Monday, May 26, 2014

Cult-TV Theme Watch: T-Rex

A T-Rex -- or Tyrannosaurus Rex -- is an extinct carnivorous biped, a dinosaur of the Cretaceous Period.

The Tyrannosaurus Rex’s name means “king,” essentially, though technically “tyrant lizard.” 

The T-Rex is believed to have lived in the western portion of what is now the United States.

This regal and very dangerous creature has appeared frequently on cult-television programming over the decades, due in part, no doubt, to its enduring popularity with children.

The Land of the Lost franchise features two of television’s most famous examples of the T-Rex. 

In the original Land of the Lost (1974 – 1977), the Marshalls tangled with a T-Rex called Grumpy.  Grump often patrolled the area around the Marshall’s cave home on High Bluff.  When he tried to stick his nose into that cave, the Marshalls would employ a “fly swatter” -- a long log -- to repel him.

In the 1990s remake of Land of the Lost (1991 – 1992), The Porter family had to contend with another T-Rex, this one named Scarface for the wounds on his visage.  Like Grumpy before him, Scarface made it a habit to remain near the Porters’ homestead, in this case located at a tree house.

The Doctor Who (1963 – 1989; 2005 - ) saga has also featured tyrannosaurs on more than one occasion.  In the Third Doctor (Jon Pertwee) Era in the 1970s, one serial was called “Invasion of the Dinosaurs (1974) and it featured a T-Rex attacking London.

In 2012’s “Dinosaurs on a Spaceship,” the Eleventh Doctor (Matt Smith) and his companions traveled to a Silurian Ark approaching Earth, one in which the cargo is…dinosaurs.  Among them is at least one T-Rex.

Other examples of the T-Rex have been seen on Sliders, (1995-2000), Sir Arthur Conan Doyle’s The Lost World (1999 – 2002) and Primeval (2007 -2011).  The creature has also appeared frequently on child's programming such as Dinosaur Train (2009 - )

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