Saturday, February 21, 2015

Saturday Morning Cult-TV Blogging: Korg, 70,000 B.C.: "Ree and the Wolf."

In “Ree and the Wolf,” Ree (Janelle Pransky) discovers an injured wolf, separated from its pack, trapped under a rock, and nurses it back to health. She feeds it and tends to it in secret, fearful that Korg (Jim Malinda) will order it killed…to be eaten.

Ree keeps the wolf a secret, all while nurturing a friendship with it. When Neanderthal invaders enter the territory and hunt without permission, Korg and Bok (Bill Ewing) order them to leave. They do so, but return looking for a fight.

The wolf comes to the family’s rescue, driving off the invaders, and Korg tells Ree she can keep the pet for a day, before sending it off to rejoin its pack.

The final episode of Korg, 70,000 B.C. is the only one that really centers on the character of Ree, Korg’s young daughter. It’s a good episode that examines the bond between human (or Neanderthal) and animal, and is all about friendship. The wolf protects Ree, and Ree protects the wolf.  Her friendship with the wolf  -- which is forbidden by the rules of her tribe -- is the very thing that saves the tribe when villainous hunters invade the territory.

Probably the most heart-warming episode of the series, “Ree and the Wolf” is a good one to go out on. The episode relates a complete narrative, and leaves the family intact to brave the prehistoric world.

I review many Saturday morning series here on the blog. I’ve gone through the entire runs of Star Trek (1973), Return to the Planet of the Apes (1975), Monster Squad (1976), Ark II (1976) and many others here.  I must confess that Korg, 70,000 B.C. has been among the least painful to watch on a regular basis, and a series that gives me a lot of material to discuss and consider.

There are big ideas at work here. A key theme, as I have highlighted, is superstition and religion. Another involves the struggle to survive, and what it means for a family to move from familiar territory to someplace new.

After blogging all sixteen episodes of Korg 70,000 B.C., I’m sorry to see this stretch come to an end.  

Although nothing beats Land of the Lost (1974 – 1977) for good science fiction storytelling in the Saturday morning format, Korg,70,000 B.C. is one of the rare Saturday morning series’ that is still entertaining decades later, and still feels relevant.

Next week, I begin checking out the (available) episodes of Bigfoot and Wildboy!

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