By Jasper James, Executive Producer
Right away I need to confess – this isn’t my first dinosaur film. I’ve got a bit of a habit of bringing dinos back to life – I was one of the makers of Walking with Dinosaurs and a host of other prehistoric TV monsterfests. But dinos, like anything, go in and out of fashion. They’d been lying low for a few years until a couple of years ago I could sense the distinct rumble of dinosaurs coming back into fashion. People started asking me if I had any dino films up my sleeves. But I never wanted to make just another dino film – there had to be something new to say and a new way of saying it. So I plunged myself back into the world of paleontology to find out what they’d unearthed. One thing about paleontologists – they never stop discovering things. They never stop searching out more and more inaccessible areas to dig where no digger has dug before. And in amongst all the amazing new finds, one story jumped up and roared at me: the discovery of a whole new community of dinosaurs, who lived and thrived in the most unlikely of places – the North Pole.
It’s amazing after well over a hundred years of palaeontology that such a big discovery could be made, but the truth is that digging inside the arctic circle is so difficult – remote, no facilities, difficult to get to and the ground is like concrete due to the permafrost – that no-one had been able to do it before. But in the last decade, the most intrepid of the intrepid have mounted ambitious expeditions into the arctic wilderness armed with dynamite and survival gear. They’ve come back with evidence of not just the odd dinosaur stumbling around up there but a whole unique ecosystem where creatures were adapted to a world of absolute extremes. Summers were paradise: warm with 24-hour sunlight and overflowing food. But in winter they had to endure the toughest conditions in prehistoric earth – cold with no food and 4 months of perpetual night. Here was a whole new slice of prehistory – an incredible story of incredible creatures surviving against all the odds.
Be sure to tune in to The Great Dinosaur Escape tonight at 8P et/pt. Here’s a sneak peek from tonight’s premiere: