however, thinks otherwise.  As the days pass and the family starves, he begins devising a method of passage on the river: a makeshift raft…

In “The River,” Korg and his family face the possibility of starvation, and such danger leads them to a new discovery: how to traverse a river.  Intriguingly, the story also contends with superstition.  

Mara is a compassionate character who loves her children, but she is also the most fearful and superstitious individual in the family. She refuses to step aboard Korg’s raft, and is nearly left behind on the river bank because she can’t control her fear (or belief that the water is alive…and angry).

Therefore, it’s a tough moment when Korg must choose between his family’s survival and staying with Mara, his wife. Ultimately, he decides to leave, knowing that the children must eat...or die.  At the last minute, Mara comes too, but it is not an easy moment, for certain.  It does, however, play as realistic…and difficult.

Just as Korg drew inspiration from a spider in “The Web,” so does he here draw inspiration from nature, from a bird, specifically. He sees a bird standing on a log in the river, and realizes that a log can also carry him and his family across the river; where food (in the form of a deer) awaits.

“The River” features all the qualities I appreciate in Korg episodes. It features a new location (a river, in this case), a difficult dilemma for the family, and an example of how a religious belief system can hold somebody back, even with survival on the line. 

Next week, the sixteenth and final episode of the series: “Ree and the Wolf.”

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