A fantastic marriage of state-of-the-art computer technology, thrilling live action, and breathtaking ingenuity, " Dinotopia" emerges as one of the most ambitious and technically advanced projects in the history of television. While flying on holiday with their estranged father, Karl (Tyron Leitso) and David (Wentworth Miller) find themselves in unexpected bad weather, which sends their plane crashing to the shores of Dinotopia. In this fantastic lost world, built upon long-established principles of mutual respect, humans and dinosaurs peacefully coexist. The two brothers are as astounded by the benevolent creatures as they are enraptured by Marion (Katie Carr), the mayor's beautiful precocious daughter who welcomes them both to the wonders of Dinotopia. However, harmony does not prevail everywhere. Just beyond Dinotopia's capital, Waterfall City, are deadly carnivores that pose a constant threat to the delicate balance of nature. Equally dangerous are human outlaws such as Cyrus Crabb (David Thewlis), a pirate descendant who shuns the Dinotopian codes. But there is no greater concern than the mysterious failing of the sunstones, which power all of Dinotopian life. With the help of a brilliant (and multilingual) Stenonychosaurus named Zippo, Karl and David embark on a daring mission as the last hope for the prehistoric Eden they now call home. Constructed as one of the largest sets in the history of London's Pinewood Studios, with ground breaking special effects by the award-winning team at FrameStore, there has never been anything quite like "Dinotopia." Based on James Gurney's hugely popular books, adapted by Simon Moore and directed by action specialist Marco Brambilla, this is truly a mega-series that could only come from Hallmark Entertainment.
Kids will love this sweeping story of two brothers whose plane crashes on a mysterious island called Dinotopia, where human beings live in harmony with dinosaurs--the herbivores, anyway. The carnivores present a problem, as the humans' defenses against them--a mystical power source called sunstones--are losing strength. As they try to save the island, Carl and David (Tyron Leitso and Wentworth Miller) struggle not only with tyrannosaurs and prehistoric crocodiles, but also with repressive Dinotopian traditions and a scheming malcontent (David Thewlis) who stirs up all kinds of trouble. Meanwhile, they also wrestle with each other over the lovely daughter of the mayor of Waterfall City (Katie Carr). The pacifist ideals of Dinotopia
are refreshing, but it's the special effects that will hook viewers: riding on the backs of brachiosaurs, flying atop pteranadons, arguing in court with triceratops and ankylosaurs--anyone fascinated with dinosaurs (and who isn't?) will enjoy this whimsical fantasy. A host of British character actors also helps keep the human side of this four-hour miniseries lively; Alice Krige (also known as the Borg Queen in Star Trek: The Next Generation
) gets a much more benevolent role here. --Bret Fetzer